“First they love you, then they hate you, then they love you again.”

-Jay Z "Meet the Parents"

There is probably no other fitting way to describe Jay-Z, and the way society treats its own heroes. This was the intro to one of my favorite Jay-Z songs, “Meet The Parents,” back in 2001. In hindsight, it’s an accurate depiction of how we love to seepeople rise to the top, just to watch their downfall. Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, is unfortunately going through one of those hate filled phases. 

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How many female rappers have people spoken of in recent years? Two, I’m guessing-- Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. But there’s a fairly new female rapper on the scene, and she’s unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before. Young M.A., a Brooklyn, New York native, occupies a liminal space in the rap community, straddling the threshold for female and queer hip-hop musicians.  

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A powerful coalition of billionaires fighting for prison reform sounds like a group of Democratic politicians, doesn’t it? However, this coalition, called REFORM Alliance, is headed by people like Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Philadelphia 76ers’ owner Michael Rubin, the owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, the New Jersey Nets’ co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, cryptocurrency giant Michael Novogratz, and Vise Equity Partners’ creator Robert Smith.

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So far 2018 has been an amazing year for Black cinema. No two portrayals are the same and there is a little something for everyone. While there is still progress to be made these films are refreshing to see. Long before its release, I had been hearing talks of a film adaption of Angie Thomas’ debut novel “The Hate U Give.” The bidding war for the rights was being discussed, reactions to the cast, and even talks of colorism all shrouded the film before it even hit theaters. One of the running themes or emotions I felt while watching this film was the honesty of it all. As a Black woman watching this film I felt seen and I knew so many others would too.

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Since its beginning, hip-hop has continued to evolve as an art form that has taken over the world. While it is known that visual art and hip-hop are strongly connected, some artists take this connection to new heights. For Italian painter and sculptor Mario Loprete, this surely reigns true.

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