Posts in Culture
SURRENDER TO THE AIR

It sucks that Professor Morrison’s passing was the spark I needed to write for myself again, but I’d be a hypocrite considering her a role model and mentor while continuing to be so passive about my truest passion. I know I’m a damn good writer, because I wouldn’t have launched this project if I didn’t. That’s partially why I chose that picture of Professor Morrison for the August homepage. It’s definitely eerie but in the best possible way, like she’s staring directly into my soul, demanding I snatch control of my destiny. I can’t be a writer if I, er, don’t write. The plainest truths are often redundant that way.

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Rhy Speaks: On The Playa Haters' Ball

The Playa Haters’ Ball is easily one of the best in show history. I cannot understand how fans of Chappelle fail to discuss this sketch when talking about its most memorable moments. The skit’s humor is rooted in how natural it all feels, the chemistry between these friends and just naturally funny people fueling the bulk of it. Based on nothing but my personal speculation, the totality of that episode isn’t quite as memorable as others and that precludes it from consideration. Or even more simply, maybe people just don’t appreciate true comedians and pure Black comedy.

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Welcome to Inć University

On Back to Cool, Willie Mac Jr. tutors listeners in the art of maintaining individual thought on the way to achieving life’s complex goals, skillfully satisfying the desire we all have to remain unique while showing the benefits of leadership and collaboration. Luckily, class isn’t quite full yet, so grab a seat and learn something.

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The Philosopher & the Preacher

With vivid detail, enthusiastic candor, and — frankly — better philosophical fluidity than most of today’s elected officials, their bars provide a genuinely sound logic for everybody: for teenagers seeking their purpose, students struggling with academia, politicians trying to make the world a better place, and parents simply hoping to connect with their children. The broad approach of their art makes the similarities clear, but make no mistake: J. Cole and Big KRIT will teach you vastly different things about yourself.

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Rhy Speaks: On The Boondocks

I have come to appreciate The Boondocks as a cultural time capsule that has somehow remained relevant despite the fact a great deal of these episodes are over a decade old. I may be aging but the show hasn’t at all, and every time I re-watch them I appreciate the show just a little bit more, especially as I learn more about the world. Now into my mid-20s, it’s clear The Boondocks might always remain culturally and socially relevant, or at least until I’m older. Disagree? "The Trial of Robert Kelly" is the second episode the show ever produced; 12 years later, R. Kelly is still free and was recently accused of holding teenage girls captive in an Atlanta compound. Still relevant.

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Hypocrite(?!): Black Authenticity in the Age of Social Media

We’re each playing a version of ourselves on the internet; the majority of us have officially been around long enough to have earned some sort of cyber-reputation, one we’ve either carefully crafted for ourselves or one we unwittingly wear — or sometimes both. Oftentimes, the truth about our character lies somewhere in the middle, between the perception we’d like to see accepted as truth and the actual reality of our lives. I totally understand it. I’ve been crafting my personal brand around the aesthetic that I’d like WSH to exude — clean, refined, much cooler and over everything than you’d believe — and while it can be fun to play that character on Twitter and Instagram, it’s a weird feeling to consider how detached our two personalities can be. Not entirely disparate, mind you; I’d never accuse anyone of faking for likes and retweets. But we’ve all now become curators of our personal running diaries, for better or worse. Can’t blame a curator for exercising creative control, can you? That's precisely why my Twitter drafts folder is pouring over at the moment. Creative control.

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Rhy's Black History Month Series: Coming to America

I often struggle with picking a definitive list of my favorite movies, but on today, here’s the shortlist: Silence of the Lambs, The Godfather, and Coming to America. I could easily write an argument for the greatness of Silence of the Lambs or The Godfather, but the clear underdog in my top-three is Coming to America. This is completely unfair, however, and thus why I want to discuss why Coming to America is an undeniable masterpiece that doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

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The Migos Mélange, or You Should Be Able to Tell the Migos Apart By Now

Outside of (maybe) TDE, it’s hard to think of a rap crew more unique than Migos: they each possess styles distinct enough to present individual tracks or individual track elements (choruses, ad-libs, etc), but with a cohesiveness that makes it feel like you’re listening to one artist with one goal and one vision, like you hear on YRN and Culture. I remember years ago I heard Migos and thought Gucci Mane was somehow cloning himself and creating small groups of those clones to make music — a concept I found brilliant. But I was mistaken: Migos aren’t clones of anyone. They are three unique and versatile personalities capable both of producing cohesive projects and impressive individual efforts. And their differences — however minor they appear to be — are likely the key to their brilliance as a collective.

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Black (Super)star Power: The Political Awakening of the Millennial Athlete

Sure, continue to ignore all the intentional system failures harming people of color in the name of pretending we don’t have a legitimate gripe. Let’s also pretend these wealthy, black athletes weren’t dead broke once-upon-a-time, because in this fantasy, they shouldn’t complain about anything! They don’t have it bad at all! Or — even better — let’s continue to pretend that America has this spotless history, that the many terrible things happening right now in the United States — white supremacist rallies, mass shootings by domestic terrorists, the election of an incompetent imbecile to run the country — are just aberrations and not the byproduct of backlash from the eight years prior, anger not only of a black man being President, but of him being damned good at it, too.

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The WSH Black Love Movies of the New Millennium Tournament

Love Jones debuted in theaters on March 14, 1997, in the midst of what I’d argue is a peak in Black cinema. Although this renaissance arguably begins as far back as the late-1980s, the Black romance films of the mid-1990s introduce this extremely wild concept of young, successful, upwardly-mobile African-Americans having the same love issues as, you know, everybody else.

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Homecoming

I always fancied one day owning that house, despite my dad’s disbelief I’d ever want to live there. I also thought I’d have him for at least another 20 years, so consider how my feelings for that place soon changed once he was no longer in it. Had I bought the house from my dad or had he gifted it to me, that would’ve been ideal. But it felt weird knowing that house could exist without him, if that makes sense. I hated walking in that door, I dreaded going into his basement, I’d go into the kitchen and start daydreaming about the fake wrestling matches we’d have, I’d look inside his bedroom and notice one side of the bed hasn’t been touched because, oh yeah, only one person sleeps in that bed now.

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