We Slay, Part I

formationBeyoncé don’t give no fucks about your Saturday afternoon. Which is to say–as Big Freedia’s voice says in Beyoncé’s new song, “Formation“–“[She] did not come to play with you hoes. [She] came to slay, bitch.”

And slay she did in her usual fashion, but with the volume on the South ratcheted up to the lower frequencies. While “No Angel” gave us a Texas Bama vision of Houston, the visuals for “Formation” offer up New Orleans as convergence place for a blackness that slays through dreams, work, ownership, legacy, and the audacity of bodies that dare move and live in the face of death. As an actual and imagined site of black southern ecstasy, tragedy, remembrance, and revolutionary possibility, NOLA is the pendulum on which Beyoncé rides a southern genealogy that traverses the Deep South from Alabama to Louisiana to Texas, back and through, with stops in between.

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Prince Made Me Start This Blog: Negress Year (Plus Another Year Plus Some Change) In Review


He--Prince--didn't exactly come to me in a cloud of purple divinity and command me to do so, mind you. I had been on Tumblr, largely out of pedagogical dedication, sporadically reblogging things and scrolling and refreshing pages for hours on end, … [Continue reading]

“An Idea of Change”: Marco Pavé and the Politicization of Memphis Hip-Hop

marco for blog post

Art is always already personal and political. Memphis native Marco Pavé’s recently released mixtape, Obscure Reality, and his community work in and beyond his neighborhood, exemplify this dual function of art, as well as the possibilities of art to … [Continue reading]