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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. “In the end, Decoded leaves the reader with a keen appreciation of how rap artists have worked myriad variations on a series of familiar themes (hustling, partying and ‘the most familiar subject in the history of rap — why I’m dope’) by putting a street twist on an arsenal of traditional literary devices (hyperbole, double entendres, puns, alliteration and allusions), and how the author himself magically stacks rhymes upon rhymes, mixing and matching metaphors even as he makes unexpected stream-of-consciousness leaps that rework old clichés and play clever aural jokes on the listener (‘ruthless’ and ‘roofless,’ ‘tears’ and ‘tiers,’ ‘sense’ and ‘since’).” – Michiko Kakutani, book critic for The New York Times, really liked Jay-Z‘s book
2. Taylor Momsen will begin “an indefinite hiatus” from Gossip Girl following next Monday night’s episode. At this point is anyone going to be sorry to see Little J go? [via Deadline]
3. PJ Harvey has named her new album Let England Shake and will release it on February 14th. “I didn’t set down any rules. For some reason, we were all in a very good place, with a lot of energy, intensity and vitality in us at that time. It was a really enjoyable experience, and I think the record’s ended up full of energy and quite an uplifting experience because of it,” she says. [via NME]
4. Apple has posted an “exclusive music video” from Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Natalie Portman ballerina thriller Black Swan. December 3rd can’t come soon enough. [via Pop Candy]
5. Gael Garcia Bernal is attached to play Roberto Duran in an upcoming movie about the legendary boxer. Ben Silverman will produce. [via The Wrap]

Bonus link: See an All-Business Obama Challenge Archimedes on Mythbusters

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