If you’ve got approximately an hour to kill, here’s a sprawling 7-part essay about selfies in the vein of Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes. Author Rachel Syme elucidates the gender politics of selfies, society’s kneejerk impulse to categorize them as narcissism, practitioners of self-portraiture in past eras, and selfie sticks. “We are living in times of peak-selfie, and therefore, peak selfie-hatred,” she writes. “When a phenomenon leaks so completely and quickly into the cultural water supply, people are bound to get freaked out.”
“If I wanted to do ‘The Missing Files of Missy Elliott,’ I have probably six albums just sitting there,” Missy Elliott says in this Billboard profile, referencing all the songs she has written and recorded since she retreated from the spotlight nearly a decade ago due to her Graves Disease. But Elliott admits she didn’t expect her hiatus to last for so long; when she released “9th Inning” and “Triple Threat” on iTunes in 2012, it was meant to test the waters and see how much the industry climate had changed since her peak Miss E… So Addictive / Under Construction / This is Not a Test-days. When the singles failed to make an impact, she went back to the drawing board. Then came a call from Pharrell Williams, followed by another from Katy Perry.
In related news, Billboard has announced Elliott will be the recipient of the Innovator Award at their 2015 Women in Music ceremony. The honor recognizes “an artist whose masterful body of work has consistently broken new ground in pop music.” Other honorees include Lana Del Rey, Loretta Lynn, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, and Lady Gaga, who will receive the Woman of the Year honor. The event will take place on December 11th in New York, and will air on December 18th on Lifetime.
Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America (sponsored by nonprofit United Way) took place last night in L.A.; a two-hour version will air tomorrow on A&E. Performances included Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Sia, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Jill Scott and many others. But not everyone’s performance was musical; in lieu of a song, Nicki Minaj recited Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise,” intonating a trademark oomph in the stanza: “Does my sexiness upset you? / Does it come as a surprise / That I dance like I’ve got diamonds / At the meeting of my thighs?”
Bad news for any of you hoping to stream Adele’s 25 tomorrow; New York Times reports that the highly anticipated album will not be available on services like Spotify or Apple Music—a decision in which Adele was allegedly personally involved. But it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise; NPR’s Michel Martin speaks to Piotr Orlov about the economic reasoning behind the permanent or delayed upload of the album that is expected to break all kinds of records.
Speaking of breakups, the Daily Dot’s Mike Wehner reports that Facebook will begin hiding your ex on your timeline. Clicking the “single” box will eventually prompt you with an option to “Take a break.” This entails seeing fewer of their posts and photos, and their names will not pop up in suggestions. If you want to be super passive-aggressive, you also have to option to hide your posts from their timeline. If you want to be overtly aggressive, there’s also the already available option to unfriend them, but in case you two rekindle, you’ll at least have a timestamp that will clear up any discrepancies.