Nas

Word Is Bond: The Double and Triple Meanings of Joey Bada$$’s ‘B4.DA.$$’

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Like every utterance that passes through Joey Bada$$’s lips, the title of his debut album, B4.DA.$$ — read “Before the Money” as well as “Bada$$” — is double or triple meant. It’s a statement album: he wants you to know who he is and where he came from. But it’s also a promise. If everything goes right, this album will document Bada$$’s frame of mind precisely before he makes a bunch of money. The idea seems to have worked. Last week, the album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard charts, placing it ahead of all other rap releases, including new records by Lil Wayne and Lupe Fiasco. Given, too, that Malia Obama recently posted a selfie featuring a Pro Era T-shirt, it’s perhaps only a matter of time before Bada$$ gets the $3 million deal he’s been seeking — he famously won’t sign to a major label for less.
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The 50 Worst Albums Ever Made

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As far as music goes, “the worst” is a slippery category: the worst album of all time was probably made by some godawful crunkcore/pop-punk band in a garage somewhere in 2004 and never saw a formal release. Still, there are better-known records that, for whatever reason, you never, ever want to hear again — the songs are awful, the band’s awful, the music’s awful, or all of the above! So, in the (lighthearted) spirit of our recent list of the worst films ever made, here’s a completely subjective list of the worst albums ever …Read More

50 Cultural Icons on Their Favorite Books

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Everybody loves a good book. Yes, everybody — even the rich, famous and culturally relevant. And since there’s nothing better than a book recommendation from someone you already idolize, why not check out which ones they count as their favorites? Maybe you’ll wind up finding out that you have even more in common with Lady Gaga than you thought. Click through to find out which books your favorite cultural icons, from Bill Murray to Joan Didion to Nas, love best — and get to padding that reading …Read More

Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.
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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in October

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It’s an odd time of year at the cinema — with fall studio movies rolling out and Oscar Season™ in full swing, the multiplex is presumably filled with the kind of smart, adult-minded fare we usually head to the art-house to see. But don’t be fooled; there’s bound to be some wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, and the indies have got you covered this month just in case, with the help of several sharp documentaries, terrific new movies from the likes of Lynn Shelton, Gregg Araki, and Alex Ross Perry, and the smartest social satire in many a moon. Here are the indie movies you can’t miss this month.
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The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

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Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ’em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The …Read More

Robin Williams and the Myth of “Battling” Depression

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I don’t really have a great deal to say about Robin Williams’ death, beyond the obvious: it’s tragic, and awful, and I feel terrible for his family and friends and everyone else who knew him. Two people I knew — both friends, at different stages of my life — have killed themselves in the last month, and the feeling is the same: sadness, and a measure of bewilderment, and sympathy, and loss. Suicide is an act that makes perfect, terrifying sense if you’re suicidal, and no sense at all if you’re not. If you don’t understand why someone would kill themselves, I’m happy for you, and I hope that you never do.
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