The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Chris Rock


“The culture’s changing, and I’m not a part of it. This shit is getting hip. This shit is getting blacker. This shit is getting fucking rappier. SNL is still a pretty white show. When I got hired I was the first black guy in like eight years — and In Living Color was just hip. The shit was hot. I wanted to be in an environment where I didn’t have to translate the comedy I wanted to do,” this week’s SNL host Chris Rock told Marc Maron in 2011 about leaving Saturday Night Live to work on the Fox series created by the Wayans brothers.

“[Playing] a Ubangi tribesman or whatever… to where, not that I thought they were racist… [but I] was the only black face that was going to be seen for an hour and a half… It feels racist. It’s not racist. But it just feels like it when that’s all you see… If you’re on In Living Color and you’re a Ubangi tribesman there was a black thing before that and one right after it. There’s a context.”

SNL has faced a number of diversity issues, but the hiring of cast members Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones (who also has a seat in the writer’s room with newcomer LaKendra Tookes) took steps in the right direction, offering guests a more inclusive environment to thrive in. And seeing five African-American actors in a sketch last night, with no caricatures involved, demonstrated why this is essential.

Prince makes a nine-minute appearance in last night’s episode for three numbers (“Clouds,” “Marz,” “Another Love”), with the backing of his band 3rdeyegirl. He wears a pair of appropriate three-eyed sunglasses (and rocks a full-on cat eye when the shades come off) — something us peons couldn’t pull off if we tried. It’s an electrifying performance that doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but confirms Prince still has it. After a tepid showing from Iggy Azalea last week, this is the jolt we needed.
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Prince’s 10 Most Prince Moments


Prince has two new albums out this week, bless him — he’s never been one for self-restraint, and that’s one of the reasons we love him, right? Just like everyone else, we’ve been listening to PlectrumElectrum and Art Official Age all day, and we’ll no doubt be publishing our thoughts on them in due course. In the meantime, though, it seems like a fine time to celebrate music’s most eccentric genius with a survey of his, well, most Princely moments. Read them all and we’ll serve you pancakes …Read More

The 50 Greatest Crush Songs Ever

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This week, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O releases her debut solo album, and it happens to have a very specific theme that caught our attention here at Flavorwire HQ: songs about crushes. But Karen O’s oftentimes sad, solemn songs only represent one side of the experience of having a crush. So we got to thinking: what songs about longing stick with us after the thrill of the chase turns into something deeper? Which serve as a salve when you find out that your crush isn’t mutual? What about the ones that give you the nerve to try and steal your crush away from someone else? Or how those that capture the thrilling promise of something new? All of these oh-so-complicated scenarios are represented here, in our unranked list of the 50 greatest crush songs ever …Read More

1984: The Year Prince, The Replacements, and Hüsker Dü Made Minneapolis the Center of the Music World


If you’re born with the name Prince, there’s a good chance your parents thought you destined for greatness. In the case of Minnesota’s Prince Rogers Nelson, the artist who would go on to be known only as Prince (and then, briefly, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince), the release of his third, fourth, and fifth albums, Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982), helped push him towards the top of the pop-music mountain — but on June 25, 1984, he began his official ascension to places very few before or after him could even imagine. With the release of Purple Rain, he experienced the sort of success and everlasting influence rivaled only by Michael Jackson and Madonna. The main difference is that Prince did everything; he wrote and produced his songs, shredded the hell out of the guitar, and showed that he was a flamboyant musical icon with enough command, showmanship, pomp, and genius to proclaim that he was his generation’s James Brown and Sly Stone rolled into one.
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