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I've no solid empirical evidence at all to substantiate a claim with which I'd like to open this sequence of images of, and a bit of commentary on, last week's art fairs. While it did occur to me that prefacing a piece with an unsubstantiated observation—and perhaps a relatively useless one at that—could be slightly problematic, it also occurred to me that since it is unsubstantiated yet in favor of something non-negative, then maybe...
To be an R&B fan in 2015 was to be delighted, bewildered, mind-blown and overwhelmed. Before the year even began, D’Angelo released Black Messiah, his endlessly anticipated follow-up to 2000’s Voodoo, almost by surprise. The album's accolades and swirling brain-drain were well-deserved—but it was also a waving flag that signified a very good upcoming year for the genre. It certainly didn’t hurt that Jodeci, the forefathers of R&B’s rap-hybridization, announced only a week later...
Where the best albums are judged as grand, considered statements, we allow the best EPs of any given year to exist as well-executed whims, fascinating documents of artistic transition, or the first signs of budding talent. Those things are all super valid! This year saw an explosion of high-quality mini-masterpieces, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the mid-90s heyday of maxi-CD imports. Maybe that’s an acknowledgment of shrinking modern attention spans? Maybe...
There's a song on Jeremih's long-awaited new album Late Nights called "Impatient." It features Ty Dolla $ign--who released his own anticipated major label debut Free TC a few weeks ago--and offers us the thrilling contrast between two of R&B’s most powerful, pervasive forces. Jeremih builds this big fluttery song, like a breeze through a billowing curtain, and then Ty comes barreling in for just one verse, slamming that window shut. Jeremih is the public-facing...

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