Tyler Finally Had a Flower Boy Talk

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For about three collective months last year, I was in talks with Tyler, the Creator’s publicity team, wondering why he hadn’t any substantial press to promote his latest album, Flower Boy. For those that have heard it (and maybe love it as much as I do), it kind of begs for an interview with its star.

Is he depressed? Does Tyler need a hug and a girlfriend? I really wanted to talk about how he made sadness and unnerving pensiveness sound so colorful. I danced like crazy to “911 / Mr. Lonely” when he performed it at Camp Flog Gnaw in the fall.

Though his team appreciated my intrigue and the various ideas (video treatments for a documentary short, blends of illustrations and photography for artwork…), they kindly always passed. Apparently, T wanted to let the music speak for itself and opted not to go through traditional media to talk about it. Fair enough.

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All of that is to say I was pleasantly surprised when this interview between Tyler and comedian Jerrod Carmichael popped up today. Clearly they’re buds. It’s an hour’s worth of free-flowing convo about just about everything I wanted to talk about. The pair nerds out on Stevie Wonder and Musiq, the creative process of Flower Boy and more. Plus, it looks good. A simple dusty field backdrop and tight camera zooms made for quality visuals. Pretty dope. I’ll catch Tyler another time. Enjoy this in the meantime.

Atlanta’s Season 2 Trailer

Kinda related, mostly unrelated: At the top of 2017, I told my guy Ugi that it would be my Gambino year. Why? Because 2016 was an amazing one for Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover. He released Atlanta‘s first season, which was widely acclaimed. He put out funk-soul album Awaken, My Love!, which was as beloved as the show and spawned hit single “Redbone.” And he had his first child. That’s a well-accomplished 12 months.

In 2017 I got married, started a new job as Digital Editor at Flaunt Magazine, and set into motion some things that’ll come to be this year. A good year, for sure.

I’m looking forward to Glover’s new season of Atlanta, coming out in March. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the start of another big stretch for him.

 

MOCA’s Jeff Koons Short

If you’re like me, you have an intimidating amount of tabs open on your web browser. A baked chicken recipe here, an NY Times article there. A pair of Levi’s you want to buy. A Fashion Week Street Style gallery to peruse.

In an attempt to wipe them clean, I rediscovered this documentary short MOCA did on Jeff Koons that I probably meant to watch last Fall. It’s a goodie. I remember going to an exhibit of his on a date and damn-near being more enamored with his art than the girl I came with. I’d later come back again, alone. There’s just something unique about his work that encourages exploration. I either lose myself in thought when I see his stuff or I’m floored by the audacity of its existence. Sometimes both. Give this a watch while I tackle some of these other tabs.

 

-bw

Congrats to Dap’

How do you make Harlem even more fly? Give Dapper Dan his own Gucci boutique. Congrats to a legend.

Writing About SZA and Recovering from Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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SZA | image by Sage c/o RCA Records


 

Hey there. Want to read this thing I wrote about connecting to SZA’s music, being a recovering ugly duckling and happily making it to a confident place? Yeah? Well, here you go.

SZA Wished to be ‘Normal,’ But Like This Writer, She Did Much Better

One of the things I love most about my job is when I get to connect my life experiences to art and this was one of those times. My wife and I went to SZA’s concert in September. Prior to it I had been excited to see her live. Her debut album Ctrl was one of the year’s best. It’s narrative is one of a young woman finding herself in her world and feeling like she wasn’t enough of the things she admired in others. I tend to connect with artists who experienced what I’ll call an inferiority complex, feeling that they lack in blatant and not so obvious ways.

In my formative years, I was a skinny kid with glasses and jacked up teeth who envied the cool kids, but never managed to be one. I wasn’t invited to one birthday party or sleepover, nor did I do anything more than hug a girl that I crushed on back in high school. Nerd City, y’all. Population: me. I’m sure there were people who felt like me around. But just as the teenage experience for those who are quite far from Mr. Popular status is portrayed in the movies, it felt like an immensely lonely one.

Since then I’ve grown a bunch and become a person that I’m super happy with. And if you’ve heard Ctrl, it seems SZA has, too. When I first went to her show, I had no plan of writing the piece that it became. At first I wanted to make my story for Flaunt exclusively about her. But as we watched her perform, hearing the things she’d say between songs, I knew I’d have to write something that included me.

I don’t want to spoil your read by telling you why, so just go for it. Thanks for letting me share.

 

-bw