Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List

Featuring: a living legend who's been insulted by Nina Simone multiple times, my birthday joy, some cultural appropriation, a really dope college editorial, and those digital booklets that y'all pay dust. 

By Wallace Mack

Do You Remember When Icons Could Preach and Boogie?

Dayna Evans, NY Mag

If you're as obsessed with the black intelligentsia of years past as me, you'll enjoy this mini interview with Jessica Harris, a major culinary writer of the '70s and '80s. Detailing her relationships with friends, other big names like James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Nina Simone and Maya Angelou, you'll learn a little something new about all of your #faves. It's a look into the life of a legend who still remains, while most of her legendary friends have passed on. Harris released her 13th book this week My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir. I just bought it and I think you should too!

You Can’t Beat Pablo If Ya Work Ain’t Sellin: Appropriation, Truth, and Capitalism

Devyn Springer, Zine

When having conversations about cultural appropriation, we are often derailed by our inability to actually define the phrase. Using a recent Nicki Minaj bar "you can't beat Pablo if ya work ain't selliiiiinnn'", Devyn Springer argues that one of the evils of cultural appropriation can be seen in our tendency to position Picasso as the standard, and not the Sub-Saharan African art forms that influenced his work. "The case study of Picasso, who became a household name and million-dollar entity, allows us to see capitalism position itself as a ruthless, individualist system where the true artist’s work can easily be stolen once art becomes commodified."

A Candid Conversation About Rap Culture’s Pervasive Disrespect Against Black Women

Lakin Starling + Juliana Pache, The Fader

Two black woman staff writers at The Fader round-table the importance of listening to black women. Read this, internalize this and act on what you learn from this. Spoiler alert: they drag YesJulz to hell and back.  

FORNEM | 001

The Maroon Tiger 

Jayson Overby is the graduating Editor-In-Chief at the Maroon Tiger of Morehouse College and one of his final projects with the college newspaper will certainly go down as his best. FORNEM or "for them" is a visual and written dedication to the rise of the new "Black Dandy." Using the Black hairstyle "waves" as the muse, the editorial argues that "The Black dandy isn’t just the well-dressed man who wears bespoke suits and is sartorially inclined, but it’s also the boys on the block donning grills, gaudy Nike Tech Fleece suits, and 25-millimeter gold-plated kite screw- back earrings." If nothing else, check this out for the bomb ass photos. 

The Failed Experiment of The Digital Album Booklet

Ann-Derrick Gaillot, The Outline 

When is the last time you actually scrolled through a digital album booklet? I love them, but I'm aware that they aren't particularly popular. Digital booklets certainly have not served the purpose for which they were designed, from the perspective of artists and consumer. In this piece, Gaillot breaks down why. 

What It Means To Swing

Wallace Mack, Playinitcool

Ew, I just referred to myself in the third person for the sake of consistency. This week, I wrote a piece about my birthday and how blessed I feel to be alive. Why would I not include my own work in MY weekend reading list 😉


Oh yea, here's a birthday weekend vibe!