Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List

Featuring: pulling up at the club VIP (gas tank on E), our mother's manicures as radical acts of self-care, Black kids dying young (even on CP time), but when they do live, what it's like to grow up as a Black girl, even with all the weapons around you. 

By Wallace Mack

Lil Boosie, ‘Wipe Me Down,’ And The Ballad Of Baton Rouge

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, MTV News

"Wipe Me Down" will always have a special place in my heart and last week it turned 10. In this piece, Abdurraqib explores the song in four parts I. Shoulders, II. Chest, III. Pants, and IV. Shoes. By weaving in the cultural importance of the song's roots in 2007 post-Hurricane Katrina Baton Rouge, he breathes life into the never aging cult classic. Abdurraqib is also a poet and it shows. This essay is a master-class on music writing and seriously you need to read this shit right now. 

For Black Kids Like Jordan Edwards, Time Is A Fragile Illusion

Jason Parham, The Fader

This week we've seen many reported pieces about yet another young Black boy killed in our country. Jason Parham pays his respects to dearly departed Jordan Edwards here, but so much more, he discusses time as a really weird and scary paradox for Black Americans. "...how can we ever go about our daily lives free of terror, death, and displacement, if time, the very thing black people are trying to grasp, was never ours to have in the first place?" 

a Black girl.

Sharifa Leggett, 20sfor20s

Inspired by a column over at Toi Bly's The Neue Neue, Sharifa Leggett recounts days past as a Black girl. What makes this piece most special is the authentic tone of voice Leggett uses in her writing. Similar to greats like Toni Cade Bambara, Leggett is able to write from multiple vantage points but is consistently true to her own voice. 

My Mama’s Manicures Taught Me How To Take Care Of Myself

Nichole Perkins, BuzzFeed Reader

In her final piece as a BuzzFeed Emerging Writer Fellow, Nichole Perkins positions the manicure as an act of self-care. This is a personal story that centers the life-long bond between mother and daughter. 

Weapons: A 3 Part Series On Violence

Myles Johnson, Zine (Philadelpha Printworks) 

In this piece, Myles Johnson analyzes violence in 3 parts: interpersonal violence, violence disguised as empathy and institutional violence via capitalism. It's a brilliantly written piece with very intimate spots. Johnson has a natural gift for drawing parallels and does so beautifully here. It's a long read, but it's certainly worth it!


Here's a dancehall edit of "Walked Outta Heaven" by Jagged Edge that you didn't know you needed for the weekend!