Another beautiful shot of Quvenzhané Wallis from her photo shoot with Milk Made. Watch the Academy Awards tomorrow night to find out if Quvenzhané becomes the youngest person to ever win the award for Best Actress for her part in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. To read more about the day that Milk Mad got to spend with the lovely Miss Wallis, click here.
Kendrick Lamar is close enough to Watts in proximity to understand its despair, close enough to the civil disobedience of the 1992 riots to understand their rage, to understand that there is no exit. He is young enough to idolize the golden age of hip-hop, innocent enough to engage in shameless hero worship, a fan enough to put Mary J. Blige and MC Eiht on his album. But he is also old enough to know that nobody followed Tupac’s body to the morgue. That a bullet fractured one of Tupac’s fingers, fingers often used to so brazenly flip off the world. Lamar is wise enough to know that, in hip-hop, the jig is up on a lot of things (overstated capitalism, the battering of women), and he isn’t flashy — he calls himself the black hippie. His abundance is his talent. And yet, because of his murdered uncle, his fretful grandmother, and the gang-raped girl whose voice he occupies in the same way De La Soul did Millie’s, Lamar is not just a wandering preacher in town to be angry at the locals and their chaos.
“So what set Dilla apart? Why has his brand of virtuosity proved so captivating to the jazz crowd?
For one, Dilla was a sort of human musical encyclopedia. In his studio, he sorted thousands of vinyl records, many of them jazz, into specific sections and kept them alphabetized so that he could dig up the right sample as soon as inspiration arrived. He didn’t just rely on his collection, either. He was always ready to pick up a guitar or a bass, or saddle up behind the drum kit, or hammer out chords on the keyboard.
The voices on “Respiration” have become part of my mental weather. They have been as steady to me as the night and the air; we know a song has hit a special mark when it can bear such incessant repetition. “Respiration” is a song about New York, where I live: love for the city, wisdom about the city, an inventory of the city, a celebration of nighttime in the city. It is poetic in the best possible sense: it gives exact language to intuition.