People out of Objects: Serengeti & Characters

Hip-hop is a genre caught in a crisis of identity, an art perpetually torn between an unquenchable thirst for swagger and age-old truisms like keep it real and don’t front. Rap demands self-assured confidence, but it also demands honesty, and striking a balance between these two poles is perhaps the single greatest challenge there is. Still, there are artists hard at work doing just that. Serengeti is one of those artists. To figure out how he’s doing it, we might start with the following question:

Who is the “I” in a rap song? And as a follow up: does that “I” have to be real?

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Faith in Color: Chance the (Christian) Rapper

It’s been a privilege watching Chance the Rapper ascend to claim his godhead. Since 2013, he’s gone from earnest-eyed tripper to outspoken family man on his journey towards becoming hip-hop’s presiding minister. What hasn’t changed is his indomitable optimism. It sustains an auditory space like the holistic bubble of an acid trip, a memory of summer, or a hymn’s harmonies emulating the divided unity of the holy trinity. It’s a feeling that comes across as a confidence in his cadences, offset by a vocal vulnerability and a lyrical honesty that has the miraculous effect of shielding him from all sin. But he would probably tell you that it’s called faith.

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Admitting The Endorphin Addiction with Open Mike Eagle & Paul White


The story of addiction always involves a chase, so it’s no surprise that Open Mike Eagle & Paul White’s new video for “Admitting the Endorphin Addiction” features just that. What is of interest here is not so much the chase itself as the thing being chased: a high that looks like the mesmerizing smile of Isis Avalos. Open Mike Eagle plays himself, again unsurprisingly, since the song is from his latest album, titled Hella Personal Film Festival.

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