It might be hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Beyoncé didn’t rule the world. When “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” dropped, Bey was just getting started as a solo artist and it wasn’t clear if she’d be able to match the success she enjoyed as the frontwoman of Destiny’s Child. At the time, it also seemed like Kelly would be the breakout star of the group — her collabo with Nelly (“Dilemma”) was the biggest hit of the year, while Beyoncé’s first solo single, “Work It Out,” was a relative dud. We now know better. Peep the clip below.

When Spotify announced that it was removing R. Kelly from its playlists last week, my first reaction was that the music service was riding a wave and not really interested in doing the right thing. The announcement was the result of a new policy against “hate content and hateful conduct”, but if the people at Spotify were really committed to the cause, they would have removed at least a few dozen other artists from their playlists, including Eminem, who once made a racist ass song about black women and essentially made a career out of being a hateful pig.

Fortunately, I am not alone in feeling this way. Women’s rights group Ultraviolet has written an open letter to Spotify, asking the company to cancel a few other artists, including Eminem, Chris Brown and Steven Tyler. The group’s co-founder and executive director, Shaunna Thomas, explains why removing these accused abusers is necessary:

Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse. That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual

Spotify should have kept it simple and just said that it wanted to be part of the #MuteRKelly movement, but thankfully, the music service overplayed its hand and made broad a statement about hateful content and conduct. And now, we want them to keep that same energy with all of the artists on their playlists.

Janet Jackson turns 52 today (even though she could pass for 35 easily). She is one of the best to ever do it and the industry has been very unkind to her, so I’m firing up mad shots in her honor. Below is the video for one of my favorite Janet songs, “When I Think of You.”

PS: I will continue to curse Justin Timberlake’s name for hanging her out to dry after Nipplegate. Yes, it’s been 14 years, and no, I’m still not over it.

One day, we’ll have a conversation about what an injustice it is that Miguel isn’t a bigger star. But for now, check out the video for his collabo with Kygo.

I’m going to take this opportunity to post two other videos from Miguel. His latest album, War and Leisure, is probably his best work yet and it makes me sick that you people pay him no mind. His video for “Told You So” has garnered only 4 million views in SIX WHOLE MONTHS. The disrespect!

Miguel – “Told You So”

Miguel – “Come Through and Chill” (featuring J. Cole & Salaam Remi)

So…after waiting about a week for the dust to settle, I finally watched Childish Gambino’s “This is America” video. I was a little disappointed that the two 5-second clips I had seen of the video – the ones where people get shot – were the only “highlights” (if we’re gonna call it that). But before I say more about the video, let’s talk about the song.

“This is America” is one of those songs I’d describe as intentionally unique. It has disjointed sections that make it sound like two very different songs were made separately and then merged. I’ll confess that I hated the song after the first few listens, but by the tenth play, it started to grow on me a little bit. It’s not a terrible song, but I do think Childish Gambino (real name Donald Glover) seems to have prioritized being different over making a song that actually sounds good, which is what happens when an artist desperately needs to be seen as an innovator. There’s a lot to say about Donald Glover and his self-proclaimed genius status (and his god complex), but we’ll table that conversation for another day.

Now…the video. Its themes are definitely timely and the treatment was definitely well-thought-out (and chock-full of symbolism), but I’m not sure it is the masterpiece it’s being purported to be. I was hoping for something a little more mind-blowing than people literally getting their heads blown off, but unfortunately, those scenes were the centerpieces of the video. I refuse to call it a masterpiece because I just don’t think any of the scenes or ideas presented were that clever or particularly novel.

While we’re here, I’d also like to point out that Donald Glover has a long history of making questionable and sometimes anti-black statements (some of which were tweeted from a now-deleted Twitter account). He has undergone somewhat of an image revamp in recent years, and while I do think it is possible for people to change, I am a bit skeptical because this is a drastic change in a relatively short amount of time. I’m all for wokeness as long as you’re not just doing it for the look.