Uptown Bourgeois is an arts, news, and culture blog created by New York-based freelance writer Jefferey Spivey. UB explores universal themes through a black, queer lens. 

Bourgeois Brief: Alicia Keys Announces New Women-Led Music Industry Initiative, Syd Talks Being A Pioneer for Queer Women, Rev Run Returns to TV & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Alicia Keys Announces New Women-Led Music Industry Initiative, Syd Talks Being A Pioneer for Queer Women, Rev Run Returns to TV & More!

Your daily dose of art, news, and pop culture headlines, and a signal boost for creators of color.

Alicia Keys Announces Women-Led Music Industry Initiative

On Thursday, Alicia Keys announced the new initiative, She Is the Music.  The organization will work to diversify the music industry and ensure female artists, songwriters, and other music industry professionals are respected and allowed to advance.  She revealed details about She Is the Music during her speech at the annual National Music Publishers Association meeting.  Read more at Rolling Stone.

Syd Talks to Billboard About Being A Queer Female Pioneer

In a new sit-down with Billboard, Syd, solo artist and leader of The Internet, talks about being a pioneer for queer women.  She shares that she’s become more forthright about discussing her sexuality: “Being gay is normal.  These days I’m not shying away from these kinds of topics. I do want to inspire people.” The Internet’s new album, Hive Mind, drops July 20. Read the full piece here.

Rev Run and Justine Simmons Join Scripted Netflix Comedy

Almost 12 years have passed since the MTV reality series Run’s House ended.  But fans can rejoice—Rev Run and Justine Simmons have signed on to star in All About the Washingtons, a scripted comedy modeled after their old reality show.  The show will follow Joey and Justine Washington as they raise their kids, manage their careers, and keep their household under control.  All About The Washingtons premieres August 10. Read additional details at VIBE.

Poet Gregory Pardlo Details Race, Addiction in New Memoir

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo opens up about his life in the new memoir, Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America.  He embraces prose to explore his personal struggle with addiction as well as the struggles of others in his family, and he explores his fraught relationship with his father.  The New York Times’ Mitchell S. Jackson writes, “One hopes [Pardlo’s father] could have seen past his hubris and their strained relations to offer what might be Pardlo’s most coveted review: Well done, son. You did good.” Read the full review at NYT.

Tidbits

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Big Freedia, Bob the Drag Queen join Kesha’s cruise ship festival [Pitchfork]

Drake reunites Degrassi cast for “I’m Upset” video [EW]

New GoldLink: “Got Friends” featuring Miguel [SPIN]            

Nile Rodgers and Chic team up with NAO and Mura Masa [Rolling Stone]

Don Cheadle and Regina Hall cast in Showtime’s Black Monday [Shadow and Act]

Food for thought

For a gay American living in the Middle East, it’s nearly impossible to find a sense of community.  One writer dared to find solace in the music of Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, whose lead singer Hamed Sinno is an out gay man.  In the anonymous Billboard essay, this brave writer says:

I finally saw Mashrou’ Leila live in London in May, and it dawned on me: The band will forever be the music of a time and place where, despite all the challenges, LGBTQ people managed to make a little space for themselves, and they let me in with love.

Read the full, powerful piece here.

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Bourgeois Brief: The Carters Dominate the Culture with a Surprise Drop

Bourgeois Brief: The Carters Dominate the Culture with a Surprise Drop

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