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: Beyoncé Makes History at Coachella, Solange Launches New Art Installation, Nina Simone Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Beyoncé Makes History at Coachella, Solange Launches New Art Installation, Nina Simone Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & More!

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

Beyoncé Becomes First Black Woman to Headline Coachella

There’s no doubt about it—the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival was all about Queen Bey.  Her nearly 2-hour set featured a full marching band, dozens of dancers, and cameos from JAY-Z, Solange, and Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.  Beyoncé staged her performance as a tribute to HBCUs, complete with step routines, dance majors, and a big band reimagining of her biggest hits.  Critics (see below) and fans alike have praised the set as a gamechanger for Bey and for Coachella.  She’ll take the stage again next Saturday night for the festival’s closing weekend.  Read and see more at Billboard.

Donald Glover Set for SNL Double Duty

Multi-hyphenate threat Donald Glover will serve as host and musical guest on SNL’sMay 5 episode.  Only a handful of celebs have done double duty on the show, including Drake and Ariana Grande.  His appearance falls just prior to Atlanta’sseason 2 finale on May 10.  Get additional details at Pitchfork.

Solange Debuts Short Art Film, Metatronia

With A Seat at the Table, Solange successfully combined art, messaging, and music into an impactful package.  She’s become a powerful force in the art world, with an installation at London’s Tate Modern, a performance at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, and an installation in Marfa, Texas.  This weekend, she partnered with Uniqlo and Hammer Museum to debut Metatronia, a four-minute short film and performance piece about the creative process. Solange scored the film and served as set designer and architect (along with Griffin Frazen).  Read more at Hammer Museum’s official site.

Nina Simone Is Officially A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

Decades after her untimely passing, singer and activist Nina Simone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  She was first eligible in 1986.  Lauryn Hill and Andra Day joined together to pay tribute, singing “Feeling Good”, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”, and “I Put a Spell on You”.  Mary J. Blige led the formal induction.  Read additional details and watch the performances at Rolling Stone.

Tomi Adeyemi Pens YA’s Hottest Property

Rising 23-year-old Tomi Adeyemi is being hailed as the next J.K. Rowling.  Her novel, Children of Blood and Bone, debuted in the top spot on The New York Times’YA bestsellers list, and Fox 2000 has already purchased the book’s rights.  Adeyemi found herself in an intense bidding war after attending Pitch Wars in 2016.  Her book combines fantasy elements with the reality of the modern black experience.  Read her story at EW.

Tidbits

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Cardi B debuts at number one; logs biggest streaming week for a woman [Billboard]

Samira Wiley previews season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale[EW]

King in the WildernessEP talks Dr. King’s legacy [Shadow and Act]

Food for thought

On Saturday night, Beyoncé’s Coachella set served a far more important purpose than just entertainment. It was a moment of black cultural pride, and it elevated not only her art but the expectations of everyone else’s. In short, she set a new standard. The New York Times’Jon Caramanica writes: 

As Beyoncé has gotten older, she’s been making music that’s increasingly visceral, both emotionally and historically. She is one of the only working pop stars who need not preoccupy herself with prevailing trends, or the work of her peers. She is an institution now, and that has allowed her freedom.

Read the full review here.

If you liked this Bourgeois Brief, share it with your friends and stay tuned Monday through Friday for more updates.

 

Bourgeois Brief: Kendrick Lamar wins the Pulitzer Prize, A Preview of Dear White People Season 2, The Lineup for This Year’s Summer Jam & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Kendrick Lamar wins the Pulitzer Prize, A Preview of Dear White People Season 2, The Lineup for This Year’s Summer Jam & More!

Bourgeois Brief: FX Series Shines Light on 1980s Vogue Culture, Spike Lee Leads Cannes Buzz, the New Grace Jones Doc Reviewed & More!

Bourgeois Brief: FX Series Shines Light on 1980s Vogue Culture, Spike Lee Leads Cannes Buzz, the New Grace Jones Doc Reviewed & More!