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: Black Panther Earns Rave Reviews in Early Screenings, Drake Notches His Second Hot 100 No. 1, & More

Bourgeois Brief: Black Panther Earns Rave Reviews in Early Screenings, Drake Notches His Second Hot 100 No. 1, & More

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

Black Panther’s Early Reviews Are Ecstatic

Official reviews for the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther are embargoed until Feb. 6, but that didn’t stop critics and celebs from gushing about the movie after its L.A. premiere.  Read some of the first responses at Variety.  But also, take some time to appreciate Issa Rae’s feedback:

Drake Earns His Second No. 1 Song

Despite Drake’s near ubiquity the last few years, he’s only scored one Billboard Hot 100 No. 1—2016’s “One Dance”.  That is, until now.  “God’s Plan”, the A-side of his surprise EP Scary Hours, debuted at No. 1 this week, dethroning Camila Cabello’s smash “Havana”.  Get the stats at Vulture and listen to the song below.

Quincy Jones Opens Up to GQ

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones opens up about everything, from his near-fatal brain aneurysm to his close call with the Manson family, in a lengthy GQ interview.  One portion that’s catching readers’ attention is his comments about pop superstar Taylor Swift.  When reporter Chris Heath tells him that many consider Swift one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, Jones replies, “Whatever crumbles your cookie.”  Read all the shade at GQ.

Donald Glover Still Plans to Retire Childish Gambino

The last two years have been huge for Donald Glover, with his award-winning series Atlanta and his most successful Childish Gambino record yet.  But the Grammy winner plans to keep his promise and retire his musical alter ego after his next and final record.  Read more from his post-Grammy Q&A at Pitchfork.

Literary Giant Zadie Smith Preps New Essay Collection

Zadie Smith, a literary darling since her epic first novel White Teeth, will release her next essay collection, Feel Free, in February.  The collection spans several topics including two critiques of Jordan Peele and observations about JAY-Z.  Read the New York Times review here.

Food for thought

Several think pieces about the Grammys have flooded the web.  Most have tried to make sense of Bruno Mars’ Album of the Year win over Kendrick Lamar.  New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica points to a bigger issue with the Recording Academy:

“There are many root causes of this lack of representation: unsubtle racism and reverse ageism; a fundamental misreading of hip-hop’s power, reducing it to an accent piece when truly it is the main course; and presumably a fear that Grammy viewers would be more comfortable seeing Bono and Sting multiple times than any rapper apart from Kendrick Lamar, who delivered an imaginative and deeply invested show-opening performance.

But someday soon, Jay-Z will be the elder, and what will the Grammys do then? And someday soon after that, Kanye West will be the elder, and what will the Grammys do then? And someday soon after that, Frank Ocean will be the elder, and what will the Grammys do then?"

Read the full piece here.

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Bourgeois Brief: Leslie Jones Covers the Winter Olympics, The Chi Gets Renewed, & More

Bourgeois Brief: Leslie Jones Covers the Winter Olympics, The Chi Gets Renewed, & More

The Grammys Are Still Afraid of Hip Hop

The Grammys Are Still Afraid of Hip Hop