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: Janet Jackson to Receive Icon Award, Nicki Minaj Confirms Album Release, Hamilton Exhibition Heads to Chicago & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Janet Jackson to Receive Icon Award, Nicki Minaj Confirms Album Release, Hamilton Exhibition Heads to Chicago & More!

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

Janet Jackson to Receive Billboard Icon Award

The Billboard Music Awards typically honor the highest-selling artists of the year—it’s a celebration of the current pop culture moment.  But this year’s ceremony will take time to honor one of the greats—Janet Jackson.  She’ll receive the Icon Award, in praise of her multi-decade career. This follows a busy year for Jackson, who recently added several dates to her State of the World Tour. Read more at Billboard.

Nicki Minaj Officially Announces New Album

Nicki Minaj fans were watching her Met Gala entrance to fawn over her gown, but they got something even better—a release date.  She shared that her next full-length, Queen, drops June 15.  She recently released the videos for lead singles “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz”. Read more at Pitchfork.

Ali Wong Joins Tiffany Haddish Animated Series

Comedian and actress Ali Wong will voice one of the lead characters in Tiffany Haddish’s animated Netflix series, Tuca & Bertie.  The comedy follows the story of two 30-year-old bird women living in an apartment building. Haddish will voice Tuca; Wong will voice Bertie. Get additional details at Variety.

Hamilton Exhibition Heads to Chicago

Hamilton is a Broadway hit that tells a historical story and created a bit of history in the process.  Both moments will be solidified in Hamilton: The Exhibition, which opens in Chicago this November.  The interactive exhibit will give visitors a greater opportunity to learn more about both the show and the founding father it’s based on. This is yet another achievement for Lin Manuel Miranda. Find out more at EW.

Rwandan Genocide Survivor Clemantine Wamariya Tells Her Story

Clemantine Wamariya became a Rwandan refugee at the age of 6. She spent the next 6 years of her life moving across Africa, searching for stability and safety.  Her memoir, The Girl Who Smiled Beads, tells her moving story. The New York Times’ Alexis Okeowo reviews the book, praising its sharpness and vivid prose.

Tidbits

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Rihanna, Cardi B, Zendaya & more stun at The Met Gala [NYT]

Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” reviewed [Pitchfork]

See the trailer for season 2 of Luke Cage [Variety]

A cut sketch from this weekend’s SNL [EW]

A new Tina Turner documentary is on the way [Shadow and Act]

Jada Pinkett Smith launches new Facebook Watch talk show [VIBE]

Food for thought

Johannesburg, South Africa’s first post-apartheid generation uses music to envision their future. Noisey’s Lawrence Burney writes:

My trip to Johannesburg, South Africa’s most populous city, coincided with the city’s first edition of Afropunk, a festival in Brooklyn that has grown over the years into a congregational space for black creatives with installments in Atlanta, London, and Paris. Afropunk’s arrival on the African continent held a special resonance: it gave many black people living in different corners of the world a curated introduction to their ancestral place of origin.

Read the full piece here.

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Bourgeois Brief: John Legend Is Your New Google Assistant, Teyana Taylor Hits the Floor, Kanye Debuts on the Hot 100 & More!

Bourgeois Brief: John Legend Is Your New Google Assistant, Teyana Taylor Hits the Floor, Kanye Debuts on the Hot 100 & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Childish Gambino Gets Political, GLAAD Honors Samira Wiley and Gloria Carter, Monique Hearts Talks Race in Drag & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Childish Gambino Gets Political, GLAAD Honors Samira Wiley and Gloria Carter, Monique Hearts Talks Race in Drag & More!