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: Q-Tip Teaches at NYU, Junot Diaz Publishes New Essay About Childhood Trauma, The Weeknd Debuts at Number One & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Q-Tip Teaches at NYU, Junot Diaz Publishes New Essay About Childhood Trauma, The Weeknd Debuts at Number One & More!

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

Q-Tip to Teach NYU Music Course

With A Tribe Called Quest’s final album in the rear view, Q-Tip has signed on to co-teach a new music course at NYU.  He’ll teach students about the intersection between jazz and hip hop at the university’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.  He’ll mentor students through assignments both in and out of class. Read more at Pitchfork.

Junot Diaz Details Childhood Abuse in Powerful New Essay

Junot Diaz is a celebrated novelist and short story writer who fills his narratives with vivid descriptions of Dominican life.  Many of the details in his work are autobiographical, which lends his characters an extra dose of authenticity.  But in a new essay for The New Yorker, he reveals the painful truth behind some of those details.  He writes, “Yes, it happened to me. I was raped when I was eight years old. By a grownup that I truly trusted. I never told anyone what happened, but today I’m telling you. And anyone else who cares to listen.” It’s an especially poignant reveal given that men of color often feel ashamed to reveal such experiences. Read his full essay at The New Yorker.

The Weeknd Debuts at Number One

The Weeknd’s surprise EP, My Dear Melancholy, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.  The set moved 169,000 units during the tracking week and marks the artist’s third consecutive number one.  The single, “Call Out My Name”, also debuted at number 4 on the singles chart. Dive into the stats at Billboard.

Hamilton Wins 7 Olivier Awards

Hamilton has been a cultural phenomenon, resuscitating the Broadway box office and sweeping the Tonys. Now, Hamilton fever has swept the UK. At The Laurence Olivier Awards (the British equivalent to The Tonys), the musical took home seven awards, including Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music.  Get additional details at Variety.

Remembering Cecil Taylor

Over the weekend, celebrated jazz pianist Cecil Taylor passed away at 89.  His live 1962 album, Nefertiti, The Beautiful One Has Come,is considered by many as a landmark recording. He was also a poet and dancer, and his career was recently honored in a 2016 Whitney Museum retrospective.  Read SPIN’s beautiful tribute here.

Tidbits

In case you missed it…

Kamasi Washington announces new album [Pitchfork]

Drake’s “God’s Plan” becomes his longest-running #1 [Billboard]

Video: Meek Mill “1942 Flows” [SPIN]

Food for thought

The Simpsons recently came under fire for its portrayal of the character Apu, which many have derided as stereotypical and one-note.  On Sunday, the show attempted to address the controversy but the episode was not well-received:

The show missed an opportunity to acknowledge why the depiction of Apu and his portrayal by a white man, Hank Azaria, have been offensive to many members of the South Asian community, who had very little representation on prime-time television until quite recently.

Read Jen Chaney’s full commentary at Vulture.

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Artist Yoyo Lander Talks Creativity, Joy, and Defining Success

Artist Yoyo Lander Talks Creativity, Joy, and Defining Success

Bourgeois Brief: Hidden Figures Heads to the Small Screen, will.i.am Adds Commencement Speaker to His Resume, Oprah Winfrey Explores the History of Lynching & More!

Bourgeois Brief: Hidden Figures Heads to the Small Screen, will.i.am Adds Commencement Speaker to His Resume, Oprah Winfrey Explores the History of Lynching & More!