This essay by Hanif Abdurraqib is near the back of his first book, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, and after reading it last night I sat with it for a while. The whole book is really good; a mix of essays about music and blackness and America and death. What he manages to do in this essay is recontextualize some of the biggest white rappers to break out in the past 30 years. His assessment of Eminem and Vanilla Ice were confirmations of what I mostly understood already, but consideration of Bubba Sparxxx and Macklemore in particular were way more nuanced than I’ve seen either of them treated with before. Read this Guardian reprint now and then run and get your hands on the book (his second one, all about A Tribe Called Quest, came out last year and he has a new collection of essays due out this fall).
Dan Hough’s got a Youtube channel with a playlist full of songs he wrote adapting interesting comments he found while reading Reddit. While sometimes a good idea isn’t matched by its execution, these songs are pretty legit?
The man eating food YouTube channel is a marvel, the kind of purely executed internet thing that I don’t feel like we see online much anymore. I’m sure it’ll be ruined in a few weeks by the reveal of it as some sort of marketing campaign, but for the time being I’m just basking in the over 300 videos that have been posted and how delightful it is that this exists.
Steve Gaynor, cofounder of Fullbright Company (makers of Gone Home and Tacoma) and podcaster (Idle Thumbs, Tone Control) sometimes streams games on Twitch. He played a lot of the Hitman reboot that came out in 2016 and the streams were always a blast; the mutual love between him and the developers of the game resulted in a side mission in one of the episodically-released missions being named after him.
The sequel, Hitman 2, is coming out this week and starting last Friday Steve began streaming the game on his Twitch channel. It’s been a lot of fun to watch him get back to it! His zeal for the franchise is contagious and his understanding of game design & development leads to some interesting insights about the game as well.
The link above goes to the first stream he did for Hitman 2; you can browse his channel from there to see the subsequent days’ streams, which are ongoing and continued tonight.
We’re currently just over a week away from the long-awaited premiere of season 2 of the podcast called Limetown. The first season aired over the course of the second half of 2015; I discovered it shortly after episode 3 aired and had the lucky experience of having to wait for each episode after that, speculating about the show’s unanswered mysteries. Limetown is a fictional account of an investigative report; it’s chilling but it’s not a horror show, if that makes any sense. It’s far more science fiction than horror, but I still refuse to listen to it at night.
I haven’t listened to it since 2015, so when I started listening to the first season again recently I wondered whether it would hold up to the impression it left on me the first time around—and it totally does. I highly recommend listening to Limetown, and the good news is that the total running time of the first season is only something like 3 hours long, so most people should have no trouble getting caught up in time for season 2. If they can manage to continue what they did in the first six episodes, it’s going to be worth it.
You may or may not have heard that this summer, Vox Media shuttered Racked.com, which has always been a fascinating site but as it shifted a year or two ago to focusing on consumer fashion and the things we buy in general, became essential reading. While it was sad to see the site go, the good news is that a lot of its writers actually joined up with Vox.com, the general news site, to create a new section called “The Goods”. In the month since it launched, they’ve reaffirmed that they’re going to keep featuring really good stuff that relates specifically to our every day lives– buying things, spending times with friends, getting advertised to, and so on. I don’t always subject myself to the full news firehose these days—I try to figure out how to stay aware of the news while not letting it crush me—I do read The Goods every day and consider its RSS feed an essential addition to my OPML file.