Lauren Nostro, Complex (10/8)
"Somewhere in West Hollywood, I’m searching for my gray lace thong in the bed of a dude who, prior to last night, I knew only from the internet," is how Lauren Nostro begins her story on Amber Rose in advance of her SlutWalk (a day of events and protest to support victims of sexual assault, and obliterate victim-blaming). How amazing is that?! Trailing Rose as she prepared for the SlutWalk, Nostro made it her mission to find out how Rose feels about feminism, slut-shaming, and being a reluctant role model. What she came away with was this dope profile of Amber Rose, and how she's inspiring women to have "no shame."
Jia Tolentino, The FADER (10/5)
"Beyoncé is an object lesson in the specific, underused power of sheer withholding." Beyoncé is the queen of perfection (#flawless). But, also, "it’s part of Beyoncé’s genius that, to some extent, she’s open about the fact that her perfection is won with considerable effort." She didn't wake up as Queen Bey. She worked for it. Read Tolentino's essay for FADER 100 on the importance of Beyoncé.
Adi Robinson, The Verge (10/7)
This interactive story on audio branding—how tech companies decide on the sounds they use for their programs—is fun even just for the sound effects. The piece is about the origins of Skype's new sounds, but also includes anecdotes ranging from MGM's lion roar, to the Mac startup sound, and the Nokia ringtone. While you read, make sure to click on all the audio buttons and create a chorus of tech noises.
Rachel Bujalski, Motherboard (10/7)
"Over the last two months, I’ve slept in a 220-foot tree, kayaked to floating wooden homes on the ocean, helped mix cement for a cob house (made from mud and straw), watched late night movies in a desert yurt, showered in creeks and waterfalls, but above all I learned there’s numerous ways to live off the grid and still plug into society," Bujalski writes in this piece on the people living away from typical life, but still getting online. Her beautiful portraits of these outsiders are accompanied by their heartening stories. This sounds like the real American Dream.
Emilie Friedlander, Patrick D. McDermott, The FADER (10/8)
For The FADER's 100th issue, editors Emilie Friedlander and Patrick D. McDermott took a look back at the microgenres in music of the past fifteen years. Here are twelve musical moments—including vaporwave, cloud rap, and witch house—that meant everything, until they didn't, along with quotes from the artists who helped define them. Plus, Hisashi Okawa's illustrations for each genre are really tight.
Wesley Morris, New York Times (10/6)
What do Comedy Central's Key & Peele, Rachel Dolezal, Nancy Meyers' The Intern, Amazon's Transparent, fringe popstars Shamir and Le1f, and Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchmen have in common? Well, according to Wesley Morris' essay in The New York Times, these are phenomena from 2015 that are evidence that we are "in the midst of a great cultural identity migration," shedding gender and race and shuffling up how we perceive identity. Morris' piece delves deep, and it's worth the read to find out how we're "daring to erase the segregating boundaries, to obliterate oppressive institutions, to get over ourselves."
Merve Emre, Digg (10/7)
In more identity news, Merve Emre's investigative piece for Digg reveals the secret of the notorious Myers-Briggs personality test. Everyone's taken a knock-off online version of the test—even those pop quizzes on BuzzFeed and Thought Catalog are based off the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) formula—but it turns out that to take a legit one is a week long and costs well over a grand. Holy cow. Are you an ENTJ? An ISFP? "In reading for pleasure, do you: (A) Enjoy odd or original ways of saying things; or; (B) Like writers to say exactly what they mean?" Is personality innate? Does it matter? FIND OUT.
Matthew Trammell, The FADER (10/6)
Long Beach smartmouth Vince Staples and Pittsburgh's Mac Miller discuss what it means to be a white rapper in 2015. There are no two better people to talk about this, especially because it's a joy to read them going on about Paul Wall, "The Real Slim Shady," and "cult shit, like Atmosphere."
Peter Holley, The Washington Post (10/7)
In September, a debate team comprised of three inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility (also members of Bard’s Prison Initiative) defeated three Harvard undergrads. Yes, that's right, three New York prisoners won in a debate against three Ivy Leaguers, and they did all of their preparing without the help of the internet. Pretty wild. The Post's Peter Holley explains why you shouldn't be so shocked.
Phillip Mlynar, First We Feast (10/8)
On virtually every block in lower Manhattan and in Brooklyn, there is a Chinese takeout place with harsh inside lighting, an extensive, numbered menu on the wall, and really dank sesame chicken with pork fried rice that you take home in a styrofoam box with an orange soda. These takeout places seem kinda shady, but despite that, they've become part of the city's fabric. Anyone who's down has their go-to cheap Chinese hole-in-the-wall. Phillip Mlynar explains how culinary assimilation and hip-hop culture gave rise to "hood Chinese."