When it comes to content, it’s easy for us to stick to what we know or want that old thing back. But for a rare few, being a true content connoisseur is about being on top of what’s hot, what’s trending, and what’s next. Luckily, this new guide is everything for your music, literary, film, TV, and live experiences needs.
Each week, yours truly, Kevin L. Clark, will be your go-to advocate, spotlighting all those content cravings worth enjoying.
You’re now tuned in to This Weekend, a weekly round-up for content culture lovers and those who love to avoid FOMO.
For Friday, Dec. 10, we’ll share some freshly-discovered treasures from this week for you, your family, and friends to get into. It contains a healthy dose of sonic vibes, some powerful words, and, of course, something streaming that’s a feast for the eyes.
So bon appétit to all those true savants who are purveyors of content culture out there.
For Listeners Only:
Formerly known as YBN Cordae, the Hi Level CEO has proven that he’s focused on his future and isn’t scared to go bar-for-bar with anybody. Add Lil Wayne to the already rap-packed list of Nas, Eminem, Pusha-T, and Jack Harlow, as “Sinister,” his latest release, finds Cordae holding his own with Weezy F. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Hit-Boy, the latest preview from his second album From A Bird’s Eye View, follows “Super” with a Huey-Fred-Assata-inspired visual by Edgar Esteves. “They tend to hate on you when they can’t get rid of you,” Cordae spits, and judging from this one — he ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
It’s been a fantastic year for Keep Cool’s Lucky Daye, as he has been ripping apart stages and shooting up the charts with his penchant N’Awlins cool. On his new single, “Candy Drip,” which is also the title track of his forthcoming sophomore album, Daye’s signature velvety vocals are paired with Oscar and Grammy Award-winning producer D’Mile to make a strong case at being 2022’s leader of the R&B genre. Nominated for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” and “Best Progressive R&B Album” (Table For Two), Lucky Daye’s latest drop also signals his electrifying return to the road for his Candy Drip tour, beginning in Spring 2022. Cop three tickets and don’t let this drip go to waste.
The GHETTO GODS are here! My brothers from another mother, Olu, and WowGr8, better known as EarthGang, have been hard at work on their upcoming sophomore album, Ghetto Gods, which is out Jan. 28, 2022, and this first taste is a devastatingly powerful and timely cut called, “American Horror Story.” Reflecting on all the uphill battles, injustices, and hardships that are faced by Black people in this country, the pair reflect the reality of these obstacles and speak about the anxiety at the heart of the Natra Average-produced track directly to the listener. It is a cut meant to awaken the senses that only EarthGang, these Ghetto Gods, can do loud and proud.
Reading Under The Rainbow:
In a time where books about the Black experience are being cited as “divisive” or flat-out being banned from schools, a collection of authors got together to present more than 400 works and documents to “express and analyze the ebbs and flows between Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe.” An expansive book, Afro-Atlantic Histories finds motivated scribes such as Adriano Pedrosa, Vivian Crockett, Deborah Willis, and more drawing parallels, frictions, and dialogues from the visual culture and philosophies from the “Black Atlantic,” a term coined by Paul Gilroy. Black people, as you know, aren’t a monolith, but Afro-Atlantic Histories shine a light on how interconnected we are and how we exist in a fluid field without any precise borders.
From predictive-policing algorithms and facial recognition devices to workplace surveillance systems, Captivating Technology examines how technologies originally developed for incarceration purposes have rapidly expanded into hospitals, schools, banking, digital life, and more. Authors Ruha Benjamin, Andrea Miller, Tamara K. Nopper, and other contributors question if these innovations can be resisted and reimagined, or are we headed to another justice-oriented rage against the machine? This voluminous book is one to have on hand the next time an anti-CRT person wants to say that racial hierarchies don’t exist in tech and online.
SPIKE is a must-have for any true blue aficionado of the Oscar Award-winning filmmaker. Forever an internationally-renowned, Brooklyn-bred cultural icon, Spike Lee is one of our most prominent voices when it comes to placing a lens on race, injustice, and how beautiful Black people are for more than three decades. SPIKE, a career-spanning book inspired by the LOVE/HATE brass rings worn by Radio Raheem in Do the Right Thing, contains hundred of eye-catching, never-before-seen photographs by David Lee, Spike’s brother, and underscores the auteur’s creative process and impact on the culture through films like Malcolm X and Da 5 Bloods, which featured the late Chadwick Boseman. This is a must-have collector’s item and an ideal gift for any Black cinephile!
Watch The Streams:
Jodie Turner-Smith brings her talents to the small screen as Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife to King Henry VIII. The three-episode AMC+ exclusive series, which made its premiere Thursday, Dec. 10, finds Turner-Smith as the eponymous royal, struggling to secure a future for her daughter and challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her. Viewed as both an icon and an enigma, Jodie Turner-Smith will take audiences on an adventure told from her perspective and through key moments that will cause audiences to re-examine this controversial historical figure.
Nicole Byer has been steadily putting in work and with her first hour-long Netflix comedy special, Big Beautiful Weirdo, the breakout star pulls from her past sexual exploits to her run-ins with white women to provide outlandish laughs from fans of her work. Two stand-out moments from Big Beautiful Weirdo come when talk turns to the presumptuous women in her twerking class and “JKKK Rowling,” which proves that the Emmy-nominated host understood the assignment and yes, you could even say that she nailed it!
These past few years have taught, in real life, how important it is to be prepped and a survivor. In director, Ali LeRoi’s (The Obituary of Tunde Johnson) latest, American Refugee, Derek Luke, and Erika Alexander are parents caught in the midst of societal collapse and martial law in the country and must protect their family — by any means necessary — from the anarchy of the outside world. With scarce supplies and rising tensions, you won’t know who can be really trusted in American Refugee until you watch it on Paramount’s EPIX platform on Dec. 10, 2021.
Live at the Experience:
Let the countdown begin, y’all! Hip hop is turning half-a-century old, and the good folx at Mass Appeal and Showtime are inviting those in New York City for #HipHop50, a culture-filled exhibit that pays homage to the late, great photographer Ricky Powell, Ralph McDaniels’ Video Music Box, and that classic ‘90s-era sound from yesteryear. Located in Tribeca (381 Broadway, New York) and open to the public from Dec. 3 to Dec. 19, 2021 (3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET), the three-tiered installation mimics Washington Square Park, while transporting hip hop lovers to the VIP green room at a hip hop concert. Create your own “shoutouts,” explore graffiti-ladened railyards, and have your breath taken away when you visit this interactive and informative exhibit that is ripe for any true connoisseur and lover of hip hop.
Check back to BET.com and BET Digital for more weekly installments of The Weekender.
Kevin L. Clark is a screenwriter and entertainment director for BET Digital, who covers the intersection of music, film, pop culture, and social justice. Follow him on @KevitoClark.