Author Archives: Marsalis

About Marsalis

poet of pop.

“Radio Say Speed It Up”: Top 25 Songs of the Teens (2010-2019)

It is never easy to define a decade. Our personal experiences and individual perspectives shape which events matter, which stories deserve to be told, which memories deserve to be preserved. They shape our faith in society and culture, in the … Continue reading

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Poptrospective: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814

Picture this: Michigan 1994, my older sister and I, eleven and five respectively, sitting in our family room, watching a videotape.  It is called Rhythm Nation 1814 and tells the tale of two impressionable inner-city youth caught between a life … Continue reading

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Boudoir Blues: Notes on Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E.

To experience Teyana Taylor is an intoxicating adventure unto itself.  Poised and sculptured with sphinxlike regalia, she is one of those compelling creatures of any era whom ignite fascination amidst all they dare cross – a potent mixture of cunning, … Continue reading

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Goodbye, Summer: Lana Del Rey’s “Mariners Apartment Complex”

One can only be impressed by Lana Del Rey’s artistic clockwork.  At the dawn of her career, she retooled the supreme, luxurious melancholy of early 1960s girl groups for a new era, swiftly connecting those halcyon Camelot days of JFK’s … Continue reading

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Schooled: A Personal Reflection on “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

The Girl in the Video There was something in the air during the summer of 1998 – a buzz of the new century inching closer, brushing through ancient ideals, dispelling once truths into falsehoods, praising all radicals as the new … Continue reading

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The Vicious Cycle: Hope Raney’s “Round and Round”

There should be an ease in ending something ruinous.  There should be a smooth, solid slide away from absurdity, a cool, calculated escape from mania.  Oftentimes, upon the sight of others, we foolishly assume that if in similar dire states, … Continue reading

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Under the Influence: Notes on Sweetener

Ariana Grande is the most contemporary Pop creation of the 21st century.  There is no artist who possesses greater ease amidst the exhilarating, mind-boggling movement and speed of the here and now, the preposterous present which gleams itself beautiful and … Continue reading

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