10 Moments That Pushed "The Culture" Forward in 2019

In no uncertain terms, 2019 was absolutely *popping* full of watershed moments for “the culture” in Boston. Artists of color were increasingly recognized for their role in shaping Boston’s arts scene, and these same artists seemed to have more platforms than any point before in recent history. For the Boston music scene, too, there were moments that brought the city together under the banner of “the culture” at large.

Interview: Genie Santiago

Spooky season is over, but the vibes live on for a full-time witch like Genie Santiago. Genie Santiago is a Boston-based musician, arts organizer, and collaborative artist whose music unites the spiritual and sexual realms. In advance of the upcoming Sunflowers event on November 7th — an all-star lineup consisting of Brandie Blaze, Anaís Azul, Ava Sophia and Santiago herself — Hassle writer Hassan Ghanny sat down with Santiago to talk about her artistry, her heritage, and her witchy womanhood.

Mitski, Trauma, and the Politics of Early Onset Psychosis

On August 12, 2019, allegations came forward on Tumblr that indie singer turned voice-of-a-generation Mitski had sexually assaulted and trafficked a youth in the early 2010s. Mitski’s response seems to have reassured her fanbase and the Twitterverse of both her own innocence and the need for compassion to the OP. But any institutional response to this phenomenon has to be nuanced, well-informed and attuned to the vulnerability facing young adults during early onset psychosis.

In Defence of Sad Brown Girls - A Tumblr Critique

In recent years, new voices in writing and poetry have come to the forefront, challenging both parochial and popular notions of belonging and home. Many of these have been women, and an increasing number of women of color at that. Part of this is inevitably the sheer talent and brilliance of these women of color, while another part is, for better or worse, the growth of these women of color as a marketable commodity within a larger publishing industry run by white people. Either way, you’d think their presence and contributions to the fields would be appreciated given long years of same-old-same-old, especially by their peers.

HiFadility - ELƎMENT∆L

ELƎMENT∆L is the soundtrack for the arthouse film you’ve always wanted to write. The 17-track instrumental release compiles a song and visual reference for each level of emotional consciousness, beginning at ‘Shame’ and ending at ‘Enlightenment’. Each track also has an accompanying visual reference of marbled colors and textures to set the tone. ELƎMENT∆L is both kinetic and potential — a fully realized work by an artist who is capable of an even greater vision.

Hopeadope - CUTE AF

After 2018 when the discourses du jour included trap musicians as the new rockstars, #CarefreeBlackGirls, and a new wave of female MCs taking over, 2019 has brought us a gift which bridges all three: CUTE AF, the debut EP by Boston-based hip-house artist Hopeadope. All throughout the EP, Hopeadope gives off the energy of the cool, round-the-way girl at the house party who still gasses you up and lovingly lets you know the tea in her life. CUTE AF is a house party in and of itself.
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