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Sydney N. Sweeney

On the rapper’s infamous history of romantic faux pas, the irony of high-profile women avoiding him like the plague, and why celebrity couples occasionally fascinate me.

So much for private time! Photo by Chris Cristi.


Colorism is well and alive in one of Black music’s most popular genres. Everyone who listens to R&B needs to help combat it.

Colorism (n): prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.


Because that shit is more than just ugly. It’s racist — and proves that Bieber’s “allyship” is performative. Gasp!

A photograph of the backside of Justin Bieber showcases his two dreadlocks, tied into two pigtails. He’s wearing a football jersey.
A photograph of the backside of Justin Bieber showcases his two dreadlocks, tied into two pigtails. He’s wearing a football jersey.
Justin Bieber in his new dreadlocks.


In the early 2000s, the brains behind Barbie debuted a new line of hip-hop- and Black-culture-inspired fashion dolls called Flavas. The verdict? They were problematic (and swiftly discontinued after a year of poor sales). Their legacy? Not entirely tainted, thanks to none other than U.K. R&B legend Craig David.

A photo of Craig David photoshopped over a photo of four of the Flavas dolls.
A photo of Craig David photoshopped over a photo of four of the Flavas dolls.


Signed with RCA Records, former Fifth Harmony multihyphenate Normani has enough star power to blow today’s one-dimensional pop newcomers right out of the water. The problem: she has very little music to prove it. #FreeNormani (lol)

Normani.


Photo courtesy of MGA Entertainment.


Echo Park Lake. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.

Sydney N. Sweeney

Sydney N. Sweeney is a writer, editor, and critic based in Los Angeles. Her work focuses on culture, music, identity, and pop nostalgia.

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