Selected features


I ran around Philly with battle-rapper-turned-cross-genre-trickster Tierra Whack, for The FADER’s 2019 Now issue.

feature: noname

A rare interview with the extraordinary Chicago rapper Noname, who invited me into her rap and comedy worlds, for The FADER’s 2018 Fall Fashion issue.

FEATURE: tiffany Haddish

Behind the loose lips and famous friends is a real, complex person, for VOGUE’s September 2018 issue.


I spent a couple of cold days in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the rapper and her adorable family, for The FADER’s 2018 Earth issue.


From midtown to Jersey to the Bronx with Cardi B, who was making compelling music even before “Bodak Yellow,B for The FADER’s 2017 Summer Music issue.


Behind the Odd Future-offshoot’s success as a band is real friendship, for The FADER’s 2016 America issue.


I went all the way to Lagos, Nigeria, to the home of afropop star Davido, for The FADER’s 2016 Global issue.

Feature: Cardi B

Before she manifested her musical career, when she was simply a social media and reality TV phenom, Cardi B showed all the signs of stardom to come.

Feature: OVO’s Family Business

With his friends, Drake made OVO an institution. Oliver El-Khatib and Noah “40” Shebib explain how, for The FADER’s 100th issue in 2015.

Feature: How waist trainers became the biggest thing on Instagram

These new corsets turn extreme body goals into big profits. But do they even work? And for whom? For the FADER’s 2015 Fall Fashion issue.

Selected essays and criticism

Essay: Does Citizenship Shape Identity? A “Third-Culture” Writer Takes Stock

I wrote a personal essay about my heritage, and a life lived bouncing from country to country, for the November 2018 issue of VOGUE.

Review: Nicki Minaj’s Queen

There are flashes of brilliance on Queen but they’re mostly eclipsed by chaos.

Review: Kanye West’s Ye

Kanye West, wyd?!?!

Review: Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy

She proves that her charm and talents go beyond any single medium.

Essay: Lawn to earth

The lawn was once a unique marker of American life and class mobility. In Los Angeles and beyond, the drought has changed what that looks like.

Essay: More Life, more problems

Drake’s 2016 project exposes the limits of cultural appropriation discourse and critical conversation on social media.

Essay: Why all your friends were into astrology this year

In rough times, people turn to the stars for guidance. Insiders explain why.

Essay: Maybe We Shouldn’t Be Surprised That Kanye And Trump Are “Friends”

Kanye, too, knows showmanship can get you as far as substance

Review: Solange’s A Seat at the Table

Solange, in focus.

Essay: How Today’s Streaming Wars Could Rewrite The Playlists Of The Future

If something doesn’t exist on the internet, did it ever exist?

Essay: The way we mourn now

The deaths of Prince and Afeni Shakur exposed the online and offline intersection of collective grief.

Review: Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo

Yet more on the ‘Ye beat. This time, he has faith again.

Essay: How social justice became cool again

A new world of social consciousness has opened up between the public and even the poppiest of stars, and many are cashing in, for The FADER’s 2015 Now issue.

Selected interviews

Interview: BlocBoy JB

The Memphis rapper’s first-ever interview.

Interview: Roy Woods

A candid chat with the OVO signee.

Interview: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

How African medical students created a new genre of Cuban music.

Interview: Big TC

In prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit, Big TC finds hope in Islam, for The FADER’s 2017 Faith issue.

Interview: Mara Brock Akil

The force behind shows like Girlfriends and Being Mary Jane has made hit programs for black girls for over 20 years, but she’s just getting started, for The FADER’s 2016 Producers issue.

Interview: Gary Land

Allen Iverson’s longtime photographer uses his lens to remind us that the basketball legend has always been human first.

Interview: Erykah Badu

The R&B legend responds to her recent Twitter controversy and explains her approach to social media.

Interview: Uncle Luke

Uncle Luke went to the Supreme Court for hip-hop, and he wants more credit.

Do you want more?!!!??!