On our Lists this week: Dirty Computer, J. Cole, and Sun-Ra

THE PLAY LIST

I Like That by Janelle Monáe: I’m psyching myself up before I consume every piece of Janelle Monáe’s new album and film Dirty Computer. So far my little queer heart has endorsed the album’s singles, PYNK, Django Jane and Make Me Feel, with no questions asked. After listening to I Like That on repeat this weekend I have decided to stay on it for a little while longer before I take in the rest of the album. It’s a beautiful song of affirmation in which Monáe’s clean harmonies dance over a trap beat that meshes the delicate with the party in a way that I can relate to. (ZH)

KOD by J. Cole: Everything must come to a halt when Cole drops an album. Everything. And that’s exactly where I still am right now — processing how breathtaking and profound KOD is. True to form, Cole has yet again laid his soul and thoughts bare, talking about love in the digital age, the damaging effects of money, the fucked-up ways society runs our lives, and infidelity, to name but a few — all connecting to the overarching theme of addiction. For good measure, he also takes shots at the travesties who are the Lil Whatevers of this world. As if he needed to prove it, Cole has again shown that no one can captivate the way he can. (RS)

Sun-Ra Speaks — Berkeley Lectures: During an interview with Thandi Ntuli and Georgia Anne Muldrow, the conversation veered towards free jazz for a second, which is how the name of Sun Ra came up. Georgia being Georgia, confessed that she had recently been binging on the Sun Ra Berkeley College lectures. And down the rabbit hole I went. The lectures are in Ra’s free-associative style, discussing etymology and his ideas on music and philosophy. A sample goes like this: “Anything that has symmetry to it, and when you look at it you feel it, is music. Because that’s what music is about, feeling.” (KS)

THE READING LIST

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster: I got this book from a pile of items at a thrift store in 2014, back when detective fiction was my thing, and neglected it for four years. But when I was going through some boxes I found it and decided that reading it cover to cover would be my literary mission for the week. From the way reviewers say they were spellbound while reading it, I think it’s the perfect getaway from my attempts at adulthood. (ZH)

The Lists were compiled by Zaza Hlalethwa, Kwanele Sosibo and Refiloe Seiboko

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