Over the years, many hip-hop stars have died far too young from health causes: Phife Dawg aka “the funky diabetic” from Type 1 diabetes; Big Pun from a heart attack; and Craig Mack from heart failure. According to studies, Black Americans are almost twice as likely to get diabetes as non-hispanic whites. And while there are endless structural reasons why health outcomes might differ across racial lines, Dr. Ietef “DJ Cavem” Vita is a rapper, chef, and gardener trying to make a dent in them. Vita makes what he calls eco hip-hop, which addresses sustainability, food justice, and climate change through a hip-hop lens. To him, “it's no different to being a gangster—we just repping the hood a different way.”
Nearly 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year in the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. government health figures, yet people will the condition are rarely represented in the mainstream fashion industry. But thankfully, The Radical Beauty Project is trying to change that by creating a platform for people with Down syndrome to be regularly featured in independent fashion shoots and, according to Radical Beauty's site, "provide an alternative vision for beauty" by publishing a photo series that stars people with Down syndrome. Initially launched in 2016, the photo series was an offshoot of the Culture Device Dance Project, a U.K.-based contemporary dance company for professional dancers with Down syndrome.
Drag as an art form is a global phenomenon and worldwide industry. Queens are now celebrities, with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race beamed into households across the world. But people with learning disabilities have remained largely shut out of the world of drag. Drag Syndrome—a new drag show featuring drag queens and kings, all of whom have Down’s syndrome—looks to change that.
“I think that Kim and I were magical together and when you have that type of synergy only greatness can come forth. We were thinking outside of the box and unapologetically taking risks. People gravitate to that type of authentic and creative energy.”
Tammie has recently released an EP titled A Little Bit of Tammie. The first tune, “Lip-Sync Suicide” was written for her by her creative partner Rodrigo Beroso, who also wrote songs for her like “Clam Happy,” “Love Piñata,” and “I Stay Connected.” The inspiration behind “Lip-Sync Suicide? Tammie’s refusal to lip-synch to Michelle Williams' “Break The Dawn” on Drag Race.
What do country music, RuPaul’s Drag Race, 16 strips of fake eyelashes and Milwaukee have in common? Trixie Mattel! From the moment Trixie Mattel walked into the Werk Room on season 7 of Drag Race, she exuded charisma and charm. Although Trixie was eliminated early in the competition in episode 4, she became a fan favorite and was brought back in episode 8 only to be eliminated once again in episode 10. Trixie’s rise to the top didn’t end there, she went on to star with fellow season 7 alum Katya in Viceland’s The Trixie & Katya Show, where they delve into a single topic like sex, money, spirituality, and the internet. This year, Trixie returned to Drag Race to take the crown in All Stars Season 3.
In 2012, Jane Fonda gave a Ted Talk about “life’s third act” – the last three decades of life which she described, “age not as pathology, but as potential”. Artist Matthew Morrocco has explored “life’s third act,” in his first photography book, Complicit, published by MATTE editions. The images chronicle Morrocco’s time spent photographing himself with older, gay men in New York City from 2010 to 2015.
With my first baby, I shared many of the same challenges as the other worried, overtired and overwhelmed new moms in our playgroup—breastfeeding struggles, sleep regressions and battles with diaper rash. But there was always one thing none of the other parents could relate to: my son’s plagiocephaly, a.k.a. flat head syndrome.
The Afropunk Festival is more than a two-day festival; it’s a global movement. It’s a celebration of Black culture and a safe space for self-expression and activism through skate, music, film and art. The manifesto is “No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no transphobia, no hatefulness.” Cofounder Matthew Morgan’s stated, “Afropunk is for open-minded, forward-thinking, progressive people. We are not a genre of music — we’re a state of mind. If you’re gonna do something that has an impact, it’s important for us to be involved in something that helps to spark a dialogue that’s felt globally.”