There is as much good music writing now as there has ever been. There are gross inequalities in the system still, in who gets heard and who is silent. But more than ever, people are able to let their experiences and expressions be heard.
Thinkpieces, essays, reviews and features: the internet has overwhelmed us with writing. There's so much of it out there, and it's all so easy to lose perspective. The more our Facebook feeds tell us what's worth reading, the less likely we are to stumble across something outside of our worldview.
In an attempt to get a handle on all of the music writing out there, we've decided to put everyone up on the music writing we've enjoyed reading during the course of the week. If you've read something that we've missed, feel free to put it in the comments.
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What Happens When Nicki Minaj Borrows Your Beat Without Asking? at The Fader
On New Year's Eve, Nicki Minaj released a remix to "Boss Ass Bitch," a 2012 YouTube jam from a Los Angeles trio known as P.T.A.F. The Fader's Naomi Zeichner hit up the group of young female performers to find out what it's like when one of the biggest rappers in the world remakes your viral hit. —David Drake
Finding a Place in the Hip-Hop Ecosystem at The New York Times
This week found the thinkpiece-o-sphere inundated with essays and ideas about The Grammy Awards, and especially Macklemore's somewhat-expected trouncing of hip-hop's widely-championed rap star Kendrick Lamar. Jon Caramanica's piece for the Times puts this conflict in historical perspective, and suggests Macklemore's awkward Instagram shot of his text to Kendrick apologizing for "robbing" him is also a warning of "robberies to come." —David Drake
An alternate history of sexuality in club culture at Resident Advisor
In this extremely long and in-depth look at club culture and dance music's queer roots, author Luis Manuel-Garcia investigates why the genre's origins in the LGBT scene are being forgotten, and if that matters. The piece is both an overview of the history of dance music and an examination of the unfortunate level of discrimination that still exists today even within the dance music community. Dedicate some time to this article, and you'll learn a lot, whether you're interested in dance music or not. —Alex Gardner
The dA-Zed guide to south London music at Dazed Digital
Less than a month ago, Dazed Digital shared "The dA-Zed guide to UK garage," in conjunction with Ewen Spencer's Doc X on the story of UK garage, “Brandy & Coke.” On Monday, they topped it with The dA-Zed guide to south London music, celebrating everyone from David Bowie to Fela Kuti and Mike Skinner. These guides not only win in their comprehensive, refreshing format, they also remind us that even in a more globalized music landscape, certain regions are distinctive hotbeds for creative innovation and developing sounds that eventually move beyond their borders. —Cedar Pasori
Dave Brubeck Was the Macklemore of 1954 at NPR
These kinds of historical parallels are all kinds of problematic—first off, the notion that hip-hop in 2014 and jazz in 1954 are even in rough parallel feels like a stretch. Nonetheless, it's helpful to remember that while this dance between black music culture and white appropriation may mutate as the faces change, the underlying dynamic is pretty much the same as it's ever been. —David Drake