Rita Ora Talks Fifty Shades Darker, Top Model


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Had a lil’ chat with the mighty Rita Ora about the incredibly lengthy list of things she’s doing including but not limited to: ramping up her Fifty Shades roll in Darker, stepping in for Tyra Banks as host of America’s Top Model,  running the fashion game in collaboration with Adidas, acting in an indie flick alongside the late great Carrie Fisher, and being a body-positive badass.

Lukas Graham on Grammys, Babies and Speedos


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I INTERVIEWED WYCLEF JEAN AND HE CALLED ME “FAMILY”!!! Oh, and I had a weird/awesome brunch with Lukas Forchhammer, the mastermind behind the Danish musical oddity that is Lukas Graham and their massive 2016 hit song, “7 Years.” Due to space constraints, this interview (one of three Grammy preview covers) was trimmed considerably, so you’ll miss the bit where I said, “He’s sporting … a fresh haircut he says makes him ‘look like a lesbian raver.’ Really, he looks like a ’90s rap-rock stoner. It’s one of the many things that set him apart from 2017’s music industry power players.” However, they did keep my quote from Wyclef (not the “family” part), which makes 15-year-old me die and go to heaven. So, I guess I’m dead now. Oh well.

Juicy J Is Cooking with Weed (and Chris Sayegh)


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Memphis rap OG Juicy J gets a lesson in cannabis cuisine from fine dining stoner Chris Sayegh, aka The Herbal Chef (“THC,” of course). I sat in on the entire thing, and while I interviewed the two of them afterward, you really just want to read this for the play-by-play: “Juicy J holds a single flower with a pair of extra-long tweezers cautiously, as if the tiny bloom is a hunk of uranium. His hand seems to lilt ever so subtly, pulled to the right by three heavily studded gold rings. But the rapper gets it together and, at the last second, sticks the landing…” Toldja.

British Invasion 2.0: Critic-Proof Dance Music



With help from a pond-hopping lineup of U.K. garage and dance music experts—shout out AlunaGeorge, Pete Tong, MNEK, Gorgon City and, especially, Todd Edwards—I trace the lineage of English underground music all the way to the upper reaches of Billboard Hot 100, from Kyla & Crazy Cousinz to Disclosure to Drake to that place where all roads eventually lead: Justin Bieber. This is part three in a highly interactive, very wide-ranging British Invasion-type series I dreamt up (story-wise) for Slate underwritten by Jaguar. See the food and design pieces too.

Billboard Cover: Musical.ly’s Teenage Revolution


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I’ll level with you. I interviewed 14 people about this Musical.ly app—an international cast of adults (China, Germany, Russia, America), four tween/teen idols, a couple venture capitalists, representatives from three major labels, and my first Billboard cover subject Jason Derulo—and I’m still all “kids these days” about it, plus would have a hard time explaining in fewer than 3,000 words what Musical.ly is and why it has the music and tech industries scrambling for answers. But they are, and the answers are in this story about a lip-synch app turned revolution.

Young Thug Will Wear a Wedding Gown


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If we’re friends, ask me to tell you the entire story of my night with Young Thug, when I became an accidental member of his entourage, which involved a Ferrari, lots of lean, lots of weed, an unexpected festival performance, a mysteriously missing Beats Pill, creepy foot massages, dead-eyed stares, pizza, and me being mistaken for Chinese. After all that, this little story might be a bore, but the guy is a very fascinating character study, and the gown he wears on the cover of his new mixtape is gorgeous. We talked in honor of that fab frock, and New York Fashion Week.

Is Lil Yachty Rap’s Next Big Thing?


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In which I interview a mumbling ATLien who couldn’t name five songs by 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., or Nas. But the thing about Lil Yachty is how hard he rides for the Weirdo Youth of the World. That’s not the name of a group (it should be); just seemed like the kind of thing that should exist in formal terms, capitalized. Anyway, get a glimpse into the artful oddness of this 19-year-old.