At the end of every year, the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center in mainland China, an organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, publishes a list of the most popular online words and phrases of the year. One entry in the 2021 list is tǎng píng (躺平), or “lying flat.” “Lying flat” denotes a posture both physical and political. It is a rejection of the “996” (9am–9pm, 6 days a week) work culture prevalent among China’s younger population.
By Ximing Lu | July 11, 2022
By Justin Biggi | August 29, 2019
In March of 2019, Jordan Peele's Us was released in theaters. Much like his previous project, Get Out (2017), Us took the horror world by storm. Unlike Get Out, whose direct references to U.S. racism were the foundation of the plot, Peele left Us intentionally vague; allowing for a flurry of online theories to be born as to what his intended meaning may have been.
By Samuel Flores | May 16, 2019
At a 2010 forum at the New York Public Library featuring Harvard professor Cornel West and Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), Prof. West recalled one of his seminars at Princeton, which had featured a panel of Jay-Z, Toni Morrison, and Phylicia Rashad. West recalled discussing how Plato “made the world safe for Socrates, so the people would remember the name of Socrates forever,” and Jay-Z replied, “Well I have been playing Plato to Biggie’s Socrates.” As it turns out, there is a great deal of classical allusion to unpack in the world of hip-hop, many embedded within the lyrics of Jay-Z.