Ch. 1 – Intuition (Pray You Catch Me)

THE ELEVATOR TAPE & ITS AFTERMATH

The infamous surveillance video, leaked by TMZ.

Saturday Night Live’s cold open sketch a week later, parodying JAY-Z (Jay Pharoah), Beyoncé (Maya Rudolph) and Solange (Sasheer Zamata) with their bodyguard (Kenan Thompson).

“We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.”

Exclusive statement to the Associated Press, released by the Knowles and Carter families

Tabloid speculation that persisted even after the couple’s press release attempting to dismiss the rumors.

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#LEMONADE 4.23 9PM ET | 6PM PT | HBO

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Beyoncé’s April 16th, 2016 Instagram post. In it, we hear Beyoncé ask, ¨What am I gonna do, love?¨ before the title card announcing its forthcoming HBO release.


LEMONADE’S OPENING MOMENTS: A PROLOGUE

“She wanted to show the historical impact of slavery on black love, and what it has done to the black family.”

Melina Matsoukas, one of Lemonade’s directors and Beyoncé’s longtime friend and collaborator

The opening shot of the film is followed by this black and white image of a chain filmed at a slave plantation in Louisiana, the first of many images that transport us back to America’s history of tortuous slavery. Low angle shots are used to emphasize power dynamics, and the extremity of the angle depicts the chain looming over the viewer, as if we’re the ones chained to the wall.

Fort Macomb, an intimidating Civil War era brick fortress that serves as a symbol throughout the film.

Left, a wide shot that demonstrates the fortress’s size and expanse; right, a canted angle gives viewers an implication of stress, intimidation, or uneasiness.

Beyoncé in front of the curtain on stage, which mimics a director addressing an audience before a performance. Like the fortress, behind the curtain is some truth to her story, and she is preparing us, and herself, for its reveal.

Continue reading “Ch. 1 – Intuition (Pray You Catch Me)”

Season 5 begins NOW.

Season 5 dissects Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize winning album, DAMN.

A direct continuation of To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN. tells the story of conflicted prophet Kung Fu Kenny who rejects God’s call to prophesy in order to pursue sex, money, and murder. We follow Kenny as he attempts to reverse his curses into blessings.

Listen to Episode 1 on Spotify now (and a week later everywhere else).

Season 3 Now Live on Spotify!

Season 3 of Dissect begins today on Spotify!

This season we unpack the beautiful music of Frank Ocean. We’ll begin with a six episode mini-series on Ocean’s debut album Channel Orange followed by a full season on Blonde.

Listen to Dissect on Spotify and get episodes a week early plus exclusive access to bonus episodes and playlists.

New episodes will release every Tuesday. Spotify-exclusive bonus episodes will release Thursdays.

Listen now on Spotify.

Dissect is Back with Season 2!

We’re incredibly excited to be back for Season 2 of Dissect! This season, we dive deep into Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With an episode dedicated to each song on the album, we’ll explore Kanye’s magnum opus on the underbelly of fame, celebrity, and power.

Listen now: Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or search “Dissect” wherever your get your podcasts. Available on all major podcast apps.

Support Dissect on Patreon.

“The Blacker the Berry – The Book” Kickstarter!

UPDATE: You can now purchase The Blacker the Berry book at blackerberry-book.com.

I’ve teamed with artist/Dissect listener Hannah Sellers to create a book called The Blacker the Berry, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The book is a visual exploration of the social and historical context of Kendrick Lamar’s song “The Blacker the Berry.” Hannah created beautiful graphic collages that accompany my analysis of the song, and it really enhances your experience and understanding of Kendrick’s message. Seriously, this thing is absolutely gorgeous, a true piece of art.

For a limited time, you can back this project by pre-ordering your very own copy. We’ve also set a stretch goal, and if reached, we’ll donate $1 of every book sold to Social Works, a youth empowerment charity started by Chance the Rapper.

Support this project by visiting our Kickstarter!

S1E20/21 – Mortal Man by Kendrick Lamar from To Pimp a Butterfly

Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s final song “Mortal Man”.

Listen now: iPhoneStitcherGoogle PlayiTunes

Part 1 examines the song “Mortal Man” while Part 2 dissects the conversation between Kendrick and 2Pac that concludes the album.

S1E18/19 – i by Kendrick Lamar from To Pimp a Butterfly

Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with “i.”

Listen now: iPhoneStitcherGoogle PlayiTunes

Part 1 examines the studio single version of “i” while Part 2 studies the staged live version that appears on the album.

Dissect Fundraiser for Compton Music Program

I began constructing a Dissect Season 2 fundraiser to help offset some of the costs for the podcast. But the more I thought about it, and the more asked myself “What Would Kendrick Do?” I’ve decided instead to donate all fundraiser proceeds* to the Centennial High School Music Program in Compton, CA. This was Kendrick Lamar’s high school, and he’s since made significant contributions to the music program in an effort to keep kids in the studio and off the street. Given all we’ve learned from To Pimp a Butterfly, I thought this would be an appropriate gesture of gratitude.

I have a goal of raising $1,000 by the end of Season 1. I think we can easily achieve this goal! Updates will be given weekly.

DONATION PERKS:

Dissect T-Shirt (S-XL)

Riz Apparel “Levitate” Hat. Riz Apparel is a brand of dad caps curated by culture.

Printed and Signed Season 1 Manuscript

(to be made upon completion of Season 1)

All donation perks will be sent digitally or physically upon completion of Season 1 in late January.

DONATION TIERS:

  • $1-$29: Dissect Season 1 MP3 Download + PDF manuscript
  • $30+: 1 Donation Perk of your choice + mp3/PDF
  • $60+: 2 Donation Perks + mp3/PDF
  • $100+: All 3 Donation Perks + On Air Recognition + mp3/PDF
Donate via Paypal or secure credit card transaction by clicking button below. If you qualify for a donation perk(s), please specify your item choice in the notes. For shirts, please include size (S-XL).

You will receive a confirmation e-mail from me within 24 hours. If you experience trouble using the link above, please e-mail DISSECTPODCAST@GMAIL.COM.

*Proceeds=all money after recouping shipping and perk production costs. Each Donation perk = $15 (includes shipping in United States**)

For example, if you contributed $30, $15 goes to cover the cost of donation perk, and $15 goes to music program fundraiser.

**For international shipping, additional cost will be required depending on location. Please contact dissectpodcast@gmail.com to arrange your order.

S1E17 – You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said) by Kendrick Lamar

Our season long examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)”

Listen now: iPhoneStitcherGoogle PlayiTunes

S1E15/16 – The Blacker the Berry by Kendrick Lamar

Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s thirteenth track “The Blacker the Berry.”

Listen now: iPhoneStitcherGoogle PlayiTunes

The song was the album’s second single and released amidst the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s incredibly potent, packed with references to the historic oppression of the black community, race relations in contemporary American society, police brutality, the US penitentiary system, and the complexities of black identity, among many others. Continue reading “S1E15/16 – The Blacker the Berry by Kendrick Lamar”