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W Magazine Dubs Rihanna 'World's Wildest Style Icon'

The issues with Rihanna W Magazine's editorial spread World's Wildest Style Icon

W Magazine's September issue features Rihanna as the World's Wildest Style Icon, an editorial styled by Ghana-born Edward Enninful. Enninful began in the industry as a fashion model before becoming the youngest fashion director for an international publication, i-D, at the tender age of 18. He claims it was his time at Vogue Italia that matured him as a stylist. Before taking over as fashion and style director at W, Enninful contributed for American Vogue. With such an impressive CV, the popularity of the Rihanna W Magazine spread comes as no surprise.


Though ornamented in headdresses, animal skins, rubies and dramatic make-up, the spread's description by make-up artist Kabuki, along with other news sources, as "tribal" is hardly warranted. Kabuki states "I got the vibe that it was slightly animalistic, but also could be interpreted as tribal or survivalist—definitely somebody using their environment as part of their style." 'Tribal' has emerged in fashion as a sort of genre or trend, but given its colonial history and implication, the statement, coming from such a reputable fashion publication, is daunting.

Somebody using their environment as part of their style is impressively sustainable and there are many emerging artists capitalizing on this practice. Sustainable fashion has emerged as a response and remedy to environmental and social impacts of the industry, and fashion designers across the diaspora are introducing eco-conscious methods through the use of environmentally friendly material and socially-responsible methods of production. There is something cognizant and environmentally conscious about utilizing natural resources to produce textiles and cosmetics. However, using a loaded word like "tribal," given its colonial context undermines these designers and their practice. While the spread itself is visually brilliant, the conversation surrounding the spread should really be dissected. Take a look at the Rihanna W Magazine spreads in the gallery above.

 

Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb’s Memoir Is A Huge Slap In The Face To South African Hip-Hop

In his memoir, one of South Africa's revered lyricists ProVerb and his co-author compromise his rich story with trite motivational talk.

The Book of Proverb

ProVerb has had a strange relationship with the SA hip-hop scene. Albeit being one of the most gifted lyricists the country has ever seen, he has grown to flow less and hustle more. Despite this, his name still comes up when the greatest (South) African rappers of all time are mentioned. MTV Base placed him as the 7th in their list of the greatest SA MCs of all time in 2018 for example.

The rapper-turned-media personality dedicates a paragraph of his memoir, The Book of Proverb, to explaining his complicated relationship with hip-hop. "Although I built my brand as a hip-hop artist, I never enjoyed full support or success from it," he writes. "Music is and always will remain a pass ion, but it stopped being viable when it stopped making business sense to me. If I was given more support, I might continue, but for now, I'll focus on my other hustles."

On the cover of the book which was released towards the end of 2020 by Penguin, Verb is wearing a charcoal blazer and sporting a white ball cap, so one can be forgiven for getting into it expecting both sides of his story. This memoir, however, is too vague to be a worthy read if you aren't necessarily reading to get motivated but to be simply informed and inspired.

While a few of The Book of ProVerb's chapters touch on his rap career, most of the book is about ProVerb the man, personality and businessman. Not so much one of the country's finest lyricists. This omission is a huge slap in the face for his fans and SA hip-hop fans in general.

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Filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr Explores the Sweet Spot Between Nollywood & Hollywood

Winner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, London-based Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr speaks about his experimental film 'Lizard', what belonging looks like and the overlap between Hollywood and Nollywood.