Just a few things this week. I’m getting back into the swing of things after a little staycation, and I’m feeling the writing itch! But for now, here is some reading.
Nicki Minaj Murdered You On Your Own Shit: The Guest Verse as Social Justice by Ernest Baker for The Hairpin
Nicki having the standout verse on a record is a multi-faceted win. It’s a victory for her credibility as an MC in the generally competitive world of hip-hop, but it’s also a victory for her as a woman operating within a genre that by nature wants to disqualify her. She knows that there’s a respect greater than record sales and YouTube views to be gained every time she lays a guest verse—especially on a song with a man—and that’s why she hasn’t slacked on one in a long time, and probably never will.
I have a soft spot for Nicki Minaj, even though I often find her somewhat annoying. I should say – I find her solo songs annoying, but her guest spots can’t be beat. This article goes into that, and examines her place in the male-dominated scene (even with her lackluster records). Plus, the YouTube links kept me entertained on a slow day at work.
Murder by Craigslist by Hanna Rosin for The Atlantic
Instead of trolling the shelters, as he’d done to find Geiger, Beasley came up with the strategy of placing an ad on Craigslist. After all, he didn’t want his victims to be completely down and out. He needed men on the margins, yes, but not so marginal that they didn’t have some possessions worth killing for: a truck or a TV or a computer or even a motorcycle.
Terrifying. I’m a sucker for true-crime-esque stories and this one has an angle that makes it extra captivating.
Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business by Jonah Engle for Mother Jones
On the eve of the House vote, with the count too close to call, four legislators went out and bought 22 boxes of Sudafed and Tylenol Cold. They brought their loot back to the Legislature, where Bovett walked lawmakers through the process of turning the medicine into meth with a handful of household products. Without exceeding the legal sales limit, they had all the ingredients needed to make about 180 hits. The bill passed overwhelmingly.
Meth is a terrifying drug. I admit to being irked at the inconvenience of having to stand in line to get my Sudafed from behind the counter, so this article illuminated a lot of what’s behind that (or similar measures) for me.