FILM: Straight Outta Compton
“Straight Outta Compton’ became the touchstone of gangsta rap in 1988 when the album came out – it was one of the first to have that now-ubiquitous ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker on it.”Jason Solomons, film critic
The group that kicked off the era of gangsta rap, NWA, is the subject of Straight Outta Compton; F Gary Gray’s film that tells the story of Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren’s ascent from the hard streets of LA. The film has been criticised for its omission of Dre’s violence against women during that period but as a document of a pivotal moment in music history, it is the tunes that speak the loudest
ART: Tracey Emin & Egon Schiele: Where I Want to Go, Vienna
“In this stage of her career her work mirrors Egon Schiele’s quite a bit more than it used to – she’s doing a lot of drawing of reclining nudes, for example, which was a big theme of Schiele’s 100 years ago.”Kimberly Bradley, Monocle’s Vienna correspondent
Vienna’s Leopold Museum has put together the unlikely pairing of 19th-century Austrian painter Egon Schiele and contemporary British artist Tracey Emin. But their works share more similarities than initial impressions might suggest. Both Emin and Schiele focus on sexuality in their pieces and Emin’s later works on paper are beginning to look more like Shiele’s mischievously suggestive figures than her slightly more outrageous earlier efforts. It makes you wonder what kind of fuss greeted Schiele’s new unveilings on an unsuspecting, far more conservative world.
MUSIC: Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen
“This album is her very deliberate move to try and make more grown-up, credible pop music.”Laura Snapes, senior editor, ‘The Pitchfork Review’
Everyone knows Carly Rae Jepsen, the “Call Me Maybe” girl from Canada who made good with an infectious earworm a few years back. Despite that single’s massive success, her albums have not enjoyed the same mega sales and Emotion is an attempt by Jepsen to show the world that she’s no one-trick pony. Pitchfork’s Laura Snapes praised the album’s more mature tone, intelligent production choices and, of course, its memorable pop moments.
THEATRE: Hamlet, London
“There’s just been such a feeding frenzy around it – it’s like Beatlemania but displaced to the realm of the Bard.”Matt Wolf, theatre critic, ‘International New York Times’
Benedict Cumberbatch is the star of the Barbican’s highly anticipated and even more highly hyped production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The International New York Times’s Matt Wolf praised Cumberbatch’s physical commitment to playing the tortured lead but also felt one of the biggest stars of the show was the stage set provided by designer Es Devlin, who also helped create the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony. Whether that will outshine Cumberbatch depends on the viewers, of course, and whether the viewer can actually get hold of a ticket.
BOOK: Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
“Autism doesn’t impair brains in the way that we thought it did. But also, who is to say what a healthy, normal brain looks like?”Parul Sehgal, editor,‘The New York Times Book Review’
Steve Silberman’s new book looks back to the history of one of the most misunderstood conditions in modern medicine: autism. Neurotribes uses stories of autism sufferers – such as that of Lord Henry Cavendish, the 18th-century physicist who was first to accurately work out the mass of the Earth – to show that there’s no correct design for the mind. But make no mistake, Neurotribes is a distinctly forward-thinking read.