Image by: 22Images Studio

At the 2002 Academy Awards ceremony, there were two winners who did not attend in person. The first was Eminem. The reasons as to why vary, but a reasonable conclusion is that it simply wasn’t his crowd. Winning an Oscar for a rap song is of course a rare achievement, but yet unlikely one that any Hip-Hop artist would want their legacy defined by. Eminem, by his own admission just didn’t “get” the nomination. And even if he did, it’s hard to imagine that the “angsty disrupter” persona he cultivated at the time would have played well in that forum…

To have the trauma you’ve experienced throughout your life marginalised by your government left me questioning myself and if those experiences were as real as they feel in my head

Image by: Annie Spratt

In 1954 American journalist Darrell Huff published a short book called How to Lie With Statistics. The premise is pretty self explanatory, and starts off with an example of a man who believes that crime is up in his neighbourhood. Crime is not up; crime is in fact down, but yet the statistics in his newspaper (that pull data from a wider sample size) say otherwise. I’ve used this trick a lot in meetings over the years. If I pull the right data from quarter 1 and quarter 2 I can say we’re showing great H1 growth verses the previous…

How the discipline and mastery needed in Dark Souls can be applied to real life

I started middle distance running in my late 20s. An activity that never really appealed to me before. A history of living close to hills and far from gyms meant that fate was never really on my side. I, also, had another odd, but not uncommon inhibitor: when I run, I itch like a maniac.

This is no simple itch — one that goes away when scratched. But instead an all encompassing assault on the senses.

This reaction wasn’t due to sweat or cheap fabric softener. Instead, something that would occur after a period of inactivity. The body needs to…

In the UK we are of course unquestionably the best in the world at repressing our most unfortunate feelings

Image by Lorna Roberts

There was a certain inevitability about the mixed reception received by the Coming to America sequel. After all, long lay-offs between outings for cult characters rarely ever result in the kind of chemistry that made them popular. Not to mention the rules for what constitutes as “fair game” in comedy have shifted a lot in the last 30 years. Personally, I thought it was ok. But there was one question I kept asking myself: where was Lisa’s kid sister Patrice?

In a movie full of beautiful Black women, Patrice McDowell was the character I had the biggest crush on growing…

Image: Daniel Samray

Like most people, I went into the 2020 lockdowns with the best of intentions. I planned to finish editing my novel, start learning a new language, and maybe actually read some of the books I’d lied about being a fan of at parties. In the end, I spent most of my time playing videogames and re-watching episodes of The Wire. A decision I’m fully at peace with. Turns out just getting through the year with a shred of sanity was a far more realistic goal, and one I only narrowly achieved.

Analysing why The Wire is the greatest TV show…

I’ve ridden in the back of cabs through Boko Haram territory, yet still felt more afraid of getting shot while driving in the United States of America

Croatia, 2018

I didn’t travel much as a kid. My family vacations were great, but typically consisted of a week in South West England - no more than two hundred miles from our home. My adopted parents both had a healthy fear of flying and to each of their dying days; never set foot on a plane. I left the UK for the first time at age 11 as part of what became an annual school day trip to France. The routine for my classmates and I was straightforward enough: wake up at 6am, take a ferry to Dieppe, then spend two…

Image by: Sterling Monksgard

Guest spots are one of Hip-hop’s most defining acts of diplomacy. As a featured artist you’re expected to be dope and justify the fee commanded for your appearance. But not too dope. Nobody wants to get murdered on their own shit. However, you also need to set the pace. If you’re getting on a track with someone of a similar level of skill, then you’re going to need to feed off of each other a little bit, right? Give them no choice but to go back and write that verse again. Shit, go rewrite yours if they come out swinging…

When Will Smith announced a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion show was happening, it was a highlight in an otherwise bleak year. Yet something immediately felt a little off. Two Aunt Viv’s existing in the same space at the same time, perhaps? No actually that was pretty cool. Not only did it play well with the 4th wall breaking theme of the show, but it was good to see a 27 year feud put to rest. Was it the lack of studio audience, maybe? Meh. We could live with that. The whole world doesn’t have a studio audience right now…

Image by: Standret

There’s a scene in Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist western The Hateful Eight where Samuel L Jackson’s character Major Marquis Warren; a Black civil war Major and bounty hunter, is stranded in a blizzard a few miles outside of the nearest town. During this scene he encounters John “The Hangman” Ruth played by Kurt Russell; a White, fellow bounty hunter in possession of a stage coach. Major Warren needs to convince John Ruth to let him hitch a ride on that stage coach so he doesn’t freeze to death. Without going into too many spoilers, a large contributing factor in Major Warren…

2 weeks. That’s the average life expectancy of a good line up. At week 3 you still have a line-up, it’s just compromised. Week 4 it’s over. So if I were to take a rough 5 year average of how often I’ve sat back in that black chair and heard those clippers buzz across the peak of my forehead…we’re talking every 4 to 6 weeks. Those are not numbers I’m necessarily proud of but they’re the ones I’m posting. I could always keep that 2 week target in mind as the first big step towards a life of true probity.

Afro Hair Academy, Image by Nadia Meli

Bayo Awesu

I write short essays about race, politics and erm...sometimes videogames. UK based. Speculative and Sci-fi novels cooking. Director at

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