Liner Notes | January 2017

Marvel and hip-hop are doing big things together. JAY Z, KANYE WEST and VIC MENSA all had their work in some way inspire the variant cover artwork of recent Marvel issues. The new issue of Mighty Captain Marvel #1, for example, draws from The Life of Pablo; Jay Z and Vic Mensa had their work covered, in more ways than one, for Elektra and Bullseye covers. This column originally covered the RUN THE JEWELS “Howard the Duck” variant cover from 2015 and there have been several since then.

Marvel also announced that METHOD MAN, the Wu-Tang rapper known as “Cheese” on The Wire and “Cheddar” in Keanu, wrote “Ghost Rider X-Mas Special Infinite.” No word yet on whether or not Ghost Rider is someone to f—k with.

But every superhero needs a super villain. The same is true in hip-hop, which is currently vilifying President-elect Donald Trump—with one major exception. Kanye West, who recently received a psychiatric evaluation, visited Donald Trump at Trump Tower to discuss “multicultural issues,” as West later tweeted, including “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago.” He went on in another tweet to add that he feels “it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change.”

He also tweeted “#2024,” supposedly in reference to his earlier declaration to run for president in 2020. Lastly, he tweeted a picture of a signed copy of the Time Magazine featuring Donald Trump as the Person of the Year. Trump, posing with Kanye for a line of photographers, told them “We’ve been friends for a long time.”

JOHN LEGEND, Kanye’s friend and frequent collaborator, called it a “publicity stunt.” He felt it was possible to talk about real issues with Trump, but overall voiced that he was “pretty disappointed with Kanye that he says he would have voted for Trump.”

“I think Trump has been corrosive,” Legend said on a French TV show, “his message has been corrosive to the country and I think the things he’s promised to do have been very concerning for a lot of people. And for Kanye to support that message is very disappointing.”

“Whatever was in his mind,” Legend concluded, “I disagree with him.”

The meeting also already drew fire from late night hosts like Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and James Cordon. Noah spent most of his segment poking fun at the media coverage of the event, showing how anchors and producers would cut into more serious coverage for this frivolous, but attention-grabbing story. Colbert warned that we’d soon have a collaborative album titled The Deportation of Pablo.

In better news, SEU JORGE, the Brazillian singer-turned-actor who gained small but intense fame for his turn in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic, where he played a sailor who sang Portuguese covers of DAVID BOWIE. Following Bowie’s death earlier this year, Jorge said that he would tour with the songs in honor of Bowie—and he has done just that. He’s decided to extend that tour to include new cities and countries, including the U.K.

Lastly, Uber is currently being sued for some of its employees abusing the “God View” mode, which can track the routes and progress, as well as personal information, of guests using the service. It has been used for the technician’s exes, friends and of course, celebrities, one of these identified as BEYONCÉ. Although Uber has claimed that it’s fired “fewer than 10” people for this offense, I’m sure Beyoncé will be getting her lawyers in formation.

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