Heat of the week: 6ix9ine, hop-hop holidays and an “ethereal bisexual”

Need some pop culture inspiration for your week? Keep your finger on the pulse of all things A&E with this week’s heat.

Alex Strangman

As we head into the home stretch of the semester, it’s time to buckle down and finish strong … or not. For those of you looking for a distraction, here’s this week’s top contenders for procrastination-aiding pop culture.

Something to watch:

“Whose Streets” (Netflix): A recent addition to Netflix, this powerful documentary follows the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement after the 2014 police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The film features stories from front-line activists like Hands Up United co-founder Tory Russell and provides a firsthand look at the unrest following Brown’s death.

“69: The saga of Danny Hernandez” (Hulu): Hate him or love him (though you should mostly hate him) Daniel Hernandez, aka 6ix9ine, left an undeniable mark on the music industry and internet culture as a whole. This new part-documentary, part-gangster film from Hulu takes a deep dive into the life and story of the rapper-turned-troll-turned-rat.

Something to tap your foot to:

“While the World Was Burning” by SAINt JHN: Rarely is there an album with such a timely title as SAINt JHN’s new project that dropped on November 20, “While the World Was Burning.” The 13-track album features guest verses from a variety of heavy hitters including Future, Lil Uzi Vert and Kehlani.

With track titles like “Freedom is Priceless,” “Quarantine Wifey” and “Back on the Ledge” it would be tough to find an album that more expertly encapsulates 2020 than this project. And if you still aren’t sold, on the second verse of “Pray 4 Me” listeners get the privilege of hearing Kanye West spit rhymes containing the word centrifugal.

“Home for the Holidays” by Love Renaissance (LVRN), 6LACK & Summer Walker: Just in time for the holidays, Atlanta collective Love Renaissance (LVRN) dropped a festive new album “Home for the Holidays” on November 16. With songs like “12 Days of Bhristmas” and “Ghetto Christmas,” LVRN brings a hip-hop flair to holiday music.

Featuring artists like Boogie, Summer Walker, OMB Bloodbath and 6LACK, the album is a smooth mix of hip-hop and R&B sure to keep all holiday functions bumping. Oh, and for the final track Shelley FKA DRAM (formerly D.R.A.M.) performs a jolly rendition of “The Christmas Song.” You’re welcome.

“Reluctant Hero” by Killer Be Killed: After a six year hiatus, metal supergroup Killer Be Killed released their sophomore album “Reluctant Hero” on November 20. Like any album from a supergroup, bangers are expected and Killer Be Killed’s new offering won’t leave anyone disappointed.

Across the project, from the aggressively guitar-driven single “Deconstructing Self-Destruction” to the more scream-laden track “Dead Limbs,” the vocal blending is fantastic and no one voice rises above the rest. Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and Dave Elitch (The Mars Volta) have come together once again to create a hellish masterpiece perfect for drowning out the world around you.

Something to read:

“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama: Former President Obama’s new memoir, “A Promised Land” sold nearly 890,000 copies in the US and Canada in the first 24 hours of its release. In a tweet following the book’s announcement, Obama said the memoir was meant to “provide an honest accounting of [his] presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody.”

The book takes a look at many notable aspects of the 44th president’s life, like discovering philosophers Marx and Foucalt back in college while attempting to get laid. But, collegiate Obama getting friend-zoned by the “ethereal bisexual who wore mostly black” aside, the former president’s new memoir is full of great stories and lessons that many Americans would benefit from, or at a minimum, get a kick out of.