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The Rundown: Missy Elliott, Aziz Ansari, Brooklyn

Shia LaBeouf spent most of this week in a darkened cinema, making it out just in time for the release of Missy Elliott’s hot new single. Coincidence…probably! But there’s nothing that could top the pop rocket that Missy  launched this week in the shape of her new track, WTF (Where They From). It had me so excited I forgot to mention in this week’s edition of The Rundown that her forthcoming album is the first we’ve had from her in a decade; she has released singles in that time. But still – it’s big news! That she worked with longtime collaborator Dave Meyers on the video – complete with a disco-ball suit, puppets and laser lights – is even more satisfying. And, as NPR’s Ann Powers says, we’re glad to have her back, purely for the style and substance she brings to pop and hip hop.
Other stories worth knowing this week include the release of comedian Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix series, Master of None, and the movie Brooklyn, which has been garnering great reviews. Aziz manages to capture issues not often talked about on a TV series, and he tackles race, relationships in the millennial era and friendship with nuance, respect and best of all, humour. It’s an endearing series and the music that features at the beginning of each episode – a snippet of a different song for each one – is an inspired touch. Also big in TV news this week, as the questions swirl around Glenn’s fate in The Walking Dead, Jeffrey Dean Morgan joins the cast as mega-enemy Negan. Denny Duquette goes dark! (I know Jeffrey’s been in a number of movies too but he left a mark on my heart as Izzy’s doomed love in Grey’s Anatomy).
As for Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan gives a delicate, moving performance as an Irish immigrant who moves to Brooklyn and falls in love. Aside from the beauty of the cityscapes, the film touched a nerve in me, as someone who’s moved to NYC from another country. It may be set in the ’60s but the feelings it conjures up are ones felt in any era.
Bringing pop culture and history together is something artist Deborah Kass likes to do, and she’s done it with her first public piece, YO/OY, located in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I like the way it plays on the cultural slang of the city.

The route I took started from Miss Lilly’s on Houston and travelled across the Manhattan Bridge (a tough but rewarding run!), and down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The bridge is always a challenge, but its views make it worth it!


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