Contributing writer

Rick Li

Latest Content

Illustration of Cardi B's shoe.
Arts Blog

What the Hell Happened: Cardi's Shoe Toss

Sometimes a red pump says it all.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Quinn XCII Eulogizes the Heartland

For Detroit-raised Quinn XCII, playing to a packed crowd in the heart of the Midwest at this inflection point in his career must have held a certain and special poignance.

"Queen" by Nicki Minaj

'Queen' Begins Chopping Heads, Stops Mincing Words

However, the collection of tracks is its own war of attrition: able to hold its own and not devoid of victories, but laborious nonetheless.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Dua Lipa Uncouples Cool From Indifference

Dua Lipa hit her stride quickly, extending her trademark cool air to a set that held onto the audience with a light grasp rather than a stranglehold.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Carly Rae Jepsen Brings Not Peace, But A Sword

Today’s actions were no Excalibur moment. Jepsen’s faux-ceremonial knighting merely provided the physical embodiment of a sword visible for the general public to lock onto. For those paying attention, she’s always had it.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Walk the Moon Constructs Shimmering Wall of Sound

It’s immensely difficult for a highly-anticipated act to pull off a surprising entrance, but Walk the Moon accomplished just that.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Allie X Commands Curious Attention

Nestled in the shaded isolation of the American Eagle stage, indie pop musician Allie X ushered in this year’s festival with a performance that was equal parts perplexing and captivating.


From Lollapalooza 2018: Khalid’s Evening Set Oozes Youthful Nonchalance

Time and time again, I’ve found myself reluctantly entrapped by a romanticized picture of young adult life, the type of feeling that causes a 19-year-old (and, judging by the crowd, many of his cohort) to feel nostalgia for better days past. Khalid’s attempt to capture that feeling in his performance early Thursday evening was a smashing success.


Lollapalooza 2018 Friday Soundbites: Mobley, Post Animal, Lizzo, and Alina Baraz

Day Two provided ample opportunity to sample Lollapalooza’s deep undercard. Starting the day in the arboreal comfort of American Eagle, I eventually decided to take advantage of the best weather this weekend to bounce around other stages.

"Dangerously In Love" album cover.

Long May She Reign: ‘Dangerously in Love’ Turns 15

Still, even pop royalty must start somewhere, and dynamic reigns don’t often develop suddenly. Beyoncé’s “Dangerously in Love,” now 15 years old, offers a rare, authentic glimpse of the queen pre-coronation, a less polished persona now long erased.

Wale at Yardfest

Festival as Escape: The Highs and Lows of Yardfest 2018

It’s never a good sign when you feel like the night was front-loaded coming out of a four-hour lineup.

Hugh A. Mayo

'A Moving Target'

Safety shares an interesting relationship with art, a discipline which often values the unconventional and groundbreaking. Navigating this balance has been a key consideration at Harvard's VES department.

The cover for "Flicker" by Niall Horan.

Career Overview: Niall Horan

How has Horan emerged as the frontrunner among his post-hiatus bandmates? The answer is that he knows his niche, and he knows it well.

"Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry

Top Five Chart-Toppers from ‘Teenage Dream’

It’s important that we take a step back to acknowledge that, just half a decade ago, Katy was delivering Billboard #1’s left and right.

Dua Lipa in "IDGAF"

Music Video Breakdown: 'IDGAF' and Consumerism

Hidden behind Dua’s icy demeanor is a level of incisive commentary producible only by a young firebrand—an Albanian Karl Marx adorned with a single diamond earring.