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27-year-old Southeast D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy is back with a new single and video, “Lonely Vibes,” though it’s not about COVID-19—it’s about the ongoing issue of gun violence. Glizzy, whose own father was shot and killed before Glizzy turned 1, was incarcerated for robbery in his teens, and has been rapping about the life on record since 2011. His video for his 2018 single “Do You Understand?” has earned over 5 million views. “Lonely Vibes,” like prior Glizzy tracks such as “Funeral,” mixes sorrow with trap rap bravado. But rather than using gospel, as “Funeral” did, “Vibes” conveys the message with help from a minimalistic, mournful programmed rhythm. The song starts somber, with Glizzy enunciating in a dreary monotone over the lush instrumental bottom: “Feel like the realest of ’em all, I’m on my lonely vibes.” The paranoia and stress of this life is conveyed in the video via the use of a gun scope focused on Glizzy, who just exhales smoke and stares sadly at burning candles. The video is available on YouTube. Free. —Steve Kiviat
Women in the Life magazine
D.C.’s public libraries remain closed, but if you’re hungry for new reading material, don’t sleep on Dig DC, an online archive that offers a digital sampling of DC Public Library’s Special Collections. There, you can read high-quality scans of Women in the Life magazine, a publication with roots in the District’s black lesbian social scene—though “there is more to being a black gay woman than just partying,” editor S. A. Reid reminded readers in the first edition, which was published as a newsletter in 1993. While the parties and social events didn’t stop, Women in the Life aimed to serve the community’s intellectual life, covering everything from politics to art, sports to sexuality. Though the writing was often witty, Women in the Life didn’t shy away from more serious subjects. For example, the April 1995 issue included articles ranging from part three of a four-part investigation into a cluster of HIV cases to a roundup of “hot (or at least lukewarm) flicks.” The approach worked, attracting readers and allowing the magazine to expand over time. By the end of its decade-long run in 2003, Women in the Life had evolved into a full-blown glossy magazine available for free at bookstores across the District. Dig DC currently offers 28 digital issues of Women in the Life that ran between 1993 and 1996. Archives from the magazine can be found at digdc.dclibrary.org. Free. —Michelle Delgado