The idea of ‘safe spaces’ has become controversial, but in nightlife it’s increasingly important

When Kate Ross first came out, she would go to lesbian bars and parties by herself. She didn’t exactly get a warm welcome. At the lesbian dance party She Rex, which used to pop up at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, she says a fellow partygoer took one look at her high heels and long hair and called her a “confused straight girl.”

“I shaved off all my hair and had a mohawk,” she says. “No one questioned me after that.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

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For D.C. rapper Lightshow, home is where the art is

‘Where I come from is the beginning of the story for me,” says D.C. rapper Lightshow. “Where I’m going is the narrative.”

Where Lightshow comes from is the neighborhood around 10th Place Southeast in Congress Heights. He was born Larinzo Lambright-Williams, just down the street at what was then Greater Southeast Hospital, and his first two homes were on the street. 10th Place is such a prominent part of his identity that he appends it to his social-media handles and references the block in his lyrics.

Read more in the Washington Post.

How moombahton went from the hot sound to passe to influencing today’s biggest pop hits

If you’ve turned on the radio at any time in the past few years, you’ve heard major pop hits — Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Drake’s “One Dance,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” Luis Fonsi’s Bieber-featuring “Despacito” — that are united by one thing: the syrupy, midtempo grooves of Afro-Caribbean sounds such as dancehall and reggaeton. But fans of the electronic music underground have heard something else: the unmistakable signature of moombahton, a genre with a legendary origin story based in a Prince George’s County, Md., basement that was the hottest trend in dance music at the start of the decade. But in the quickly shifting dance music landscape, moombahton had its big moment, then gave way to the next hot sound. So how did it end up being reborn in some of the biggest pop songs of all time?

Read more in the Washington Post.

Lil Yachty brings ‘Teenage Emotions’ — and adolescent fans — to Echostage

“When Lil Yachty burst onto the scene last year, he seemed like something out of a hip-hop purist’s nightmare: an Auto-Tuned warbler who half-rapped, half-sang his lyrics like a half-asleep ILoveMakonnen, favoring beats that sampled “Finding Nemo” and “Rugrats,” wearing his hair in red Raggedy Ann braids and calling the Notorious B.I.G. overrated. (He eventually apologized for that last one.)”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Playboi Carti: Plenty of charisma, not a whole lot of rapping

“During hip-hop’s infancy, the MC was literally the master of ceremonies, telling the audience the name of the song that the DJ was playing and shouting out the members of his crew. Soon, MCs came up with catchphrases and rhymes, and rappers were born. On Wednesday night at Fillmore Silver Spring, Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti served as MC in the traditional sense, which was just about the only thing throwback about the concert.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Protests, Pork Overload, and Getting Punchy at Cochon 555

Pig-centric food fight Cochon 555 is no stranger to controversy. Last year, the nose-to-tail cooking competition received flak for a racially-insensitive incident at an Asian speakeasy-themed event in Atlanta. This year, some were perturbed that all five of the chefs competing at the District event were exclusively white men.

Read more at Eater.

On ‘American Teen,’ alt-R&B’s Khalid makes a case to be a voice of his generation

For his debut album, singer-songwriter Khalid chose the title “American Teen,” which is exactly the kind of thing a precocious, preternaturally gifted 19-year-old would do. The lofty, all-encompassing title suggests that Khalid has teenage life all figured out. And across the album’s 15 tracks, he makes a compelling case to be a voice of his generation, musically and lyrically.

Read more in the Washington Post.