Contributing writer

Rick Li

Latest Content

"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.


Cooper Gallery Imbues Collecting With Storytelling

The exhibition skirts canonical Western museum practices and speaks instead to the act of collecting as a living, breathing tradition meant to promote dialogue.


Oswalt’s ‘Annihilation’ Built on Kindness

Didactic but not quite preachy, Oswalt’s special intertwines humor and reflection in order to make sense of the unpredictable world around him.


Hear Me Out: Taylor Swift Singles

Swift has long used lead singles to rebrand—those from both “Red” and “1989” marked a pivot from country towards pure pop—and the first few singles of her “Reputation” era similarly focus on optics.

We were eight years in power cover

‘We Were Eight Years in Power’: A Candid, Pragmatic Retrospective

​Brutally honest and often harrowing, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” speaks to the division gripping our nation today. A collection of eight articles, one written each year of the Obama administration, the book pairs the excitement and optimism of the period in which it was written with the harsher reality of the last few months.


'Riverdale’ is a Dark Drama Beneath Neon Lights

The show counterbalances its darkness with general teenage absurdity as a reminder that this is, above all, a show meant to entertain young adults.


HubWeek Symposium Encourages Looking Inwards

“The Room Where It Happens: On the Agency of Interior Spaces,” a symposium held at the Harvard Art Museums as part of Boston’s HubWeek, sought to examine the ways space reflects and even influences both art and the viewer.

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope "Watch Me"

‘Scandal’: For a Political Drama, 'Watch Me' Remains Suspiciously Stagnant

The biggest challenge “Scandal” writers have this season is figuring out how to introduce complexity and struggle to characters who have already reached their peaks.

Hell's Kitchen: "All-Stars Arrive"

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Serves Up Fresh Faces and Canned Drama

The newest season of “Hell’s Kitchen” is so relentless in its pursuit of drama that it leaves the realm of entertainment and enters one of ridiculousness.

Lady Gaga in "Gaga: Five Foot Two"

Gaga Stands Tall in Documentary 'Five Foot Two'

A far cry from the mysterious, egg-palanquin enigma of the early 2010s, this unfiltered, ripped-shorts performer is nonetheless refreshing and acutely engaging.