Contributing writer

Rick Li

Latest Content

Drag Cover Makeup Photo

Serving Facets: Drag at Harvard

Harvard students have long grappled with creating and finding affirming spaces on campus. For a growing contingent of student drag performers, drag — an art form that tackles definitions of expression, privilege, and identity — has emerged as a way of addressing this need.

gossip girl loft

Unpopular Opinion: Quit Rooting for the Upper East Siders

Revisiting “Gossip Girl” nearly a decade later, one feels a real absence of glamor that the show’s protagonists once had.

thank u, next album

'thank u, next' Will Take Its Time And Appreciates Your Patience

Embracing the blasé over the saccharine, Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” redefines grief in the age of celebrity.

Avril Lavigne in the video for "Head Above Water."
Arts Blog

Music Video Breakdown: ‘Head Above Water’ by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne’s “Head Above Water” makes it clear: There’s a battle raging on, and it extends far beyond the realm of music.

Illustration of Cardi B's shoe.
Arts Blog

What the Hell Happened: Cardi's Shoe Toss

Sometimes a red pump says it all.

"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: 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.


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: 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: 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.


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.


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.

"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.