Cassius Culture Vulture cover

Source: Brandon Douglas, Ben Iturralde / iOne Digital

Dear Unapologetics:

What up?

Welcome to the future, to a space you’ve probably been looking for without even knowing it. This is CASSIUS, a new digital outlet where folks know how to cover the culture because, SURPRISE—we are the culture. Where honest and fair reporting is a given—not to preserve the status quo, but to shake that shit up. Where we refuse to be scared for calling out our family with love, and calling out our enemies with clarity. Where a commitment to courage and ingenuity, newness and real-talk perspective drives a maverick, 21st century content experience crafted specifically for you—an Unapologetic.

You already know.

See, despite the culture vultures, the cash-cropping of cool, the purposeful pilfering of all that we are, Unapologetics keep pushing forward. We remain authentic, thoughtful, creative, unbossed, unbought and at times, unbothered. We understand our responsibility as the originators of swag, the architects of dope.

Like you, we’ve watched mainstream media go from the awkward, often-racist probing of hip-hop, to the straight up “Columbusing” of anything remotely derivative of the culture. Seen some of the same outlets that once ignored—or, worse, vilified—Black style now fawning over hood-grown aesthetics, while crediting outside ‘influencers’ for setting the trends. (Note: We are being real polite here. This never happens again. The naming of names is on deck. #getscared) Read soulless profiles of our most beloved rappers, actors, athletes and organizers crafted by writers completely disconnected from the communities from which their “subjects” come. We won’t even touch on gentrification. (Goodbye Brooklyn, D.C., Charlotte, Oakland, Detroit…)

Of course, even as a tribe of Unapologetics, we’re not all the same; we’re diverse by design. Some of us DGAF when it comes to letting it all hang out—bearing our bodies, our souls, our truths. Others are all about the art, the music, the film, the magic of creating work with a message. Some of us are race men and women through and through, while others are dedicated warriors in the fight for gender and sexual liberation.

See, despite the culture vultures, the cash-cropping of cool, the purposeful pilfering of all that we are, Unapologetics keep pushing forward.

In reality, most Unapologetics are some combination of all these things. We’re simply complicated and nuanced in ways some people don’t always understand. We come with layers. If they don’t get it, oh well. We’re done explaining.

CASSIUS exists because we were tired of watching “edgy,” “gritty” documentary storytelling that involves little more than dropping some cornball dude, who always looks like he has a closet full of boat shoes, in the ghetto and following him while he’s on safari. Pardon, “safari.”

We’re tired of being told by certain outlets that we’re “so talented,” but they need to “hire someone with more ‘traditional’ experience,” only to watch them select the most junior-non-knowing-non-writing-editor on the scene.

It’s true, we never thought we’d see the vultures swoop down on the power of #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackLivesMatter, carrying them out of the confines of safe spaces like juicy worms dangling from a beak, but here the hell we are. Clearly the whole Appropriation Nation wants a piece of “woke,” perhaps over a Pep…man, never mind.

But at least we’re not alone. We know you’ve been watching, too. Cringing, crying, cursing. Laughing, eye rolling, shoulder shrugging, waving away. You see how they do us, Unapologetics, you’ve been seeing, but today there is some good news. CASSIUS is here, we ain’t going nowhere, and together, we’re finally collecting receipts.

Respect,

The Editors

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