Whenever a prominent artist makes a political statement, the mix of backlash and appraisal that ensues results in high publicity for both the artist and the topic they’re speaking about. The Grammy Awards provided the perfect platform for such declarations this year, from Paris Jackson’s protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline to A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak’s shade-throwing performances. Using fame to shine a light on social issues is a powerful way to make one’s voice heard, but there’s also a reciprocal to it: using politics to generate fame. This was the approach taken by singer-songwriter Joy Villa, who many people hadn’t heard of until she debuted a “Make America Great Again” gown on the red carpet.

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On a cold and windy Saturday night last month, a long line of people huddled in coats stood outside of ABV Gallery in Atlanta. The line  wrapped around the side of the building. The gallery, located off of Auburn Avenue, was debuting its eponymous winter exhibition- ‘A Better View.’ Crowds swarmed in to admire and discuss the paintings of more than 50 artists from cities and countries around the world, from Portland, Oregon and Venice, California to Portugal and Australia.

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There is an unfathomable power emitted by art that uses urban landscapes as its canvas. It is not exclusive to those of a certain social class or within art circles; it is accessible to all. It does not rely on an unchanging gallery space to be seen or understood; it adapts to the fluidity and movement of its dynamic surroundings.

In the last few months, grime and R&B songstress Ray BLK has been making headlines for her pulsating beats, sweet caramel voice, and most of all, her boldly candid lyrics.  The Nigerian born, UK-raised singer was recently named the winner of the BBC Sound of 2017, a list that is dominated by #BlackGirlMagic this year and a title previously held by artists like Adele and Sam Smith. Unlike her predecessors, Ray BLK is not yet signed to a major label, but that hasn’t stopped her from grinding and releasing music on her own terms.