The Rest is Still Unwritten: A Brief Overview of Pop Culture – Nick Cave, Saltburn & Kendrick Lamar

Hi again,

I’m going to talk about a handful of things that I’ve been thinking about lately. None of them really apply to being their own full post, but they all need to be aired out. It’s really all recent happenings in pop culture that’s caught my attention. I recently got the chance to see the majestic Nick Cave in concert, so there’s a section about that. I’ve also been thinking about how I used to like movies, and now I rarely watch them. Of course, I top this post off by talking about the recent Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef. Taylor Swift also makes an appearance, naturally.

Take it or leave it, but know that it helps me sincerely to empty my mind in a WordPress draft before I crack into other things. And I highly recommend developing some sort of tangible note-taking system that has nothing to do with your work tasks. Everyone talks about journaling as if it’s meant to bring you some incredible sense of spiritual alignment and self harmony. Maybe you’re really into that sort of thing, I don’t know. But for me, it’s way more fun and useful to me not to take it so seriously. I’m aware that celebrity drama and pop culture gossip aren’t the most important thing going on in the world right now – but there’s nothing wrong with being entertained. Try doing something silly and pointless today! It’s great!

Anyhow, on with the show!

The Height of Pop Culture, Nick Cave (not really)

I’ve been meaning to brain dump all the information that I’ve hoarded in my mind about Nick Cave for years. I still might. It’s just a gigantic idea to organise and execute, there’s too much to say. I learned an incredible amount about this guy and his career when I was in highschool. I watched About Time in 2013 – the criminally underrated movie starring the gorgeous Rachel McAdams. It features a really lovely scene where Cave’s ‘Into My Arms’ plays. When you’re 12, you have all the time in the world to Google musicians. I did some music assignments on that song, I brought him up in English essays – heck, I’ve brought him up in religion classes. He’s a really interesting and revered guy, aside from his music. His music is majoritively sort of weird and sad and funny. But it’s brilliant, it’s all very cool.

Here are some unhinged Nick Cave lyrics, as a treat:

Slider: Nick Cave Lyrics

My partner (yaahaw!) got Nick Cave tickets for me as a Christmas present. This particular tour is an acoustic, really simple show – just Mr Cave, a piano, and… the bassist from Radiohead. This was a very exciting prospect for me personally. Mostly because Radiohead is another group of musicians that make really weird music and have a bunch of lore associated with them. Also, State Theatre is the most beautiful building I’ve ever been to. And Nick Cave is not nearly as scary as his murder ballads make out. He’s old and cute. One day I’ll do a write-up, a la my Ethel Cain post. Not today!

Thoughts about Saltburn & Poor Things

I rarely commit to watching a movie in the year of our good lord 2024. I make an acceptance for movies that particularly interest me – such as Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, or the newest Hunger Games movie. These are based on things I watched in my youth, so there’s little risk of me not liking them. I also make an acceptance for whatever movie everyone is talking about at that time.

The last two from the latter category made me nauseous. Saltburn and Poor Things. I could have happily gone on with my life without having seen them, but I like to know what everyone’s on about. After seeing them both, I still don’t understand what everyone was on about. I can’t deny the artistic integrity of each, but I am not pleased with the never-ending tension in movie plot lines lately. I don’t want to be nervous and confused the entire way through a movie, to no real conclusion. I would watch horror movies if I did.

I understand that there’s definitely a certain craft in making a movie that viscerally affects its audience. The scene in Saltburn after Felix dies (sorry, spoilers), and everyone is sitting around the table at dinner – that was an incredible scene for that reason. But overall, I think everybody is too desensitised to being uncomfortable as a form of entertainment. I don’t think that good cinema needs to make you sick to your stomach. I think you can have mild feelings about entertainment media – in fact I think that is what I want to feel whilst watching a movie or tv show, mostly. I love sitcoms for this reason. I love a movie where nothing really happens, and it’s just pretty. Nature documentaries work wonders in this way. Bring back silly shows about nothing in particular.

Assorted Celebrity Gossip: Rap Beef & The Tortured Poets

You’d have to live under a rock not to know about this – but I’ll go over it, nonetheless. Kendrick Lamar and Drake are fighting. It has taken up a great portion of my time this past week – alongside Taylor Swift and Matty Healy beef. The two are shockingly similar. Kendrick Lamar is the Matty Healy of his feud, I fear. In how he is the less commercially successful of the two, but has generally taken the moral high ground. 

I’m not really on board with hating on Matty Healy. I definitely don’t have all the context of someone who’s followed The 1975 since 2014. But he’s said nothing that’s particularly shocked me. He seems to engage genuinely with conversations around the political landscape around him and gets a bad rap for being problematic. But he’s not problematic, he just avoids picking a side on things. To be fair, so does Taylor Swift, but she does so by never speaking about anything political at all.

Anyway, back to Drake and Kendrick Lamar – basically Kendrick Lamar didn’t like being referred to as one of ‘the big three’ – amongst Drake and J Cole. Future, Kendick and Metro Boomin put out ‘Like That’, saying (paraphrased) “there’s no big three, it’s just big me”. Drake responds with ‘Push Ups’ which basically disses Kendrick by saying that he is a little guy. To be fair, Kendrick Lamar is shorter than I am. It’s kind of funny, kind of not. They go back and forth, releasing diss tracks, calling each other names, implying that the other is abusive or predatory, seemingly threatening each other. Drake had included an AI-generated Tupac verse in a song, but it was deleted because Tupac’s estate is suing. Kendrick Lamar used a Google Maps image of Drake’s mansion as the cover image for his track ‘Not Like Us’. It’s very fast-moving and interesting and overall, futile. 

All this said, of course Taylor Swift comes into it:

Slider: Drake Lyrics about Taylor Swift

The best part of it all is Metro Boomin’s response to Drake telling him to shut up and make some beats. He does not respond to this with his own diss rap. Instead, he puts out possibly the catchiest beat I’ve ever heard. Enter ‘BBL Drizzy’. He posts it on Twitter and says the beat is free to whoever can make the best rap on it. I have heard no rap verses, I’ve just had BBL Drizzy stuck in my head all week.

Youtube: BBL Drizzy by Metro Boomin


That’s pretty much all from me. Consider it a useless pop culture information dump. Between Nick Cave, Saltburn, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and the ever-present Taylor Swift, I think I’ve covered all bases. And by covered, I mean summarised. I wish I had more to say about The Met Gala, but I’m afraid it’s flown under my radar this year, for the most part. I hope you enjoyed this; I did!