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How Prosecutors Railroad Rappers, Making $100K Per Story and More #Mustreads

Plus, Alex from Target and the Airstream factory.

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Good morning!

The Internet is a lake of fire, and Re/code is a trusty rowboat looking to ferry you across. For your consideration:

  1. In a number of high-profile cases, prosecutors are using defendants’ own art as evidence of their “murderous intent.” Of course, these defendants are uniformly black men, and the art in question is rap lyrics. In Vice’s music blog Noisey, writer Brendan O’Connor details the evolution of this awful trend and gets some excellent quotes about it from the rapper Killer Mike.
  2. Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has released some details about the new journalism startup she’s working on with Steve Brill. The unnamed venture plans to publish one long-form story a month, with author advances averaging at around $100,000 per. Head to Poynter for details.
  3. A random teenage kid who works at Target became a celebrity on Teen Twitter in a matter of hours. He was bagging groceries. It appears he doesn’t shave. The muscle definition of his upper arms could use some work. His name is Alex. And he already has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. Gawker’s Dayna Evans kindly wrote a post that can bring you up to speed. Also, WTF.
  4. Cord Jefferson, former Gawker writer and all-around Person to Watch on the Internet, has an essay on Medium about his mom. She’s sick. And she is also an uncommonly good person. And Cord loves her very, very much. His piece is instructive and moving, reminding us that consistently being kind and generous is exhausting, and that we should treasure the people in our lives who are.
  5. The New York Times wrote a story about Los Angeles and how Uber makes life there just soooooo much easier. With just 57 words of his own, the Awl’s Matt Buchanan uses the article’s own text to point out how ridiculous the whole thing is. Also, the tags at the bottom are delightful.
  6. Airstream trailers are cool as hell. So are other refurbished campers/trailers. This came out last week (apologies for the delay), but Supercompressor went on a tour and took pictures of the Airstream factory in Ohio. Now you can properly salivate over all the road trips you will likely never take. Sorry.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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