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Open Arms is a song by American singer-songwriter SZA (pictured) from her second studio album, SOS (2022), featuring American rapper Travis Scott.

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SZA, singer
SZA, singer

It is one of the album's guitar-backed acoustic ballads, exploring a style of music that departs from SZA's usual R&B-leaning sound. Her deceased grandmother, whose vocals were in the album preceding SOS, appears in the song as a way of paying tribute. With lyrics about trying to stay with an ex-lover, "Open Arms" is addressed to a subject whom the narrator eventually leaves to fix her self-esteem despite persistent feelings of attachment to him. Upon release, it charted in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and it peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Global 200. The song is SZA's fourth collaboration with Scott, whose uncharacteristically gentle delivery on his verse was received positively by critics. A solo version was released in January 2023 as a track on the website-exclusive digital edition of SOS. (Full article...)

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Sergey Stepnyak-Kravchinsky

Sergey Stepnyak-Kravchinsky (1851–1895) was a Ukrainian revolutionary mainly known for assassinating General Nikolai Mezentsov, the chief of Russia's Special Corps of Gendarmes and the head of the country's secret police, with a dagger in the streets of Saint Petersburg in 1878. After the killing, he exposed himself to danger by remaining in Russia, and he left the country in the fall of 1878. He settled for a short time in Switzerland, then a favourite resort of revolutionary leaders, and after a few years came to London. He was already known in England for Underground Russia, which had been published in London in 1882. The book was followed by a number of other works on the condition of the Russian peasantry, on nihilism, and on the conditions of life in Russia. Russian anarchist leader Peter Kropotkin, who knew Stepnyak personally, testified to his character: "He was a stranger to the feeling of fear; it was as foreign to him as colors are to a person born blind. He was ready to risk his life every moment. Egotism as well as narrow partisanship was unknown to him; he believed that in a movement to defeat oppression there are always parties and factions with differences of opinion. ... He also could not understand why there should be strife among the various parties, since all are involved in the struggle against a common enemy." This photograph of Stepnyak was taken in the 1880s.

Photograph credit: Elliott & Fry; restored by Adam Cuerden

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