Every generation has a singular place and time when the stars align and the world is gifted with a true musical genius. Granted, genius is a term often used too loosely, but for fans of a certain Kendrick Lamar, there is little debate. In hip-hop, as with all musical genres, there are standards and standard bearers. Lamar has met every mark—authenticity, flow, originality, substance, musicality, flavor. With his latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly (an instant classic, whether you’re 14 or 44), he is simply changing the game. His affection and affinity for the people—our people—is why we chose him as the first emcee of his era to grace the cover of EBONY. Check out even more on the Grammy-winning rapper at ebony.com/kendricklamarexclusive.

Continuing our annual celebration of Black Music Month, we are delighted to showcase powerful emerging artists you need to have on your playlist right now, including Janelle Monáe’s formidable and diverse Wondaland collective. And to take things a step further, get your taste buds tuned up with cocktail recipes inspired  by hits from Billie Holiday, Bob Marley and Mos Def.

Don’t forget to take time out to honor the most important men in your life this Father’s Day. Go beyond that boring tie and standard steak dinner and dive deep into our gift guide, which recommends items and experiences based on how much your dad reminds you of some of our favorite TV fathers, including yesterday’s loveable but curmudgeonly Fred Sanford and today’s sympathetic but cool Paul  Patterson Sr. (from Being Mary Jane).

Speaking of family, we recognize that many of ours have been beleaguered with health issues for too long. Don’t miss our in-depth look at the barriers to Black American participation in clinical trials  as well as advice on how the entire family can get more from the great outdoors.

Plus, with graduation season in full swing, young people need practical tips  on the secrets to wealth building and  saving, particularly while in college.  Students and their parents alike will  benefit from the financial lessons in “Study Hall,” on page 77.

There’s so much good stuff in the issue this month, and we hope you enjoy every page. Let us know what you think. Send  a note to [email protected], or hit us  up on Twitter @ebonymag. Welcome to summer, y’all. Keep it hot.

—The Editors