Large Professor earlier this year. Sun Bronx/Courtesy of Distrolord hide caption

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Sean Price onstage in New York City in September of 2014. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Large Professor at an event in New York City in April, 2013. Cindy Ord/Getty Images hide caption

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Vince Staples onstage in Sacramento in May. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images hide caption

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Ali Shaheed Muhammad onstage during Microphone Check's live interview with Father in Atlanta in May. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Father onstage at Terminal West in Atlanta May 18. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Microphone Check onstage with Organized Noize in Atlanta. From left to right: Frannie Kelley, Ray Murray, Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Ali Shaheed Muhammad at NPR's New York City studio in March. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Julian Petty. Courtesy of Nixon Peabody hide caption

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Iamsu in NPR's New York studio in March. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Amber London during her interview with Microphone Check during SXSW in March 2015. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

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Video still from a Microphone Check interview featuring OverDoz. Shot during SXSW Music Festival in March 2015. NPR Music Video hide caption

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Hank Shocklee, of Public Enemy's production team The Bomb Squad, in Austin, Texas for an interview with Microphone Check. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Heems at SiriusXM New York City Studios in March. Robin Marchant/Getty Images hide caption

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Malcolm Spellman after an interview with Microphone Check in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2015. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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