The writer's workspace -- baby toys, baby clothes, keyboards and jams.
Courtesy of Al Shipley
January 13, 2011 The Baltimore writer says staying focused on a scene and a few styles has made him happier.
January 5, 2011 Gyptian, who'd already conquered radio from Kingston to French Guyana and London with his song "Hold You," won hearts at NPR Music's Washington, D.C., office within moments of walking in the door.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/132442770/132659774" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
In "NatGeo," the inventive Alabama hip-hop duo G-Side works with a Norwegian and rhymes over Enya samples.
Renalda "R-Dot" Douglas/Courtesy of the artist
December 29, 2010 In "NatGeo," the inventive Alabama hip-hop duo works with a Norwegian, employs waves of New Agey chords and fantasizes about making real-life money — enough to buy a nice imported car, not a Murcielago.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/132437550/132410222" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
For Your Sorrows: Big Boi's label balked at releasing his album, so he leaked tracks via his own Twitter feed.
Don Arnold/Getty Images
December 29, 2010 Hearing a song before its release used to be thrilling. This year it was all part of the plan.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/132411120/132430722" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
December 9, 2010 For decades, there was a gold standard for identifying hits, but now the calculus has changed.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/131937319/131934241" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Our other idea for a tribute to the Technics was to bake a cake -- but someone beat us to the punch.
November 18, 2010 A tribute to the Technic 1200s — a few of our favorite rap lyrics that name check the turntables.
November 9, 2010 We found 16 Michaels and images from Moonwalk to Captain EO. We need your help to source the rest.
Big Daddy Kane -- Anderson's favorite in print -- in New York City in 1988.
Catherine McGann/Getty Images
November 4, 2010 A book critic reviewed 788 pages of rap lyrics. We wondered what he'd think once he heard the songs.
November 3, 2010 'Speak Now' has sold 1,047,000 copies, giving it the biggest first week in 2 1/2 years.
Soulja Boy at the BET Hip Hop Awards in October.
Taylor Hill/Getty Images
November 2, 2010 The youngest person to ever hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 spills his secrets to success.
October 22, 2010 Staffers who helped revive the storied ESP-Disc' label have departed to start Northern-Spy Records.
October 21, 2010 Two videos released this week add up to one surprisingly kind, helpful moment on the internet.
Shanti Das on the cover of her book, The Hip-Hop Professional.
October 8, 2010 Shanti Das has worked in the rap business for 20 years, and now she's written a book of advice.
Brian Courtney Wilson has reissued Just Love, his debut album.
October 5, 2010 On the Houston-based singer's new song he needs help; then he asks for it, and he gets it. And after he's got some help, he gets a little playful -- drops a trill, brings in more dynamics. "I've wasted so much time," he says 45 seconds in -- and by minute four he's decided to stop doing that.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/130349434/130349526" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
September 28, 2010 The "Boom" ads use the rapper with the flamboyant personality to sell victory — and shoes.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor