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Prodigy. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Microphone Check

Prodigy On Mobb Deep's Early Days And Protecting His Success

After more than 20 years as a performer, the New York veteran says he's enjoying the unglamorous work of building a record label.

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Mike Dean (center) backstage during the European leg of the Watch The Throne tour last year. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Microphone Check

Mike Dean On Working With Selena, Scarface And Kanye

The producer and engineer helped create the Dirty South sound in the early '90s, and now, he says, "Me and Kanye are like a band."

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J. Cole performing at KMEL Summer Jam in Oakland, Calif., on June 9. Steve Jennings/Getty Images hide caption

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Microphone Check

J. Cole On Competition And Writing Honest Songs

The rapper and producer says he's not afraid to make songs about being shy or unsure of himself.

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Microphone Check

Statik Selektah On Boom Bap And His Mom's Favorite Rapper

The DJ and producer spoke to Microphone Check about his fifth album and giving his childhood to hip-hop.

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The-Dream performing in New York City in May. Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images hide caption

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Statik Selektah's fifth studio album, Extended Play, comes out June 18. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Kanye West performing "Black Skinhead" on Saturday Night Live last weekend. Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank hide caption

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The Record

Kanye West Stands Alone

On his new songs, the rapper points fingers in every direction, including back at himself.

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Adrian Younge (left) and Ghostface onstage at the Seattle stop of their tour last week. Erich Donaldson hide caption

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The Record

The Ghostface Killah Rises Again

A high-concept collaborative album by a veteran rapper and a film composer knits together hip-hop and soul music.

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The Wu-Tang Clan. Clockwise from left: Ol' Dirty Bastard, the GZA, the RZA, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Center, from left, Method Man and U-God. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Record

The Wu-Tang Clan's 20-Year Plan

The group's 1993 debut was the opening shot of an audacious plan to open the music industry to hip-hop made way outside the mainstream.

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Ghostface Killah with Adrian Younge and his band, Venice Dawn, after their first performance together. Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge's new album, Twelve Reasons To Die, comes out April 16. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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