Goodie Mob is, from left to right, Khujo, T-Mo, Cee-Lo and Big Gipp. Courtesy of The Chamber Group hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Chamber Group

The White Mandingos are, from left, Sacha Jenkins, Murs and Darryl Jenifer. Courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity

Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner B+/Courtesy of Motormouth Media hide caption

itoggle caption B+/Courtesy of Motormouth Media

Prodigy. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

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

itoggle caption Steve Jennings/Getty Images

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.

Listen Loading…
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/194594097/194008801" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

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

itoggle caption Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

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

itoggle caption Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The Record

Kanye West Stands Alone

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

Listen Loading… 17:41
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/185781341/186454430" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">