Microphone Check

Microphone Check

From NPR

Microphone Check is a voice for hip-hop at NPR. We cover the music and the culture with knowledge, heart and experience. Conversations are hosted by Ali Shaheed Muhammad, DJ, producer and one-third of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest, and NPR Music editor Frannie Kelley.More from Microphone Check »

Most Recent Episodes

Big Sean: 'I Stuck With My Gut'

"I made a promise to myself," says the Detroit rapper. "I would never ever not follow my heart again. That way if I rise or fall, sink or swim, it's by my own choice and my own decisions."

Listen1:17:33

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Microphone Check Live: 'The Spook Who Sat By The Door' Screening

In honor of Black History Month we went down to NPR's Washington, D.C., headquarters to show Sam Greenlee's 1973 film and host a conversation about its resonance.

Listen59:45

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Terrace Martin: 'Everything Got A Little Bit Of Funk In It'

The producer and multi-instrumentalist on the Kendrick Lamar album he's working on, Snoop and love.

Listen46:18

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DJ Quik: 'Flamboyant? Every Now And Then'

After 24 years in the music business, the producer and rapper from Compton, Calif., knows what's going on. He told Microphone Check studio secrets, a Rick James story, and all about the funk.

Listen1:35:18

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AraabMuzik: 'I Have So Much Music, It Doesn't Make Sense'

The Rhode Island-born producer and DJ tells the story of the father/son talk he once had with Cam'ron, delineates EDM and hip-hop and calls out the whole music industry for being flaky.

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Black Milk: 'It's Not Really A Cakewalk'

The Detroit rapper and producer on trying to impress J Dilla, transforming his music for live shows and always improving. "Each song, I want it to have a purpose," he says.

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J. Cole: 'It Ain't Enough Of Us Trying'

"I want to get whatever's on my chest off my chest when it feels right," says the rapper, who makes songs that turn the personal into the political.

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Rick Ross: 'It Was Just So Powerful To Me'

"What really blowed my mind was the way it unified a room full of people," says the Miami rapper, about his earliest memories of hip-hop. "That's what we all have in common."

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Run The Jewels: 'I'm Taking This Life'

"Me and Mike have managed to find a decent way to express something symbolically that kids need to be able to say simply," says El-P. "I'm taking it over."

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Dante Ross: 'We Wanted Our Own Universe'

He who signed De La Soul, Queen Latifah and Digital Underground sat down with his old friend Ali Shaheed Muhammad to tell stories about Tribe, ODB, Cypress Hill and everybody in between.

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