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 »
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.
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.
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.
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."