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Hip-Hop From NPR

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Conversations

Logic: 'Do Something For Yourself'

"I'm telling the fans what I'm trying to tell myself because nobody was telling me at the time," says the rapper, who hails from Maryland.

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Mac Miller in Los Angeles in September. Note the Beats, Rhymes And Life tattoo on his right wrist. G L Askew II for NPR hide caption

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Masta Ace in New York in July. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Large Professor earlier this year. Sun Bronx/Courtesy of Distrolord hide caption

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Large Professor at an event in New York City in April, 2013. Cindy Ord/Getty Images hide caption

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Conversations

Large Professor, Part 1: 'We're Living In The World of Hip-Hop'

One of the foremost architects of New York rap has been decorating this planet since the late '80s.

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Vince Staples onstage in Sacramento in May. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images hide caption

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Ali Shaheed Muhammad onstage during Microphone Check's live interview with Father in Atlanta in May. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Part 2: 'We Still Have The Forgotten People'

The musician and NPR host on his motives, his rituals, Lucy Pearl and his one regret.

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Father onstage at Terminal West in Atlanta May 18. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Microphone Check Live: Father

We spoke to the rapper, producer and head of Awful Records, while we were in Atlanta in May. Our onstage conversation was brief but covered a lot of ground fast.

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Microphone Check onstage with Organized Noize in Atlanta. From left to right: Frannie Kelley, Ray Murray, Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Amanda Greene for NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Microphone Check Live: Organized Noize

We went to Atlanta to talk to the three-man production team behind some of the greatest songs ever: Ray Murray, Rico Wade and Sleepy Brown.

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Ali Shaheed Muhammad at NPR's New York City studio in March. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Iamsu in NPR's New York studio in March. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Iamsu: 'I Heard That Beat Totally Different'

When we sat down with Iamsu, the Bay Area rapper had just as many questions for Ali Shaheed Muhammad as we had for him.

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Amber London during her interview with Microphone Check during SXSW in March 2015. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

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Video still from a Microphone Check interview featuring OverDoz. Shot during SXSW Music Festival in March 2015. NPR Music Video hide caption

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Conversations

OverDoz: 'It Just Showed Us How Much Power We Had'

A lighthearted chat with the four-man crew at SXSW 2015 turns into a deep conversation about social responsibility and self-determination for black artists.

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Hank Shocklee, of Public Enemy's production team The Bomb Squad, in Austin, Texas for an interview with Microphone Check. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Hank Shocklee: 'We Had Something to Prove'

Public Enemy producer Hank Shocklee talks about hip-hop's often overlooked influence on technology and the current state of the genre with Microphone Check.

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Heems at SiriusXM New York City Studios in March. Robin Marchant/Getty Images hide caption

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Malcolm Spellman after an interview with Microphone Check in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2015. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Jean Grae in Brooklyn. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Earl Sweatshirt in Austin, Texas, during SXSW March 21, 2015. Mito Habe-Evans /NPR hide caption

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Conversations

Earl Sweatshirt: 'I'm Grown'

"This is the first thing that I've said that I fully stand behind," the 21-year-old rapper says of his new album. "I've never been this transparent with myself or with music."

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ASAP Ferg in New York City in February. Polina Yamshchikov for NPR hide caption

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Conversations

ASAP Ferg: 'I Want This Moment To Last Forever'

The pillar of New York's ASAP Mob speaks about his aesthetic choices, the way he imagines our far off future and what he's learned from Missy Elliott.

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Leila Steinberg at a benefit for A.I.M., the organization she founded that produces workshops meant to foster emotional literacy, in 2008. Brian To/FilmMagic/Getty Images hide caption

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Big Sean at NPR's Los Angeles bureau. Emily Berl for NPR hide caption

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