Mr. MFN eXquire in Los Angeles in January. GL Askew II for NPR hide caption

toggle caption GL Askew II for NPR

Microphone Check

Mr. MFN eXquire: 'I Evolved As A Man'

Crown Heights came to North Hollywood so we could talk about crossed signals on the highways between artist and industry.

Listen Loading… 1:05:43
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/465580216/465643999" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Morris Robinson in the Los Angeles Opera's 2009 production of The Magic Flute. Los Angeles Opera hide caption

toggle caption Los Angeles Opera

Kirk Franklin tries to create a "horizontal Jesus" on his new album, Losing My Religion. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Gospel Star Kirk Franklin Wants To Help You Lose Your Religion

The gospel star is known for merging hip-hop and gospel. His new album has a controversial title; he says he hopes it will help make God famous.

Listen Loading… 6:39
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/464562711/465067382" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Vân-Ánh Võ was inspired by the plight of refugees to create a concert piece called The Odyssey: From Vietnam to America." Courtesy of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Saul Williams' new album is MartyrLoserKing. Geordie Wood/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Geordie Wood/Courtesy of the artist

In 1987, Bernie Sanders --€” then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont --€” collaborated on a folk album called We Shall Overcome. Glenn Russell/Courtesy of Todd Lockwood hide caption

toggle caption Glenn Russell/Courtesy of Todd Lockwood

Singer-songwriter Walter Martin. Sebastian Kim/Ile Flottante Music hide caption

toggle caption Sebastian Kim/Ile Flottante Music

Walter Martin Remembers Art History Class With 'Arts + Leisure'

The Walkmen musician has gone solo with his new record. It's a song cycle inspired what Martin calls his "shaky grasp of college art history."

Listen Loading… 5:30
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/464988293/465062474" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

"I was just in love with the energy," Anderson .Paak says of attending a black Baptist church for the first time. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Ben Haggerty, a.k.a. Macklemore, and Jamila Woods collaborated on the song "White Privilege II." Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Shemekia Copeland performs at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Liz Waldie/WXPN hide caption

toggle caption Liz Waldie/WXPN

World Cafe

Shemekia Copeland On World Cafe

XPN

The blues star performs live versions of songs from her latest album, Outskirts Of Love.

Listen Loading… 21:02
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/464739676/464750075" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Billboard named Brittany Howard its Women In Music "Powerhouse" artist in 2015. Eric Ryan Anderson/Contour by Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Eric Ryan Anderson/Contour by Getty Images

Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard On Small-Town Life, Big-Time Music

Fresh Air

Howard was raised on her father's junkyard in the small town of Athens, Ala. "It was a really interesting way to grow up," she tells Fresh Air.

Listen Loading… 44:48
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/464631594/464723740" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor