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Hip-Hop archive

Jaden Smith in a still from "The Coolest."

Watch This Is My Jam: Jaden Smith's 'The Coolest'

October 5, 2012 – Why we like what we like is a mystery. Kwasi Ansu says the Fresh Prince 2.0 surprised him.

Read Welcome To Jay-Z's Brooklyn

October 3, 2012 – Last Friday the first performance in a new arena signaled a change in both Brooklyn and hip-hop.

Brother Ali's fifth studio album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, came out last week.

Watch Brother Ali: A Voice For The Suffering

September 26, 2012 – The veteran rapper takes on thorny issues throughout Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color.


Frank Ocean performs at Angel Orensanz Church. The special show was announced that day and a few hundred lucky fans were able to RSVP for free tickets.

Read Frank Ocean And Bon Iver Surprise Lucky NYC Fans

September 25, 2012 – See photos from a surprise show featuring two of today's most recognizable voices.


Read First Listen: Miguel, 'Kaleidoscope Dream'

September 23, 2012 – The singer gleefully smashes together R&B, pop and rock to make love songs about the early days.

The Purple Tape: Raekwon's 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... was originally released on a limited-edition purple cassette that became a collector's item.

Read The Purple Tape: Only Built 4 Collectors

September 20, 2012 – How the cassette of Raekwon's classic album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... became a hip-hop classic.

Evan Bourgeois Lasry

Read Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

September 18, 2012 – Download five new songs heating up NPR station playlists in Chicago, Detroit, Juneau and beyond.

Carly Rae Jepsen and the cover of Kanye West's latest album, Cruel Summer.

Watch Two Attempts To Turn Summer Platinum Into Fall Gold

September 18, 2012 – Carly Rae Jepsen and Kanye West release albums that double down on their summer success.


Chris Lighty with party guests in 2004.

Read Remembering Chris Lighty, Hip-Hop Leader And My Friend

August 31, 2012 – As a teenager he carried records. As a professional, he carried water for an industry and a culture.


Detroit rapper Danny Brown.

Listen Live Microphone Check: Hip-Hop From NPR Music

August 29, 2012 – We aim to bring you the full breadth of rap music, from old school classics to new school favorites.


Read THEESatisfaction On World Cafe WXPN

August 29, 2012 – The Seattle hip-hop duo's debut album is soulful in a spoken-word tradition, with West Coast flavor. WXPN


Talib Kweli and Mos Def of Black Star.

Watch My American Dream Sounds Like Black Star

August 22, 2012 – For Teju Cole, "Respiration," a song about New York City, is the best words in the best order.

Plan B.

Watch Plan B's 'Ill Manors' Falls On Fertile Ground In Britain

August 9, 2012 – The song, a bitterly articulate howl of scornful rage, is a national sensation across the pond.

The Fat Boys in 1990. Left to right: Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley, Darren "Buff Love" Robinson and Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales.

Watch Fat Boys: A Hip-Hop Novelty Act Strikes Back

July 31, 2012 – A reissue of the New York trio's debut makes a case for the group as more than just a gimmick.


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