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Hip-Hop archive

Nina Simone, 1969.

Watch My American Dream Sounds Like Nina Simone

July 2, 2012 – Salamishah Tillet explains why Simone's pursuit of a life without fear is still a lesson for us all.

The cover for Bobby Womack's album The Bravest Man In The Universe.

Watch The Making Of Bobby Womack's 'Bravest Man'

July 1, 2012 – The story behind an album that marries the singer's past with contemporary sounds.

Reggie Watts gives a Tiny Desk Concert on May 21, 2012 at NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Watch Reggie Watts: Tiny Desk Concert

June 25, 2012 – The comedian and musician performs spontaneous improvisations full of killer grooves and humor.


Glen David Andrews, the New Orleans trombonist and singer and regular on HBO's Treme, surfs the crowd at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Read In New Orleans, A Buffet Of Great Music

June 22, 2012 – Critic Ann Powers on the highlights of her two-and-a-half week musical binge around the Big Easy.

Killer Mike's new album, his sixth, is called R.A.P. Music.

Read Killer Mike: On Ronald Reagan And Raising Daughters

June 19, 2012 – The Atlanta rapper has a new album, R.A.P. Music, and kicks off his U.S. tour Tuesday.


Ice-T (left) with Chuck D in a still from his documentary From Something to Nothing: The Art of Rap.

Read Ice-T Gives A Hip-Hop History Lesson In 'The Art Of Rap'

June 14, 2012 – The rapper and actor says he's paying a debt with his film about hip-hop: "Rap music saved my life."


On Looking 4 Myself, Usher's seventh studio album, the singer works with producers to cloak classic R&B in cutting-edge sounds.

Watch Usher's Classic R&B Dances On The Cutting Edge

June 10, 2012 – The singer's new album, Looking 4 Myself, is soulful, dramatic, heartfelt and deeply danceable.

MC Ride of Death Grips.

Listen Death Grips: 'Footage' Of The Hip-Hop Apocalypse

June 6, 2012 – "I've Seen Footage" catalogs the paranoia and police brutality that drove Death Grips to insanity.


Read First Listen: Bobby Womack, 'The Bravest Man In The Universe'

June 3, 2012 – Womack's new album is an assertion of brains and power, full of blood, sweat and salty vinegar.

Black Hippy are (from left) Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul.

Watch A New Hip-Hop Recipe With A Familiar Sound

May 30, 2012 – Solo rappers might be the norm, but one Los Angeles management company is hitting with a group.


Big K.R.I.T.

Read First Listen: Big K.R.I.T., 'Live From The Underground'

May 27, 2012 – Live From the Underground is a personal album by a rapper who's prepared, focused, well-versed.

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.

Read Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

May 26, 2012 – Once the poet laureate of his Alberta hometown, Rollie Pemberton is three albums into a rap career.


Big K.R.I.T.

Read Big K.R.I.T.: Big Heart, Thick Drawl

May 25, 2012 – Female-soul backup and defiant pride are also part of the Mississippi rapper's appeal.


Brand Nubian.

Watch Brand Nubian: For The Love Of 'Momma'

May 11, 2012 – "Momma" feels homey and handmade, which is the kind of gift moms always say they want, right?


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