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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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