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Hip-Hop archive


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.


Wale performs during the 2012 BET Awards in Los Angeles.

Watch Wale: From Free Mixtapes To Billboard Hits

July 31, 2012 – Music journalist Danyel Smith says she plays Wale's chart-topping "Lotus Flower Bomb" every day.


Meek Mill.

Watch What Five New Rap Videos Say About Their Stars

July 26, 2012 – You can tell a lot about a where a rapper is at in his or her career from a promotional video.

Read Frank Ocean's 'Orange' Revolution

July 26, 2012 – Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the rising star's first major-label album, Channel Orange.


Nas, who at 38 has just released his 10th album, Life Is Good.

Watch Nas On Marvin Gaye's Marriage, Parenting And Rap Genius

July 22, 2012 – The veteran rapper also spoke to Guy Raz about his divorce, writing and searching for inner peace.


Calle 13 was formed by stepbrothers Eduardo Jose Cabra Marti­nez, who calls himself Visitante, and Rene Perez Joglar, who calls himself Residente.

Listen Calle 13 In Concert

July 17, 2012 – The Puerto Rican rap duo doesn't disappoint in this explosive live set from Celebrate Brooklyn.


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