Kanye West, pictured at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California. His long-awaited album, DONDA is on NPR Music's shortlist of the best releases out on July 23.
Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Lil Baby performs during a Juneteenth voter registration rally on June 19, 2020 at Murphy Park Fairgrounds in Atlanta, Ga. One week earlier, he released "The Bigger Picture," a song protesting police brutality.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Top row, left to right: Cover art for Wilco, Kamasi Washington and Grimes; Middle row, left to right: Sufjan Stevens, Chvrches and Kendrick Lamar; Bottom row, left to right: Father John Misty, Joanna Newsom, Courtney Barnett
Courtesy of the artists