Frannie Kelley Frannie Kelley is co-host of the Microphone Check podcast.
Frannie Kelley.
Stories By

Frannie Kelley

Frannie Kelley

Frannie Kelley is co-host of the Microphone Check podcast with Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

Prior to hosting Microphone Check, Kelley was an editor at NPR Music. She was responsible for editing, producing and reporting NPR Music's coverage of hip-hop, R&B and the ways the music industry affects the music we hear, on the radio and online. She was also co-editor of NPR's music news blog, The Record.

Kelley worked at NPR from 2007 until 2016. Her projects included a series on hip-hop in 1993 and overseeing a feature on women musicians. She also ran another series on the end of the decade in music and web-produced the Arts Desk's series on vocalists, called 50 Great Voices. Most recently, her piece on Why You Should Listen to Odd Future was selected to be a part of the Best Music Writing 2012 Anthology.

Prior to joining NPR, Kelley worked in book publishing at Grove/Atlantic in a variety of positions from 2004 to 2007. She has a B.A. in Music Criticism from New York University.

Story Archive

Friday

The rapper Drakeo the Ruler titled his latest album after the prison phone service provider GTL, whose lines he used to record it, leaving a trail to follow the money through a controversial industry. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Drakeo's Acclaimed Album Highlights How Much Prisons Profit From Phone Calls

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Monday

RTJ4 seems tailor-made for the present moment, but Run the Jewels has always made music about inequality and corruption in America. "In my mind, things are never not happening," Killer Mike says. Tim Saccenti/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Tim Saccenti/Courtesy of the artist

On 'RTJ4,' Run The Jewels Is A Speaker Box For Society

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Tuesday

Once part of Digable Planets, Ishmael Butler continues to be a hip-hop innovator with Shabazz Palaces. He stays connected to new music through his son Jazz, who records as Lil Tracy. Patrick O'Brien Smith/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Patrick O'Brien Smith/Courtesy of the artist

For Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler, Musical Innovation Is A Family Legacy

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Thursday

Chicago Rapper G Herbo Pivots To Vulnerability — And Scores A Hit

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Monday

Rafiq Bhatia's recreation of standards uses what we've heard before to ask "What haven't we heard yet?" and challenges us to ask "Why not?" John Klukas/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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John Klukas/Courtesy of the artist

On 'Standards Vol. 1,' Rafiq Bhatia Questions The Act Of Reinterpretation

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Thursday

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Vuhlandes/Courtesy of the artist

Griselda Set Out To Be Your Favorite Rapper's Favorite Rappers. It's Paying Off

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Tuesday

Young M.A relies on her fans to support her independent career, but the power dynamic often leaves her in the lurch. Noah Friedman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Noah Friedman/Courtesy of the artist

In The 2010s, Music Fans Asserted Their Power, But The Industry Caught On

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Tuesday

RO.LEXX/Courtesy of the artist

Khalid Is The Shooting Star Of The Playlist Era

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Thursday

For his latest work as WILLS, songwriter and producer Will Johnson is turning to arts foundations for funding. Dena Winter/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Dena Winter/Courtesy of the artist

Can Musicians Avoid Commercial Pressure And Still Make A Living? WILLS Is Trying

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Saturday

Ugly God's debut album, The Booty Tape, dropped August 4. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Takes One To Know One: Rapper Ugly God Speaks To (And For) Teens

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Thursday

The new documentary Can't Stop Won't Stop tells the story of Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records around a 2016 concert that reunited some of the label's stars. Carlos Araujo/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Carlos Araujo/Courtesy of the artist

'Can't Stop, Won't Stop': Bad Boy Records Was A Generation's Soundtrack

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Wednesday

"I was in the federal prison system, and people in there stay tuned to NPR," Gucci Mane says. "I know that they're going to hear this." Jonathan Mannion/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jonathan Mannion/Courtesy of the artist

Gucci Mane Is Happy, Healthy — And Productive As Ever

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Monday

Monday

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GL Askew II for NPR

Doc McKinney With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Thursday

Friday

Warren G during Celebrity Blackjack in 2010. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc hide caption

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Warren G With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Wednesday

YG in Los Angeles a couple days after his second album, Still Brazy, was released. GL Askew II for NPR hide caption

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GL Askew II for NPR

YG With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley, Again

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Friday

Arya Shine, proud daughter of hip-hop and the man who runs all the @NPRHipHop socials, the one and only Cedric Shine. Courtesy of Cedric Shine hide caption

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Courtesy of Cedric Shine

Rap Dads, Daughters And Sons: The Father's Day Episode

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Monday

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Sophia Chang With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Tuesday

Gizzle at her home in Los Angeles in April. Graham Walzer for NPR hide caption

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Graham Walzer for NPR

Gizzle With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Wednesday

OG Maco. Courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity hide caption

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Courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity

OG Maco With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Friday

Terrace Martin in Los Angeles in March. GL Askew II for NPR hide caption

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Terrace Martin With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Friday

Dean Blunt, left, with the other two members of Babyfather, Escrow and Gassman, who have just released BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow. Richard Blackwood/Courtesy of Backspin Promotions hide caption

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Richard Blackwood/Courtesy of Backspin Promotions

Dean Blunt With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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Thursday