Sidney Madden Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music.
Sidney Madden
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Sidney Madden

Joshua Kissi/NPR
Sidney Madden
Joshua Kissi/NPR

Sidney Madden

Reporter, NPR Music

Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.

Originally from Boston, Madden graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a bachelor's degree in journalism and sociology. As a freelancer, she earned bylines at MTV, People's Choice, Nylon Magazine and more before joining the editorial team at storied hip-hop pillar XXL Magazine.

During her time at XXL, both as an editorial assistant and assistant editor, Madden pitched, wrote and edited news posts and features for the outlet and interviewed artists ranging from all eras and facets of rap — from Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent to Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert. In addition to working on cultural touchstones like the magazine's annual Freshman Class covers, in 2016, Madden assisted in reporting out one of the magazine's seminal investigative packages, The Current Status of Every Murdered Rapper's Case, which revealed the high percentage of unsolved murders involving rappers over the last 30 years.

Madden joined the NPR Music team in 2017, serving as editorial lead for digitizing and editing music stories that air on NPR's premiere news magazine programs, Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. In 2018, she began producing Tiny Desk Concerts with a special focus on bringing burgeoning, left-of-center artists from the worlds of R&B and hip-hop to the desk. To date, her Tiny Desk Concert productions include Jorja Smith, Megan Thee Stallion, DVSN and Snoh Aalegra. She's also created reports for on-air and digital that contextualize hip-hop culture within society's larger strata — whether it's unpacking the genius marketing of Cardi B, Tyler, The Creator's subversive heartbreak or the socioeconomics that fuel Solange's downhome Afrofuturism.

In September 2020, after two years of research, reporting and development, Madden became the co-host of Louder Than A Riot, NPR Music's first narrative investigative podcast that traces the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration.

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Story Archive

McKinley "Mac" Phipps at Lousiana's Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in 2011. Courtesy of the Phipps family hide caption

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Courtesy of the Phipps family

Rapper Mac Phipps, After 20 Years In Prison, Is One Step Closer To Freedom

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Bobby Shmurda at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Oct. 30, 2014. Taylor Hill/Getty Images hide caption

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Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Bobby Shmurda Is Coming Home. What Happens Next?

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Zendaya and John David Washington star in Netflix's Malcolm & Marie. Courtesy of Netflix hide caption

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Courtesy of Netflix

Clockwise from upper left: Cassandra Jenkins, FKA twigs, Jazmine Sullivan, Ian Sweet, William Parker. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

The Best Music Of January: NPR Staff Picks

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In Podcast Finale, 'Louder Than A Riot' Looks At Prison Reform

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Rapper Noname and activist and organizer Mariame Kaba joined Louder Than A Riot to discuss hip-hop's role in a prison-free future. Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images and Giancarlo Valentine hide caption

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Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images and Giancarlo Valentine

DJ Drama. Dale Edwin Murray for NPR hide caption

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Dale Edwin Murray for NPR

The Mixtape Drama

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Nipsey Hussle is part of a mural painted by Moses Ball featuring other local notable people on the wall of a bank in the rapper's Hyde Park neighborhood. In the wake of Hussle's March 2019 death, many murals of the beloved Los Angeles musician were painted in the Hyde Park neighborhood near his Marathon Clothing store. Tara Pixley for NPR hide caption

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Tara Pixley for NPR

The Top 5 Songs Of 2020

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Killer Mike. Dale Edwin Murray for NPR hide caption

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Dale Edwin Murray for NPR

Alt.Latino Introduces You To Louder Than A Riot

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Bobby Shmurda at BET's year-end special 106 & Party on Dec. 12, 2014 in New York City. Just days later, the rapper and his entourage would be arrested in an NYPD raid. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET hide caption

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Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Killer Mike Dale Edwin Murray for NPR hide caption

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Dale Edwin Murray for NPR