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

'Louder Than A Riot' Podcast Finds Evidence Rapper Mac Might Be Innocent

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NPR's 'Louder Than A Riot' reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration in the USA. NPR hide caption

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Presenting 'Louder Than A Riot': Lyrics On Trial

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In the early 2000s, DJ Drama's mixtapes launched artists' careers and defined a new sound. But when mixtapes became a scapegoat for the music industry's collapse, Drama took the fall. Richard Ecclestone / Redferns hide caption

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Richard Ecclestone / Redferns

Before he was a teenager, Mac Phipps already had a record deal. By the time he was 20 he was signed to No Limit Records, the biggest independent label in the country. At 24, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison following the shooting death of a man at one of his concerts, a crime of which he maintains he did not commit. Sheila Phipps hide caption

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Sheila Phipps