Hip Hop/R&B

Courtesy of Warp Records
April 20, 2014 | NPR · For a hip-hop artist who eschews commercial rap stereotypes and clichés in favor of thornier writing, the challenge is to do so without being a bore — Jeremiah Jae does this well.
 

NPR
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The cousins have formed Black Jungle Squad, a collective of relatives and close friends. “Taking it back to the days when there was a lot more crews in hip-hop,” says Jeremiah. “Like Native Tongues.”
 

Adam Kissick for NPR
April 14, 2014 | NPR · The rap duo OutKast launched what may be its farewell tour over the weekend at Coachella, but the group and its fans, who have waited a decade for the reunion, might not have the same expectations.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 14, 2014 | NPR · The rapper has earned a global name for fusing hip-hop, samba and Afro-Brazilian sounds with lyrics about the plight of Brazil’s poor black and urban population.
 

NPR
April 11, 2014 | NPR · “I got a job. I like my job, it’s cool. But I’m sitting there writing raps,” says the Houstonian. “I go out to the club and I’m like, ‘Damn, I got this verse in my head.’”
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 9, 2014 | NPR · The Bay Area legend is widely known for creating slang, flouting the rules and knowing everybody from everywhere. He speaks about his long career, Master P, Lil Jon, T-Pain, Tupac and Too Short.
 

Price Films
April 4, 2014 | NPR · “Nobody from hip-hop was supposed to go to Harvard without a degree,” says 9th Wonder, a respected producer who’s turned out to be a born teacher.
 

NPR
April 1, 2014 | NPR · While in Austin, Texas, the producer and DJ sat down in a sunny backyard and spoke on his performance style, learning from the greats and reading autobiographies.
 

NPR
March 29, 2014 | NPR · The Dallas through Houston trio sat down in the Austin sunshine, cracked a few Lone Stars and opined on Texas funk, Texas weather, church and their business plan.
 

NPR
March 26, 2014 | NPR · Even in the midst of SXSW, the Chicago producer was selling beats and putting in studio time. He took a rare break to talk about studying songs from the ’70s and Polow da Don’s snare.
 

 

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News

iStockphoto
April 23, 2014 | NPR · People recover better from serious brain injuries if they’ve had more formal education, researchers say. They’re not sure why book learning promotes cognitive reserve.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 23, 2014 | NPR · French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
 

April 23, 2014 | NPR · Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.
 

Arts & Life

Netflix
April 23, 2014 | NPR · Now that it’s more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR’s Neda Ulaby looks at TV’s crop of transgender and “gender fluid” characters.
 

Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
April 23, 2014 | NPR · What hath the Bard wrought? A legacy of words and idioms you’ll recognize from pop culture and even your own speech. On the occasion of his 450th birthday, Ask Me Another presents this handy glossary.
 

AP
April 23, 2014 | NPR · Meyers left a dream job hosting Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update to take over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon. Meyers says not having a mic in hand — like he did in standup — took some adjusting.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist.
April 23, 2014 | WXPN · The inspirational singer’s new album is dedicated to the women of Africa. In addition to her performance, she talks about her work with UNICEF and the problems facing African women today.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 23, 2014 | NPR · This hour features classic combinations of musical trios who weave melodies and rhythms together into an intoxicating and perfectly balanced blend.
 

Courtesy of the artist.
April 23, 2014 | NPR · Make My Head Sing… is an album of contradictions. It’s full of unreliable narrators who sometimes revel in jealousy, willful insanity and drugs, even as her voice and the music suggest otherwise.
 

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