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Soundcheck

Summer '94: Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Ready To Die,' 20 Years Later

Friday, July 11, 2014

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s landmark debut, Ready To Die. Soundcheck talks about the album and Big’s short-lived career with cultural critic Dream Hampton -- a friend and later, a producer of several documentary films about him.

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All Things Considered

Questlove And The Roots: How A Hip-Hop Band Conquered Late Night

Thursday, July 03, 2014

"It's strange to admit it, but this is kinda the job we were born for," Questlove says of his group's serving as house band for The Tonight Show.

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Best Songs Of The Year (So Far) Puzzler

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Know your Sylvan Esso from your Future Islands, or Ana Tijoux from André Laos? Test your knowledge of current music in this puzzler and discover the year's best songs.

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Pete Rock: 'Real Could Be Another Word For Original'

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

"I met James Brown as a kid. I was seven years old," says the renowned producer. "I wasn't the same since."

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Soundcheck

Russell Simmons On 30 Years Of Def Jam; Summer Of '94 Quiz; San Fermin Plays At BAM

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

In this episode: Russell Simmons is the entrepreneur and entertainment mogul who co-founded Def Jam Records among a plethora of other highly successful business ventures. It’s his first visit to our studio, but not to our address: 160 Varick Street was Def Jam’s home in the mid-1990s. Simmons shares some memories from those days and reflects on 30 years of Def Jam.

Then: Take a look and listen back 20 years, to the summer of 1994, with a short quiz recorded live at Soundcheck's event at the BAM Harvey Theater as part of RadioLoveFest in June.

And: Hear the exuberant chamber pop band San Fermin perform a high energy set at BAM from RadioLoveFest.

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All Things Considered

Ja Rule: 'I Took It Upon Myself To Become A Man'

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ahead of a new memoir, the rapper talks "real world" parenting, systemic racism, rhyming along to Mary J. Blige and being a celebrity in prison.

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TED Radio Hour

Why Would More Than 500 Artists Sample The Same Song?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sampling music isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says DJ Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while pushing that story forward.

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Ab-Soul: 'It's A Lot'

Friday, June 20, 2014

The most philosophical member of Top Dawg Entertainment in a Microphone Check conversation about Ab's high expectations of his audience and what he's trying to make for them.

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WNYC News

Tupac On Broadway, Ya Hear Me?

Friday, June 20, 2014

The music of late rapper Tupac Shakur doesn't, on the face of it, seem like Broadway material. But the musical is poised to be one of the season's breakout hits.

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KEXP Presents: Young Fathers

Monday, June 09, 2014

KEXP hosts hundreds of in-studio sessions a year, but it's rare when the station's entire staff is blown away. Watch the soulful Scottish trio Young Fathers perform "Get Up."

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Soundcheck

Soundcheck Guide To Brazilian Pernambuco; Kishi Bashi Plays Live; Girl Talk And Freeway Collab

Monday, June 09, 2014

In this episode: With the World Cup starting in Brazil this week, Soundcheck takes a listen to various styles of music coming out of the country's northeast. Scott Kettner, percussionist and leader of the Bourbon Street-meets-Brazil band Nation Beat, presents a "Soundcheck Guide To Brazil: Pernambuco."

Then: The looping violinist and singer Kishi Bashi has played with Regina Spektor and the band Of Montreal -- and won over fans with his own gorgeously layered and catchy songs. Hear him performs songs from his smart and effervescent new album, Lighght, in the Soundcheck studio.

And: The mash-up artist Girl Talk recently collaborated with the rapper Freeway for an experimental mixtape, Broken Ankles. The self-described “Pennsylvania Dream Team” talks about how the project made each of them re-think their respective styles.

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First Listen: Clipping., 'CLPPNG'

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Let the band and album names be a warning for this industrial act featuring copious rapping. You are about to receive rough treatment, heavily stylized.

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Mannie Fresh Live: 'Real Talk'

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The legendary producer and DJ flew in from New Orleans to regale a Washington D.C. crowd with stories about Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne's career plan, Mantronix and working with Mos Def.

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Mannie Fresh DJ Set: 'We Bounced Everything'

Thursday, May 29, 2014

At the close of Microphone Check's onstage conversation with the producer and DJ, he took to the decks to demonstrate what he meant when he said, "When I want you to understand something, I remix it."

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Soundcheck

Analyzing 50 Years Of Summer Jams

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spotify data storyteller Eliot Van Buskirk has crunched 50 years of summer hits to come up with the defining qualities of a summer song and the ultimate playlist for the summer of 2014.

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Soundcheck

Watch: Reggie Watts, Live On Soundcheck

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Watch the brilliant comedian and extraordinary loop-happy musician construct his hip-hop and soul-infused songs in the Soundcheck studio.

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Inside The XXL Freshmen Issue

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This week the hip-hop magazine revealed its annual cover highlighting new acts, which prompted the usual avalanche of debate over the artists featured, those absent and the state of the genre.

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Freddie Gibbs: 'I Think I'm The Best Rapper'

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The rapper from Gary, Ind., moved to L.A. 10 years ago, where he met Madlib, a producer revered for his collaborations. The two of them have now made an album Gibbs thinks can't be touched.

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Unheard Bounty On Mobb Deep's First Album In Eight Years

Monday, May 05, 2014

After an eight year absence, the release of a new Mobb Deep album would be notable enough, but it's the bonus disc of previously unheard sessions for The Infamous that send this package over the top.

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All Things Considered

Connections On A Dance Floor: The Musical Brotherhood Of Young Fathers

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Scottish trio makes music unbound to any one genre, with songs reflecting very different backgrounds. The group discusses friendship, influence and what it takes to make the cool kids dance.

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