Hip Hoprb

First Listen: The Weeknd, 'Kiss Land'

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Abel Tesfaye delivers his jaded lyrics with such tension, and surrounds them with such heartless machinery, that the listener can't help but feel a little trapped in his matrix. It's an uneasy feeling, but also genuinely provocative.


The Mix: Youth Radio's AllDayPlay Channel

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's back-to-school time, so we let some Bay Area teens take over an NPR Music Radio channel. Hear songs from SBTRKT, A$AP Rocky, Robert Glasper and many, many more of your (soon-to-be) favorite hip-hop and beats-based artists in our latest mix.


Goodie Mob Puts Crossover Acceptance On The Line

Thursday, August 29, 2013

That Goodie Mob doesn't aspire to be like anyone else is the gift and the curse of Age Against the Machine. But it's pretty much the album one would expect from a group that's easily balanced the cerebral and commonsense since their teen years.


Nine Inch Nails And Earl Sweatshirt Explore Darkness

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Two new albums, by the veteran industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails and the young rapper Earl Sweatshirt, offer distinct visions of anxiety and isolation. One is confrontational and cathartic, the other sly, inward and static.



Goodie Mob: Building New Leaders From The Elders

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cee-Lo Green says the group's reunion provides an opportunity to bring something new and deep to hip-hop. Goodie Mob's new album, Age Against the Machine, aims to challenge the genre's mainstream powerhouses.


The Blast Radius Of Kendrick Lamar's 'Control' Verse

Thursday, August 22, 2013

He said what we've all been saying: rappers need to try harder. And if the past week is any indication, this fall there will be a marked dispensation of niceties — and a renewed focus on craft and song-making.


Goodie Mob On Hip-Hop Made By And For Adults

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The high-minded Atlanta quartet has reunited 18 years after its debut album and seven years after Cee-Lo Green's pop smash "Crazy."


KEXP Presents: clipping.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The experimental L.A. hip-hop trio cuts quick-slung lines across swaths of destroyed digital noise that's guaranteed to redline your sound system. Watch the group perform "Killer" live at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee in Seattle. Advisory: This video contains profanity.


First Listen: Rapsody, 'She Got Game'

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The rapper is grittier than Lauryn Hill and more soulful than MC Lyte, and possesses a knack for realness that recalls the artist formerly known as Mos Def.


The White Mandingos: Music That Defies Definition

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Three black musicians — a punk bassist, an L.A. rapper and a part-time guitarist — took on a name with ugly associations to make music that can't be categorized.


Hip-Hop Turns 40

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Writer Dart Adams looks back at the birth of hip-hop. He says that what started as a unifying party in the South Bronx is far from the music of major record labels and corporations we hear today.


Jay Z Video Puts Hip-Hop And Art Back In The Same Room

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Moments of exchange heat the video, change it from a document to a work of art, but the visual artists who stand in front of and with Jay (his co-stars) represent another conversation — one going on since the 1970s between hip-hop and the art world.


Tristan 'Mack' Wilds On His Move From Acting To Singing

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

After playing Michael on The Wire and Jay Z's nephew in a music video, he's releasing an R&B album.


20 Years Ago, Tupac Broke Through

Friday, July 19, 2013

In January of 1993, Tupac Shakur was 21 years old. He was about to drop his contradictory second album, which would launch him to superstardom.


First Listen: Ka, 'The Night's Gambit'

Monday, July 15, 2013

The album, made by a resolutely old school musician, is heavy like concrete shoes and incantatory. The production is sanded down and the loops brief, but it's also patient. The songs themselves are reflective, and then they sink in slowly.


Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta' Is A Fait Accompli

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It's not right, but it's okay, because even on cruise control, Jay-Z is revolutionary by his very existence.


The '90s Are Back, Or Whatever...

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It's been a big year for '90s bands. My Bloody Valentine kicked things off with its first new album in more than 20 years. Sebadoh is due to release its first new album in 14 years later this summer So this week we revisit an episode we originally ran in early 2011 all about the return of the '90s.


Prodigy On Mobb Deep's Early Days And Protecting His Success

Monday, July 08, 2013

After more than 20 years as a performer, the New York veteran says he's enjoying the unglamorous work of building a record label.


New Jay-Z Album Tests The Musician And Samsung

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

On July 4, Jay-Z will release his album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, via an app that will be available to Samsung smart phone users three days before its wider release. It's not the first branding promotion between the tech and music industries, but it may be the highest profile.


Mike Dean On Working With Selena, Scarface And Kanye

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The producer and engineer helped create the Dirty South sound in the early '90s, and now, he says, "Me and Kanye are like a band."