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The Racist Roots Of Rap On Trial

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Since the 1990s, police and prosecutors have used lyrics to build criminal cases against rap artists. It's a practice that blurs the distinction between entertainment and criminal confession.

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With A Long-Awaited Shot At Freedom, Mac Phipps Has His Eyes On The Future

Friday, March 12, 2021

Last month, the rapper was recommended for clemency after serving 21 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit. Now he tells NPR about his time behind bars and his hope for life outside.

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

Thursday, February 25, 2021

In 2001, a rising No Limit Records artist was sentenced to 30 years for a crime he maintains he didn't commit. The hosts of Louder Than A Riot explain how a new development could spell early release.

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Bobby Shmurda Is Coming Home. What Happens Next?

Monday, February 22, 2021

The rapper who ignited Brooklyn with his 2014 viral hit "Hot Boy" is set to be released from prison Tuesday. Louder Than A Riot hosts Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden say some big questions remain.

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KeiyaA: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Thursday, February 11, 2021

One of 2020's breakout artists performs four songs as part of Tiny Desk's Black History Month celebration.

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GIVĒON: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

The rising R&B star performs three songs as part of Tiny Desk's celebration of Black History Month.

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

Saturday, December 19, 2020

NPR Music's Louder than a Riot has been doing a deep dive into the stories of rappers that highlight inequalities in the way this country addresses crime and punishment.

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'I Want Us To Dream A Little Bigger': Noname And Mariame Kaba On Art And Abolition

Saturday, December 19, 2020

What role can hip-hop play in reforming — or entirely dismantling — mass incarceration? Rapper Noname and activist Mariame Kaba joined Louder Than A Riot to discuss making revolution irresistible.

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Caught In The System

Saturday, December 12, 2020

When rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in 2019, he was known as an advocate for the people in the neighborhood where he grew up and made his name. But the LAPD couldn't let his gang affiliation go.

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Montage Of A Dream Deferred

Saturday, November 28, 2020

In 2014, Bobby Shmurda aimed for a rap career and landed in prison. As the end of his sentence approaches, so do new questions about what happened, and who else paid a price.

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Mulatto: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Rap Game champion and self-proclaimed "Queen Of Da Souf" performs three songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Rapper McKinley "Mac" Phipps was sentenced to 30 years for allegedly killing a fan at one of his shows. NPR podcast Louder Than a Riot explores new evidence that Mac is likely innocent.

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The Raid That Changed Rap

Thursday, October 29, 2020

When federal agents raided DJ Drama's studio in 2007 over his Gangsta Grillz empire, he became a martyr for mixtape culture. In many ways, it never recovered.

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'My Dream Was Being Used Against Me In Court'

Friday, October 23, 2020

Mac Phipps was a rising star of New Orleans rap when he was convicted of a killing he insists he did not commit. Two decades later, he is still fighting for his freedom and his art.

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How Law Enforcement Has Historically Targeted Hip-Hop Artists

Friday, October 09, 2020

NPR's new podcast Louder Than A Riot looks at the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration.

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Power, Protest And Paranoia

Thursday, October 08, 2020

The links between hip-hop and the prison system are on display in laws and lyrics stretching back decades. If you're caught between these two American institutions, it might look like a trap.

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Diana Gordon: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The singer-songwriter channels Whitney Houston, Alanis Morissette and The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan in her Tiny Desk quarantine concert.

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Heat Check: Underrated And Elevating

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Whether stealthy rotation faves or creatives re-introducing themselves, this week's Heat Check head-nods the musical stalwarts who deserve flowers mid-climb.

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Heat Check: Can't Get It For Free

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

In a week of rapid headlines and surprise releases, these tracks from City Girls, Noname, Anderson .Paak and more attempt to restore the feeling without disregarding reality.

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Heat Check: Bigger Picture

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Whether it's a trap anthem for the protests or a tale of petty personal betrayal, this week's Heat Check considers the bigger picture.

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