appears in the following:

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.


'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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


KIRBY: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Thursday, June 11, 2020

You've heard this Mississippi songwriter multiple times on HBO's Insecure this season. Now watch her perform live as part of our Tiny Desk quarantine series.


Baby Rose: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

One of our favorite new artists of 2019 shares a new song as part of her Tiny Desk quarantine concert.


Heat Check: Reportin' Live From The Other Side

Monday, June 08, 2020

New tracks From Meek Mill, Tee Grizzley and Dua Saleh soundtrack the renewed surge of energy surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.


Finding Connection And Comfort In Livestream Concerts During Quarantine

Monday, June 01, 2020

NPR Music correspondents Ann Powers and Sidney Madden recommend a few favorite livestreaming performance series to check out while in-person concerts are on hold.


Heat Check: 'Black Joy Is Radical'

Monday, June 01, 2020

To celebrate radical Black joy in a time of great pain, here's a round-up of new tracks from the worlds of jazz, R&B and rap, all to remind you that they can't hijack happiness.


Heat Check: Got A Big Ego

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Amaarae comes through with fire and Dijon breaks the mold of song structure. These are the new tracks putting names on the swirl of unfamiliar emotions.


Heat Check: Tiny Desk Contest 2020 Edition

Monday, May 18, 2020

Heat Check salutes the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest entries that could hold their own among the worlds of R&B, hip-hop, reggae, pop and more.


Heat Check: Shook Up, Shook Down, Shook Out

Monday, May 11, 2020

New tracks from Jenevieve, Yebba and Kehlani fall into the sweet spot of musical discovery that keeps you on your toes with every sample, flip and chord change.


Braxton Cook: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Friday, May 08, 2020

Braxton Cook has supported artists at the Tiny Desk on three separate occasions. This time around, he takes center seat, so to speak, from the comfort of his sunny New Jersey home.


Heat Check: Hippocampus Two-Steps

Monday, May 04, 2020

Kick-in-the-door debuts, lowkey scorchers and dynamic rap duos fill this memorable playlist refresh.


Heat Check: Shake Your Senses

Monday, April 27, 2020

If you're looking for a mental reset, divergent sounds from Octavian, Tora, Kali Uchis and Isaiah Rashad will do the trick.


Heat Check: Double My W's

Monday, April 20, 2020

An impressive debut from Kenny Mason, a Nirvana cover by Amber Mark and some Herculean wordplay from Chris Patrick. This week's Heat Check is all about one-two punches and surprises.