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Tyre Nichols loved skateboarding. That’s how his friends say they’ll remember him

Childhood friends of Tyre Nichols best remember him at the skateboard park practicing new tricks on the mini ramp.Austin Robert Updated January 29, 2023 at 3:49 PM ET In one video, Tyre Nichols is about 17 years old, skating along a mini ramp as the sun paints his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., bright orange. In another clip, Nichols trips off his skateboard while practicing a trick but remains unfazed. Instead, […]

todayJanuary 29, 2023

Music

NPR’s 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2022

A pall has been hanging over hip-hop this year: the ongoing criminalization of being a rapper looms large. The genre has faced over-policing and sensationalism before, dating back to the NYPD's rap intelligence unit in 1999, but the scope of the crusade has expanded: lyrics continue to be treated like transcripts by the law, rappers are painted as crime lords and their imprints are characterized as mob outfits. There has […]

todayDecember 19, 2022

Music

How niche rap stars quietly conquered 2022

YoungBoy Never Broke Again (aka NBA YoungBoy) is among a handful of rappers who achieved massive streaming numbers in 2022 while remaining nearly invisible to the pop establishment. Simone Noronha for NPR If you can't find the emergent rap stars in 2022, you might be looking in the wrong place. A recent Billboard feature about hip-hop's status as a market leader suggested that a generation of rap stars is aging […]

todayDecember 19, 2022

Music

On ‘SOS,’ SZA both surprises and delivers exactly what we’ve been waiting for

The cover of SZA's latest album SOS. Daniel Sannwald/TDE/RCA Records It's been five years since the artist SZA released her debut album Ctrl. Her new album SOS is home to 23 tracks that seamlessly blends pop, R&B, hip-hop, and dips into rock and pop-punk along the way. It features appearances by Travis Scott, Phoebe Bridgers, Don Toliver, and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit […]

todayDecember 16, 2022

Music

You’ll find Alicia Keys’ new record, ‘Santa Baby,’ winking under the mistletoe

Alicia Keys. Courtesy of the artist The title of Alicia Keys' new, and first, holiday album – it's kind of hard to believe she hadn't released one already – is called Santa Baby, after the double-entendre-heavy Eartha Kitt single that was somewhat scandalous at the time of its release in 1953. Keys opens the new record with a cover of it, which she tells Morning Edition is one of her […]

todayDecember 16, 2022

Music

Julius Rodriguez, a young pianist fusing (all) the music from inside-out

Julius Rodriguez, whose album Let Sound Tell All was a through line this year for journalist and author Marcus J. Moore. Erik Barden/Courtesy of the artist In June, the pianist/drummer Julius Rodriguez released his debut album, Let Sound Tell All, a project so dynamic that even the umbrella of jazz couldn't quite contain its essence. Though the genre was surely present, the songs "All I Do" and "In Heaven" showed […]

todayDecember 14, 2022

Music

Megan Thee Stallion takes the stand in Tory Lanez trial, shares suicidal thoughts

Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, makes her way from the Hall of Justice to the courthouse to testify in the trial of Rapper Tory Lanez for allegedly shooting her on Tuesday, Dec. 13 in Los Angeles, CA. Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Megan Thee Stallion took the stand as a witness for the prosecution during the assault trial of singer Tory Lanez in Los […]

todayDecember 14, 2022

Music

Hip-hop queen Lil’ Kim’s fashion legacy is undeniable

The iconic looks that rapper Lil' Kim pioneered in the 1990s helped usher in the fusion of high fashion and hip-hop. Pool SIMON/STEVENS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Ron Galella/Getty Images; Anthony Harvey/PA Images via Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Photo Illustration by Kaz Fantone/NPR Think of the top women rappers of our time: Cardi B. Megan Thee Stallion. Nicki Minaj. They all showcase a signature style that involves multicolored wigs, […]

todayDecember 7, 2022

Music

The 20 Best R&B Albums of 2022

Amber Mark's Three Dimensions Deep is one of NPR Music's top 20 R&B albums of 2022.Photo Illustration: Jackie Lay/NPR/Scott Dudelson/Getty Images In Washington, D.C., locals convene at Songbyrd Music House to discuss the merits of Tevin Campbell and Raphael Saadiq during R&B club, a monthly gathering for some of the genre's devotees, taking deep dives into its rich history. The event was created by a few enthusiastic music people to wrangle and […]

todayDecember 7, 2022

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