Hip Hop

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You probably saw the photo. 

A woman with her right hand raised in a fist, her left on the autobiography of Malcolm X. That was Mariah Parker. 


Craig Wetherby

On this week’s “Two Way Street,” Bill talks with Lamont “U-God” Hawkins, one of the founding members of legendary hip hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan. He and RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa put East Coast rap back on the map at a time when California rap was dominating the genre.

One year ago, Atlanta-based Rapper Gucci Mane was released from prison. Since his release, he has been reinventing himself. He headlines a concert this weekend in Atlanta. We speak with Georgia-based hip-hop artist Makonnen and hip-hop scholar Regina Bradley about Gucci Mane’s influence on hip-hop in the South. Then, NPR Music hip-hop reporter Rodney Carmichael reviews Gucci Mane’s latest album, "Droptopwop."

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Atlanta-based rapper Gucci Mane got out of prison last year. A month later, he released a new album and headlined at the Fox Theatre.

Clyde Stubblefield, the funk drummer whose work with James Brown made him one of the most sampled musicians in history, died Saturday morning in Madison, Wis., his publicist confirmed. Stubblefield was 73; his publicist did not provide a cause of death.

Photo courtesy of Sheri Riley

Author Sheri Riley began her professional life at a record label in Atlanta. As marketing director at LaFace Records, she helped put numerous hip hop artists on the map -- TLC, Toni Braxton, and Usher, to name a few. But Sheri gave all that up to research and write about healthy lifestyles. She joins us to talk about her new book, “Exponential Living,” which comes out this week.

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"Outkast and Goodie Mob are sincerely detailing what they hear the community discuss," said Georgia State University professor Maurice Hobson. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "The Legend of the Black Mecca: Myth, Maxim, and the Making of an Olympic City."

He shares how Outkast's single "Git Up, Git Out" from their debut album "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" offers a window into how Atlanta's African American community responded to the changes from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. 

Who Cares About Authenticity Anyway?

Jul 13, 2016

When rapper Desiigner boasts about the female acquaintances he’s met in Atlanta on his hit song “Panda,” it’s, well, a little disingenuous. See, the 19-year-old Brooklynite admits he’s never even been to Atlanta and that made some fans question just how authentic his music is – or any music, for that matter. We talk about the importance of keeping it real in hip-hop with Georgia State University professor of literature Scott Heath and digital hip-hop scholar Joycelyn Wilson

Macon rapper Floco Torres has released something like 20 releases  and says he may have 600 unreleased songs lurking on hard drives. He's primed to release a batch of songs this Summer on what he's calling the Porsche EP. In this Field Session, listen to the track '87 911 off the upcoming release plus the song Freedom off of last Summer's Vinsanity release. Recorded at the Cannonball House in Macon, Ga.

Gucci Mane No Longer Behind Bars

May 31, 2016
YouTube

Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane is almost as known for his run-ins with the law as he is for his raw, Southern-fried lyrics. He was recently released from prison after serving almost three years, but incarceration didn’t do much to curb his creative drive. From behind bars, he released more than a dozen new albums, a movie, and an autobiography is in the works. 

We speak with Atlanta hip-hop artist Makonnen and hip-hop scholar Regina Bradley about Gucci Mane’s influence on hip-hop in the South.

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You can see dances like "The Dougie" and the "Nae Nae" in Youtube videos from all over the world. But many of these moves have their roots in hip-hop in the South. We look at the intersection of hip hop and dance and why one writer thinks Atlanta is the Capital of Viral Dance. 

Linda Chen / On Second Thought

Rapper Killer Mike started out as Michael Render from southwest Atlanta's Adamsville neighborhood. As a solo artist and in his work with Run The Jewels, his lyrics often address issues related to social injustice. Lately, Killer Mike has been a familiar face on the campaign trail in support of Senator Bernie Sanders for President. He talks with us about his music, the presidential race, and his own political future.

The three-man music production team from Atlanta, known as Organized Noize, is credited with building the foundation of Southern hip-hop. Producers Rico Wade, Ray Murray, and Sleepy Brown were behind some of the biggest hits in hip-hop, including songs by Outkast, TLC, and Goodie Mob. Now, the trio is the subject of a new documentary called, “The Art of Organized Noize” on Netflix.

We listen back to our conversation with Organized Noize’s Ray Murray. What's your favorite song produced by Organized Noize?