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Chicago's Urban Alternative

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NPR Music

The damage done to independent live music by the pandemic has been catastrophic – and a future where it thrives will, regardless and inevitably, arrive.

There’s Bandcamp, beloved by artists. There’s Spotify, very well-liked by listeners. And then there’s that big question mark.

NPR’s list of the best songs, albums & mixtapes by Southern rappers recenters the South as a creative center of hip-hop.

The rapper quickly drew attention over the course of 2019, as one of the newest and brightest stars of an emerging generation of New York artists.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The pair have come a long way since signing with Beyoncé’s company five years ago. In fact, they seem fully themselves.

As she is wont to do, Beyoncé surprised the world overnight with a new song, “Black Parade.” Released in the final hours of Juneteenth — the holiday observing the June 19, 1865 date which marked the end of slavery in the United States — the song sounds like an outright celebration. The Juneteenth release date is especially […]

Removing the term “urban” from certain genres or artists is more complicated than a simple cancellation.

“Say their names,” the signs read in the streets of America. In 2020, one reckoning shares an unstable boundary with another as protesters masked against the coronavirus expose a different kind of deep debilitation: the racism that permeates American history and the present day, resulting in sudden deaths now recorded and shared on social media, […]

Across the country, music venues remain closed due to the pandemic — and according to a new survey, 90 percent of independent venue owners, promoters and bookers say that they will have to close permanently within the next few months, if they can’t get an infusion of targeted government funding. The survey of nearly 2,000 music professionals […]