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Chicago's Urban Alternative

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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 […]

Over the past few weeks and in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police, black artists have released a multitude of music that is a must-listen. On this edition of All Songs Considered, we hear from five of them. Gary Clark Jr. is joined by Black Thought and The Roots to […]

El-P and Killer Mike have always had their fingers on the pulse, and their fourth album once again captures the mood of a country on edge after George Floyd’s death sparked national protests.

As technology evolves, so does protest. Awareness of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers could only inspire an international grassroots movement because a teenager, Darnella Frazier, decided to record his arrest using her phone and post it to social media. Activists are organizing marches and rallies on Twitter and Instagram, even as […]

Jonah Mutono’s debut album GERG is really more of a re-entry. Until late last year, Mutono released music under the name “Kidepo.” But starting with the single “Shoulders,” and now with GERG, he’s sharing his real name and story of self-acceptance for the first time. The name shift was part of Mutono’s decision to come out, one made […]

Journalist and screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper talks about the life and legacy of Andre Harrell, the founder of Uptown Records, who died recently at the age of 59.

The experimental artist Nnamdi Ogbonnaya talks about not limiting his creative ceiling when making his latest album and his conflicted feelings about pursuing music over taking a traditional job.

Don’t see this video? Click here. Sonic reinvention is Salaam Remi’s secret weapon. He’s given artists their signature sound and remixed careers. He made the Fugees go ooh-la-la and turned Ini Kamoze into a hotstepper. When it comes to pulling magic out of songwriters, he’s a master collaborator and his sample-based productions for two icons, Nas […]