Sidney Madden

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple Music playlists at the bottom of the page.


Editor's note: The album cover art on this page contains an obscene gesture.

Two-and-a-half years after the release of A Seat At The Table, Solange shares her surprise CQ visual album When I Get Home. On Solange's fourth full-length album since her 2002 debut, Solo Star, the artist takes listeners on an "exploration of origin" across 19 tracks and a film meshing together static R&B, funk, Zydeco and blues. To accompany the release, Solange announced nine "album events" in her hometown of Houston, all taking place on March 3.

Whether your life is pristinely (and damn-near mythically) put together or your friends would dotingly define you as a hot mess, TeaMarrr understands. The Boston-born, LA-based artist makes self-deprecating, prickly pop and R&B for those navigating their dichotomies, meandering through their relationship statuses, or even questioning their sanity.

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Ezra Collective is breathing new life into one of music's greatest institutions.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


In 1998, songwriter Kandi Burruss — on hiatus from her R&B group, Xscape — took a drive around Atlanta with a girlfriend, looking for inspiration. In the car, Burruss was playing tracks she'd gotten from a fellow songwriter, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, a few days earlier.

The music of Dianna Lopez feels like a secret you just can't keep to yourself. Her ability to blend ingredients of rock, avant-pop and R&B has made her a standout among Soundcloud's many bedroom-born hidden gems. And in 2019, she's ready to take things to the next level.

The latest release from the Rockland County, N.Y. singer, "Predictable," is a soft and fittingly pithy track about anticipating your partner's every move and deciding whether or not to change the routine.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple Music playlists at the bottom of the page.

It was the year that trolls and tabloid fodder took over. It was the year that beef became the chief marketing strategy. It was the year that hype trumped truth. And we're not even talking politics yet.

When dvsn visited NPR for this Tiny Desk concert, it reminded me of the first time I saw them two years ago in New York City. They decided to wash the desk in vibrant blue, purple and orange lighting, brought in by dvsn's team to make the space feel like a concert hall. And while the audience at NPR was almost as densely packed as that NYC venue, it felt much like my live introduction to the group — grandiose in presentation, but at the same time, deliberately intimate in delivery.

From the ominous narratives of Vince Staples to Kanye West's blunt partisanship, the line between the personal and political in hip-hop is becoming increasingly thin.

Bags in the coupe, bustin' out the roof. Rap fairy tale and Bronx bomber Cardi B has just shared "Money," her first single since the release of her debut album, April's Invasion of Privacy.

Billboard reports that the Drake has secured a dozen Top 10 singles this year, thanks to a featured appearance on Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny's latest single, "MIA," which debuted at No.

Singer Kaya Stewart and musician Jamie Lidell are British-bred kindred spirits, but met in Nashville.

"I actually met Jamie through a real estate agent when I was looking for a place in Nashville," Stewart tells NPR Music. "I was working with a bunch of writers trying to hone in on my sound and she suggested I work with her friend Jamie Lidell ... We set up a session and started writing in his home studio. We clicked and have been writing ever since."

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.


Phony Ppl has grown a lot. Three years removed from the band's last album, Yesterday's Tomorrow, the five piece has undergone a lineup change, inked a deal with 300 Entertainment and refined its genre-jumping sound. Now, the Brooklyn-based group of friends returns with mō'zā-ik.

Anderson .Paak is in album mode. Yes, lawd!

After years in proverbial hip-hop purgatory, Lil Wayne has finally released his long-awaited album Tha Carter V, just after his 36th birthday.

CV, the fifth installment of Wayne's chart-topping, Grammy-winning series that started in 2004, nearly became a pop culture fable about the perils of music industry politics, following years of legal battles with his Cash Money Records boss and musical father figure, Birdman.

For a half-decade or more, he stood as hip-hop's tatted-up anomaly, the self-professed monster who ate rappers for breakfast while inhabiting a universe of his own creation. But in the time since Lil Wayne's late-2000s breakthrough, when platinum albums and a flood of mixtapes tipped him into cultural ubiquity, nothing has done as much to keep his legend alive as the music he didn't release.

After years of successfully operating as an independent entity, 14-member hip-hop boy band Brockhampton unveiled its major label debut, iridescence, late Thursday night.

It might sound hard to believe, but being a Beatle doesn't necessarily assure chart-topping success — but never underestimate the pull of Paul McCartney.

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Ray BLK is here to hold it down for the ladies. The U.K.

As the seasons change, the melancholy of losing summer deserves its own soundtrack. Atlanta crooner 6LACK (pronounced "black") — who dropped a sleeper hit of a debut album in 2016 with Free 6LACK and in the time since has toured the world with The Weeknd and become a first-time father — has returned with his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter, for just such a time.

Last Friday, rapper and producer Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, was found dead in his San Fernando Valley home. His fans, who had heard Miller openly address drug use in interviews and in his music for years, immediately speculated that the cause was an overdose, though postmortem toxicology tests have not been released.

The mic-stand tango and primal scream of Charles Bradley lives on. The posthumous final album from the legendary soul singer, who died last year, has been announced. Bradley's final album, Black Velvet, is due out Nov. 9 via Dunham and Daptone Records.

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