2020 was so stuffed with urgent voices it could be hard to discern the melody from the noise. Here's our guide to the greatest albums that emerged from a year of cacophony.
NPR Music speaks with the LA rapper, who struck a plea deal earlier this month resulting in his release from prison after a four-year legal battle.
In 2014, Bobby Shmurda aimed for a rap career and landed in prison. As the end of his sentence approaches, so do new questions about what happened, and who else paid a price.
Formerly a producer and songwriter for K-pop's nascent idols, Si-hyuk's own label, Big Hit Entertainment, recently became larger than the other top labels in Seoul combined.
Experience the mayhem of what it means to create something new. Three Southern rap experts revisit the 20-year-old classic.
What started as YouTube drum covers and three girls scattered across the East Coast with a love for music turned into Meet Me @ the Altar, a pop-punk band led by three women of color who signed to a major record label Fueled By Ramen in October.
Facing a pandemic lockdown, huge political upheavals and ongoing uncertainty about the future, musicians including Oumou Sangare and Songhoy Blues offer lessons in creativity and optimism.
Rest assured, says writer Danyel Smith: There's always a Sade song for how you feel. Whether you live as a "King of Sorrow" or a "Soldier of Love" is up to you.
The deaths of Walker and Shaver this month prompted critic Charles Aaron to consider the impact of their work on the wider sound of American music.
After his older brother helped The BlackSon get his artistic career underway, the pair now find themselves living in a new "city."
Rap from Nashville isn't new, nor is the city's tendency to overlook the creators and entrepreneurs behind that music – despite country artists borrowing liberally from the genre over the past decade.
The autodidact producer spent time learning in Florida, before returning to Nashville with a vision for elevating the entire city.
The pair have found and are maintaining a place for themselves in the professional songwriting world of Nashville.
2020 has been a year of hardship and struggle, but music serves as a silver lining amid the chaos, and Atlanta musician Felicita Pineda continued to find creative inspiration.
When federal agents raided DJ Drama's studio in 2007 over his Gangsta Grillz empire, he became a martyr for mixtape culture. In many ways, it never recovered.