Ariana Grande’s thank u, next shows a musical turning point for the young star. Grande’s producers and songwriters share the studio stories that helped make the album.

Recent stories about high-profile politicians in Virginia having worn blackface have caused many people to recount their own experiences and how it made them feel unwelcome, or unsafe.

Fatimah Warner, best known as the rapper Noname, has been quietly gaining attention for her feminist and socially aware lyrics. NPR’s Michel Martin talks to Warner about her sophomore album, Room 25.

In an indictment unsealed yesterday in federal court, the rapper — who rose to prominence last year — could face a life sentence if given maximum sentences for the charges.

On the new song from Earl’s forthcoming album, the former prodigy prolongs his coming-of-age story and reflects on a tumultuous year.

“It’s juvenile. It’s irritating. Yet it’s also fiendishly clever in the way it anticipates and dismantles every argument that could be made against it,” says critic Scott Tobias.

Poet-turned-rapper Mona Haydar explores the beauty and drawbacks of her religion on her latest EP Barbarican.

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