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Lalah Hathaway comes from royalty: Her late father Donny Hathaway's voice was crucial for my generation, setting the bar for inspired, old-school soul singing. But living in that kind of shadow can also be a burden, robbing the offspring of an identity apart from that of the famous parent.

Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian Younge formed The Midnight Hour as an ode to the Harlem Renaissance and with a determination to push that legacy forward. They assembled a cast of talented musicians to bring songs from their debut to life in our studio. Let the music transport you to another time and another place. Enjoy.

SET LIST:

  • "Black Beacon"
  • "Gate"
  • "Redneph in B Minor"

Oakland, Calif., means different things to different people.

For many, it's the birthplace of groundbreaking art and politics. But Oakland, like many major cities across the country, is changing.

That's the tension at the heart of a new film called Blindspotting. It tells the story of two lifelong friends and Oakland natives, one white and one black, as they grapple with fitting into this new world.

When The Internet first debuted in 2011, the common joke was that the musicians had picked an unfortunate name for fans who wanted to find anything about them on, you know, the Internet. But those cheap snickers quickly faded as the group's sly, slick funk sensibility took hold, even for search engines. Seriously, Google them.

The city of Oakland, Calif., is experiencing something of a renaissance moment in the movies. You could trace it back to 2013, when the Oakland-born director Ryan Coogler made Fruitvale Station, his ripped-from-the-headlines drama about the fatal police shooting of Oscar Grant III.

Denzel Has No Fury Like 'The Equalizer 2'

Jul 19, 2018

"Fridging," the overdue-for-retirement habit among male storytellers of violating and/or murdering thinly-sketched lady characters simply to motivate a male hero's righteous payback, is alive and well in The Equalizer 2. That's a big, ugly pimple on the symmetrical-but-unsmiling face of this otherwise-not-bad follow-up to 2014's Denzel Washington-headlined reboot of the old TV show.

With Anthony Brooks

Disturbing stories this summer about white people calling the police on black people for cutting the grass or using the swimming pool. What’s going on?

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You're at a party and see your old boo (with a new boo), who is looking very fine. When you go in for the obligatory hug, it brings up aaaalllll of the feels — that weekend at the cabin, the six-week anniversary dinner that was totally unnecessary but still very sweet, that one shirt you like.

The eternally smiling D.R.A.M. knows that feeling, and the smoove synth-bop "Best Hugs" lays it all out: "Reminiscing about those days take me / Back to the days when she drove me crazy."

Success is relative. And for Berhana, the gluttonous trappings of music success don't actually make you happy once you get them. The Atlanta upstart premieres the song and music video for "Wildin'" on NPR Music, a divergent stance on defining your accomplishments by the industry's standards.

"There's a lot of things around success that can distract you and you forget what it is you're even doing this for," the singer says. "All this stuff around you kind of means nothing."

Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, would have been 100 years old on Wednesday. A new book is out to mark the occasion, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela.

These deeply personal letters, many to his wife, his children and his closest friends, have never previously been published.

More than three years after a white supremacist opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine worshippers, an architect has revealed a design for a memorial at the church.

The design by Michael Arad features two large and curving stone benches, a gentle fountain and a garden space "dedicated to life and resiliency."

Arad, along with landscape architect Peter Walker, designed the Sept. 11 memorial in New York City after he won an international design competition.

For decades, people living in Zimbabwe have been taught that speaking their minds comes at a cost. Under former president Robert Mugabe, an authoritarian ruler who held power for more than 37 years, openly challenging the government meant risking arrest, beating or worse. There's still a law on the books that makes insulting the president a crime.

Darlene Love: From Background to Limelight

Jul 13, 2018

When the creators of the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom began envisioning a film focused on backup singers, one name kept coming up: Darlene Love. Among fans and musicians alike, Love had a sterling reputation as one of music's legendary, if still somewhat under-celebrated voices performing behind the biggest acts. So after speaking to Love, director Morgan Neville said he was finally convinced that he could make an entire movie on the topic, one that heavily showcased Love's long-winding career and countless behind-the-scenes stories.

Nearly 63 years after the brutal, racist killing of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old from Chicago who was visiting family in Mississippi, the Justice Department has reopened the investigation into the killing.

The department says it has received "new information" in the case but cannot provide any details about the reactivated investigation.

The reopening was announced in an annual report to Congress in March and widely reported on Thursday.

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