Timmhotep Aku

Timmhotep Aku is an NPR Music contributor and occasional guest host for our +1 podcasts. This week he talks with Matt Martians and Syd of the soul band The Internet.

The Internet is greater than the some of its parts. The Internet I'm referring to in this case is the band consisting of founding members Matt Martians and Syd, as well as guitarist Steve Lacy, bassist Patrick Paige II and drummer Christopher A. Smith, a group of millennials in love with the traditions of R&B and soul.

Timmhotep Aku is an NPR Music contributor and occasional guest host for our +1 podcasts. This week he talks with writer, comedian and hip-hop lover Neal Brennan.

Comedy and hip-hop have a lot in common: Both are balms for the sting of the everyday struggle and both hold up a mirror to society's excesses, absurdities and injustices. These two worlds come together in the work of writer and comedian Neal Brennan.

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

Note: This week's +1 podcast is hosted by NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku.


Hannibal Buress is a stand-up comedian, writer and actor loved for his brand of irreverent comedy and his gift for finding absurdity in the seemingly mundane. It's an audacity that informs not only his sense of humor, but also his taste in music.

On this week's +1 podcast, NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with singer and rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge about their new collaboration under the name NxWorries.

The music the LA-based duo makes exists at the intersection of soul and raw, sample-based hip-hop ballads over beats. Anderson .Paak lends his inimitable voice, songwriting and slick tongue to NxWorries, while Knxwledge is the quieter half with a talent for finding and flipping samples into transfixing loops.

"A time before experience, a time that was my innocence. And I wanna go there."

Advisory: This interview contains profanity.

On this week's All Songs +1 podcast, I'm taking the host chair usually occupied by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for a conversation with Danny Brown about the Detroit rapper's upcoming album, Atrocity Exhibition, his admiration for contemporaries like ScHoolBoy Q and what Brown calls his all-time favorite rap song, Nas' "The World Is Yours." In our talk, Brown also explains how he hooked up with South African singer/producer Petite Noir for the new song we're premiering in the podcast, "Rolling Stone."

"The mind is so complex when you're based. Thirty-two levels. Welcome to my world." When rapper Lil B uttered those words on his 2009 track "I'm God," he couldn't have known that the song; its producer Michael Volpe, a.k.a.

In the aftermath of an eventful Black History Month and in the midst Women's History Month, Chimurenga Renaissance's "Girlz With Gunz" feels incredibly appropriate for the time in which it was released. It's the title cut from the experimental hip-hop duo's recently released EP, a project inspired by and dedicated to "revolutionary African women."

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

Who you are and who people think you should be are often two very different things. Nigel Holt, the singer-songwriter/producer who performs under the moniker HXLT, knows this all too well.

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

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


"[We'll bring them here through either isotopic] teleportation, transmolecularization, or better still—teleport the whole planet here through music."

Note: NPR's Audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's audio for First Listens comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Rapper and producer Travis Scott, 23, is one of the most polarizing and intriguing figures in hip-hop today. Born Jacques Webster and hailing from a suburb of Houston, Scott was first known for his relationship with two megastars: rapper T.I., whose label imprint puts out his music; and Kanye West, his mentor and a frequent collaborator.

NxWorries, 'Suede'

Aug 25, 2015

A good songwriter knows that you can say more with less, and rapper-turned-singer Phonte Coleman understands a thing or two about the economy of words. A top-notch MC, he shined in the now-disbanded hip-hop trio Little Brother, full of witty lyrics and in-pocket flows; while giving fans a taste of his singing ability on comical skits and choruses.

Mick Jenkins' 2014 release The Water[s] helped establish him as one of the stronger voices in Chicago's vibrant, diverse (and crowded) hip-hop scene. While the locally popular drill and bop music often associated with that city's rap are visceral expressions of youthful energy, Jenkins' music is the decidedly cerebral and emotive other side of the same coin. It might be tempting to throw the conscious label his way, but that's reductive, especially in an era where the term is used pejoratively and associated with self-righteous and pedantic MCs.

Though his presence is felt every time we see those ubiquitous Beats-branded headphones and hear stars he ushered into the mainstream, like Kendrick Lamar and Eminem, Dr. Dre the musician, the creator has recently been absent from the music world.

"They want to know if he's still got it..."

King Los' long-awaited major-label debut, God Money War, dropped on June 23 while our collective attention was — and is — turned to American terrorists, burning churches, music streaming services, and much more widely hyped album releases from other hip-hop artists. From a publicity standpoint, it's an inopportune time to release an album, but in a way it's perfect timing for a record like Los' debut.

Miguel is a rock star. If there was any doubt about this fact, his First Listen Live performance in New York City on Tuesday provided all the proof needed.

Vince Staples is used to playing the bad guy. Since he was first introduced as a fringe Odd Future affiliate the 22-year-old rapper has established himself as a calm, sinister presence—in sharp contrast to the sometimes shocking, but mostly innocuous, hijinks of Tyler and company. His calling card has been the scene-stealing guest verse, the content of which ranges from villainous to downright vile (e.g.

The state's tourism slogan is "Virginia is for lovers," but if you're a fan of the Neptunes, Timbaland, or Missy Elliot you know that the VA should be known for its musical innovators, too. Hoping to join the ranks of the aforementioned Virginia legends is singer-producer duo Sunny & Gabe.

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