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Rap Genius Annotates Song Verses

Apr 22, 2013

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, lets meet a couple of guys who are big fans of Ghostface Killah.

MAHBOD MOGHADAM: The best Ghostface song, I think, is " Nutmeg." That's all of his...

GREENE: That's Mahbod Moghadam. He and his friend Tom Lehman co-founded a Web site called Rap Genius.

Numbers are down at the American International School in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

In just over a year, the country has witnessed a rebellion, a military coup and the occupation by Islamist fighters of the desert northern region, recently largely liberated in a counteroffensive by French-led forces. Despite the troubles, the school is open and classes continue.

Teacher Paul Chandler is taking his combined class of 6th- and 7th-graders through their early paces, learning the Malian music they'll be performing at the annual school concert.

Some stories stand the test of time: Shakespeare's plays, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and the Child ballads.

If you're unfamiliar with them, they're not for children. They're Scottish and English folk songs from the 17th and 18th centuries and earlier. They're named after Francis James Child, the Harvard professor and folklorist who collected them.

Like many California cities hit hard by the real estate crash, Indio (near Palm Springs) has been forced to make steep cutbacks to avoid bankruptcy. But unlike other cities, Indio hosts the highest-grossing music festival in the world — Coachella — which wraps up this weekend. It has made city leaders eager to capitalize on Coachella's riches.

Sam Torres, plumber by day, Indio city councilman by night, says he was prepared to become the most hated man in the city, and he very well may have achieved that goal. His offense? Proposing a 6 percent tax on Coachella tickets.

The Music Of The Venezuelan Presidential Campaigns

Apr 12, 2013

On Sunday, voters in Venezuela will head to the polls, and in Caracas, the noise level is as high as voters' emotions. There is a background noise that accompanies everyday life in Latin America, a constant soundtrack: music blaring from food stands and cars, loud automobiles that are so run-down they defy the laws of physics, street vendors yelling product names. I've spoken to many immigrants to the U.S. who, like me, first arrived to live in the suburbs and found the absence of bochinche, or ruckus, maddening.

Whose MP3s Are They, Anyway?

Apr 11, 2013

If you have a CD or book you don't want anymore, you can sell it. The law says that's perfectly legal. But what about an MP3 or an e-book? Can you legally resell your digital goods?

This was the question before a judge in the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi Inc.

Launched in 2011, ReDigi is basically a digital version of a used-record store. You can sell the company your old MP3s, and you can buy "used" MP3s that other people have sold.

The 12th official Jazz Appreciation Month began when April did. But today, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which founded the JAM campaign, kick started its own celebration with a series of performances, discussions and ceremonies.

The Wu-Tang Clan's 20-Year Plan

Apr 8, 2013

How Norway Funds A Thriving Jazz Scene

Apr 6, 2013

Justin Timberlake And The AC/DC Rule

Apr 5, 2013

Last week, returning pop hero Justin Timberlake topped the charts with The 20/20 Experience, only his third album in a decade-long post–'N Sync solo career. No one was surprised when he debuted at No. 1.

This July, The Rolling Stones will play London's Hyde Park for the first time in 44 years. The band's last concert there — July 5, 1969 — turned out to be a defining moment in musical history, which those who were there will never forget. Mick Jagger hasn't.

Last month, we reported on a company called ReDigi that's basically a digital version of a used record store. You can sell them your old mp3s, and you can buy "used" mp3s that other people have sold.

The Many Sounds Of 1993 Bay Area Rap

Mar 28, 2013

Once we mention them, get these Jackson 5 songs out of your head:

-- "ABC"

-- "I Want You Back"

Or how about "Love Child" from The Supremes?

Deke Richards, "leader of the Motown songwriting, arranging and producing team known as The Corporation" that came up with those and many other hits, has died.

Richards was 68. According to Universal Music, he passed away at a hospice in Bellingham, Wash., from esophageal cancer.

Is It Legal To Sell Your Old MP3s?

Mar 20, 2013

Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

That guy Prince has a sense of humor.

Blues music is supposed to be cathartic — a way to process and package pain in ways that make it palatable; to take our hurt and ache, set it outside ourselves, give it a tune and rhythm that makes it tangible and real yet somehow less terrifying.

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