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ABOUT THIS EPISODE – "The Conspiracy Against Hip-Hop"
In this first episode of NPR Music’s new podcast, Louder Than A Riot, a mysterious conspiracy letter sends us on a journey to find out just how entangled hip-hop and mass incarceration have become over the last 40 years. In 2012, an unsigned letter began circulating on popular hip-hop blogs, describing a meeting that allegedly happened 20 years earlier between private prison and music industry executives. According to this letter, record execs were asked to begin marketing and promoting hip-hop that glorified criminal behavior in exchange for stock in the prison business. What does this conspiracy theory suggest about the relationship between hip-hop and America’s prison system? In this episode, we examine the history of policing and the music industry’s complicity with hip-hop OGs Too Short and Killer Mike, break down iconic songs like "The Message" and "6 ‘N the Mornin’," flip through the pages of The Source’s Behind Bars issue with former editor-in-chief Kim Osorio and go inside the mind of retired NYPD "hip-hop cop" Derrick Parker. All this to unveil how the justice system disproportionately affects Black America, and what hip-hop, as America’s most consumed music genre, has always done to push back.
WHAT’S LOUDER THAN A RIOT?
Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist’s story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. Hosted by NPR Music’s Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, this podcast is invested in power from all angles — the power the music industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game.
FOLLOW Louder Than A Riot:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LouderThanARiot
FOLLOW Louder Than A Riot hosts:
Rodney Carmichael – https://twitter.com/rodneyology
Sidney Madden – https://twitter.com/Sid_Madden
MUSIC by Kassa Overall
VIDEO by Renee Klahr
ARTWORK by Dale Edwin Murray
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