For the past two years, Lil Uzi Vert has stood out as one of rap's brightest stars. The ascension from Soundcloud sensation to self-proclaimed "rock star" has been fast-tracked, powered by multiple mixtapes, two top ten Billboard singles ("XO TOUR Llif3" and "Bad and Boujee"), and a #1 debut album in Luv Is Rage 2 released in late August. The Philadelphia native took advantage of his momentum this year by kicking off his holiday tour A Very Uzi Christmas with 6,000 fans in attendance for the Anthem's first hip-hop concert.
Yes, NPR Music is only ten years old. Although All Songs Considered is going on 18 years strong, the coalition of NPR member stations from across the country was founded in 2007 to centralize the regional tastemakers that bring us shows like World Cafe or Jazz Night in America. It's hard to overstate its cultural influence on music in that short time, most notably with the Tiny Desk Concert video series, where up-and-comers like Diane Coffee and established arena acts like Adele come to perform. In the spirit of the brevity-focused music series, seven bands and musicians took to the stage to play three or four songs each. The event quickly sold out the day it went on sale. But the plot twist? NPR kept the lineup a secret until the moment they came on stage. Of course, when you're NPR Music, it's not hard to ask the public to place your trust in them.
In 2016 Nashville's Margo Price garnered nationwide attention with her debut album Midwest Farmers Daughter. Released on Jack White's Third Man Records, Daughter harkened back to a "purer" form of country music (Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton) that immediately struck a chord with the Saving Country Music crowd and music criterati alike.
All American Made, Price's sophomore release, finds the Nashville staple not just sticking to her country bona fides but speaking out about some of the pressing social issues that we all face in 2017. We're digging deep into this civic-minded salvo to find out if Price hits her mark, or if she has fallen victim to the dreaded sophomore slump.
Since it started in 2010, the Hopscotch Music Festival has become a Raleigh institution and an event which music fans who travel to North Carolina from all over look forward to all year. Now in its eighth year, the festival returned this year with its famously diverse lineup. No matter what you’re looking for – indie rock, electronica, country, hip-hop, folk – you’re bound to find it, and the layout of the festival, spread throughout the city, provides the opportunity to check out numerous acts over the course of the weekend. Whether it’s a small local band at an unofficial day party, an internationally-known headliner on the City Plaza stage, or something in-between late night in a downtown club, there’s music to be found everywhere in Raleigh on Hopscotch weekend.
Willie Nelson, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, founded farm Aid in 1985 when American farmers were in the midst of a mortgage crisis that was forcing many small farmers to leave their land. Through the concert, modeled on the Live Aid event that took place earlier that year, the performers hoped to raise money and awareness to help those farmers along. The event was a huge success, and turned into a tradition that has lasted for over three decades, with a large concert held at a different location each year.