Arts & Culture

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

And finally today, one of the definitive songs of the summer so far has been "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OLD TOWN ROAD")

LIL NAS X: (Singing) Riding on a horse - ha. You can whip your Porsche. I've been in the valley, you ain't been up off that porch. Now, can't nobody tell me nothing.

MCCAMMON: Is it rap? Is it country? That's the question that's been playing out for a while now, sparked by the song's removal from Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart back in March. And then along came a new song.

In his vast catalog of music, Radiohead's Thom Yorke has trembled like a broken man on his knees. He has screamed in tormented six-part harmony; he has manic-whispered diaries worth of existential fear. Still, he just can't shake the techno-dread. Most recently, that dread has manifested in Yorke's third solo project, ANIMA, released on June 27.

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After a year of build-up, King Princess has finally announced her debut album, Cheap Queen, and dropped its s

In 1985, a team of country-music legends formed The Highwaymen, a supergroup combining the talents of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé's executive-produced album inspired by the 2019 motion picture, has been delivered.

Ready for more Disney déjà vu? The Lion King is the latest software update to one of Disney's beloved animated movies, this time featuring photo-realistic graphics — and Beyoncé. The musical performances are all new, but it's the same classic songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, and composer Hans Zimmer also returned to Pride Rock with an upgraded version of his Oscar-winning score from 25 years ago.

If you're an artist looking to break chart records in the streaming era, your best weapon might just be quantity.

Keep ya head up, Jerry Foxhoven.

The public servant who led Iowa's Department of Human Services was forced to resign in June, just one business day after he sent an email to more than 4,000 agency employees that included an inspirational quote from the rapper Tupac Shakur.

He used his love of rap from time to time to "reach out to our staff, tell them that I'm human, have a little levity," he tells NPR.

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Amid the most crucial political crisis to hit Puerto Rico in its modern history, three Puerto Rican musicians have released a protest song that is spreading across the island as fast a

Embattled R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom Tuesday to 13 federal charges, including child pornography and obstruction of justice.

One of the most celebrated voices in modern South African music has died. Singer, dancer and activist Johnny Clegg, who co-founded two groundbreaking, racially mixed bands during the apartheid era, died Tuesday in Johannesburg at age 66. He had battled pancreatic cancer since 2015.

His death was announced by his manager and family spokesperson, Roddy Quin.

Clegg wrote his 1987 song "Asimbonanga" for Nelson Mandela. It became an anthem for South Africa's freedom fighters.

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Joan Shelley will release a new album later this year called Like the River Loves the Sea, a collecti

Wilco has announced it'll release the band's 11th studio album later this year. Drawing its title from the poetry of Friedrich Schiller — and Beethoven's Ninth symphony — Wilco's Ode to Joy will feature what frontman Jeff Tweedy calls "really big, big folk songs," including the album's first single, "Love is Everywhere (Beware)."

On this episode of All Songs Considered we've got a conversation with GoldLink about his latest album, Diaspora. (Hear the full interview with the play button at the top of the page).

When Menzi Mngoma decided to get a job as an Uber driver, it was mostly out of necessity. The 27-year-old has a fiancé, kids and his parents to support, and his life's passion, opera, wasn't paying the bills. But he was also making a bet. "You need to be well-connected to go overseas," he told NPR. Though he's currently based in Durban, South Africa, Mngoma dreams of becoming an international musical sensation; he thought that driving Uber might help him make connections with people who could further his career.

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