Frannie Kelley

Frannie Kelley is an Editor for NPR Music.

In this position, Kelley is responsible for editing, producing and reporting NPR Music's coverage of hip-hop, R&B and the ways the music industry affects the music we hear, on the radio and online. She is co-editor of NPR's music news blog, The Record, and co-host of NPR's rap stream Microphone Check, with Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

Since joining NPR in September of 2007, Kelley has worked on a variety of projects including running a series on hip-hop in 1993 and overseeing a project on women musicians. She also ran another series on the end of the decade in music and web-produced the Arts Desk's series on vocalists, called 50 Great Voices. Most recently, her piece on Why You Should Listen to Odd Future was selected to be a part of the Best Music Writing 2012 Anthology.

Prior to joining NPR, Kelley worked in book publishing at Grove/Atlantic in a variety of positions from 2004 to 2007. She has a B.A. in Music Criticism from New York University.

Field Recordings
6:03 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Ledisi Steals The Show

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:46 pm

There's too much happening in New Orleans' French Quarter — especially on a holiday weekend, and especially when hundreds of thousands of people are in town for the annual Essence Music Festival. There are living statues and five-piece bands and drinks a foot-and-a-half tall and people from all over the world ambling in the middle of the street.

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Microphone Check
9:57 am
Tue August 19, 2014

The Underachievers: 'We're Still Young'

AK (left) and Issa of The Underachievers onstage at SXSW in 2013.
Sean Mathis Getty Images for SXSW)

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:52 pm

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Field Recordings
11:43 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Jazmine Sullivan Fades A New Orleans Barber Shop

NPR

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 11:55 am

A few blocks from New Orleans' Superdome, just off Canal Street, there's a barber shop called Clear-Vue, which has been in business since 1948. While we were in the city for the Essence Music Festival, we asked Jazmine Sullivan to meet us there.

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Field Recordings
12:00 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Sevyn Streeter Knocks Us Out

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 4:37 pm

In the spring of 2013, songwriter and R&B singer Sevyn Streeter released a song called "It Won't Stop," which she's called her "baby." Over the year and change that's followed, the song has sunk into our collective consciousness through commercial radio play and a music video viewed more than 35 million times, and on the recommendation of a growing group of critics and fans.

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First Listen
9:02 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

First Listen: The Underachievers, 'Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium'

The Underachievers' (Issa Gold is on the left, AK on the right) new album, Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium, comes out Aug. 12.
KCBLA Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 9:34 am

"I ain't just rhyming," Issa Gold, one half of The Underachievers, says in "Chrysalis." "Keep up." He's rapping, which is much more difficult. Rapping requires him and his partner AK to choose a flow, or melody, for their lyrics; something they can use to parry the beat or run it down or surf. The duo puts the pedal to the metal here more often than not, exercising a slightly archaic style of MCing: deft, speedy, highbrow, tough to perform at the end of a set. Colloquially, rappity-raps.

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Microphone Check
2:43 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Cormega: 'I Just Want To Be A Soldier For My Culture'

Cormega.
Vshootz Courtesy of Jerry Graham Publicity

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 9:39 am

  • Cormega With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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The Record
4:24 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Reunited And It Feels A Little Awkward: OutKast At Coachella

Big Boi (left) and Andre 3000 perform on stage at Coachella during the first stop on OutKast's reunion tour.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:42 pm

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The Record
10:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Thundercat On Making Music Outside The Lines

Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner
B+ Courtesy of Motormouth Media

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:41 pm

Session musician Stephen Bruner has played bass in other people's bands for more than a decade. He can play metal, R&B, hip-hop, jazz. And he's been folding all that into his own music, which he puts out under the name Thundercat.

Now, with his second album, he's stepping to the front of the stage.

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