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Preview: NPR People: Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang : NPR



Oliver Wang is a music writer, scholar, and DJ based in California. Since 1994, he's written on popular music, culture, race, and America for outlets such as National Public Radio, Vibe, Wax Poetics, Scratch, and The Village Voice.



Last Build Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:39:00 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2016 NPR - For Personal Use Only
 



A Queen Among Kings

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:39:00 -0500

The fiery singer, whose work with The Dap-Kings helped inspire a soul revival, died Nov. 18 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.



Music Review: 'We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service,' A Tribe Called Quest

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:35:00 -0500

The group's new album — its first in 18 years — was recorded before the death of founding member Phife Dawg last March and was just released this month.



Review: The Frightnrs, 'Nothing More To Say'

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:00:00 -0400

Singer Dan Klein died of ALS earlier this summer, but at least his rocksteady band was able to see its collective vision through on this one sublime album.



Simple Idea, Spooky Result: Latin American Ballads Get A Ghostly Makeover

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:29:00 -0400

Frankie Reyes is a Los Angeles-based artist who remakes classic Mexican and other Spanish-language ballads and waltzes using a vintage synthesizer. His new album is called Boleros Valses y Mas.



Songs We Love: Lady Wray, 'Do It Again'

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 13:17:00 -0400

With a production team consisting of two seasoned retro-soul veterans, Nicole Wray's solo act shepherds '60s and '70s R&B styles into the present.



Behind The Black Power Goddess: Betty Davis' Early Demos Released

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:45:00 -0400

Betty Davis was already gaining attention as Betty Mabry in the late 1960s when she met Miles Davis. He produced legendary sessions for her that have never been released — until now.



Songs We Love: Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, 'Was Dog A Doughnut'

Fri, 27 May 2016 09:24:10 -0400

The steel drum tradition is unfairly maligned. The mysterious Hamburg group takes Cat Stevens' pioneering electro jam and replaces synths with steel.



'James Brown: Live At The Apollo Vol. 4' Is A Marvelous And Mysterious Time Capsule

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:59:00 -0400

The 1972 concerts at The Apollo were recorded but, inexplicably, never released — until now. They show a side of Brown content to turn the show over to his collaborators.



Songs We Love: J Dilla, 'F*** The Police'

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

#TBT to a 2001 track that surprised fans not with its title or message, but with the ferocity of Jay Dee's production.



Songs We Love: Million Dollar Ecstacy, 'Burning Inside'

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:30:19 -0400

#TBT to a Bay Area garage studio in 1987 and an outsider boogie funk new wave disco fusion that was downright prescient.



Songs We Love: Charles Bradley, 'Things We Do For Love'

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0400

Daptone's "Screaming Eagle of Soul" returns with a restrained groove that could make even low-rider O.G.s go a little weak in the knees.



Kanye West Plays Puppet Master With 'Life Of Pablo' Premiere

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:02:00 -0500

Maybe this is all part of some performance-art piece we've been unwittingly sucked into. But either way, it seems to be working.



'To Pimp A Butterfly' Aspires To Be Music's Great American Novel

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:00:00 -0400

Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited new album dropped late Sunday night, nine days early. On it, the rapper wades into our current moment of peril around race, inequality and brutality.



Wu-Tang's Fabulous Fabulist Returns

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:26:00 -0500

Ghostface Killah's new 36 Seasons is a concept album with a big cast. It stars his Tony Starks alter ego in dense action scenes.



Music Review: 'You're Dead!' By Flying Lotus

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:31:28 -0400

Steven Ellison has built an impressive reputation among critics and fans in the know for mixing hip hop, jazz and electronica into something original. But even for the aforementioned followers, the new album from Ellison — better-known as Flying Lotus — is a surprise. It's all about death, not as something to be mourned but as a journey to be anticipated.