Atlanta rapper Michael Santiago Render, known professionally as Killer Mike, released his sixth album this month. It's called R.A.P. Music. The album's title isn't about hip-hop, per se, but refers to an acronym tweeted by another Georgian, a critic named Maurice Garland, two years ago. "He just put it up randomly: 'Rap music is supposed to be Rebellious African People,' " Killer Mike told Morning Edition. "I said, 'Yo, i'm naming my next album that.' "
You can hear a portion of the show's interview with Killer Mike at the audio link, but keep reading for more.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.
At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.
Mohammed Tolba (center) talks with friends at a coffee shop in the Cairo suburbs. The 33-year-old Egyptian is trying to change the public perception of Salafists, Muslims who believe in a literal interpretation of the Quran.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Tolba sports a bushy beard — a marker of religious conservatives — yet also wears Western-style jeans. He says he doesn't agree with all aspects of modern life in Egypt, yet he knows he cannot change things overnight.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is nearing the end of his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team began in Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, drove across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
European leaders and global markets expressed relief after Greek conservatives' narrow parliamentary election victory over leftists who had vowed to ditch the tough austerity terms of an international bailout.
But the next government will have to deal with a polarized society and with widespread anger at wage and job cutbacks that have targeted the middle class and spared an entrenched political and business elite.
The main opposition group in Syria is making a renewed push to unify various strands of the anti-regime movement. The new head of the Syrian National Council wants to broaden the group's appeal, and combat fears that it is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
An Elvis impersonator may be a cliche, but Zac Hutchenson and Chastity Floyd found something original to do. They reenacted the wedding of Elvis Presley's parents over the weekend in Verona, Miss. Back in 1933, Vernon Presley was too young to marry without his parents' permission. So at age 17, he lied about his age, borrowed the cash for a license and wed Gladys Smith.
Friday's announcement by the Obama administration that the U.S. plans to stop deporting some illegal immigrants received mixed reviews in Alabama. That state has one of the most aggressive anti-immigration laws in the country.
The small Alaska town of Bethel has a population of 6,000, and the area can only be reached by boat or plane. Fliers posted throughout the town last week promised a Taco Bell. Sadly, it was what the Anchorage Daily News called "an evil hoax."
President Obama and other world leaders are gathering in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday for the G-20 summit. They're hoping to get some assurances that European governments are getting control of their financial problems before they become a further drag on the global economy.
One of the founders of Egypt's satirical online magazine El Koshary Today, Taha Belal, 28, at the Freedom Bar in downtown Cairo. Since Egypt's revolution last year, political parody has become popular on the Internet.
NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is wrapping up his Revolutionary Road Trip, a journey of more than 2,700 miles across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves. Steve and his team have traveled from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya, and filed this report from the third and final country, Egypt.
As Italy tries to fight its way out of a full-blown recession, the state and local governments are coming up with creative — and some say questionable — sources of revenue.
The latest example comes from Venice, where Benetton, the trendy Italian clothing-maker, is poised to put the city's first shopping mall right on the Grand Canal. Residents are up in arms, but officials say deals like these keep the lagoon city afloat.
The Obama administration is announcing a major change in immigration policy this morning. It affects people who are brought to the U.S. as children illegally. Beginning immediately, these young people can avoid deportation and will be allowed to work in this country. The move could affect as many as 800,000 undocumented residents 30 years old or younger.
Joining us now to talk about the move is NPR's Scott Horsley. He's at the White House. And Scott, who exactly is affected?
After a week of escalating violence in Syria, the chief U.N. official there in the country said today that efforts to resolve the conflict have had little effect. It was a bleak assessment from the man leading the United Nations observer mission for the past six months. NPR's Deborah Amos joins us from Damascus, where she has been out with observers assessing the situation.
And Deb, what was the message today from Major General Robert Mood?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Summer dust storms in Arizona have a funny name - haboobs - but they can be deadly. This summer, Arizona transportation officials turned to poetry in their safety campaign, encouraging Twitter users to tweet haikus, like this one from Mindy Lee: Haboobs blow through town. In one instant it is dark. Pull over and wait. And here's Will Watson's: You're not a Jedi. This is not Tatooine, Luke. Pull over, man. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
A Chinese worker operates a machine at a factory in Binzhou in northeast China's Shandong province. China's exports and imports shot up in May year-on-year, the customs agency said on June 10, defying expectations amid a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
In recent months, economic growth in China has not only slowed — it's slowed faster than most people expected. Last week, for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis, the government actually cut lending rates to try to spur growth. All of this has people wondering: Where is the world's star economy headed?
The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.
But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they're fakes — only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.
The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Some of the eeriest are stencils of human hands, apparently made by blowing a spray of pigment over a hand held up to a wall.
Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that people accused of a crime deserve the right to a defense lawyer, no matter whether they can afford to pay for one. But there's no such guarantee when it comes to civil disputes — like evictions and child custody cases — even though they have a huge impact on people's lives.
For decades, federal and state governments have pitched in to help. But money pressures mean the system for funding legal aid programs for the poor is headed toward a crisis.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. They say to understand a man, walk a mile in his shoes. Research from the University of Kansas suggests you don't even need to do that. The new study found judgments based on simply looking at someone's shoes, were right 90 percent of the time.
Shoes can reveal age, income, emotional state and political preference. Liberals really do wear shabby shoes and extroverts, flashy ones. Oddly, those in uncomfortable shoes tended to be calm.
Lawyers on all sides agree the system enshrined nearly 50 years ago that gives all defendants the right to a lawyer is not working. The Justice Department calls it a crisis — such a big problem that it's been doling out grants to improve how its adversaries perform in criminal cases.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech under a portrait of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on June 2. The supreme leader has said repeatedly that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic and Iran will not pursue them. But in the West, many are skeptical.
Tyler Saladino plays baseball in the minor leagues in Birmingham, Ala. A prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, he was sent to the AA Birmingham Barons after spending part of spring training with the major league club.
And when he arrived in Alabama, Saladino's first task was to find a place to live, as he tells Morning Edition's David Greene. He settled on sharing an apartment.
I was born in 1970, sprung from one of the most aspirational generations America has ever produced: The Hip-Hop Nation. With decades of rap music anthems dedicated to our fantastical transition from poverty to prosperity, we rarely celebrate our wealth without looking back on our meager beginnings. The American Dream, for us, always represents the possibility of success and affluence on our own terms — with a watchful eye toward our hardscrabble origins.