10 episodes

Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist's story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. Hosted by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, this podcast is invested in power from all angles — the power the music industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game.

Louder Than A Riot NPR

    • True Crime
    • 4.0 • 1.9K Ratings

Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist's story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. Hosted by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, this podcast is invested in power from all angles — the power the music industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game.

    My Brother's Keeper: Bobby Shmurda (Pt 3)

    My Brother's Keeper: Bobby Shmurda (Pt 3)

    Bobby Shmurda faces a dilemma: Go for self, or go for crew. We talk to lawyers on both sides of court and the rapper himself about his infamous case.

    • 59 min
    'Stay In The House': Bobby Shmurda (Pt 2)

    'Stay In The House': Bobby Shmurda (Pt 2)

    What does a fatal shooting reveal about Bobby Shmurda's viral summer smash? This is the story of "Hot N****" that lingers between the lyrics.

    • 45 min
    The Badder, The Better: Bobby Shmurda (Pt 1)

    The Badder, The Better: Bobby Shmurda (Pt 1)

    Over the next three episodes, we go behind the headlines of Bobby Shmurda's story: his rise, his fall and the price he paid for the bonds of brotherhood.

    • 52 min
    The Day The Mixtape Died: DJ Drama

    The Day The Mixtape Died: DJ Drama

    How a law aimed at the mob turned mixtapes from cultural innovation to criminal conspiracy. Meet the man who took the fall when the cops came knocking.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Outsmarting The Devil: Mac Phipps (Pt 3)

    Outsmarting The Devil: Mac Phipps (Pt 3)

    Prisoner exploitation. Sexual assault allegations. What do ripples in Mac's case two decades after the verdict say about liberty and justice for all?

    • 1 hr
    Lyrics On Trial: Mac Phipps (Pt 2)

    Lyrics On Trial: Mac Phipps (Pt 2)

    "A bullet in your brain." What right does the justice system have to decide whether a rapper's words are imagination or intent to kill?

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

Thebraintrust88 ,

Finally hip hop got a foxy-series

Great series, hosts and crew put together a dope show. The DJ Drama episode took me back! (And he ain’t lying, when I saw GG in stores I wasn’t messing with it)

saloiui ,

Phenomenal podcast

I’m sure the only people that gave this a bad review are racists.

Edesius ,

Interesting

Really interesting podcast, well done and informative. But complete Critical Race Theory propaganda. It’s awful and absolutely terrible that these rappers faced such injustice, but why don’t they do something about helping them be freed instead of ragging on the justice system that was abused by individuals? Seriously. This podcast wants to show evidence for systemic racism and make people feel woke as they listen to it, so they make different elements of the story political or racist when they’re not. Obviously there is a lot of racism going on in these stories, but in the case of Mac Phipps, he wasn’t incarcerated because he was black or he was an artist. The county’s officials were extremely corrupt and were weaponizing the justice system against anyone they wanted to. It’s hard to say that’s a racial issue when they did the same thing to anyone regardless of color. And the story doesn’t prove systemic racism since the DOJ and other officials were caught and indicted. I don’t know why Mac Phipps is still in jail if he is so clearly innocent as the podcast makes it seem; the system isn’t broke but it isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Instead of condemning the system can’t we try to free these hip hop artists?
It’s seriously unfortunate that rap is particularly targeted for its violent and explicit lyrics, but why do rappers and other lyricists feel required to glorify criminal behavior? I would say it’s true people mistake rap as simplistic instead of an art form, but when lyrics obsess over murder or rape, it can seem like damning evidence. Other song genres are just as capable of being weaponized in court against their writers, and it makes sense. If I were to have years’ worth of journals where I in detail imagine criminal behavior and then was accused of a similar action, it would look very condemning.
I have a hard time believing any rapper is consciously partaking in a rich cultural heritage when he sings about murder or violence, I would think he’s more singing about what is popular. Just because there are spirituals and other songs that glorify or focus on death doesn’t mean rap and hip hop should be able to do the same today; it’s foolish to say Suttee is a rich Indian tradition so we can’t disapprove of it. The practice is now forbidden by law.
Interesting podcast, and if I totally misunderstood it and it’s just telling stories I really like it; but if it’s trying to push CRT crap it’s self-contradictory and useless.

Top Podcasts In True Crime

More by NPR