Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

On Saturday, one of the highest-profile and most scrutinized marriages in pop music became an official collaboration with the surprise release of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's album Everything Is Love, credited to The Carters, alongside a video for the album's first single, shot in the Louvre. The album had been rumored since the release of Beyoncé's 2016 album Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44, both of which addressed fault lines in the artists' marriage, and in a summer of major hip-hop albums, this instantly marked a new high-water mark.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

For Saintseneca, fatalistic gloom blends seamlessly with a kind of playful sprightliness: Zac Little's songs often simmer in a sad swirl of death and esoterica, but his deadpan ruminations are buoyed by the sounds of exotic instruments, candy-colored pop hooks and many points in between.

Southern friendship is all about porches. The craftsman cottages of East Nashville were designed for afternoon sweet tea and guitar picking with the perfume of whatever's on the smoker (these days, it's as likely to be tofu as hog) wafting by. Bars like Mickey's on Gallatin Pike have great porches, too — a famous local might come in for a cold beer and leave hours later in a new super group.

If you've written off women's wrestling, you're missing out.

On the morning I read Jim Crace's superb new novel The Melody, I was in our living room when I heard them: bells. Chiming over and over again, from I knew not where. It felt as if the book itself had created an atmosphere around me, as if I'd entered its world involuntarily — and I wasn't surprised.

Plants need carbon dioxide to live, but its effects on them are complicated.

As the level of carbon dioxide in the air continues to rise because of human activity, scientists are trying to pin down how the plants we eat are being affected.

Mounting evidence suggests that many key plants lose nutritional value at higher CO2 levels, and scientists are running experiments all over the world to try to tease out the effects.

Your Favorite New Artists Of 2018 (So Far)

10 hours ago

The South Florida rapper XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot near a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla., this afternoon and later was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital, the Broward Sheriff's Office has confirmed. According to a statement provided to NPR by the Broward Sheriff's Office, at 3:57 p.m.

A summer already full of high-profile hip-hop releases just got hotter. NPR Music's Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael break down the surprise release of Jay-Z and Beyoncé's joint album, Everything Is Love, and explore how it sounds both on its own and compared to the competition.

What's Your Summer Jam This Year?

Jun 18, 2018

Ah, summer. Between the endless freedom and sizzling heat, there's something about the season that makes it ripe for memories. Lounging by the pool, dancing freely to the latest crackling pop hit. Drinking on rooftops with friends, the humid evening inducing a warm, pleasant languor. Road trips, music festivals, lazy days alone: With so much time, we become better versions of ourselves – more relaxed, confident and unguarded.

Whatever it is, it's clear that summer deserves its own soundtrack. What's your summer jam? Tell us in the poll below.

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