Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Our producer, David Luke, father of David Luke III, put together this special edition of Microphone Check, a compliation of times when the musicians we've sat with over the past couple years spoke about fatherhood.

Hip-hop music and culture informs most things, including works of art and creative expression that don't sound anything like an MC over a break beat. Though not everybody would file Dean Blunt's output as music that falls under the purview of Microphone Check, we are far too intrigued by his work to find out he would be in Los Angeles and not ask him to sit with us.

The artist and thinker, who just released a new album that's only one part of a larger multimedia conception, takes us from the drummers of Burundi to Adam Ant, Octavia Butler to David Bowie, Rakim to Young Thug. We also hit on ageism in rap, artistry for sale and how to work interviews.

ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: Saul Williams in the house! What up?

FRANNIE KELLEY: Thank you for coming.

New father Freddie Gibbs spoke with Microphone Check about his inspirations, including the memoirs of Rick James and George Clinton, his business acumen, what the war in the streets is really about and, of course, Gucci.

FRANNIE KELLEY: We're really excited to talk to you after another album.

The rapper, who hails from Maryland but now resides in the Los Angeles area, came through to talk about the road to his second album, The Incredible True Story, fending off critics and the language he uses to to remind himself of his blessings and his possibilities.

ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: What up, Logic?

LOGIC: What's good? This is crazy. I'm so excited.

MUHAMMAD: Me too.

FRANNIE KELLEY: Thank you for coming.

LOGIC: Of course.

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