LGBTQ Hip Hop On Pandora

Hip hop is a powerful artistic tool for expression. In celebration of Pride we are highlighting some of the LGBTQ performers who’ve chosen hip hop as their canvas. These are MC’s who come out with courage, rocking rhymes with an emphasis on sexual orientation and gender expression. The music blasts a message of empowerment to the communities they represent, from the underground to the mainstream.


The Beginning

Often under fire for lyrically depicting misogyny and homophobia, hip hop may seem like an unlikely medium for LGBT artists, but not so. LGBTQ hip hop has roots in old school classics. Rappers like Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Medusa, Bahamadia and Invincible were showing and proving back in the day without wearing their identity on their sleeve. Those who loved and supported these artists saw the writing on the wall and connected with their art, style and vibes. This began to tear away the fear and open up opportunies for artists like Cazwell, Deadlee and Angel Haze to put their stamp on hip hop.

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Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Indigo Girls perform “Happy In The Sorrow Key”

The Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) are a folk/rock duo from Georgia. Their style features dynamic vocals, interweaving harmonies, acoustic/electric instrumentation and narrative rich lyrics.

Other artists that can be heard on their station include Brandi Carlile, Tracy Chapman and Adele. They came by the office and played “Happy In The Sorrow Key” off their latest album One Lost Day.

ODESZA Announces “In Return World Tour” On Pandora

Note:  Scroll down for individual links for each Pandora pre-sale tour date.

Freshly off the festival circuit, ODESZA has partnered with Pandora to officially announce their upcoming world tour called the “In Return World Tour.” Starting at 10am local time today, Pandora listeners will have an opportunity to buy tickets to the band’s US fall tour before the general public, using the code: PANDORA. The tour itself begins in New Orleans with Pandora Presents: ODESZA on Friday, October 30th. Click on the tour date of your choosing below, to get your special offer tickets now.


Along with the announcement, ODESZA has put together a mixtape of all of the tracks that they will be listening to while out on the road this Summer. Launch the mixtape, and get pumped for the ODESZA “In Return World Tour” now:
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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks


Troy Ave takes you to the streets of Brooklyn on Major Without a Deal. 

Troy_AveGetting down with Puff Daddy, Mase, Fabolous, Jadakiss and Cam’ron gives the album a Bad Boy throwback feel, but the singles with Ty Dolla $ign and A$AP Ferg keeps the sound updated and soulful. “Doo Doo” is a fun song for a sing-along. –J Boogie


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Last Comic Standing finalist releases her first comedy album.

Nikki_CarrNikki Carr comes on strong with her new release, Trophy Wife. The Bronx native tackles topics ranging from coming out as a lesbian on national TV, discrimination in hand-washing and missing child photos on milk cartons, and her distinctive gap tooth. –Kelly Anneken


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Go Skateboarding Day: Skate Rock

Ever since my first day working at Pandora, I’ve always wanted to make a Skate Rock genre station. With the 11th annual Go Skateboarding Day coming up this Sunday, I thought it might be the perfect time to drop in on this rabbit hole. As a native Californian, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a skateboard in my possession. But it wasn’t until age 12 that I first became aware of skateboarding as a lifestyle, replete with its own soundtrack.

fc065ab0-04c8-487a-8792-daf84ab531b2_zpsvkcfdicoIt was the summer of 1983 and I was learning how to pump the transitions of a big wooden halfpipe in the North Tahoe woods when I overheard some older guys. They were talking about punk bands I’d never heard of. When I mentioned that I liked The Clash and The Jam, a guy with bleached bangs hanging over his left eye barked at me, “That British stuff’s for girls!” He told me that real skaters listened to The Misfits, Black Flag, JFA, Agent Orange and other “skate rock” bands. My next trip to Clementine’s Records in Kings Beach found me starting a skate rock collection that I still obsess over today.

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Dad Jokes: Happy Father’s Day

As long as there have been dads, there have been dad jokes—groan-worthy quips and puns designed to embarrass sons, daughters, and anyone with good taste who happens to be in earshot.

1117_DadJokes_Insta_V1Remember taking a visit to the salon or barbershop and proudly announcing to your father that you got a haircut? Dad would take a long, hard look at your head and say “A haircut? Looks to me like you got ‘em all cut!” Or that all the times you said “I’m hungry,” only to have Dad zing back with “Nice to meet you, hungry, I’m Dad!” And of course sometimes Dad needed no prompting wax philosophical: “Without geometry, life is pointless.” Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Everclear performs “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart”

Everclear is an alternative rock band from Portland, OR. Their style is rooted in hard rock with punk influences, and features dynamic vocals and electric guitar riffs. Other artists that can be heard on their station include Blink-182, Weezer and Third Eye Blind. They came by the office and played “The Man Who Broke His Own Heart” off their latest album Black Is The New Black.

BBQ & Sing-Alongs: CMA Festival Day 4


They said today was going to be the hottest day of CMA 2015 and they were right. Word to the wise: when the weather app on your magic rectangle tells you that it’s going to be high in the 90s, make sure to stay hydrated… with water.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.23.51 AMGood thing Darius Rucker was playing in the air-conditioned convention center on the CMA Close Up Stage. He was also doing a Q&A panel and talked about the songwriting and recording process. “Sometimes you’ll write 50 songs,” he said, “but you’ll have to pick 13.” He also humbly stated, “I truly believe that I was a singer in a cover band that got really lucky.” During a stripped-down acoustic rendition of “Alright,” some of the audience could be heard singing along. But of course it was when he and a fiddle player launched into his breakthrough cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” that the entire audience lit up and joined in, singing every single lyric with him. Rucker also gave props to his influences and inspirations such as Al Green, Radney Foster, Dwight Yoakam and Miranda Lambert, whose “More Like Her” he added to his quiver of covers. Even Hootie fans were rewarded with an old-school treat when he dusted off a more countrified take on “Let Her Cry.” Read More →

Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks


Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard record an album together for the first time in 32 years.

Willie_NelsonNot since 1983’s Pancho & Lefty has the Red Headed Stranger and The Hag stepped into a studio and cut an entire album together. Django and Jimmie (named for the two outlaws’ childhood heroes) sounds as timeless as their previous long-player, albeit more weathered. –Eric Shea


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Slow your roll on the streets of South Side Los Angeles and roll one up tight for the new Dom Kennedy.

Dom_KennedyWest Coast rhymes over soulful beats floating in the sunshine. The next generation of hip-hop knows how to kill it over any tempo, so lean back and vibe out to By Dom Kennedy. –J Boogie



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CMA Festival Day 3: Women Of Country Music


Carrie Underwood’sBlown Away,” in 2012, was the last huge chart-topper by a female country artist. Recently a radio consultant, in comparing country music to a salad, referred to male country artists as the “lettuce” and the female country artists as the “tomatoes.” Subsequently, a few of country music’s female luminaries (including Martina McBride and Jennifer Nettles) are speaking out against these remarks in an effort to put women in country music on equal footing as men, the debacle has been dubbed #TomatoGate.

GG2A9424Rootsy chanteuse Sunny Sweeney also offered her two cents on the matter with a screened a t-shirt depicting a cartoon image of her hoisting a salami over the text, “Sunny Sweeney – Breaking Up The Sausage Party.” When I heard she was playing CMA 2015 I made it a priority to see what she’s been up to. Read More →