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Popcast

250 EpisodesProduced by The New York TimesWebsite

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in popular music criticism, trends and news.

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Can Reality Television Produce a Plausible Rap Star?

November 11th, 2019

57:18

Netflix’s “Rhythm + Flow” is the most recent example of the reality-TV business trying to get into the hip-hop business. Guests: Complex's Frazier Tharpe and Stereogum's Tom Breihan.

Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King,’ From the Gospel Perspective

October 30th, 2019

1:04:37

Gospel music insiders on the rapper’s turn to religious music and how his album relates to contemporary holy hip-hop. Guests: Root's Hasan James and …

The Rise of DaBaby, From Memes to the Mosh Pit

October 19th, 2019

1:14:23

The year’s most consistent new hip-hop star combines intense rhymes with online savvy. Guest: Joe Coscarelli.

The Highwomen, Miranda Lambert and the Women Invigorating Country Music

October 11th, 2019

1:03:24

Nashville has long marginalized female performers, songwriters and producers. But a wave of artists is fighting back. Guests: Jada Watson and Natalie Weiner.

Is 100 gecs the End of Pop, or a New Beginning?

October 5th, 2019

1:05:05

One of the year’s most unlikely breakthroughs is a duo that makes disorienting, genre-jumbling music. Guests: Eli Enis and The Fader's Larry Fitzmaurice.

A New Flood of English-Spanish Pop Is Here. Is It Opportunism or Progress?

September 29th, 2019

1:04:25

Collaborations have flourished in the wake of “Despacito,” some sounding natural, some sounding forced. Guest: Remezcla's Eduardo Cepeda.

How Does Post Malone Sound Like Everything and Nothing?

September 22nd, 2019

59:20

A conversation about his rapid rise and the questions — about genre and race — glossed over along the way. Guests: Pitchfork's Jayson Greene and The New York Times Magazine's Jonah Weiner.

Young Thug Gets His Due, But Is It Too Late?

September 7th, 2019

1:09:16

One of the decade’s most copied rappers finally reached No. 1 on the album chart, years after his aesthetic rubbed off on hip-hop. Guest: Andrew Nosnitsky.

What’s the Point of Album Covers in the Post-Album Era?

August 29th, 2019

55:37

What was once a large canvas for grand statements is now a tiny digital mark. Guest: Chips's Teddy Blanks.

Is Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ the Beginning or the End of an Era?

August 27th, 2019

1:16:10

Breaking down the sounds, the themes, the obscure (and not-so-hidden) messages and more on her seventh album. Guests: Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz and Jon Pareles.

A Tribute to David Berman, Who Never Hid His Truth

August 16th, 2019

1:15:18

Conversations about his songwriting, his struggles and his striking sweetness outside of music. Guests: Jeff Johnson; The New Yorker's Amanda Petrusich; and Nick Weidenfeld.

Funkmaster Flex and Tyler, the Creator’s Unlikely Buddy Comedy

August 2nd, 2019

1:10:19

The Hot 97 D.J. and the hip-hop disrupter shared the wildest interview of the year. Guests: Rolling Stone's Charles Holmes and Pitchfork's Alphonse …

How Many Streams Is a T-Shirt Worth? Breaking Down Chart Dilemmas.

July 26th, 2019

1:00:32

There’s more data about music consumption than ever before. That doesn’t mean we understand who’s the most popular. Guests: The New York Times's Joe …

The Loudness of João Gilberto, Bossa Nova’s King of Quiet

July 19th, 2019

55:50

A look back at the Brazilian musician’s innovations as one of the genre’s primary architects. Guest: Ben Ratliff

How Hootie & the Blowfish Inspired Both Love and Hate

July 8th, 2019

53:54

Critics who were writing about the band at the peak of its fame look back at how the group became so bitterly divisive. Guests: Jim DeRogatis and Danyel Smith.

Taylor vs. Scooter: The Pop Music Civil War of 2019

July 3rd, 2019

1:04:48

The superstar complained that the powerful manager acquired her master recordings, setting off a debate that divided the industry. Guest: The New …

The Unexpectedly Deep Musical Roots of Hootie & the Blowfish

July 1st, 2019

57:51

“Cracked Rear View” catapulted the band to superstardom. But the group made great music long before — and after — anyone paid attention. Guest: …

Why Are the Movies So Obsessed With Pop Stars?

June 21st, 2019

1:14:57

From “Rocketman” to “Her Smell,” “Blaze” to “Vox Lux,” the film industry seems to think all musicians have the same ups and downs. Guests: The New …

Can Record Labels Be Trusted to Preserve Music History?

June 13th, 2019

1:13:33

A 2008 fire destroyed master recordings for a who’s who of popular music. A new investigation explores the damage done. Guest: The New York Times …

Bob Dylan’s Excellent Adventure

June 11th, 2019

41:49

The Rolling Thunder Revue was more than a tour: It was a chance for the songwriter to play with the truth. Guest: The New York Times's Jon Pareles

Megan Thee Stallion and Rap’s Rising Generation of Women

May 25th, 2019

30:09

Hip-hop has historically been inhospitable to female performers. A new class is finding fresh paths to break through. Guests: The Atlantic's Hannah …

Are AirPods Worth the Costs?

May 20th, 2019

1:03:08

Apple’s wireless earbuds have led to questions about personal tech as environmental scourge and punch line. Guests: The New York Times's Brian X. …

Vampire Weekend, Indie Rock Heretics Turned Anxious Jam Band

May 13th, 2019

52:44

Ezra Koenig’s literate group has returned, sparking questions about how it was received in the past, and where it stands in the current climate. Guests: The New York Times's Jon Pareles; The Ringer's Rob Harvilla

The Return of Bikini Kill and the Long Tail of Riot Grrrl

May 5th, 2019

41:49

A movement of punk-powered feminism that began in the early 1990s has a fresh urgency in 2019. Guests: Evelyn McDonnell, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Caryn Ganz

How Gospel and Pop Learn From Each Other

April 30th, 2019

1:12:03

From Kanye West to serpentwithfeet to the Stellar Awards returning to BET, the genres’ dialogue has been evolving. Guest: The New Yorker's Briana …

Is Billie Eilish the Future of Pop?

April 19th, 2019

1:06:53

The 17-year-old musician has been revising the rules of young stardom. But she may be more of a classicist than her aesthetic would suggest. Guests: …

Lil Nas X and the Long History of Country-Rap

April 7th, 2019

46:58

“Old Town Road” is the latest flash point in the two-decades-long dialogue between Nashville and hip-hop. Guest: Average Joes Entertainment's Shannon Houchins

Boy Bands, Now Featuring Grown Men

March 29th, 2019

1:20:07

Backstreet’s back, the New Kids put out a new single and groups in the K-pop ecosystem are thriving. Why are boy bands so central to pop music? Guests: Jezebel's Maria Sherman and Billboard's Andrew Unterberger

How a Viral Rap Star Rocketed From Meme to Hit

March 21st, 2019

55:40

Blueface’s “Thotiana” is a nearly perfectly engineered hit of the social media age. Guests: The Fader's Ben Dandridge-Lemco and Pitchfork's Alphonse Pierre.

Can Michael Jackson’s Legacy Ever Really Be Derailed?

March 7th, 2019

59:30

The documentary “Leaving Neverland” details devastating allegations of sexual abuse. How do fans process them, and Jackson’s body of work? Guests: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli, Aisha Harris and Ben Sisario

The Hip-Hop Superstar as Local Newsmaker

March 1st, 2019

41:01

Musicians often make headlines; balancing coverage of their art with coverage of the accusations they face isn’t always easy. Guest: The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Brett Clarkson

Behind the Ryan Adams Investigation

February 18th, 2019

41:40

The musician has been accused of dangling career opportunities while pursuing female artists for sex, then turning domineering and vengeful. He …

The 2019 Grammys Make Up for Last Year, Somewhat

February 12th, 2019

1:05:43

After a terrible ceremony that minimized women and nonwhite artists, the Recording Academy tried something else: the opposite. Guests: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz and Jon Pareles.

Maggie Rogers and Sharon Van Etten Break Free From Old Expectations

February 1st, 2019

1:00:03

Two singer-songwriters at different points in their careers are staking claim to new creative ground. Guests: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli; …

Fyre Festival’s Post-Mortems: We’ve Still Got Questions

January 25th, 2019

57:38

Two documentaries examining Billy McFarland’s debacle aim to shed new light on the scammers and victims. Guests: The New York Times's Aisha Harris, Wesley Morris and Melena Ryzik.

Listening to Pop Music’s Class of 2019

January 18th, 2019

52:38

From British punk-rap to 1970s-influenced country to morbid electronic pop, a guide to new artists to watch. Guest: The New York Times's Jon Pareles.

Bad Bunny Is Just Getting Started

January 12th, 2019

1:11:48

His was the defining voice of 2018. What’s next for this Puerto Rican new-pop superstar? Guests: Remezcla's Eduardo Cepeda and Isabelia Herrera; and …

The New Battles Over the Direction of Jazz

January 4th, 2019

1:11:51

What did the music, innovations and arguments of 2018 tell us about where the genre is headed next? Guests: John Murph and Giovanni Russonello

Your Questions About Pop Music, Answered (or Ruled Unanswerable)

December 27th, 2018

1:15:30

The Popcast wraps 2018 discussing Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, streaming and crying. Guest: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli

A New Kind of Pop Star Has Arrived

December 21st, 2018

1:20:49

K-pop, Latin trap and melodic hip-hop — once regarded as subgenres — have become the center of the pop conversation. Guest: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli

Listening to the Best Songs of 2018

December 13th, 2018

50:02

The 1975’s millennial anthem, “Shallow” and a lot of Bad Bunny: Why did these tracks define the year in pop? Guests: The New York Times's Jon Pareles, Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz

How the Grammy Nominations Really Made Us Feel

December 8th, 2018

47:11

Music's big awards show is trying to make big changes. So what do these nominations tell us? Guests: The New York Times's Jon Pareles. Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz

Debating the Best Albums of 2018: Janelle Monáe, Soccer Mommy and More

December 7th, 2018

1:15:33

Drake, Mitski, Ariana Grande — whose albums defined the year? (And will albums matter next year?) Guests: The New York Times's Jon Pareles, Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz

6ix9ine’s Troubled Past and Uncertain Future

December 1st, 2018

1:04:19

A conversation about the Brooklyn rapper’s arrest and musical prospects as he releases “Dummy Boy” while behind bars. Guest: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli.

The Gentle Return of Mariah Carey

November 29th, 2018

1:05:38

With her 15th album, “Caution,” the singer has entered a new phase of her long career. Guests: Michael Arceneaux; Jezebel's Julianne Escobedo …

Kane Brown, Pistol Annies and Country Music’s Inclusion Problem

November 17th, 2018

1:01:07

The tug of war between how the genre advertises itself and how it’s actually evolving is growing more tense. Guests: Nick Murray; Natalie Weiner.

Remembering Roy Hargrove, Who Brought Jazz History Into Tomorrow

November 9th, 2018

1:02:09

The trumpeter, who died at 49, was a singular figure dedicated to keeping jazz’s past in dialogue with its future. Guests: The New York Times's …

Robyn, Pop’s Reluctant Pacesetter

November 2nd, 2018

55:58

With “Honey,” the Swedish star returns to a landscape she’s quietly shaped for over 20 years. Guests: The New York Times's Caryn Ganz; the Guardian's Laura Snapes; Jezebel's Hazel Cills

BTS Conquered America. What’s Next for K-Pop?

October 26th, 2018

1:26:28

Now that K-pop is successful on its own terms, the questions it faces are changing. Guest: Billboard's Jeff Benjamin.

For Those About to Rock, An Uncertain Fate

October 20th, 2018

1:18:23

Is rock music in 2018 a sound, a mood or a retail category? Where do Twenty One Pilots, the 1975 and Greta Van Fleet fit in? Guests: The New York …

‘A Star Is Born’ Is Here. Let’s Discuss.

October 11th, 2018

1:14:37

What does Bradley Cooper’s remake starring Lady Gaga say about the pop music business — and the film industry — today? Guests: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli, Manohla Dargis, Caryn Ganz, Wesley Morris and Jon …

How Lil Wayne Became One of Hip-Hop’s Most Durable Stars

October 5th, 2018

1:23:43

Tracing the rapper’s evolution from a teen in New Orleans to his long-awaited album “Tha Carter V.” Guests: XXL's Vanessa Satten; The New York …

Should They Stay or Should They Go? Pop Stars and Retirement

September 28th, 2018

34:14

Why do some artists stick around and others choose to retreat? Guest: The New York Times's Jon Pareles

What Makes for a Great Celebrity Profile?

September 20th, 2018

1:04:36

Writing in-depth features about stars can be an art form. But it’s been changing in recent years. Guests: The New York Times Magazine's Vanessa Grigoriadis; GQ's Zach Baron.

Remembering Mac Miller, Low-Key Hip-Hop Bellwether

September 15th, 2018

1:12:05

The 26-year-old rapper and producer stood at the crossroads of movements that have been shaping popular music over the past decade. Guests: …

Remembering The Village Voice, Music Criticism's Crucible: Part 2

September 10th, 2018

1:05:02

Forty years of writers and editors share memories about helping invent a language to talk about music, and the artists they critiqued — some …

Remembering The Village Voice, Music Criticism's Crucible: Part 1

September 10th, 2018

1:13:37

Forty years of writers and editors share memories about helping invent a language to talk about music, and the artists they critiqued — some …

How We Arrived at Ariana Grande’s Big Moment

August 28th, 2018

58:40

“Sweetener” has taken the singer to new heights at a moment of transition for the top ranks of female vocalists. Guests: The Ringer's Lindsay …

Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott, Rivals With Common Problems

August 21st, 2018

55:44

One is an old-style hip-hop star, one comes from a newer school. But both are facing challenges making effective albums and defining their artistic …

Aretha Franklin: The Artist We Knew, and the Woman We Didn’t

August 17th, 2018

1:12:48

The Queen of Soul leaves a towering legacy. How will we remember her? Guests: The New York Times's Jon Pareles and Wesley Morris; and David Ritz.

The Shrinking Space Between Band T-Shirt and High Fashion

August 10th, 2018

1:19:19

Merch has become a crucial part of a musician’s rise. Here’s how it’s evolved. Guests: Procell's Brian Procell; The Cut's Emilia Petrarca; and …

Can Guns N’ Roses, or Any Artist, Erase an Unflattering Moment?

August 4th, 2018

1:13:02

What happens when a band wipes a stain from its historical record? Or when physical albums vanish, replaced by different digital versions? Guests: …

Who’s in Charge of Telling Whitney Houston’s Story?

July 27th, 2018

1:06:17

Two documentaries have attempted to unpack the life of one of pop’s transformative figures, whose complex legacy is still riddled with questions. Guests: Naima Cochrane; Jezebel's Rich Juzwiak; Alan Light; and The …

When Superfans Attack

July 21st, 2018

1:11:50

A writer critiqued Nicki Minaj online; the rapper’s fans responded in force. How does celebrity fandom become a vicious tool online, and what’s …

Drake: Platinum in a Day, but Still at a Crossroads

July 5th, 2018

1:17:58

With his new double album, “Scorpion,” the rapper and singer is grappling with brand maintenance. Is he innovating, and where can he go next? Guests: The New York Times's Joe Coscarelli and Reggie Ugwu; Sheldon Pearce; …

Kanye West: You Asked, We Answered

June 27th, 2018

1:23:53

Was "Ye" rushed, and does it matter? How do women fit into Kanye’s world? Are conversations about politics with him fruitless? Guests: The New York …

XXXTentacion, Mourning and Morality

June 22nd, 2018

58:14

The 20-year-old broke out of the SoundCloud rap scene and reached No 1. But he faced accusations of violent crimes against a woman, and leaves behind …

Charlie Puth and Shawn Mendes, Would-Be Pop Kings

June 16th, 2018

1:09:00

Boy bands are on the rise and young male singers have some choices to make. A conversation about two performers with their sights set on pop ubiquity.

Kanye West’s ‘Ye’ Is Here: Let’s Discuss

June 6th, 2018

1:14:24

The rapper’s polarizing eighth album arrived surrounded by a celebrity circus and provided few answers.

Drake vs. Pusha-T, Unpacked

May 31st, 2018

56:46

An excavation of the skeletons animating the back-and-forth between the two rappers — and a conversation about who’s inching ahead.

Yes, We Stuck With ‘American Idol’

May 26th, 2018

54:20

Maddie Poppe won the show, rebooted on ABC with a new cast of judges. What worked, what didn’t and who really stood out? Two longtime “Idol” …

Pursuing R. Kelly: The Reporter Who Never Gave Up

May 23rd, 2018

37:52

For two decades, accusations of sexual impropriety have been leveled at the R&B superstar. And Jim DeRogatis has been covering the story.

‘Girls’ Gone Wrong: Who Gets to Make a Gay Love Song?

May 18th, 2018

53:40

The Rita Ora track was positioned as a celebration of bisexuality, but struck a sour note with critics who found its lyrics problematic. 

Avicii: Overexposed and Underappreciated?

May 4th, 2018

1:05:33

The 28-year-old producer and D.J., who died last month in Oman, was a pop savant and an EDM innovator who left behind a complicated legacy.

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar Break Boundaries

April 25th, 2018

1:16:56

A Coachella set stunning in scope and execution. The first Pulitzer Prize winner who isn’t from classical or jazz. A conversation about the two …

Pop’s Category Killers, From Live Nation to Spotify, Under the Microscope

April 20th, 2018

43:56

In recent weeks, the businesses that present music to the public have undergone major shifts.

Cardi B Arrives at the Top

April 12th, 2018

1:06:09

The 25-year-old’s LP “Invasion of Privacy” is part of her broad-scale pop culture takeover. A conversation about her rise and debut album.

Logic, XXXTentacion and Hip-Hop Morality in 2018

April 6th, 2018

1:09:34

A conversation about the earnest rapper and the SoundCloud renegade, both successes of modern internet-driven rap fandom.

Kacey Musgraves and Ashley McBryde, Country Traditionalists With a Twist

March 30th, 2018

57:53

Two new albums put a spotlight on Nashville’s ongoing, agonized relationship with female performers.

Ashlee Simpson: You Asked, We Answered

March 16th, 2018

1:18:21

Part two of our conversation about the mid-2000s pop star features debates about her MTV reality show and “S.N.L.” debacle, and a listener mailbag.

Was Ashlee Simpson Underappreciated? Discuss

March 9th, 2018

1:14:25

In the mid-2000s, the pop singer had platinum albums and an MTV reality show. Hear the first of two conversations about Ms. Simpson’s misunderstood career.

Lucy Dacus, Soccer Mommy, the Breeders and the Future of Indie Rock

March 2nd, 2018

56:58

A conversation about carefully considered creative paths — and how pristine voices with powerful messages are amplified — as three strong new albums …

In Defense of Soundtracks. And Fergie.

February 24th, 2018

1:13:18

What’s responsible for the recent soundtrack renaissance that brought albums from “Black Panther” and “The Greatest Showman” to the top of the charts?

The Complex Intersection Where Rap and the Legal System Collide

February 16th, 2018

45:50

A conversation with a criminal lawyer about the racial politics of legal representation, the Meek Mill saga and the future prospects of incarcerated …

Justin Timberlake Down, Meek Mill Up: How Twitter Swings Public Opinion

February 9th, 2018

1:17:49

The internet’s response to the two musicians after the Super Bowl shows how criticism works these days. Rapid-fire groupthink online can be strong enough to have real-world impact.

Can the Grammys Be Fixed?

January 30th, 2018

58:15

Big stars didn’t show up. Ratings were down. Hip-hop was once again shut out of the major categories. Can “music’s biggest night” represent what’s really happening in music?

Hear What Music Will Sound Like in 2018

January 26th, 2018

1:06:56

Flamboyant hip-hop, promising punk rock, intricate bluegrass and more: a conversation about the artists we’re looking forward to following this year.

Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan

January 19th, 2018

52:33

The lead singer of the Irish rock band, who died at 46, wrote songs in the 1990s that deeply touched young women and Irish listeners while appealing to a worldwide audience

In Streaming, One Goliath Creates Many Davids

January 12th, 2018

1:02:53

Streaming has established itself as the dominant mode of music distribution. What could go wrong? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Is Today’s Jazz Finally Outrunning the Past?

January 5th, 2018

1:05:01

Jazz could have spent 2017 looking backward, focusing on the centennials of foundational figures. But instead, several strains of contemporary jazz …

Will Eminem Ever Change?

December 22nd, 2017

54:12

After a brief break from the spotlight, the rapper returned with “Revival,” an album that revisited familiar tropes and sounds. Where can he go from here?

The Popcast Answers Your Burning Questions About Pop Music in 2017

December 18th, 2017

1:05:17

Our readers picked the topics of conversation, which included Fergie, the state of streaming and evolutions in Latin pop

In 2017, Pop Music Made Triumph Out of Tough Times

December 8th, 2017

1:13:32

From Lorde to Kendrick Lamar, many of the albums and songs on our critics’ best-of lists showcased the work of musicians meeting difficult …

After 40 Years, U2 Is Still Huge. Why?

December 2nd, 2017

41:55

A conversation about the band’s 14th album, “Songs of Experience,” and its ongoing quest for bigness.

Remembering Lil Peep

November 22nd, 2017

58:22

The 21-year-old rapper, who died last week, found a unique way to unite the languages of hip-hop and emo.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Has Arrived. Let’s Discuss.

November 14th, 2017

1:11:42

Ms. Swift plays a different game on her sixth album — making pop music that directly competes with the rest of the field’s dominant players.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Is Almost Here. Let’s Discuss.

November 9th, 2017

47:59

She hasn’t done interviews, but the pop star has been leaving hints about what to expect on her sixth album. Our writers listen to the signs.

How Will Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Be Remembered?

November 3rd, 2017

40:42

A new biography of the magazine’s founder has been praised by our critic and slammed by its subject.

What Are the Billboard Charts Really Measuring?

October 27th, 2017

54:16

Changes to the formulas used to build albums and singles charts will weigh paid streams more than free ones. What will the impact be?

The Persistence of Pink and Kelly Clarkson, Outspoken Pop Survivors

October 20th, 2017

55:24

Two of the music world’s biggest voices and boldest personalities are back. Deep into successful careers, where have their paths diverged?

Shania Twain Was Country’s Crossover Queen. What Is She Now?

October 13th, 2017

47:11

In the 15 years since she last released an album, the music industry has undergone big changes, but Ms. Twain’s new LP still debuted at No. 1.

Tom Petty, a Secret Punk on Rock’s Mount Rushmore

October 4th, 2017

33:42

He was a student of the ’60s who learned from his elders, but put his own deliberate spin on rock ’n’ roll.

National Anthem Protests, From ‘Jazzing the Banner’ to Taking a Knee

September 29th, 2017

47:57

“The Star-Spangled Banner” has long been a site of dissent and disagreement. A conversation about the history of the anthem, and those who have protested it.

Bye, Bro. In Country Music, It’s the Year of the Gentleman.

September 22nd, 2017

1:03:02

Nashville has been undergoing a gender crisis for most of the 2010s. Is the latest development — kinder men — a solution?

From Instagram to ‘Bodak Yellow,’ Cardi B Has Arrived

September 15th, 2017

55:10

The rapper behind one of the summer’s biggest hits has made swift moves in the music industry, and is making waves in the fashion world, too.

Women Dominating Rock: There’s More to the Conversation

September 11th, 2017

56:13

What happens when the media shines a light on feminist punk? A conversation about D.I.Y. scenes and representation.

The Popcast Answers Your Questions About Beyoncé, Music Videos and More

September 2nd, 2017

1:07:27

On this week’s episode, our readers picked the topics of conversation, which include Lil Wayne, merchandise and Camila Cabello.

Is SoundCloud a Business or a Community?

August 25th, 2017

30:53

If the music-streaming service disappeared, a culture might vanish too. A conversation about where the tech and culture worlds collide.

Kesha and Taylor Swift Find New Voices

August 18th, 2017

45:12

On “Rainbow,” Kesha steps away from her old persona but keeps her former spark. In court, Taylor Swift speaks with no filter. 

What Keeps Phish Fans Coming Back for More?

August 11th, 2017

41:47

The band just completed a 13-show run in New York where it didn’t repeat any songs, and its fans are already hungering for the next residency.

Is Arcade Fire Its Own Worst Enemy?

August 4th, 2017

35:53

As the band released its most divisive album yet, it embarked on a rollout that confused its narrative even further. 

Celebrating Two of Rock’s Big Voices, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell

July 28th, 2017

59:21

A conversation about two singers in different bands who left significant musical and emotional legacies

Streaming Is Taking Over Pop, but It’s Far From Flawless

July 21st, 2017

46:57

Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal: Seemingly every major streaming service has suffered through some controversy lately

From Jay-Z to Prodigy, It’s Time to Talk About Hip-Hop’s Elders

July 14th, 2017

1:13:34

A new album from Jay-Z, documentaries about Sean Combs and Dr. Dre, and the death of Prodigy have stirred new thinking about older artists

Can K-pop Conquer America?

June 30th, 2017

55:42

Fanaticism about this Korean genre is on the rise in the United States, but it hasn’t cracked mainstream pop culture

Hip-Hop’s Punk Moment Has Arrived

June 23rd, 2017

1:05:22

SoundCloud rap is a raw, rowdy, rebellious movement fueled by young rappers looking outside the genre for inspiration.

Katy Perry, Lorde and Halsey: How to Make a Pop Album in 2017

June 16th, 2017

55:13

Three female pop stars, three different approaches: a conversation about their new albums, on Popcast.

Why We’re Still Listening to the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’

June 9th, 2017

30:26

Our pop music critics are not fans of record anniversaries, but 50 years after the creation of “Sgt. Pepper,” there are still lessons to be learned from the album.

Latin Pop Thrives, No Bieber Required

June 2nd, 2017

47:29

“Despacito” is the first Spanish-language song to top the chart since “Macarena,” but there are many more interesting shifts in Latin pop today.

Festivals That Inspire Awe, and Festivals That Lead to Criminal Investigations

May 26th, 2017

46:38

Music fests are ubiquitous, but only some are curated well enough to be thrilling. And there’s the Fyre Festival.

Harry Styles and John Mayer, Teardrops on Their Guitars

May 19th, 2017

39:04

The One Direction member and the pop-blues poster boy have a few things in common.

Paramore Returns, Headed Straight For the 1980s

May 12th, 2017

30:35

One of the most impressive rock bands working in the mainstream has taken a left turn. Where is Paramore headed, and how did it inspire scores of artists?

Finding Feist’s Pleasure and Pain

May 5th, 2017

25:48

The singer-songwriter’s new album is a low-fi exploration of extreme emotions. How does it relate to her earlier hits, and how did she get here?

How Lil Uzi Vert Turned Rap Into Rock and Became a Pop Star

April 28th, 2017

46:43

He’s a rapper, a social media phenomenon, the guy yelling “ya” on Migos’s hit “Bad and Boujee.” What’s the secret of Uzi’s success?

A Deep Dig on Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole’s Hip-Hop’s Values

April 21st, 2017

55:20

The two rappers recall an earlier time in the genre’s history, in terms of aesthetics and politics. How do they fit in today?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Chainsmokers?

April 14th, 2017

49:21

In three years, the duo has had several hits while offending all sorts of people. What does its sound say about EDM?

Jazz in 2017: The Music Is Thriving, Though Support Is in Peril

April 7th, 2017

39:26

Kamasi Washington and some Los Angeles musicians are producing vital recordings, but N.E.A. funding is uncertain. A conversation about the state of jazz.

Drake Changed Hip-Hop’s Sound. Can He Change the Business?

March 27th, 2017

57:55

His release isn’t an album or a mixtape, but a playlist — a move that could position him to shift the music industry once again.

How Chuck Berry Became a Rock ’n’ Roll Mastermind

March 22nd, 2017

23:52

He wrote the guitar licks, told the clever stories, duckwalked across the stage and forever changed popular music

The Billboard Charts Are Wackier Than Ever: What’s Going On?

March 17th, 2017

56:13

Streaming figures into chart positions now, a fact that has started yielding some very odd results.

The Greatest Trick Ed Sheeran Ever Pulled Was Convincing the World He’s an Underdog

March 10th, 2017

43:57

The British singer/songwriter is a record-smashing superstar, but he still plays the spurned lover. How does he do it?

What Future and Migos Tell Us About Atlanta’s Rap Dominance

March 3rd, 2017

58:35

A panel discusses Migos, Lil Yachty and more of the city’s budding stars on Popcast.

What Happens When Nashville Outsiders Become Country’s Big Stars?

February 24th, 2017

1:10:46

The city synonymous with the country music business is in transition. How is it dealing with rapid change, and the Trump era? A panel discusses on Popcast.

Were There Any Real Winners at the Grammys?

February 14th, 2017

57:27

It was an awards show filled with flubs, tear, apologies and protests. The New York Times pop music writers discuss Adele, Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper …

Will the Grammy Awards End With a Big Surprise?

February 10th, 2017

37:50

The New York Times pop team debates whether Sturgill Simpson will pull out a surprise victory in a night stacked with Adele vs. Beyoncé face-offs.

Punk Rock Is Alive and Well, No Politics Required

February 3rd, 2017

44:39

The current political climate doesn’t come up even once during the latest Popcast, a conversation about Japandroids, the Menzingers and the state of …

The War Over ‘La La Land’: Gotta Hear Both Sides

January 27th, 2017

49:57

The toast of Hollywood has divided our culture writers. Two of the movie’s boosters go to battle with two of its critics in this week’s Popcast.

The Crooner in Chief: Barack Obama’s Musical Legacy

January 20th, 2017

53:57

He brought soul and hip-hop into the White House like no president before him. A discussion of Mr. Obama’s most powerful musical moments, on this …

Hip-Hop’s Elders and Youth Go to Battle (Again)

January 13th, 2017

52:00

Should rap’s young stars have more reverence for the genre’s pioneers, and vice versa? A conversation about hip-hop’s latest generation-gap struggles.

Mariah Carey and New Year’s Eve: Is the Fantasy Over?

January 6th, 2017

52:20

A panel discusses Ms. Carey's recent New Year's Eve performance and career.

10 Songs That Tell the Story of 2016

December 30th, 2016

58:27

A round table of pop experts discuss the year in tracks, from Maren Morris's "Rich" to Twenty One Pilots' "Ride" to Rihanna's "Sex With Me."

The Year in Jazz Music

December 23rd, 2016

42:35

A roundtable of writers discuss trends and notable moments of the year.

Pop Music Trends in 2016

December 16th, 2016

38:10

The pop music team discusses news themes and what may shape it for years to come.

The Best Albums of 2016

December 9th, 2016

53:13

This week, The New York Times music team reflects on albums that defined 2016.

For Bruno Mars and the Weeknd, the Past as Muse

December 2nd, 2016

43:17

This week, a discussion of new releases by both artists who have more in common than it may appear.

Revisiting Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo'

November 25th, 2016

53:28

After a series of bizarre shows, Kanye West canceled the remainder of his "Saint Pablo" tour last week. This weekend, we're listening back to the conversation Jon Caramanica led at the time of the album's release.

Mourning the Greats: Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell and Mose Allison

November 18th, 2016

29:25

This year has seen the loss of Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, and, now, three more towering figures have died. A look at their legacies.

Popcast: Division and Unity in Pop, and Beyond

November 12th, 2016

52:30

Can the cultural events of the last couple of weeks connect to macro political realities?

Popcast: A Tribe Called Quest Returns

November 5th, 2016

42:31

A discussion of the group’s legacy and how it fits into the current hip-hop landscape

Popcast: What’s Next for Kesha?

October 29th, 2016

29:11

The pop star has been locked in an ugly contract dispute with Dr. Luke; two writers who have examined her case break down the pop star’s situation.

Popcast: Nu-Dance Rises With Help From Streaming

October 22nd, 2016

37:06

This week, Jon Caramanica and guests discuss club music.

Dylancast: Bob Dylan Wins the Nobel Prize!

October 15th, 2016

26:51

Our music and book critics discuss Dylan, the musician, and Dylan, the writer.

Popcast: Tyler Glenn at the Crossroads

October 8th, 2016

23:46

His fiery solo album questions almost everything he used to believe in.

Popcast: Finding the Joy (and Humor) in Bon Iver’s Pain

September 30th, 2016

31:25

The new Bon Iver album abandons many of the musical choices that informed much of his earlier music.

Popcast: The Next Teen Star Machine

September 23rd, 2016

35:11

Shawn Mendes broke out on Vine. The next breeding ground for pop stars might be Musical.ly, a social music app for teens.

Popcast: Fall Preview

September 16th, 2016

30:43

The pop music team discusses some of their favorite upcoming fall releases.

Popcast: The Return of New York Rap

September 10th, 2016

57:05

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Young M.A. represent an unexpected moment.

Popcast: Stardom in the Age of Social Media

September 2nd, 2016

51:47

With celebrities so accessible online they have to go above and beyond when meeting fans in the arena.

Popcast: Frank Ocean Returns

August 25th, 2016

52:52

A roundtable discussion on the release of the musician’s latest works.

Popcast: Race and Hip-Hop, a Conversation

August 19th, 2016

37:19

A discussion about the current wave of white rappers trying to elide conversations about race, with varying success.

Popcast: Janet Jackson and the Legacy of ‘Control’

August 12th, 2016

32:52

A discussion on how pop failed Ms. Jackson for years, and what it has done for her lately.

Popcast: A Send-Off for Ben Ratliff

August 5th, 2016

47:30

Mr. Ratliff, a music critic at The Times since 1996, discusses his tenure.

Popcast: Gucci Mane and Atlanta Hip-Hop

July 29th, 2016

37:04

Jon Caramanica explains how Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty and 21 Savage are all part of the same long line.

Popcast: Dissecting the Legacy of Alan Vega and Suicide

July 22nd, 2016

37:36

Days after Mr. Vega’s death, the journalist Geeta Dayal discusses Suicide’s early days.

Popcast: The Return of Pop-Punk and Emo

July 15th, 2016

31:31

Pop music writers discuss Blink-182’s influence on modern pop-punk bands.

Popcast: J Balvin’s Reggaeton Mission

July 8th, 2016

20:28

Ben Ratliff and Joe Coscarelli discuss how the Latin music superstar is rewriting the rules.

Popcast: Prince’s Fateful Flight and Judith Hill’s Story

June 24th, 2016

25:35

For those looking to understand Prince’s musical life in his final years, the larger story of Ms. Hill is illuminating.

Popcast: Techno’s Dual Identity

June 10th, 2016

34:52

A discussion of techno as youth music and heritage culture.

Popcast: Hip-Hop Concerts and the Police

June 3rd, 2016

43:15

After a fatal shooting at a T.I. concert, Jon Caramanica and Joe Coscarelli discuss rap, race and security with Minya Oh, a.k.a. Miss Info, and Joie Manda of Interscope Records.

Popcast: Arthur Russell

May 27th, 2016

24:35

New York Times music critics discuss Mr. Russell’s wide-angle, slow-release significance.

Popcast: Chance the Rapper and Drake

May 20th, 2016

32:44

New York Times music critics discuss the latest albums by both artists.

Popcast: Radiohead and James Blake

May 12th, 2016

24:17

New York Times critics compare the latest releases.

Popcast: Britney Spears

May 8th, 2016

33:56

A discussion of Ms. Spears’s conservatorship.

Popcast: Beyoncé Serves Up ‘Lemonade’

April 26th, 2016

39:16

New York Times critics and writers discuss the singer’s new album.

Popcast: Remembering Prince

April 22nd, 2016

38:26

New York Times culture critics discuss Prince’s music and impact.

Popcast: Caetano Veloso

April 22nd, 2016

41:30

Mr. Veloso, the great Brazilian singer and songwriter, discusses current events in his country.

Popcast:Country Music Agitators

April 16th, 2016

36:32

New York Times music critics discuss Sturgill Simpson and Merle Haggard.

Popcast: Jazz Artists in Exile

April 8th, 2016

37:24

New York Times music critics discuss recent biopics about Miles Davis and Chet Baker.

Popcast: Jazz in Museums

March 25th, 2016

33:40

Nate Chinen and Ben Ratliff on the ways jazz is being presented at museum spaces.

Popcast: Gwen Stefani Returns

March 18th, 2016

29:14

Ben Ratliff, Times music critic and Caryn Ganz, Times pop music editor, discuss the singer’s new album.

Popcast: The Art and Future of Criticism

March 11th, 2016

1:00:15

New York Times critics gather to discuss their newly released books.

Popcast: Macklemore’s Aesthetic Mission

February 26th, 2016

56:26

Jon Caramanica chats with the rapper about the role of music in creating change.

Popcast: Kanye West”s Unfinished Album

February 19th, 2016

53:03

A roundtable discussion on “The Life of Pablo.”

Popcast: Beyonce and Rihanna Take a Different Approach

February 12th, 2016

52:42

Times critics discuss the recent music releases of each singer.

Popcast: R&B’s New Identity

January 29th, 2016

26:33

New York Times music critics discuss changes within the genre.

Popcast: Tropical House Movement

January 22nd, 2016

29:41

Ben Ratliff and Michaelangelo Matos discuss the genre.

Popcast: Love, Death and David Bowie

January 13th, 2016

47:06

A conversation about the pop star’s life and work with the philosopher Simon Critchley, author of “Bowie.”

Popcast: Jazz Moments of 2015

January 8th, 2016

35:02

New York Times music critics discuss the year in jazz.

Popcast: Making Sense of 2015 in Music

December 30th, 2015

30:46

Music critics for The New York Times talk about the themes, currents and big ideas that defined the year.

Popcast: Best Songs of 2015

December 23rd, 2015

33:44

Music critics for The New York Times discuss their favorite songs.

Popcast: Best Albums of 2015

December 18th, 2015

39:21

Music critics for The New York Times discuss the year’s highlights.

Popcast: Joe Casey of Protomartyr

December 11th, 2015

25:55

Ben Ratliff chats with Mr. Casey about the lyrics on the band’s album and more.

Popcast: Sophie and Grimes

December 4th, 2015

24:10

Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles discuss their approaches to music.

Popcast: The Return of Adele

November 13th, 2015

32:57

Jon Caramanica and Jon Pareles discuss her new album, “25.”

Popcast: Taylor Swift and Drake, Friendship vs. Partnership

November 6th, 2015

35:12

The stars have found both help and hindrance from those who surround them.

Popcast: Joanna Newsom

October 30th, 2015

30:20

Ben Ratliff and Melissa Marturano talk about the critique of Ms. Newsom and her music.

Popcast: Justin Bieber Is Back. Thank Poo Bear.

October 16th, 2015

13:31

The Times’s pop music squad on the unlikely songwriter behind “Where Are Ü Now” and “What Do You Mean?”

Popcast: The Influence of ‘808s and Heartbreak’

October 9th, 2015

37:37

Times music critics discuss the influence of Kanye West’s album on current musical styles.

Popcast: Janet Jackson Returns With ‘Unbreakable’

October 2nd, 2015

16:16

Times music critics discuss Ms. Jackson’s new album and tour.

Lin-Manuel Miranda On How Hip-Hop Influenced Him and ‘Hamilton’

September 25th, 2015

59:17

Jon Caramanica and Mr. Miranda discuss the songs and rappers that inspired him and his work.

Popcast: Jen Shyu Explores the Unknown

September 18th, 2015

30:01

Times critics discuss the jazz artist whose music incorporates poetry and dreams.

Popcast: Jon Batiste and ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’

September 10th, 2015

25:52

Times music critics discuss Mr. Batiste’s role as bandleader on the show.

Popcast: 2015 MTV Video Music Awards

September 1st, 2015

20:29

The night belonged to those who shocked without needing to perform.

Popcast: The Weeknd

August 28th, 2015

55:46

Times critics discuss The Weeknd’s music and new album, “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

Popcast: ‘Where Are Ü Now’

August 25th, 2015

14:04

Times music critics discuss Justin Bieber’s collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo.

Carly Rae Jepsen Grows Up

August 21st, 2015

30:46

With “Emotion,” the singer known best for “Call Me Maybe” embraces a seductive side to her music.

Popcast: ‘Straight Outta Compton’

August 14th, 2015

1:20:30

Jon Caramanica and Reginald C. Dennis, a founding editor of XXL magazine, discuss N.W.A and the film.

Drake’s Bully Pulpit

August 7th, 2015

1:07:17

Jon Caramanica, Minya Oh and Rawiya Kameir discuss Drake and OVO Fest.

Popcast: Titus Andronicus

July 31st, 2015

26:36

Ben Ratliff and Joe Coscarelli discuss the New Jersey punk band and their new album.

Popcast: Prince Royce, Pitbull and Multilingual Pop Music

July 24th, 2015

37:08

Ben Ratliff, Jon Caramanica and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd discuss international and multilingual pop.

Reggae’s Summer Flirtation

July 17th, 2015

24:32

A look at the desire for a reggae or reggae-like worldwide pop hit between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Hip-Hop’s Silent Majority

July 10th, 2015

1:10:33

Hip-hop’s mainstream can often be confused with prosperity gospel, so it’s striking that in 2015, at least a couple of the genre’s biggest selling stars want nothing to do with such narratives.

Apple Music and Beats 1

June 26th, 2015

28:23

Ben Ratliff and Ben Sisario discuss Apple Music, the much-anticipated music-streaming service to be launched June 30.

Popcast: “Tomatoes” Giving Country Its Bite

June 19th, 2015

33:15

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss the women of country music.

Popcast: Tenement’s Bright Double Album

June 12th, 2015

28:25

Ben Ratliff, Maria Sherman and Liz Pelly discuss the band’s new album and punk music.

Jason Derulo Glides Across Genres

June 5th, 2015

26:05

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss Jason Derulo’s new album.

ASAP Rocky Returns to a Haze

May 29th, 2015

21:25

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss ASAP Rocky’s new album.

Shamir’s Distinctive Voice

May 22nd, 2015

22:49

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss the singer’s blend of different genres.

Joey Alexander, the Young Jazz Sensation

May 15th, 2015

28:18

Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen discuss Joey Alexander’s debut album.

U2 Prepares to Go on Tour

May 8th, 2015

21:07

Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles discuss U2 and “Songs of Innocence” as the group heads out on a world tour.

New Albums By Zac Brown Band and Tyler Farr

May 1st, 2015

22:26

Joe Coscarelli and Jon Caramanica discuss records from country dissenters and what, if anything, country’s borders mean anymore.

Kamasi Washington and the West Coast Get Down

April 24th, 2015

26:05

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss the tenor saxophonist and his roots in the thriving Los Angeles jazz scene.

How Much Festival Is Too Much Festival?

April 17th, 2015

33:33

Jon Caramanica, Jon Pareles and Ben Ratliff discuss the vicissitudes and artistic value of music festivals.

The Ongoing Evolution of Charles Lloyd

April 10th, 2015

27:35

Jon Pareles and Nate Chinen discuss the jazz saxophonist, flutist and band leader Charles Lloyd.

Kendrick Lamar, Dissenting From the Mainstream as He Influences It

March 27th, 2015

26:12

Discussing the rapper’s new album, “To Pimp A Butterfly.”

On ‘Empire’: The Show, the Music and the Calamitous Finale

March 20th, 2015

47:31

Jon Caramanica and Gilbert Cruz, of The Times, and Justin Charity, of Complex, discuss “Empire.”

Blurred Legal Lines

March 13th, 2015

32:44

Ben Sisario, Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss the “Blurred Lines” copyright trial.

Madonna is Still Madonna On ‘Rebel Heart’

March 6th, 2015

19:08

Jon Pareles and Ben Ratliff discuss “Rebel Heart,” the new album by Madonna.

Who Is Boots?

February 20th, 2015

22:36

Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles discuss the 28-year-old singer, songwriter and producer.

Grammys Post-Mortem

February 10th, 2015

30:02

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss Kanye West, Beck, Iggy Azalea, Papa John’s and other stars of the show.

Björk Gets Personal

January 30th, 2015

26:57

Jon Pareles tells Ben Ratliff about club-hopping with Björk in Iceland and listening to her new album, “Vulnerica,” which was released last week.

Departed Tastemakers: ASAP Yams and Kim Fowley

January 23rd, 2015

21:15

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss two connectors with keen ears, who died last week.

Sleater-Kinney Returns

January 16th, 2015

23:11

Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles are joined by Caryn Ganz, of RollingStone.com, to discuss “No Cities to Love,” the new album by Sleater-Kinney.

All About Meghan Trainor

January 9th, 2015

23:13

Ben Ratliff and Joe Coscarelli discuss Ms. Trainor as surprise, as a formula, as contrivance and as a product of Nantucket, hip-hop and Nashville.

The Year in Jazz 2014

January 2nd, 2015

36:52

Jon Pareles, Nate Chinen and Ben Ratliff discuss the movements of jazz in 2014.

The Year in Pop 2014

December 19th, 2014

29:07

Ben Ratliff, Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica and Nate Chinen discuss pop music’s dominant themes, lessons and preoccupations in 2014.

The Best Albums of 2014

December 12th, 2014

43:29

The pop critics of The New York Times discuss their lists of the Top 10 albums of the year.

The Pop Savvy of ‘Beyond the Lights’

December 5th, 2014

27:21

Jon Caramanica and A.O. Scott discuss what this modern update of “The Bodyguard” gets right about the music business.

London Calls Mary J. Blige

November 21st, 2014

31:41

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss Mary J. Blige and her new album, “The London Sessions.”

How Bobby Shmurda Danced Into the Hot 100

November 14th, 2014

27:34

The 20-year-old East Flatbush rapper Bobby Shmurda has just jumped from No. 8 to No. 6 on the Billboard chart.

Dave Grohl’s ‘Sonic Highways’

November 7th, 2014

33:07

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss “Sonic Highways,” the new album and HBO mini-series by Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.

Listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’

October 27th, 2014

38:24

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss Taylor Swift’s poppy new album.

The Myth of Scott Walker

October 17th, 2014

29:56

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss Scott Walker and “Soused,” his new album with the drone-metal band Sunn O))).

Tinashe, FKA Twigs and the Semantics of R&B

October 10th, 2014

29:16

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss the singers Tinashe and FKA twigs, and whether they point toward a new conception of R&B.

Parsing Steve Coleman’s Genius

September 26th, 2014

20:15

Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen discuss the jazz saxophonist, a recent winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Chris Brown

September 19th, 2014

30:01

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss the challenges of appraising Chris Brown.

U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’: Gift or Spam?

September 12th, 2014

23:22

Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles discuss the new U2 album, released this week for free in iTunes.

Our Vacations with Ariana Grande and Kate Bush

September 5th, 2014

31:15

Ben Ratliff and Jon Caramanica discuss new projects by Ms. Grande and Ms. Bush.

The Alchemist

August 8th, 2014

31:50

Ben Ratliff talks to Jennifer Herrema of the band Black Bananas.

Songs of the Summer

August 1st, 2014

29:09

Jon Caramanica and Ben Ratliff discuss some of the most popular songs of the summer.

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