Rodney Carmichael


Rodney Carmichael is NPR Music's staff hip-hop writer. An Atlanta-bred cultural critic, he immersed himself in rap's capital outpost for a decade while alternately serving as music editor, staff culture writer and senior writer for the alt-weekly Creative Loafing. His writing has earned local and national awards, honorable mention in Da Capo Best Music Writing series, and A3C's inaugural Combat Jack Storyteller Award.

During the last half-decade, Rodney covered the city's music and culture scenes with a critical eye. As shifting socioeconomics reshaped the city, he focused on Atlanta's creative economy—film, TV, tech—and its impact on the character of a town that has long grappled with its identity as a New South gateway, black mecca, human rights hub, strip club capital and hip-hop hotbed. Now, covering hip-hop from a national perspective at NPR, he's expanding that lens with digital and broadcast coverage that makes hip-hop a conduit for dissecting the state of America and the world. The stories he tells combine reporting, storytelling and criticism to focus on race and place, industry and identity, as well as issues around social justice and their impact on communities of color.