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Charles Bradley waits to go onstage at House of Vans in Brooklyn on June 12, 2014. CREDIT: Polina Yamshchikov for the Wall Street Journal NYBRADLEY
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Nuke Knocka exhales deeply in a cab somewhere in downtown Pittsburgh on January 8, 2011. Knocka's hands are full of CDs that he has collected at the Rex Theater from amateur emcees hoping to get a remix or mixtape produced by the experienced DJ. He will listen to all of them but end up throwing the majority out. "At this point, you had better sound as good as, or better than, Wiz, because he's got all the shine right now," Knocka says later as he scans his website for comments on rap videos he's posted. He starts to sort songs he likes so he can play them on his radio show on Monday night. "If I didn't have DJing, I would be in prison or I would be dead. That's my own struggle - that's my grind."
The rapper Kevin Gates, photographed in New York City on August 21st, 2014.
The rapper Kevin Gates, photographed in New York City on August 21st, 2014.
ASAP Ferg photographed in New York City on February 17th, 2015.
ASAP Ferg photographed in New York City on February 17th, 2015.
Todd and Knuckles, 2009.
Todd and Knuckles, 2009.
The rapper Kevin Gates, photographed in New York City on August 21st, 2014.
The rapper Kevin Gates, photographed in New York City on August 21st, 2014.
Fetty Wap poses with his longtime DJ in Brooklyn, New York on Feb 14th, 2015.
Fetty Wap poses with his longtime DJ in Brooklyn, New York on Feb 14th, 2015.
Rapper Jean Grae in Brooklyn on June 11, 2015.
Rapper Jean Grae in Brooklyn on June 11, 2015.
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Rapper Mick Jenkins backstage at the Best Buy Theater in New York on November 26th, 2014.
Miguel. Photographed in New York City on June 30th, 2015.
Miguel. Photographed in New York City on June 30th, 2015.
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Rapper Boosie Badazz (formerly Lil' Boosie) photographed in New York on the eve of the release of his first major label album since his incarceration.
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Cheyenne Lampston, 6, photographed at her family's home in Poplar Bluff, MO on April 19th, 2008.
T.I., photographed in New York City on October 7, 2014.
T.I., photographed in New York City on October 7, 2014.
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Transgender high school athlete Matt Dawkins, photographed in New Jersey on July 1st, 2015.
Mary J. Blige, 2014.
Mary J. Blige, 2014.
Singer Catey Shaw, photographed in New York in February 2015.
Singer Catey Shaw, photographed in New York in February 2015.
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Fetty Wap grooves to a beat at a writing session in Brooklyn, NY on February 16th, 2015.
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Paul Feeney lights a candle at the beginning of Great Vespers in Claremont, NH on Dec. 24, 2011.
Rapper Young Thug on stage at Webster Hall in New York in June 2015.
Rapper Young Thug on stage at Webster Hall in New York in June 2015.
Backstage with rapper Schoolboy Q at Le Poisson Rouge on February 23rd, 2014.
Backstage with rapper Schoolboy Q at Le Poisson Rouge on February 23rd, 2014.
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Miguel works out his abs before taking the stage at Le Poisson Rouge in New York on June 30th, 2015. "I try to get in a little something before every show because I know my shirt is definitely coming off."
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Miguel greets friends and media who have crowded outside of his dressing room before his show at Le Poisson Rouge on June 30th, 2015.
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Miguel sits alone and listens to his backing band during soundcheck at Le Poisson Rouge on June 30th, 2015.
Fans of the rapper Lecrae in the audience at Best Buy Theater on April 9, 2015.
Fans of the rapper Lecrae in the audience at Best Buy Theater on April 9, 2015.
The main stage at Rick's Cabaret on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The main stage at Rick's Cabaret on Saturday, Jan. 25.
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Waka Flocka Flame makes his way back to the stage after leaping into the crowd shortly after announcing his candidacy for President on April 20th, 2015.
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The champagne fridge on the second floor bar at Vivid Cabaret on Saturday Jan. 25.
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A girl slips backstage at a Pusha T and Fabolous double headlining show in New York on April 26, 2013.
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Guests at the launch party for the Myspace digital series Emmie's House at Baby's All Right on July 9, 2014.
Details of a humane slaughter in Columbia, MO on August 21st, 2010.
Details of a humane slaughter in Columbia, MO on August 21st, 2010.
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Champlain Valley's Cameron Fitzgerald (58) and Hartford's Trevor Wood (5) show their dejection while Hartford's Tyler Frink (54) reacts to an injury during the final quarter of New Hampshire's 45-21 win in yesterday's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. Valley News - Polina Yamshchikov
Children play after school in White River Junction, Vt on November 11, 2011.
Children play after school in White River Junction, Vt on November 11, 2011.
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Transgender athlete Matt Dawkins hugs his mom, Tammi, at their home in New Jersey on July 1st, 2015.
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Robert Hamilton comforts his wife, Darlene Reeves, in their living room after Reeves learned of the deaths of their neighbors and her lifelong friends, Robert and Peggy McCoy, in White River Junction yesterday. "Peggy loved life so much," remarked Reeves as she wept. The McCoys were found deceased in their home along with Barry Facto, Peggy McCoy's son, also deceased, by Hartford Police on January 6. Valley News - Polina Yamshchikov
Painter Rachael Wren exits her studio in Brooklyn on January 31st, 2015.
Painter Rachael Wren exits her studio in Brooklyn on January 31st, 2015.
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Two teenagers play in the snow on Rockaway Beach after a blizzard hit New York in December 2010.
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(from left) Deacon Ambrose Powell, of Pomfret, Zoe Montague, 9, Server Mark Montague and Reader Scott Brown, of New London, listen to Father Andrew's sermon during Vespers in Claremont, NH on December 24. Valley News - Polina Yamshchikov
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Alvin Lampston, 37, watches as his younger brother Eugene, 28, explains where he spent his day on April 21, 2008. Eugene had promised Alvin that he would come over and help rebuild his kitchen, but the day went by with no appearance from the youngest Lampston brother.
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DJ Nuke Knocka turns his phone away from his girlfriend as he reads texts messages in Pittsburgh, PA on January 6, 2011.
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Chris Christie gives an interview endorsing candidate Mitt Romney after the Republican Presidential debate at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire on October 11, 2011.