Rhiannon Giddens at the 2016 Freedom for All Gala Credit: Nicholas Hunt

Rhiannon Giddens challenges the perceived whiteness of American folk music

You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise these days, but folk music isn’t actually just about bearded white dudes who, say, hole themselves up in cabins for months to get in their feels (not to name any names). Black folk artist Rhiannon Giddens, founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is pushing back against that stereotype on her new solo album, and she has plenty of underrecognized folk history to back her up. [TrackRecord]

Ron Trent gives a history lesson in deep house, hot on the heels of a new retrospective compilation
Chicago deep-house pioneer Ron Trent just released a Prescription Records compilation with Chez Damier, who founded the label with him in 1993—and in this interview, he tells tales from the world of late-80s Chicago dance music that brought him to his defining take on the deep-house sound. [NPR]

A new documentary explores D.C.’s little-known Anacostia Delta blues style
Washington, D.C., is nowhere near the Mississippi Delta that helped birth the blues or the Chicago bars where it went electric, but the city is home to its own lesser-known subgenre—the Anacostia Delta blues style, to be exact. A new documentary, directed by Bryan Reichhardt (Barnstorming, Pictures From a Hiroshima Schoolyard), is introducing this music to a wider audience. [The Washington Post]

Red Bull Music Academy covers health goth, kawaii, gqom, and grime in the second season of its Hashtags documentary series
Red Bull Music Academy continues to show love for the niche cultural movements that have thrived on the Web with the second season of its Hashtags series—this time its subjects are grime, gqom (a South African genre derived from house music), and the relatively fashion-oriented trends of health goth and kawaii. [Red Bull Music Academy]

The blockchain tech behind Bitcoin is making its way into the music industry
What are blockchains, and why are they supposedly changing everything? Fact answers the first question pretty succinctly: “a blockchain allows people to connect and transact on a ‘peer to peer’ basis, as opposed to through a third party like a bank.” Cool—sounds like the money guys have finally figured out how torrenting works. As for the “changing everything” part, well, that’s a little more complicated—but there’s some hope that this technology will make it easier to ensure that musicians get paid when their work is streamed. [Fact]

Chicago rap veterans the Cool Kids are back and ready to make good on their legacy
Back when Twitter wasn’t yet a thing and MySpace had cred—from roughly 2007 till 2009—Chicago’s Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks, aka the Cool Kids, were one of the biggest names in the local rap game. Now, six years after they disbanded, they’re returning to a different scene and a different Internet. But they’re hungry to reclaim what’s theirs. [MTV News]