When I’m not working one of my jobs, I’m listening to music or a podcast about music. I’ve never been much of a radio person because I like having something to look at but for some reason podcasts, as long as they have a specific order to them, click for me. I can sit and listen to a newly discovered show for hours without realizing it. I think my new appreciation for audio stems from the personal and private way that I experience music. I almost never consume music with other people. I’m usually by myself with my headphones blasting or isolated from a group and lost in my thoughts. It’s so interesting. I don’t even like going to concerts—I mean, I want to go to more concerts but I don’t want to be inconvenienced by others. Lmao! I know how bougie that sounds (I’ll explain in a future post). Anyways, here are two of my favorite music podcast at the moment.
Word of Mouth Radio
Word of Mouth Radio rings true to its name as each episode feels like an organic conversation amongst friends regarding all things hip-hop. It’s hosted by DJ Q.Shepard, Taquee Bond, and Cleverly Chloe. They each host their own segment, leading discussions in entertainment news, local and global news, and celebrity gossip. You should check them out if you’re interested in underground New York City hip-hop. Every episode is doused with the trio’s passion for NYC’s underground scene, as well as their seemingly shared commitment to putting the city back on the map. They play user submissions all throughout the show and have had guest appearances from local artists and producers like Tray Pizzy and Crystal Caines. They’ve even interviewed fellow journalists/media personalities Elliot Wilson and Scottie Beam of Hot97.
You can listen to Word of Mouth Radio live at 7PM EST on Wednesdays via the MIXLR app or you can listen to it the next day on iTunes like me. You can also call in during its live airing, but please don’t, I hate when people call in (they never have anything to say). And don’t call in during the Clever Corner; Chloe will bark on you.
Microphone Check is hosted by, and I believe is the brainchild of, Frannie Kelley, Music Editor at NPR and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (do your Googles, if you don’t know who he is). Each episode consists of an interview with an artist, producer, manager, or some other innovator in hip-hop and R&B music. Some of my favorite guests to grace the show are J Cole, Sophia Chang (RZA’a manager), and Bun B. Bun B. is probably my favorite guest because I left the interview with a completely different perspective of him. Granted, I didn’t know much about him before the interview because I didn’t grow up listening to him and Pimp C’s music; all I ever associated the duo with was the word “trill” and lean, honestly. Needless to say, I ignorantly labeled Bun B. as the type of rapper who lacked depth. Wrong! Bun B is so cool. Did you know that he’s a professor at Rice University? He seems like a really introspective person. Warren G is another great Microphone Check interviewee.
While Microphone Check has a good mix of older and newer artists, it feels very old school and nostalgic to me. I think Shaheed provides that. He seems to know EVERYONE, especially the older guests on the show, which allows for an effortless conversation. Every time I tune into this show, y’all, I feel like a little kid sitting in on an adult conversation. Not because I feel excluded or anything like that. This is just the type of podcast that I sit back and collect gems from. I view it as the OG’s podcast.
There are a few other music podcasts that I tune into like Popcast, which is hosted by music critics at The New York Times and Joe Budden’s I’ll Name This Podcast Later. I don’t listen to them as religiously or as tentatively as I listen to Microphone Check and Word of Mouth but I do listen to them, so they’re worth mentioning. What are you listening to? I’m really looking for a hip-hop/R&B podcast hosted by women of color. Know of any? Comment them below.