Audio Delight

Firstly…Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Easter! It has literally been that long, but you know how it is…life…writer’s block etc. In truth I didn’t completely stop writing, I just relocated my musings to a more abstract and free-writing space, another blog of mine www.inpursuitofequilibrium.tumblr.com – follow if you wish.

Now to cut to the chase – an approach that the older I get, the quicker I am employing it, and the more I appreciate those who don’t dibble and dabble in unnecessary waffle, expect shorter blog posts…maybe…

…this post is about what’s piqued my audio interest. It’s funny because I used to have a job where a significant proportion of each week was to produce, record, edit, and research podcasts. Was I listening to any at that point in time? Zip zero. Nada. Now if you’ve been following this blog awhile, you’ll know that I am the TV show fiend of fiends, I am basically the human embodiment of Sidereel. When it came to podcasts though, I was highly unmotivated to engage with any. Even after several recommendations of Serial.

Fast-forward 2 years, and podcasts have become a staple in my diet, the plantain with my rice, the egg with my agege bread, and all such other frivolous comparisons. I have been so impressed with some of the content I’ve listened to lately, that I actually felt compelled to share the best ones. I haven’t felt compelled to do anything in a long time. This is big yo.

So without further ado, I’ll drop links to some of the best ish on the interwebs, and holler back with the ones you’ve been digging too. Honestly more than half I am about to list were from recommendations, so I am all here for it.

Podcasts

Tax Season

If you didn’t know, let me tell you, Soundcloud is a haven for some of the best content out there. Virtually every podcast I will mention today, I started off listening to on Soundcloud, then found them on iTunes. One such podcast was Tax Season. This was recommended to me by a friend and I listened to the Mendeecees Harris episode. That was obviously kinda deep, what with my guy about to start an 8 year jail term as viewers of LHHNY would know. I loved this episode because Taxstone (the presenter) didn’t ask stupid ass questions. He really got Mendeeces talking about the realities of trying to live up to an image, that is ultimately a lie and destructive in the long run. It was a hard listen because we may sometimes think of convicted felons as people who have no remorse and deserve all the punishment they get, but I have always been impressed with the way Mendeecees took ownership for his past and even tried to steer other youngsters from following his footsteps, before conviction. If the initial idea of prison was to rehabilitate and not just to punish, I have every faith that Harris will be one of the greatest examples of that.

Length: approx 1-2hrs

For Colored Nerds

Another one I spotted a recommendation of on Twitter. I loved the episode of this that I listened to which was The Green Girls of Reality TV. A whole podcast about shows and hood reality TV? Yessur. Here for it! But let me not reduce the content to such an asinine remark, because in truth that episode was hella funny, hella real, and hella intellectual in the breakdown of the psychology behind reality TV. This podcast has two presenters, Brittany an Eric, who don’t talk like they love the sound of their own voice (I’ve listened to a few like this – ultimate turn off), and they just had me analysing ish about the Love & Hip Hop and Real Housewives franchises that I never would have bothered to be critical about before. Dope episode to listen to.

Length: approx 1hr

The Friend Zone

I thought I was gonna be able to save this till last, but I can’t help it! Guys…this has to be one of my most favourites ever. When I first came across them via Audacious Kay’s Soundcloud list (she is coming up next), I was like…a podcast over 1hr long? WTF? Who got that kinda time?? Turns out I do. Every Wednesday…and heck I wish it was even longer. I wait for that download like it’s gonna pay me my wages.

These guys have me holleratin. Yes…holleratin (cc Mary J Blige). What’s an ab workout when I can listen to this? The dynamic and chemistry between Fran, Dustin and Assante is superb, the topics are on the money, the conversation is always popping, and Dustin is like the male version of me. How? Well he literally does not give a damn about the internet draggers trolls, you know the ones who want to make you feel bad for having an opinion, expressing it, and it being different to the masses, or not up with every binary, intersectioning, ism, schism, derailing, erasing and cis heteronormative term in the dictionary called Hella Words Most Folks Use But Don’t Know WTF They’re Talmbout. I could listen to just him all day…but with Assante and Fran, it’s just gets emotional funny.

These guys are super intelligent, very real and relatable, and are just like the friends you have who you can chop up the deepest most serious topics with, but also have a laugh. I highly recommend the Was It Something I Said episode, which was a fantastic discussion on modern-day sensitivities and political correctness.

Length: approx 1.5hrs

Audacious Kay

Another recommendation and joint top all time favourite with The Friend Zone. I love Kay. I feel like she’s an older version of me…if I fix my ish up and get a bit smarter, lol. Out of all the podcasts I will recommend, she is the realest. Coming up with podcast topics is hard…I know…I’ve been there, but Kay somehow always manages to talk about something so relevant (to me anyway), and quite different to some of the regurgitated topics out there. She’s that wise, slightly older person that you need to know. She doesn’t just talk about pop-culture, she delves into some real life situations, and says things that will actually educate you not just entertain. I just really appreciate the 360 degree approach to her analysis of certain situations and contexts. What’s more is she does all this in 30-45 minutes, the shortest of all the podcasts I will suggest, and there is not one, single, frivolous minute spent.

One of her best podcasts was Side-eying the Rise of the Carefree Black Girl (and Un-critiqued Praise of Black Women). It took some balls to record that podcast, especially in this current culture of social media correction and because of the passion behind the carefree black girl movement, but she really explored angles to that whole movement that have somehow avoided critical analysis, and really broke it down. Another thing I appreciate about her podcasts, is the personal element she pours into them; it’s not just about sitting there talking about people – she relates her topics to herself, friends and peers.

Length: approx 30-45mins

Serial

Y’all. I only jumped onto this for season two and the Bowe Bergdahl story. I just couldn’t be bothered to go back and listen to season 1…I told you I’m just a beginner in this podcast game. It started off well…I was hooked like ‘Yeah! Yeah! Now I get what everyone was talking about!’…girls…boys…it’s currently on episode 11 and I have not listened since episode 7 …which I didn’t finish. Ish just got boring yo. Honestly it shouldn’t have even made this list. I’m only including it because of the innumerable amounts of praise its first season got from my friends, and I could kinda see in the initial episodes of season two how it might’ve been great once before. So, I’m not gonna dwell too much on this…I’m just gonna leave it here…for your prerogatives.

Length: 45mins – 1hr

#NoCarbsAfter7

So you may have noticed that all my recommendations up till now are US-based. That’s not because the UK does not have greatnes within it. Please don’t believe that. This podcast…is another joint favourite of mine, because I am literally nearly almost doubled over my desk at work listening to this when it comes out. As in I-wish-I-could-scream funny. This is hosted by Just Geen (some of you might follow her on Instagram on her personal trainer account) and Yussuff (who is also a personal trainer and on Instagram).

The reason why this podcast is so great, is most definitely due to the chemistry the two of them have as friends. That’s a vibe that cannot be manufactured. You either have it, or you don’t, and these guys’ personalities just blend so well together. It helps that they’re genuinely hilarious. There’s a lot of personal digs, shade, exposures and even some high intensity argumentative moments, but it’s all love. I definitely relate to this podcast the most out of all, because I feel like it’s an audio version of some of the Whatsapp groups I’m in, LOL. Evrytin is jos laid bare. It gets savage, shots get fired, egos get bruised, but it’s all gravy in the end.

The USP of this podcast is its fitness angle, but it is definitely not them sitting there talking about fitness all the time. It’s a healthy balance of humour, topical discussion, fitness, food, gisting and more. Recommendation wise, listen to any episode. In fact listen sequentially. It’s funnier and provides more context.

Length: approx 1hr

Round up

So I said I was going to try and be more concise…obviously maybe next time init *emoji eyes*. To round-up, I do have a few honorary mentions:

Fresh Air – This is a regular podcast series by NPR, and they often have quite a few interesting topics of discussion. Recommended episode: Best Of: ‘Daily Show’ Host Trevor Noah / How To Run A Drug Cartel

Melanin Millennials – another UK one exploring popular culture, and debating topics that are concerned with black culture and experience. Recommended episode: “What ARE You?”

Bodega Boys – If you like the downright irreverent approach to topics, and are not too sensitive, these guys are hilarious, if a bit coarse at times. Recommended episode: The Problematic Light

I’m done. What are your suggestions? I’m about to dip into one from the motherland WJGB (We Just Got Back) – I’m looking forward to tucking in because you know Lagosians don’t hold back!

Yours Truly

xx

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