By: A'brielle Thomas
To say I’m an avid podcast lover is an understatement. As a life-long fan of all things radio — both before and after I realized “Quiet Storm Host” would not be on my resume — I’ve been particularly fascinated with the rebirth of online radio over the past few years. Online radio shows are not a new concept by any means, but the resurgence of their popularity has made hosting a podcast a right of passage for any “expert” in their field — particularly if that field is the world of internet personalities.
Today having a podcast is equivalent to starting a fashion line in the early 2000's – everybody has one. And unlike Beyonce’s House of Dereon or Nelly’s Vokal, you can look back 10 years from now and not be too ashamed of the shows you used to listen to when your coworker posted Donald Trump’s face at their desk for “inspiration”. So without further ado, here are 4 podcasts to keep in rotation in between Lemonade, Views and Colouring Book.
Covering everything from GoT recaps to the latest Hollywood shenanigans, The Loud Speaker’s Network has a show for every kind of listener. Loud Speaker’s reaches a variety of demographics by attracting music lovers (Combat Jack Show), pop culture fiends (The Read and Brilliant Idiots), and even health/wellness enthusiasts (The FriendZone). There’s even a show for those who want to know more about the lusty preferences of the hip-hop industry’s rich and famous (Lip Service by Angela Yee). Any good podcast has a theme or structure, but the best ones can wax poetic on multidimensional topics. So if you find yourself debating Marvel vs. DC (Fan Bros), or wondering why Madonna was chosen to honor Prince at the Billboard Music Awards, check out this collective.
No guide would be complete without including NPR, the goat of all syndicated radio. This organization has been around since the 70’s and they’re the creators of classics such as Freakonomics and This American Life. If you want to learn something new, you’re sure to get plenty of random fact fodder from NPR’s canon. Most people already know of NPR’s newest fan-favorite Serial, which really zeroes in on NPR’s bread and butter: storytelling. Whether you love to hear hip-hop legends talk to the biggest names in the industry (Microphone Check), fascinating stories about businesses in our economy (Planet Money), or conversations on the impact of race on our society (Code Switch), NPR has everything you need to build your mental muscle.
Naturally, I had to include some of my favorite podcasts hosted by Black women, because we are disrupting this space more than ever these days. The hosts of Another Round bounce from tips for career development to shooting silly rapid-fire questions at their weekly guests, all while sipping on libations (read: Bourbon). Myleik Teele, the creator of Curlbox, hosts an Ask.fm-style podcast where she tackles questions from her listeners that jump from career, to love, to hair advice. As one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the natural hair industry, Myliek’s blunt opinions and tips make you immediately want to get your life and money right. Lastly, 2 Dope Queens is a unique twist on the traditional setup, as the episodes are taped from a weekly standup comedy show. Told through the lens two black girls living in New York City, guests join in on hilarious stories about subway etiquette, love and Billy Joel concerts.
To get to sixteen, I had to throw a few random favorites in here for good measure. My first honorable shout out goes to the Black Twitter to TV superstars, Desus Nice & The Kid Mero, a.k.a. the Bodega Boys. And when you need a more detailed analysis on why the Knicks keep breaking your heart, His and Hers is a great podcast for the sports fans out there.
Do you regularly listen to a podcast we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Header photo courtesy of thisistheread.com