When I became about that #officelife, I needed something to occupy my mind other than excel spreadsheets and trivial office chatter. Podcasts legit changed my life! For those of you that don't know, podcasts are basically radio shows without the radio or the music. It's just commentary from people you actually want to listen to. No matter what you're into, chances are someone's got a podcast about it. Here are my faves.
1. The Read
Hosted by YouTube star Kid Fury and writer Crissle, The Read is my weekly dose of Black Excellence. They keep me in the know about what's going on in Black pop culture and "read" the fuck out of the White patriarchy every Thursday afternoon. Their listener letters will have you clutching your pearls and although their love for Beyoncé borders on idol worship, I'm totally here for it!
This newish Buzzfeed branded podcast has become a breath of fresh air. Every Tuesday Heben and Tracy keep me laughing and inspired. They use obscure pop culture references and discuss everything from micro aggressions in the workplace to the evil that is the New York City squirrel. Their guest list has included powerhouse women such as Issa Rae, Chirlane McCray and Brandy.
Comedians Corrine Fisher and Krystna Hutchinson were on a mission to de-stigmatize the term "slut." The premise of GWF is that two heterosexual women interview men they've slept with. Some topics include swinging, bi-curiousity and blood-play (hey, somebody's into it- I don't judge). The conversations are candid and funny but I wondered how long they could keep it up. (I mean, everyone has a number right?) Nearly two years later and the podcast is still going strong! Guests include guys they've well… you know; fellow comedians and just interesting people in general.
CYG is comprised of long-distance besties Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. On this bi-weekly podcast Ann and Aminatou talk pop culture and feminism. Their warm delivery makes you feel like one of the girls and their intelligence makes them feel like the big sisters you wish you had. The show is currently on hiatus but they promised to be back soon, bigger and better! Now is the perfect time go through some episodes and catch up.
I love Mama Ru and Michelle Visage is my aunty! If you love Ru Paul's Drag Race, then you definitely have to tune in for What's the Tee. The show usually features past Drag Race contestants and other prominent figures in the LGBTQ community. Even when its just Ru and Michelle chatting, it's fun to hear them reminisce on the glamour of the 80s gay scene or dish about makeup.
6. Mmhmm, Girl
For real, for real, I want Babs and Lola to be my besties. These two ladies from the Bay area get together once a week to drink and talk shit. Lola's online dating chronicles keep me cracking up in my cubicle and Bab's rendition of Thug Passion has me in tears.
I love listening to two Black men celebrate one of their own. Each week W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery dissect a film starring Denzel Washington. Even when I'm not familiar with the featured movie, I tune in because of their humorous delivery. On weeks when they aren't covering one of Washington's blockbusters, they're discussing Denzel-related news, their experiences as Black men and "Black people homework."
Last fall I became totally obsessed with Serial; it was unlike any podcast I'd ever heard. It's an investigative report brought to life by This American Life's Sarah Koenig. Koenig revisits the case of Adnan Syed, a man charged with murdering his girlfriend in 1999 when he was only a high school senior. Koenig examines every aspect of Adnan's case, trying to determine whether or not he deserves to be behind bars. This real-life thriller has spawned dozens of other podcasts but you have to start here.
While I don't listen to every episode, its hard to avoid this chart-topping podcast. Every week, it focuses on a new theme and I almost always walk way with some new knowledge or at least a fresh perspective on an old topic.
With so many podcasts to listen to, SMNTY can get a bit lost in the sauce, but I enjoy listening to this women-centric podcast when I have time.
"Smart, funny and Black as hell." I don't always agree with the commentary on 2 Guys and a Girl but their "Fucked Up Song of the Week" segment is amusing. They examine the lyrics of a popular song (usually hip-hop) that is sonically enjoyable but has a messed up message.
Alison Rosen definitely feels like a friend in my head. Her podcasts broadcast twice a week and I love her Monday interviews with people in the the entertainment industry. Her interviewing style cuts past the industry bs and her subjects get surprisingly real. Her "Just Me or Everyone" segment makes me feel less weird about my habits and idiosyncrasies.
I wouldn't consider myself a hip hop head but I definitely have a lot of love for the genre. DJs Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg give listeners insight into the history of hip hop and interview its key players.