Life Is But a Read

Today in Black History, I honor The Read.

I’ve never related to two people more than I do these two. I found The Read at a really bad time, or a really good one depending on how you see it. Freshman year was the worst year of my life. I was away from home. I didn’t know very many people and my social anxiety was such that I sat in the back of all my classes and never talked to anyone. I went to class and back to my dorm. Towards the end of the semester, I just stopped going to class. My grades slipped, naturally. I had heard the phrase “College isn’t for everyone,” before but that was never more real for me than at that time in my life.

I couldn’t drop out. Momma wasn’t having that. So sophomore year, I opted to change scenery and transfer. I figured it might be a good move. I knew a couple folks on the new campus who introduced me to more people. It was a small town so I’d run into them often. But even then, I still spent the majority of the time by myself.

I listened to my first episode of The Read on August 19, 2016. The episode: Mess Side Story

So I came in about two years after Fury and Crissle launched The Read, but I picked it up with ease, feeling like I was listening to two friends chop it up over whatever came to mind. It was love at first listen.

Since that fateful day, these two are still doing the damn thing. A good friend and I wanted to get tickets to their 5th anniversary show at The Apollo (yes, bitch, The Apollo), but that shit sold like hot cakes. All the tickets were gone in less than 24 hours and our hopes were dashed.

I got over it, eventually.

But I’ll still be celebrating with them in spirit. At this point, Fury and Crissle feel like siblings to me. Three years after my first listen and a bitch finished undergrad early and is making moves to move to the Big Apple to pursue my own dreams in comedy and writing.

I said all this to thank Fury and Crissle for their contribution to the culture and to my own peace of mind. I’ve been watching them grind together this entire time and I’m extremely happy for them that all the hard work is paying off. They dared to move to NYC to get shit popping and while, at first, it was a little bumpy, they’re out here prospering.

Their wave is crazy and it inspires me every day to get on my shit. (If by some off chance one of them reads this…) Thanks Fury and Crissle for all that y’all do. For being inspiring, influential, and unapologetically yourselves.

Happy Anniversary! I wish y’all the best.

 

 

 

 

Listens Lately

My podcast game is crazy. I listen to them all the time. They’ve really grown on me since I’ve been in college. Podcasts are dope because I can listen to them on the go, they’re entertaining, and most importantly, they keep me in the know.

As someone who doesn’t subscribe to traditional news media outlets, my “news” typically comes from Twitter and podcasts. And I really feel like the independence of the internet really lends an authenticity to Twitter and other online platforms that CNN,FOX, and allem could never.

That’s the real fake news.

I’m ranting…

I’ve been expanding my podcast horizons. In addition to favorites like The Read, I’m listening to Jade and X.D., Gettin Grown, and Desus and Mero. These haven’t been going as long as The Read but it’s clear they’re on the same trajectory. All of these personalities give very real perspectives on the world we live in today. They’re also all hella funny. But they also each maintain their own niches, which keeps me listening every week.

Everyone’s back for the new year and the brands are strong!

Podcasting is lit. Dare I say, the future.

 

In These Podcast Streets

A month ago, I didn’t even know who Janet Mock was. I don’t know how I came across “Never Before with Janet Mock” but the shit is lit.

Her first guest was none other than the queen mother, Tina Knowles – Lawson, and for a little under an hour they waxed philosophic about the princesses of Parkwood and her own endeavors in making the world a more hospitable place for young black girls.

And the roster just gets better as the season goes on.

Two weeks ago, none other than the man behind Joanne the Scammer, Brandon Miller, came on to talk about how he got to now. I must admit, I was a bit late on the Joanne the Scammer wave. But I kept hearing people say “Get out of my caucasian home,” and I had to investigate the origin of such a statement. My googles brought me to Joanne’s Instagram page.

Last week, she had none other than my #wce, Crissle West, from The Read. I didn’t think I could love her anymore than I already did, but after a fun talk between she and Janet, I can’t shake the thought that somewhere in a parallel dimension, Crissle and I are actually sisters. So smart, so beautiful, so black.

In my analysis thus far, Janet’s got the podcast juice. And we’re only like nine episodes in.

 

 

*takes earbud out* what

Podcasts help me keep my brain busy when I’m waisting time. And I also like hearing intelligent takes on what’s going on in the world. I’m carrying these with me into the new year. Insightful, funny, relatable shit, these are my favorite podcasts.

The Combat Jack Show

screenshot-2017-01-09-17-20-27

I’m a huge hip hop head. It’s never been enough to just listen to the music. I like to know the ins and the outs of my favorite artists and personalities. Often times, an artist’s personality sells me on their music before I even hear their music. It’s not just rappers, Combat keeps you on your toes with his guests. From talks with Russell Simmons and Talib Kweli to Jamilah Lemieux and Marc Lamont Hill, Combat’s interviews are fun, fresh, and (usually) full of insight.

The Read

screenshot-2017-01-09-17-28-31

I discovered The Read this past summer and my life has not been the same. They’re funny as fuck and I cannot get enough of their hilarious commentary on the never ending stream of bullshit that populates American politics and pop culture. And those listener letters… my god.

The Friend Zone

screenshot-2017-01-09-17-30-47

The Friend Zone is my shit. Dustin, Assanté, and Fran are keeping me mindful and on my mental health. Their episodes are interesting and informative, not to mention hella entertaining. If I could climb through the matrix to spend a day with them, I probably would.

For Colored Nerds

screenshot-2017-01-14-22-26-44

FCN. It’s smart. It’s funny. I’m always interested to hear what Brittany and Eric have to say on any given week. They seem like two cool, cultured ¬†individuals who I wouldn’t mind having intelligent conversations with over coffee.

Code Switch

screenshot-2017-01-14-22-56-18

Last but not least, NPR’s Code Switch