Are you an audio or visual person? A very important Hinge-style question that determines if you skew in favor of movies or podcasts. It feels like everyone and their mother has a podcast these days and it can be hard to decide which ones are worthy of your AirPod’s battery. Do you want to choose self-development and listen to a psychology podcast? Or controversy and listen to Joe Rogan? Comedy and listen to Call Her Daddy? There’s a podcast about every topic imaginable—music included. I’m admittedly more of a visual person but I have gone down the audio rabbit hole from time to time and despite having a TikTok attention span the conversations that take place on podcasts have kept me mesmerized for a full 60 minutes. Minutes! Not seconds! If you also suffer from Millenial ADD but love all things music or simply enjoy a good podcast then I have a few podcasts for you. From insightful conversations with musical legends like the Beastie Boys, Nipsey Hussle, and Andre 3000 to discussions about new music and narratives behind songs, these are the podcasts that you should check out.
Broken Record Podcast
A digital take on the liner notes that you used to find inside albums, the Broken Record podcast is hosted by Justin Richmond and aims to bridge the gap between music, the artist, and the rest of the world. Yes, we know Billie Eilish is Happier Than Ever from her new album title but why is she happier than ever? These are the types of questions that we once upon a time would find answers to in an album’s liner notes or nowadays on the Broken Record podcast. The producer Rick Rubin along with New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and writer Malcolm Gladwell interview artists about their creative process, narrative, and reasoning. The nature of Rubin’s work has allowed him to have close relationships with people in the music industry making the artists that much more comfortable opening up to him and allowing for vulnerability. Subtle career flex. Popular episodes include Andre 3000, Tyler, the Creator, Tame Impala, and the Beastie Boys.
Louder Than A Riot
If you listen to the Hip-Hop Central playlist on Spotify, this one’s for you and for anyone who’d like to educate themselves on the interconnectedness of mass incarceration and hip-hop culture. Louder Than A Riot is an NPR podcast hosted by Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, exploring the theme of power in the music industry and society at large and how the two are related. With special guests like Bobby Shmurda and Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist’s story to investigate different aspects of the criminal justice system and how it affects Black America. An important podcast to contribute to a greater understanding of the culture and population in which hip-hop music is deeply rooted.
Take a deep dive into songs and listen to artists break down all their creative decisions and narratives that went into the 3 (ish) minutes of audio bliss. Song Exploder is all about the details with host Hrishikesh Hirway getting artists to take apart their own songs piece by piece until we have an Inception level understanding of them. Hirway edits the interviews so the podcast episode only has audio from the artist and focuses on the song in question coming to life. Song Exploder has had everyone from Fleetwood Mac, Metallica, and Bon Iver to Billie Eilish and Solange. Unlike some of the liberals you signed up for in University, you’re sure to leave each episode with some knowledge that you didn’t have before.
All Songs Considered
Think of it as the audio version of new music Fridays. All Songs Considered is an NPR podcast hosted by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton that does the heavy lifting (listening) for you and dives into the week’s best music discoveries. Not just limited to song releases, the podcast reviews everything from Tiny Desk Concerts to the best albums of the week and includes best practices for listening. There’s commentary from emerging and renowned artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Rodrigo Amarante. With an average episode length of 30 minutes, All Songs Considered is the perfect podcast to keep up with new releases and expand your musical horizons.
Hosted by The Roots member Questlove, his self-titled podcast features in-depth conversations with musical and cultural legends. The casual-style discussions vary from an artist’s roots to their current projects and special gems about them that aren’t public knowledge. The podcast’s theme is about legends telling the story of their legacy and how it came about in their own words. The weekly podcast on iHeartMedia is reminiscent of round-table discussions between friends rather than a Q&A interview. Not exclusive to music, previous guests have included Michelle Obama, Usher, Chris Rock, Weird Al, Chaka Khan, and Maya Rudolph.
Your Favorite Band Sucks
Naturally, we saved the best for last (or worst depending on your humor). Comedy meets music in the Your Favorite Band Sucks podcast taking a satirical approach to tearing down popular bands. It’s a very tongue-in-cheek podcast not to be taken seriously and inspired by indie journalism of the 2000s. If you are die-hard for your favorite artists and will get into a Twitter rant defending them—this is not for you. If phrases like “in these trying times, it’s important to focus on things that bring us together rather than tear us apart. We need to unite against a common enemy and that enemy is Nickelback” make you laugh then add it to your queue. Yes, that is a direct quote from the podcast. Roasts you either love ‘em or hate ‘em (I love ‘em).
Like what you saw? Here’s more:
The ’90s & 2000s Shows That Guided Me Through Teenagehood
Questlove Unearths Never-Before-Seen Footage from Harlem Cultural Festival For New Documentary
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