Taxstone’s episode is one of my favorites because Tax is one of my favorites: smart, funny, direct. He knows who he is, he adds no frills. While a lot of time has passed since 2015, the beginning of his life hasn’t changed in this episode. We talk about his childhood in Brooklyn and how he was able to strike a nerve with his podcast, Tax Season, so quickly. (His interview with Beanie Sigel is a master-class in listening.) While he’s currently locked up awaiting his trial, it’s always good to hear his voice and life story and hope for the day he comes out. Listen to episode #24 with Taxstone on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and elsewhere.
Mouse Jones has (as of now) our only two-part episode and, boy, is it worth it. Mouse - of BET, Trap Karaoke and the Guys Next Door podcast - grows up in Long Island, which sounds nice in theory, but through this rollercoaster, he wonders how he made it out alive. And so do I! If Mouse’s life were a movie, it would be Soulja Boy in his legendary DJ V**d interview. You’re just like, wait, what, how are you sitting here right here and right now? Also, Mouse regularly compares coming to our house to guesting on Letterman’s show, which is very nice of him. He’s a good Long Island boy. Listen to episode #196 with Mouse Jones on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and then listen to part 2 (iTunes/Spotify/Soundcloud).
Big Wos & Blk Tray of the basketball and culture podcast BOMM and the Count the Dings Network were good enough to come on for one of our concept episodes: what rappers would make the best NBA ballplayers? We staged a draft, and…I think my team was the best, but what do I know? No, really. The experts from the basketball podcast were…not impressed with my team of Bow Wow, Nelly, Lil B and others. A lot of laughs in this one. Listen to episode #173 with Big Wos and Blk Tray on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud. Elsewhere, too!
Jemele Hill once asked us for help when setting up her podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered on Spotify, but she never needed it. (She’s been killlllllllling it.) It was so great to have her over to talk about her own journey grinding it out at newspapers and making her way to ESPN, and still have time for the important issues of the day: how to properly play UNO. (No stacking, apparently?) Also, she interviewed Detroit’s own, Aaliyah, and worked alongside Stuart Scott, which is incredible. There’s a lot to Jemele, and we’re honored she’d share just some of her time with us. Listen to episode #198 with Jemele Hill on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and more.
Aminatou Sow is one of the best people to follow on Instagram Stories, but that’s neither here nor there. Maybe you know her from Call Your Girlfriend, her massively popular (and touring!) podcast, or maybe you know her from this episode, where we talk about Amina interviewing Hillary Clinton - well, not even that, it’s about her podcasting philosophy, and even how you can make bank doing this shit. (Service-y!) And there’s her own journey, of coming to America and learning English at 16. Maybe most importantly, we talk about whether the Mucinex Man/snot blob is something his creator is proud of. Listen to episode #227 with Aminatou Sow on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and wherever you listen to podcasts.
Premium Pete — you think we’d forget him? Fuhgeddaboutit. (Sorry.) (He’s Italian.) (He has gravy, not sauce.) When Pete came over, he had just reconnected with Combat Jack, and it was great to see them back on good terms. Their relationship - up and down as it was - was a special one, and hearing Pete talk about Combat (a year before he passed, 9 months before he was diagnosed) is great. Pete’s own life began on Coney Island - delivering newspapers to the Mets’ John Franco, stealing his mother's car, skipping out on high school classes - before going off in unexpected directions: he worked in finance, who knew! He went to jail for selling drugs! He got out, got back on his feet, opening a super-popular sneaker store - pun QUITE intended (sorry) and built a network that included early and meaningful friendships with Teyana Taylor, Drake and Bun B. Listen to episode #88 with Premium Pete on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and if you still need me to say more, then look at any of these other entries for that.
Scottie Beam feels everything so deeply: I love music, for instance, but she looooooves music. I can be uncomfortable flying, but Scottie is…well, she will crash the plane to save herself from turbulence. And she talks about her struggles with her emotional well-being: holing herself up in her college dorm room for months; going through anger management; getting to a place where she accepts herself. (A never-ending process — as she’ll discuss on the Black Girl Podcast.) But this episode is mostly laughs, especially the story that begins with her mom leaving her sister on a bridge. Love this episode. Also, it’s her birthday today, so listen to episode #145 with Scottie Beam on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud.