7 Urban Music + Culture Podcasts To Check Out

Podcasts are the new wave. It’s hard for me to keep up with podcasts, but it’s a convenient way to check out interviews without watching a screen and reading. I found a few podcasts that I like (and that are mostly consistent) that I wanted to share. I’m having trouble finding current R&B podcasts since my favorite, Red Light Special by Rob Markman and Kristin Coral ended, so if you know of any, make sure to leave suggestions below in the comments or on Twitter. Check out the seven I’ve found and have enjoyed thus far by clicking their titles: 

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Photo of Elliott Wilson, Timbaland, and B Dot taken by Calligrafist for Rap Radar.

The Rap Radar Podcast

Elliott Wilson & B Dot of Rap Radar are pretty much ruling the hip-hop podcast game. With guests from LA Reid to Karriem “Biggs” Burke, and many artists such as Pusha T in between, the Rap Radar Podcast is jam packed with lots of really good interviews on a weekly basis. Just make sure to brace yourself for Elliott’s laugh. Ha! 

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The Combat Jack Show

Combat Jack, whose name is Reggie Osse, has become one of my favorite people in hip-hop. Osse was once an entertainment attorney that became an author, a managing editor of The Source, and owner of his own podcast (and podcast network). What I appreciate most about his podcast is how he shows the diversity of hip-hop by not just speaking on music, but on culture and race. Some of his guests have included DeRay McKesson, Kierna Mayo (former EIC of Ebony), lots of rappers and producers from past to present, and more. There’s something for every hip-hop listener every week. 

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NPR Microphone Check   

Out of all the podcasts listed, this podcast is the calmest one of them all. It doesn’t help that the podcast is on public radio either. Despite it being toned down compared to other hip-hop podcasts, NPR Microphone Check is awesome. Why? Because of the hosts (A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and NPR Music Editor Frannie Kelley) and because they’re probably one of the few, if not only, podcasts to have done an interview with Andre 3000. Other guests include Large Professor, Terrace Martin (yes, he’s hip-hop!), Organized Noize, a recent episode with Warren G, and many more. Even though we don’t get episodes as frequently as the other podcasts (it runs on average once per month), it’s definitely something to check out. 

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FTC Radio

For The Culture Radio, or FTC Radio, is a newer weekly podcast ran by JHerTe out of DC. The podcast may only be 15 episodes in, but I think there’s a lot of potential in it. FTC is a change in pace; while most music-based podcasts only have conversations, the music and the conversation in FTC play a more equal role, which is awesome because an hour of solely conversation in a podcast can become very boring. In this case, both the conversation and music are awesome.  

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I’ll Name This Podcast Later

I know that people don’t really like Joe Budden, mainly because of his attitude and controversy. But, in the case of his weekly podcast, I’ll Name This Podcast Later, I like him, even though he has a tendency to roast and cut off his co-hosts, Rory and Marisa Mendez, often. I also like when he gets passionate about certain issues, like police brutality and about music. The Drake episode of INTPL will always be a classic – and yes, I agree with them on the topic. I even wrote a blog post about it here.  

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Juan Epstein Podcast

I’m super new to Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg’s weekly podcast, even though it’s been out for a while (and is responsible for Budden’s podcast). But, I heard their episode with DJ D-Nice and it was awesome. Some people may be thrown off by Rosenberg, but I like his nerdiness in terms of hip-hop, even when he’s wrong (like he was in the D-Nice episode).  

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Stones Throw Podcast

If you want to hear more music and less talking, check out the throwback episodes from Stones Throw. For those unfamiliar, Stones Throw is an indie label based in underground hip-hop and funk. The podcast episodes include mixes from Flying Lotus (who isn’t signed to the label), Knxwledge, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne, and more.

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