Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 52 in total
In our final episode of the biweekly podcast, Dave and Mickey pay their respects to two fallen hip-hop icons, Kangol Kid of UTFO and Jesse D of the Force MDs. Our hosts each name the hip-hop moments they were glad to experience, the ones they were sorry to miss, and the ones they still hope to see. Podcast producer Anthony Sergi joins the guys on the mic as we sign off for now, but keep your eyes peeled — we can’t promise we won’t be back with a special recording every now and then. Thank you for listening for these two years. It’s been a meaningful project for all three of us and we hope we've given you something to think about.
Dave and Mickey start with a look back at 2021, then turn their sights ahead to the new year, sharing their hopes for more civil debate and less divisiveness. Mickey offers up a quote from author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote that our ideas are worn as “badges of friendship or enmity,” and that can cause us to dig in our heels rather than stop and think when we encounter an idea that doesn’t match our worldview.
Dave shares his Spotify stats for 2021 and the guys discuss how little money musicians make for thousands of streams. They think back to earlier technologies like bootleg CDs and used CDs that also cut out the musician and talk about the differences between paid streaming services for music, and public libraries for books. Mickey shares his end-of-year publishing royalty statement and they remind themselves they didn’t start rapping or writing with money in mind.
Dave celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Black Champion EP and catches us up on the musicians who contributed to the album. Mickey waxes nostalgic about his old iPod and the songs it holds that are either not on streaming or have disappeared from the Internet altogether.
Dave and Mickey talk code-switching and the conflict between expanding your audience and trying so hard to fit in that you end up being less than yourself. They speak on the recent governor’s race in Virginia and the rallying cry against critical race theory and suggest that people approach uncomfortable moments in their education by asking, "What more do I need to know?" This episode is dedicated to the memory of Larry Voss and Young Dolph.
The fellas breeze through a few random topics including more of their favorite rap names, favorite opening lines in songs, skillset vs. "cool factor," and a few artists and projects that pleasantly surprised them. Things evolve into a more poignant discussion about music and artistry reflecting the times and whether the current popular music paints an accurate picture of today's society.
Mickey and Dave recap the recent Verzuz event celebrating hip-hop icons Big Daddy Kane and KRS-ONE and discuss the sustained excellence and longevity of many of hip-hop's legends beyond the height of their mainstream popularity.
Having discovered that the rapper Gunna's government name is Sergio Kitchens, the guys discuss what goes into choosing a rap name. They run through some categories of rap names throughout history, give some context on names that come from the Nation of Gods and Earths, consider rappers who've changed from one rap name to another, and shout out their favorite rap names of all time.
Dave and Mickey discuss some of the new music they have been listening to or discovered over the past few weeks as well as the anticipation for some of hip-hop's bigger artists like Drake, Kanye and especially Kendrick Lamar who the guys believe may be returning with a point to prove. The music talk transitions into a more serious discussion surrounding Da Baby's recent controversial remarks and the role cancel culture plays is media, business and society as a whole.
The guys discuss Dave’s recent move to Atlanta and how it feels to move from the Northeast to the South (and vice versa) as regional identities get pitted against each other and Americans have come to associate the South with a stubborn racism that the guys have seen plenty of in the Northeast too.
Mickey and Dave pay homage to yet another fallen rapper, the great Biz Markie, who died on July 16, 2021. They talk about their favorite Biz songs and his importance to hip-hop history and celebrate their inclusion in the new book "Deep in the Dark with the Art: Conversations With The Creators Behind The Best Cover Art From the Wu-Tang Clan and Their Killa Beez Affiliates", edited by Matteo Urella. All proceeds go to More Than Words, a Boston-based bookstore for at-risk youth. Mickey and David will be taking the rest of the summer off for some personal projects, quality family time and some much needed R&R. They'll be back in mid-September with a brand new episode of A Guest in the House!
Dave and Mickey discuss new music from Tyler the Creator, Fatboi Sharif, Your Old Droog, and J Cole. They take a deep dive into DJ Kay Slay's "Rolling 110 Deep" and speculate on what new releases we'll hear that were recorded during quarantine.
Our hosts open by picking up where they left off in the previous episode about Critical Race Theory. From there, Dave and Mickey move on to discuss the designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Is it too little too late? Is it a distraction while Black Americans face rampant voter suppression? Will kids even know what Juneteenth is if teachers aren't allowed to teach hard history?
Dave and Mickey discuss the spate of state initiatives to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools, and how the small, specific body of scholarship that calls itself critical race theory is so different from the vague, amorphous threat that these initiatives seek to ban. In fact, many of the proponents of these bills cannot define critical race theory when asked. With its target so ill-defined, bans against critical race theory can become, in effect, a ban on teaching anything that relates to race and have a chilling effect on teachers in schools that have not yet banned it.
Our hosts talk with Selwyn Jones, hotelier, activist, and uncle of George Floyd. Jones celebrates his nephew's life and legacy, describes his successful campaign to remove the Confederate Flag emblem from the uniform of his local police, and discusses the ongoing roles of power and control in U.S. policing and race relations.
Our hosts pay tribute to the late Shock G of Digital Underground. They celebrate the playfulness Shock brought to hip-hop, ponder his legacy and discuss the latest Czarface and DOOM album.
Dave and Mickey discuss and update Mickey's 2005 article "Hip Hop Realness and the White Performer," which looked at the strategies white rappers have used to convince listeners they belong on stage in the world of hip-hop.
Mickey and Dave ponder the recent loss of rappers DMX and Black Rob, the calls for a union for hip-hop musicians and for record labels to contribute to healthcare and addiction treatment for their artists.
Continuing the celebration of the genius of MF DOOM, Mickey and Dave do a deep dive into the lyrical content of the late rapper. Citing several verses from Doom's catalog, the fellas analyze his innovative and unorthodox approaches in creating some of the most influential work in hip-hop.
Dave and Mickey commemorate the one-year anniversary of Life in Quarantine, discussing adjustments to new norms, the music that got them through, how the solitude affected their creativity and what they each learned through it all.
Dave and Mickey pay tribute to Rider University alumnus Eugene Marsh, who died of Covid-19 complications on January 29, 2021. They discuss the planned name change for Aunt Jemima pancake mix, the history of the “mammy” figure from the minstrel show to the baking aisle, and the dangers of erasing bad history.
Dave and Mickey pay tribute to Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys, who died February 18, 2021.
The masked supervillain MC known as MF DOOM aka Zev Love X, King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn died on October 31, 2020. David asks Mickey, who years ago published the first academic article on DOOM, to take listeners through the story of the man, the myth, and the mask. Includes never before heard audio from Count Bass D on working with DOOM.
Our hosts consider what a white person can do when confronted with everyday racism. Mickey remembers a white neighbor who shrugged off a peeping tom by suggesting he probably meant no harm because he “looked like you or me.” Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, a white neighbor called the cops on a Black middle-schooler who got locked out of his house. Dave and Mickey discuss the risks of white people calling the cops to protect their own comfort.
David and Mickey reflect on the January 6, 2021 Capitol breach and discuss the issues surrounding it: the history and motivations of the violent protesters, the impacts of their actions on the Capitol and the country, and the vast difference in police response between that event and the 2020 BLM protests.
Our hosts look back on their first year of the podcast and reflect on the issues that 2020 gave us to deal with. They pay tribute to the victims of Covid-19 and celebrate the music of the rap group Whodini, who recently lost a member.
This episode opens up with Dave asking for Mickey's thoughts on The Notorious BIG and transitions into a discussion on diversity and inclusion in curriculum and faculty hiring at the University level. Mickey encourages Dave to consider a career in academics.
After releasing a new track, “Worthy,” David reflects on his career as Traum Diggs and the changes he’s seen in how music gets recorded and distributed. He takes us from booking studios for $75 an hour and laying down tracks to tape in 1993 to recording at home and uploading to Bandcamp during the 2020 quarantine. He then shares his thoughts about what hip-hop has gained and lost over the years with these technological developments. The guys wrap up with Mickey’s 20-year-old memory of Royce da 5’9 playing a show in Louisville having forgotten his DAT tape in Detroit, and Dave’s 25-year-old memory of saving the day when Kenny Parker couldn’t find his vinyl copy of “Dwyck.”
Dave, Mickey, and guest Steve Sachs continue their conversation on "weirdo rap" and Mickey's blind spot for mainstream hip-hop. The conversation then shifts to politics, specifically the black vote and two-party politics under the context of a W.E.B. DuBois' 1956 article in The Nation. The fellas correctly anticipate the election day drama and delayed results.
After discussing their mainstream vs. underground tastes in hip-hop, Mickey and David challenged each other to listen to an album they’d never heard before. Mickey chose Tame One and Junkwaffel’s Hell or High Water EP (2010) and Dave chose Beanie Sigel’s The Truth (1999). Steve Sachs, a rap parodist and a friend of the podcast who designed our cover art, joins the conversation having never before heard either album. This episode is dedicated to the memory of Junkwaffel.