Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 46 in total

Verzuz

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.

Great Rap Names

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.

End of Summer Playlist

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. 

How We Spent Our Summer Vacations

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.

A Tribute to Biz Markie (and a little bit of summer break)

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!

Bring Back the Music

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.

CRT pt.2 and Juneteenth

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?

The Boogeyman of Critical Race Theory

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.

Interview with Selwyn Jones, Uncle of George Floyd

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.

A Tribute to Shock G

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.

White Rapper Strategies

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. 

Tribute to DMX and Black Rob

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. 

DOOM Redux

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.

A Year in Quarantine

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. 

Aunt Jemima

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.

Prince Markie Dee and Fat Boys

Dave and Mickey pay tribute to Prince Markie Dee of the Fat Boys, who died February 18, 2021.

A Tribute to MF DOOM

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.

Everyday Ally

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. 

Patriots or Hateriots?

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.

2020 In the Rearview

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.

Diversity Hire

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.

Worthy

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.”

The Truth vs. “Da Troof” feat. Steve Sachs - Part Two

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.

The Truth vs. “Da Troof” feat. Steve Sachs - Part One

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.

Pandemic Music

Dave and Mickey talk music: the latest releases from Sa-Roc, Westside Gunn and Slick Rick, Locksmith, Denzel Curry, Recognize Ali, Bobby Sessions, Bill Collector, and more. A quick recap of the last episode’s conversation about patriotic education leads our hosts to talk about the 2020 releases from Public Enemy, Paris, and Wise Intelligent, who were the vanguard of political hip-hop in the late 80s and early 90s.

Make Education Great Again?

Dave and Mickey discuss the recent backlash to Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times’ 1619 Project and President Donald Trump’s announcing of a Patriotic Education Commission, which Mickey describes as an initiative to “Make Education Great Again.” They give a quick introduction to the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory and put them into historical context of landmark texts like W.E.B. DuBois’s "Black Reconstruction in America" and Carter Woodson’s "The Miseducation of the Negro."

Theory and Practice

David and Mickey talk theory and practice, education and action, and the distinctions between supporting Black empowerment and going through the motions, making a self-serving gesture, or capitalizing on Black trauma. The question to ask is “how do I best do some good,” not “how can I convince people I’m a good person?” Mickey asks what books we want protestors to have read and Dave asks if we really have time for “WAP” right now.

Peace, Love and Black Power

David and Mickey talk NBA and WNBA wildcat strikes, the love America has for Black athletes and entertainers, and how that love can fade when the attention turns to an everyday Black citizen. Then they hash out the origins of – and distinctions between – the terms “Black power,” “black supremacy” and the FBI-coined “Black identity extremist.”

Atonement in America

David and Mickey start a conversation about corporate response to the recent BLM movement that opens up a deep dialogue about America's "original sin", atonement, revisionist history and white allyship.

Perspectives on Perspective

Mickey and Dave catch up on quarantine happenings from Verzuz battles to corporate statements of solidarity with Black Lives Matter. After a tribute to Philly's Malik B, who passed away on July 29, they discuss the academic publishing process of blind peer review. Should white scholars have to identify themselves when they write about Black culture, or does that defeat the purpose of blind review?

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