Displaying episodes 31 - 52 of 52 in total

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?


On the heels of the 2020 release of the documentary, Beastie Boys Story, Dave and Mickey dive into some history of the band and it's place and impact in Hip-hop history. And Mickey recounts the story of when, as a teen, he sent a fan letter to band member Adam Yauch and received an unexpected reply.

Ropeadope Records: Louis Marks and Fabian Brown

In this episode, Dave and Mickey welcome Ropeadope Records CEO, Louis Marks, and publicity director, Fabian Brown.

A Discussion with Soren Baker

Mickey and Dave speak with Soren Baker, author of The History Of Gangster Rap, and host of YouTube channel, Unique Access Ent.

20 for 20

After acknowledging of the spate of untimely and notable deaths that occurred around the first week of May, Dave and Mickey turn back to the thing they know best: music. Our hosts take on the recent social media challenge, “20 for 20,” where they attempt to list their top Rap album for each year from 2000 to 2020.

Days Like This

The world is in unprecedented times with the pandemic still looming and massive protests and reaction to the police killing of George Floyd. Dave and Mickey first check-in on each other's mental health and wellbeing and then discuss the magnitude of the moment and steps to heal and reform our country.

Growing Up Hip-hop

Mickey asks Dave to look back at what got him into rap as a kid growing up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn in the 80s and 90s. Dave begins with the early influences like his brother, "J Fresh", and Run DMC, then recounts the stories of his learning, growth and ultimately contributions to the art form. He and Mickey then flow into a discussion of how changes in social and cultural norms have affected the language and expression of hip-hop over the years.


Mickey and Dave examine the metaphors, "a guest in the house of hip-hop" and "a seat at the table," deconstructing the foundations that the house of hip-hop was built upon. Hip-hop started out as a predominantly black form of art, but over the years has changed to become more diverse and be seen more broadly as American culture. What is the house of hip-hop? Who are its rightful homeowners? And who exactly is considered a guest and why?

An Interview with Journalist J'na Jefferson

Within the culture of the black male dominated hip hop industry, women have tiptoed into the game and rearranged the norms. We've seen misogynistic lyrics sell rap records since the 80s. But the queens of hip hop began to take back the power of their femininity, incorporating it as an advantage to alter the landscape of the genre. In this episode Mickey and David speak with accomplished journalist and creative, J’na Jefferson to discuss the roles of women in hip hop and the shifts in presentation they’ve created over time.

Hip-Hop as Property Pt 2

The conversation on hip-hop as property continues, and David and Mickey also take some time to discuss their current listening preferences and favorite artists of the moment.

Hip Hop As Property Pt 1

A "controversial" remark from rapper Jay Electronica on his latest release sparks a conversation between the fellas on what is considered offensive in hip-hop and who has the authority to make those determinations.

How a Kid in Kentucky got into Hip-Hop

Mickey digs deep into his past as Dave asks him to describe what drew him to hip-hop music in the 80s and 90s as a young white kid in rural Kentucky.

Danc[ing] on Stage for White People

Mickey and Dave discuss the rapper and poet Noname’s proclamation that she will no longer perform for a predominantly White crowd because “I don’t want to dance on a stage for white people” who are more dedicated to enjoying Black art than they are to standing up for Black people. Plus, Lil Wayne’s assertion that the number of White kids at his concerts serves as evidence that “there is no such thing as racism,” and the legacy of the minstrel show.

Black History Month

In this episode, David and Mickey discuss the origins of Black History Month and the successes and failures of its implementation in schools.

A Tribute to Popa Wu

We rank our favorite Wu-Tang Clan albums and singles and discuss the influence of Popa Wu, the Wu-Tang Clan's spiritual mentor, in the wake of his recent passing.

The 16th Chapel

Our hosts discuss what brought them to team up to do this podcast and look for the sweet spot in discussing the music itself and the issues it raises. This episode takes on best-of lists as Dave and Mickey consider their favorite hip-hop albums and the “kwai-terria” (criteria) that puts them on the list.

How We Met

In this first episode hosts David Shanks and Dr. Mickey Hess discuss how they met, the history of college classes on hip-hop, the dearth of Black professors at U.S. universities, Lord Jamar’s description of White rappers as “guests in the house of hip-hop,” and the responsibilities of White people (from White rappers to fans to professors) who participate in the Black culture of hip-hop.

© 2021 A Guest in the House