Top 5 Podcasts: My Audio Fam
I've been a podcast addict since I was around 15. I don't have a TV and really enjoy multitasking, so podcasts have become my primary source of entertainment, news and opinion. I love how much easier it is to be independent as a podcaster. I love that it is still a new form of media where people have room to play and carve out their own space and style. The following are the top five podcasts I would recommend to anyone looking to get into this platform or people like me - who listen to new episodes of their favorites as soon as they come out and need more audio fodder!
Four black girls from NYC on sex, love and dating.
I only recently got into the Inner Hoe Uprising after one of my favorite neighbors at the farmer's markets gave it rave reviews. But now I'm in at least 15 hours deep and this podcast stands out for having a really slick format that guarantees long episodes that are high quality the whole way through. The main host, Sam, rotates the other three hosts in every week with a party cast at the end of the month where everybody gets together. They have really funny, thought provoking segments that get you super invested in their lives and feeling like you are really a part of their conversations on sex, love, dating, politics, and whatever else comes up. They also have really fascinating guests on for the second half. If you're cleaning your house or driving to work and want to feel like you're chillin with a super rad girl gang, this is for you!
No bullshit advice and stories on getting shit done and accomplishing your dreams
Motivation station. If I'm ever having a day where I feel like I don't know where to start on my to-do list or like I'm not getting anywhere on my projects, I'll browse through the Myleik Teele podcast archives till I find the right episode to tell me what I already know but need to hear: get organized and get going. Myliek used to do PR in the music industry and then started CurlBox, a wildly successful subscription service for women with curly hair, bringing an elevated and affordable sampling experience to women of color. As an anti-capitalist individual I didn't think I could get super into this one but she has a serious wisdom that goes way beyond business, often reiterates that success is only defined by your happiness, and has really great advice on dating, staying self-disciplined, dealing with professional and personal relationships gracefully, etc. If you need a kick in the ass this one is for you.
Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond with radically empathetic advice
Dear Sugars has been in my life for a few years now. Originally, Steve Almond, a writer who I had never heard of but since read his books (fantastic), had an advice column in an online magazine pretending to give advice from the perspective of a middle aged woman. Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things) was the only person who ever wrote him a fan letter and he asked her if she could take over the column. The column blew up under her TLC and now they have a podcast where the both of them answer questions from readers on just about any difficult, heart wrenching topic you can imagine. They often have excellent guests (Oprah!) and release correction episodes when they believe they didn't address a question as well as they could the first time. I think this podcast is pretty much for everyone.
Two WOC from Yale on politics and pop culture
The Get just came back after a little hiatus and I couldn't be more hyped. This show is hosted by Ivy, a Nigerian immigrant and Rhiana, a Chicago Southsider, who met at Yale and get together to talk about current events and issues with a chemistry that is hilarious and profound. They bring really well-educated outsider political opinions into national conversations that would otherwise be a depressing buzz in the background of my mind. Their motto is Smart. Snark. Shade. and they will literally have you busting up on the floor of your kitchen while you do the dishes.
History and politics from the most neutral perspective I've ever heard
Dan Carlin has two podcasts, Hardcore History and Common Sense. I'm going to group them together because I consider them to be two branches from one of my favorite audio hosts. Hardcore History was one of the first shows to get my hooked on audio. He takes moments in history and researches them for usually six months at a time with an academic rigor fitting a real historian (although he insists he is only a fan of history) and then draws on his background in journalism to weave what he finds into an incredible compelling story of human kind. If you like history, you will LOVE this show. If you don't like history, I am willing to bet you will realize it's just because it has never been presented like this. One of my favorite things about Dan is he tells the listener when he isn't sure of something, or when historians differ, and traces the battles between historians like hot gossip. His political show, Common Sense, is the most nonpartisan political show I have ever heard. He looks at current issues with depth and clarity and actually tries to bridge the gaps between opinions and look for the core problems. I can listen to this podcast with my conservative Dad, I can listen to this podcast with my anarchist boyfriend or apolitical little siblings, it's great for provoking discussions with yourself and other people.
Two Bronx afro-latinx ladies shedding their baggage
Ugh, designing podcasts logos is the best. Unfortunately I haven't listened to as many of their shows as I would like because they're only on Soundcloud that I know of (check it out here!) but they have a great dynamic with topics similiar to Inner Hoe Uprising, chatting about NYC politics, racism, sexism- anything that's weighing them down with humor and wit. Also they paid me good money to do their logo so shout out to Estaphanie and Rafaela for supporting a broke artist!! Forever in my heart.
BBC Arts & Ideas
The bright side of basic Brit.
I also wanted to mention the BBC Radio 3 Arts & Ideas program, which I have been listening to since high school. They have various programs and about 3 or 4 main presenters, these days with all my other good podcasts I only listen to the Arts & Ideas episodes with guests I know or the shows presented by Philip Dodd. For an older, white British gentleman I think he does a great job as an interviewer, he has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of philosophy, literature, and the arts in general and always manages to ask interesting and often hard questions, plays devil's advocate expertly but only when it benefits the audience, and occasionally verbally backhands annoying and pretentious guests which is hilarious and satisfying when I feel most mainstream media interviews are so played out and lukewarm.