Do you ever find that Los Angeles traffic if the best place to podcast. I guess the question I should be asking first is “did you think you would ever listen to podcasts?” They are pretty daunting when you first try it.
Always like an hour long and the bios are never really clear about what exactly the conversation is about. But... podcasts are one of those things that make you feel like an adult - kinda like coffee, martinis, and taxes. No 12 year old is listening to this shit it's literally only adults. The great thing about podcasts is that they make you feel like you are generally still learning something even though its been years since you graduated from school. Luckily there are enough category specific enthusiasts out there that take time out of their day to record their cool conversations about career growth, finance, health, comedy, and music. Some of these general topics even cross contaminate and you get something along the lines of 2 Dope Queens, which was the first podcast I really got into. Lucky for you I spend unhealthy amounts of my life in LA traffic (more specifically the 5 Freeway to the 101) every day so I have placed a ton of thought into this write up of all the Best Podcasts I have listened to in the past 2 years.
Music & Culture Podcasts
A Waste OF Time with ItsTheReal
Rave review here. Jeff & Eric (brothers) have firmly established themselves as hip hop historians with their brainchild bopcast "A Waste Of Time with ItsTheReal". Is it really a waste of time? No. These two have unlocked some of the best long form conversations with icons throughout not only the music industry but comedy, behind the scenes powerhouses, cultural influencers, and even their own mother. Notable episode mentions that resonate personally are Tierra Whack, Ravie B (Beyoncé & JAY-Z's tour photographer), Mac Miller, Lizzo, Cardi B, Hasan Minhaj, and Killer Mike. Go support this amazing & creative show.
If you are obsessed with every lyric from Frank Ocean's Blonde or always wondered what alternate meanings Kendrick Lamar implanted in "Alright" do not stress. Dissect takes you deep into the universe of selected albums from Kendrick to Kanye, Frank Ocean, and Tyler, The Creator. These are albums that transcend mainstream culture and define what it means to be legendary. If I had to pick one podcast episode to listen to for the rest of my life (weird situation) bet I would choose "Self - Control" from the Frank Ocean season.
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
This gem of a podcast has been around since before the dawn of Queer Eye (Netflix version). Johnathan Van Ness was a baby podcaster exploring things that made him wonder and decided to contact actual professionals from all walks of life. Are the bees really dying? Find out the truth from an actual Bee expert. Where did Lizzo grow up? Find out from her. Is Antoni really fluent in multiple languages due to his excellent Canadian education and diverse upbringing? Yes.
Henry & Heidi
Black Flag front man / professional storyteller Henry Rollins takes us through his experiences coming up in the D.C. punk rock scene and how he went from scooping ice cream to leading the legendary punk rock band Black Flag. His adventures playing the first ever Lollapalooza, doing acid for the first time, and meeting Ozzy Osbourne are all supported by his lovely counterpart Heidi. Together they make a perfect podcast pair and keep you laughing the whole time.
Spotify presents Disgraceland. A dramatic storytelling podcast that highlights the untimely deaths and deconstructions of some of musics most legendary icons. These Halloween vibe episodes breakout the history and tales behind the deaths of Tupac & Biggie, Johnny Cash, Motley Crue, and more.
In Sight Out
Part of the Pitchfork podcast series alongside Pillow Talk and Sound & Space, this podcast goes in on artist 1:1 interviews. Notable mentions include Chance the Rapper, Run The Jewels, Mitski, & Vince Staples.
RuPaul: What's The Tee with Michele Visage
Literally either fresh off the judge panel or about to approach the runway, RuPaul and his partner in crime Michele Visage are just two drag queens (not literally Michele but like she kinda is a drag queen in her own respected way) talking shit and extrapolating some of the most entertaining interviews from mostly guest judges that appear on RuPaul's Drag Race. I have literally spent hours tuned into conversations they carry with icons like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Whitney Cummings, Fortune Feimster, and SO MANY MORE COOL PEOPLE.
Other notable mentions:
The Joe Budden Podcast
Rolling Stone's Music Now
The Joe Rogan Podcast
2 Dope Queens
Sooo Many White Guys
Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
WTF with Marc Maron
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
Tiny Desk Concert