Vice beats shared some of his personal favourite Hip Hop podcasts last month, but he couldn’t quite fit in all the hip hop adjacent podcasts that were worth a mention, so we gave him some more space!
Even if they don’t quite fit the criteria for my favourite shows, there’s a variety of hip hop related podcast that are most definitely worth a mention. They are either very new, or don’t exactly fit the Hip Hop podcast criteria, but they are doing great work and deserve celebrating!
Hosts: Andria Lislie and Matt Rogers
This is an artistic and creative podcast, that chucks in samples and cuts up the hosts talking. If you’re new to Wax Poetics, they are one of the most trusted sources of written media surrounding hip hop. Their vast knowledge and deep love of music has led to them being ambassadors of the scene. After a long absence from the scene, the team ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to relaunch the magazine in physical and digital form, seeing them enter the world of podcasts. Just like with the sequels, there’s a benefit to knowing the world of WP, but it’s a great journey. This pod is available on their website and Mixcloud. A brand new podcast for early 2021, it’s well worth keeping this on your radar. Listen now >>
Hosts: Questlove, Phonte, Boss Bill, Laiya, Suga Steve, Unpaid Bill
This is a different kind of podcast, bridging the gap between interviews and group chat shows, think Drink Champs meets Letterman!
There’s an organic feel to this show which draws you in. It’s not just about the guest, it’s about Quest and his team, which is a stellar like up in itself. It’s an old one, but suggestion as to where to start would be the Q-Tip episode, as I it gives you a sense of what the show is all about. Listen now >>
Who We Be talks
Hosts: Henrie Kwushue and Harry Pinero (formerly DJ Semtex)
Recently revamped, Who We Be is a strong brand within the podcast community. As an official Spotify podcast, it has a defined structure and flow. On a personal level, I preferred DJ Semtex as a host, as he was much more embedded within the scene, and had personal relationships with the artists, which led to some profound interviews. A stand out episode being his interview with Common which led to the Chi Town MC talking incredibly openly and honestly with him due to their longstanding affiliation. The new format sees Henrie, a former Reprezent DJ and Harry, a Stormzy affiliated host join a variety of guests from the emerging UK rap scene. The podcast is filmed and available on a wide variety of platforms. Listen now >>
Big Rap Cookbook
Hosts: Fatty & Booda French
This is a passion led podcast, fusing hip hop and food. The duo created a book of the same name that explores some of Hip Hop’s most respected artists in the scene. They find connections between the artists and their culinary interests and dig deep to find out how food has inspired their music. The limited edition books had a huge buzz around them which prompted the beginnings of the podcast. It’s a simple yet unusual concept and works really well with some great guests. Standouts include Last Skeptik, Masta Ace and Juga-naut. Listen now >>
Hosts: DJ Ace & Nicholas Smith
BBC Sounds offer possibly the most in depth sneaker history podcast to date. This pod series mixes truth with imagined history, with voice actors recreating pivotal moments in sneaker history. With Smith’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history of trainers, alongside Ace’s passion and context. Listen now >>
Shotgun The Aux
Hosts: Aidan, Tom and Jake
Through interviews and classic album reviews, the podcast stemmed from a Bournemouth, UK based clothing label. The team have developed a strong online following, and really focus on UK hip hop. It’s a good listen, with some hosts who are passionate about exploring their scene. Stand out guests include Chester P, Mac Lloyd, Genesis Elijah and a vast range of UK hip hop luminaries. Listen now >>
The following podcasts either no longer run or are no longer running in their original form, but they’re hugely influential to the world of hip hop podcasts so they need to be in the mix here.
Hosts: Ali Shaheed Mohammed and Frankie Kelly
With the last episode launched in 2019, this is now a legacy podcast, but the guest list is stellar! Starting as an NPR show, it’s hosted by the legendary Ali Shaheed Mohammed of A Tribe Called Quest alongside Frankie Kelly. The hosts are both deep within the hip hop scene, and often their guests are friends, previous collaborators or similar, allowing for in depth conversations that span complex and at points challenging topics. The hosts aren’t scared to ask challenging questions, and the production on the show is flawless. Some of their guests are very rarely interviewed, which added to the mystique of Microphone Check. Guests include Mac Miller, Raphael Saadiq, Talib Kweli and a real mixture of other hip hop / music luminaries. Listen now >>
The Combat Jack show
Hosts: Reggie Osse
One of the original Hip Hop show, hosted by the former editor of The Source Magazine. Reggie (aka Combat Jack) was the go to for all things hip hop, with a near on encyclopedic knowledge of the scene. His show was in depth, well produced, and highly respected. The show also had a TV version on Complex. Reggie’s death in 2017 rocked the hip hop world, and many current shows still cite the Combat Jack Show as an influence. Listen now >>
NB: Reggie was the host of the Gimlet produced Mogul, a series base podcast that dug deep into hip hop. Each season focuses on a particular time in the genre and the wider impact on the creative communities.
Host: Shawn Setaro
Shawn is a great host and also a talented podcast producer, If his name is attached to a project it’s well worth checking out. Ending in 2019, the podcast had over 200 episodes, all interview focused, with true Hip Hop royalty. Having been immersed in the scene for a long time, Shawn knows his stuff, and really delves into the guest’s motivations and history. Listen now >>
Hosts: Peter Rosenberg and cipha sounds
Seen by many as the original hip hop podcast, these guys have created a die hard audience, including live shows. Listen now >>
Book Of Rhymes
Donwill is a member of Tanya Morgan (who are great by the way!), and is also an aspiring comedian. This natural and laid back podcast has a range of guests with a common theme of exploration and self development through rhyme. Listen now >>
Let The Record Show
Hosts: Mike Pizzo and Warren Peace
The last episode of this pod was October 2020, so the hope is that it’s coming back Post-Covid. The format for this show is great, and visually stimulating alongside the sonics. The hosts sit around a turntable with their guest, having found vinyl version, often rare copies, of their guests favourite and most influential music. They then proceed to play the track in the background whilst their guest talks through the record and why they like it, often finding ways to link back to their own musical journey and collaborations. The format works well, and there’s interesting mix of guests, not just focusing on hip hop, more focusing on great music irrespective of genres. Listen now >>
Vice beats started making podcasts about hip hop in 2009, a show called Basement Sessions, and since then has hosted a number of radio shows, been a journalist in various forms, and hosted the Wordplay Podcast. His most recent venture is a podcast called Diggin’ The Crates alongside Dutch blog The Find.