This article is part of The Summer Social Content Series. List-style articles that will help you navigate through countless digital portals and hopefully find some gold within each novelty.
I know I'm not the only one who relies on sonic interaction to get them through the day. For the most part, I search for a playlist or show that'll put me in a productive and great mood. I find solace in the commentary and ideas of others - and that's essentially what you get with a podcast. As I mentioned with my Top 12 YouTube favorites article, there is a podcast for any interest. Unfortunately, not all shows are created equal. You gotta kiss many digital frogs to find your gems. I'll say my queue is pretty eclectic, but currently, these six remain in the shuffle.
The art of story-telling isn't lost here. Bronzeville is considered an "audio scripted drama" brought to you by Larenz Tate and Laurence Fishburne, their production companies and a full star-studded cast. It is unlike anything on the podcast spectrum, today. I highly recommend this one.
Set in the 1940s, Bronzeville is a thriving Black Chicago community and the background to the policy empire (a precursor to the legalized lottery). Head of the Copeland family, incarcerated Everett Copeland, (Wood Harris), left his brother Jesse Copeland, (Omari Hardwick), in charge under the guidance of Curtis “Eyeball” Randolph (Laurence Fishburne), who built the policy empire. All the while, Everett and Jesse work hard to keep the business booming and their smart, beautiful baby sister Lisa Copeland, (Tika Sumpter), away from a new foot soldier for the Copelands, Jimmy Tillman, (Larenz Tate), and the underworld altogether.
2) The Daily
The news media is so crazy nowadays. But as much as we would like to, we can't turn it off. The iconic American newspaper, The New York Times, got with the times (heh) and created a daily news podcast and radio show. The genius of this show is that each episode is usually no longer than 20 minutes, and it features the biggest stories, told by the world's best journalists. I don't think I'd want my news served any other way.
3) The Wire: Way Down In The Hole
When it comes to The Wire, I'm going to always be in my bag about it. It IS the greatest television show of all time. 20 years later and The Wire still turns the culture on its head with references, memes, and heated debates. And now the world has a podcast to aid in my bias, lol. Jemele Hill and Van Lathan brilliantly break down each episode of the show's five seasons. Honestly, I wasn't too sure about where they would take this, but these two have more than surpassed my expectations. I highly recommend it.
4) Strong Black Lead/Strong Black Legend
When we used the phrase, "for the culture," this podcast follows right in line with that. Netflix and Strong Black Lead joined forces to bring Strong Black Legends to honor and highlight the best of Black Hollywood. These individuals unveil their untold stories, career-defining moments and get their chance to receive, and smell, their flowers while they're here. Host Tracy Clayton does a phenomenal job of providing Us with a sonic celebration of Black representation and excellence.
Alex (a standup comedian/Youtuber) and Chris (blogger/Youtuber) are close friends that have been killing the commentary game for years. So it was a no-brainer that they decided to expand their entertainment resumés to form the ultra hilarious PopRoast. PopRoast is a comedy podcast show that reviews all things pop culture. I've been a faithful subscriber to Alex's YT channel for years, so when he transitioned over to podcasting, I immediately followed. Both gentlemen are amazing at reasoning and roasting. Not too many duos are doing it like them.
6) All Def / SquADDCast
Out of all the podcasts listed, SquaDDCast saved my morale during this quarantine. Created under the multi-platform media company All Def, the SquADDCast is made up of original All Def comedians who formed a podcast by the name of "Versus". Each week, the SquADD debate topics like Losing Wallet vs Losing Phone or Lingerie vs Big Tee, and they vote at the end to see what wins. These comedians are friends as well, so you can imagine the jokes that fly throughout the show. Members of the SquADD can also be found on their YouTube game shows like Dad Jokes, Quarantine Games, and Great Taste. This is a fun one. You'll never walk away without a belly laugh first.