With the maturity of the third generation of black people in the UK, we are on the way to finally establishing our own culture and identity. Our music and entertainment scene is thriving which opens up new opportunities for creatives to take on a wide range of roles outside of the traditional rapper/MC/artist route. We now have successful media outlets, record label owners, presenters and videographers with their feet firmly planted in the UK underground music scene. We have some way to go but I’m hopeful that we’ll soon be a self sufficient industry, like the black entertainment industry in America.
As our scene and culture develops and grows, we are naturally given lots of talking points, highlights and issues to discuss and debate. Couple that with the rise of social and digital media and we now a voice to discuss those topics and express our opinions.
This has pathed the way for a new generation of social commentators, all discussing topics that relate to our scene and culture here in the UK. This has led to the rise of the podcast. As an avid listener, thinker and reflector, I love a good conversation to take in while I’m travelling to work, at home doing the washing up or even working on a new think-piece for this publication. Sometimes I like to be entertained with light-hearted banter whilst other times I’m in the mood for a more serious discussion on our social issues.
For me what makes this dialogue interesting is that these conversations are so relatable and close to home. While it’s still interesting to hear Charlamayne discuss the Drake V Meek Mill beef on the Brilliant Idiots podcast, there’s nothing like hearing a British voice be open and honest about the scene that we love, it’s so much more exciting and real.
To add another dimension to this, it’s important that we tell our own stories. As more and more, the mainstream media is portraying it’s own image of our culture. You only have to look as far as the latest articles on the recent incident on Church Road or the recent controversy surrounding rapper Bonkaz for proof that if we don’t tell our own stories, other people will. In us telling our own stories, we spark conversation, educate and inspire our community.
With that said, I wanted to share my top 6 UK podcasts with you. These are all platforms that I am a huge fan off and listen to every week without fail. So grab a coffee, beer or any other beverage of your choice and relax as i take you through my favourite podcasts.
I’ve been listening to Chuckie since he was on Freeze FM back in the early 2000s doing the morning show and he’s always been a very good presenter and DJ. After the great reception of his TALK ABOUT IT posts on Soundcloud (check out the Newgen & SlowJam episode which is hilarious), Chuckie teamed up with Poet to launch the HALFCAST podcast. Chuckie and Poet are two well known and respected individuals in their own right and their insight and views are both interesting and hilarious at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever missed an episode (ask the wife!) since its launch in the Spring of 2015 and I look forward to it every Thursday. Also listen out for producer Savage Dan who has some ridiculous stories about relationships (if you know the story about the antibiotic link, then you know!).
Chuckieonline proves he is an excellent conversationalist while Poet shows that while he is known for his quick witted banter, he’s actually very considered and I find myself agreeing with the majority of his views.
Hosted by Imrie and Satia, Melanin Millennials launched at the end of 2015 and is an excellent insight into the mind of the two 20-something black women growing up in London. Both natural presenters, Imrie and Satia are incredibly honest in their reflections which makes for fascinating listening. The banter between the two makes for some funny moments and will make you feel like you are listening to two of your friends having a chat! Their discussions range from issues around the black lives matter movement and pop culture to their experiences of relationships. For a great first listen, checkout their discussion on the recent Brit awards #BritsSoWhite.
Melanin Millennials is bringing the ladies hilarious Whatsapp conversations to life and they don’t hold back on serving all the tea, crumpets, shade and woke commentary.
Hosted by Elijah from the Butterz Label, Rhythm&Cash has an interesting angle in that it speaks to Grime artists about the business behind the music. The podcast has welcomed some top quality artists such as Kano and D Double E. One episode which is especially insightful is the conversation with Plastician. The vetaran DJ speaks candidly about his relationship with the media, the rise and fall of dubstep and his personal journey as a DJ/Producer. If you are interested in Grime music and what happens behind the scenes in the music industry, this is a must listen.
Brutally honest and hilarious. Hosted by Fols Forever and Mr Van the podcast focuses on current issues in the UK underground scene and beyond and has a growing fan base. Launching in Spring 2015, the podcast is in their own words ‘unfiltered’ and it’s exactly that which makes this a refreshing listen.
The team also film snippets of their conversations (view here on YouTube) and this adds an interesting new dimension. One of their recent podcasts offers an hilarious breakdown of the recent Chip V Yungen beef and is a must listen. In addition, to listen to an engaging conversation about Black businesses in the UK, check out their episode with Shear & Shine founder, Aaron Wallace.