Podcasting has undergone a significant transformation since its inception in the early 2000s, and it continues to grow in popularity. This medium has captivated the hip hop community, with many rappers and musicians choosing to share their voices through podcasting. Some jumped on the podcasting bandwagon early on, recognizing its potential, while others joined more recently. In this article, we present our selection of the best 11 hip hop podcasts. Although they cover a range of topics, these podcasts are deeply rooted in the world of music. From engaging discussions to insightful interviews, these shows offer a diverse array of content. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list!
The Joe Budden Podcast: Unfiltered Hip Hop Insights
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular hip hop podcasts out there, The Joe Budden Podcast, has surpassed even the host’s successful rap career. Joe Budden, with a rich broadcasting history that dates back to the 2000s, started this podcast, originally named I’ll Name This Podcast Later, in 2015. While centered around hip hop music and culture, the show also delves into pop culture, sports, politics, relationships, and more. Although not entirely guest-based, the podcast occasionally features intriguing interviews and phone conversations. The Joe Budden Podcast reached new heights when Joe, Rory, and Mal signed a groundbreaking deal with Spotify in 2018. However, subsequent changes in the lineup prompted the podcast to undergo a rebranding process. Today, Joe hosts the show alongside Parks, Ice, Ish, QueenzFlip, and Melyssa Ford.
New Rory & Mal: A Fresh Perspective in Hip Hop
Following their departure from The Joe Budden Podcast, Rory and Mal wasted no time in embarking on their own independent venture. In 2021, they introduced the New Rory & Mal podcast, which acts as a platform for insightful conversations about music, pop culture, and current events. Although not primarily guest-driven, they occasionally invite musicians, comedians, and other notable figures. To enhance their content, they even produce entertaining skits. Last year, New Rory & Mal took their podcast on the road, touring across North America and performing a sold-out show in London.
Drink Champs: Where Hip Hop Stories Flow Freely
One of the earliest and most influential guest-based hip hop podcasts is Drink Champs. During this show, hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN engage in lengthy interviews with their guests while enjoying a drink or two. Their impressive roster of high-profile figures within the hip hop culture, including Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, adds to the show’s allure. The conversations are laced with humorous banter and captivating stories from the guests’ past. Over the years, Drink Champs has had its fair share of viral and controversial moments, such as their unforgettable and unfiltered interview with Kanye West.
People’s Party With Talib Kweli: Where Conversations Come to Life
Talib Kweli, known for his skills as a rapper, has also made a name for himself in the podcasting world. People’s Party With Talib Kweli stands out as one of the most engaging interview-based hip hop shows. With co-host Jasmine Leigh by his side, Talib Kweli sits down with actors, activists, comedians, and fellow rappers, drawing on his personal relationships to bring out chemistry and authenticity in each conversation. The podcast showcases Kweli’s wisdom, reflecting his vast experience and storytelling prowess, while Leigh impresses with her personable interviewing style.
Rap Radar: Deep-Dive Conversations with Hip Hop Icons
Rap Radar proves itself as a hip hop journalism masterclass. Elliott Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller excel at asking thought-provoking questions, regardless of who their guests are. Most interviews take place during press runs for artists’ new albums, providing a comprehensive exploration of their careers. Rap Radar strikes the perfect balance between discussing the artist’s latest work and taking a broader look at their impact on the industry. With a mix of questions, friendly banter, and occasional jokes, Wilson and Miller have conducted memorable interviews with the likes of JAY-Z, Drake, and Will Smith.
Juan Ep Is Life: The Quintessential Hip Hop Podcast
Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds were ahead of their time when they launched Juan Epstein in 2007. This podcast became an outlet for the duo to delve into the intricacies of hip hop, away from their work in the music industry. From Kanye West to JAY-Z and Eminem, Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds conducted fascinating interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry. Despite taking a brief hiatus in 2018, the podcast returned in 2019 under the new name “Juan Ep Is Life,” solidifying its status as a hip hop podcast pioneer.
Questlove Supreme: Where Music Comes Alive
Questlove, the esteemed musician from The Roots, brings his vast knowledge and passion for music to Questlove Supreme. This podcast stands out as a crash course in the lineage of music, including hip hop. Questlove, along with a rotating cast of co-hosts, engages in genuine and riveting interviews. The guests often have captivating stories to share, and Questlove’s infectious curiosity adds an extra layer of excitement. Notable guests on Questlove Supreme include Jill Scott and Solange.
The Combat Jack Show: Hip Hop Unfiltered
The Combat Jack Show owes its credibility to the late Combat Jack, a seasoned hip hop journalist, attorney, executive, and broadcaster. His multifaceted background contributed to the show’s success, as he fearlessly shared his thoughts, opinions, and insightful interviews. Combat Jack’s impressive guest list includes J. Cole and Black Thought. Before his passing in 2017, The Combat Jack Show left an indelible mark on the world of hip hop podcasts. In fact, Joe Budden has cited Combat Jack as one of his inspirations for entering the podcasting sphere.
The Travelers Podcast With Brother Ali: A Journey Through Hip Hop
Brother Ali, known for his soothing rap voice, ventured into podcasting with The Travelers Podcast in 2021. Ali’s conversation-based interviews maintain an authentic and unscripted feel, reflecting his seasoned status in hip hop. The podcast showcases Ali’s wisdom, influenced by his experiences in music, religion, and politics. Alongside rappers, Ali also invites politicians, activists, and authors to engage in captivating discussions.
The Blog Era: Uncovering the Hip Hop Renaissance
The Blog Era, a newly launched podcast, offers a deep dive into the captivating history of hip hop’s “blog era” from the late 2000s to the early 2010s. Hosted by Eric and Jeff Rosenthal, accomplished writers and sketch comedians, this podcast explores the impact of influential blogs and the artists who sparked a renaissance in hip hop during the early days of the internet. If you’re curious about the origins of this transformative era, The Blog Era podcast is a must-listen.
The Midnight Miracle: Conversations Illuminated
Talib Kweli further solidifies his status as a talented podcaster with The Midnight Miracle. This unique commentary podcast, co-hosted by Dave Chappelle and Yasiin Bey, explores an intriguing blend of concrete and abstract topics. The podcast weaves together conversations, audio excerpts, and contributions from a diverse range of guests, creating an unforgettable listening experience. You can find The Midnight Miracle on Luminary, the same platform where Kweli and Bey released their highly anticipated second album as Black Star.
This carefully curated selection of hip hop podcasts offers a plethora of captivating content for music enthusiasts and curious minds alike. So kick back, relax, and let these podcasts transport you into the vibrant world of hip hop. Remember to check out Ratingperson for more enriching content and recommendations!