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5 Hip-Hop Podcasts To Check Out

Almost a decade ago, podcasting was an unknown form of media. For iPhone users, it was once a pointless app that many people would ignore or delete to make space for other apps. If we travel back to 2013-2014, our main way of consuming interviews or talk shows was still radio or YouTube videos of radio shows like The Breakfast Club. Nowadays, it's a very popular media platform.

What really kicked the podcasting industry to become a multimillion-dollar industry was the success of the Joe Budden Podcast with Rory and Mal. That podcast started in 2014 when it was first known as I'll Name This Podcast Later. The hip-hop Howard Stern and his team did something unprecedented in 2018 by signing an exclusive multi-million dollar deal with Spotify. Spotify would eventually follow with another multi-million dollar exclusive deal with the Joe Rogan Podcast in May of 2020. Even Rory & Mal formed their own podcast and signed a $10 million deal with Stitcher. Their marketing of the podcast involves skits, tours, and social media content that stands out from the rest of the competition. They would include skits before the start of podcast episodes to create a buildup to topics they would discuss for that episode.

Like the oversaturation of everything else due to the rise of the social media era, nearly everyone has a podcast. Kobe had one, Drink Champs, Oprah, the list can go on and on. There is a huge market for it. Forbes covered the podcasting profitability in a 2021 article and the numbers speak for themselves.

  • The percentage of monthly podcast listeners between the age demographic 12-34 years old grew from 27% to 49% from 2017 to 2020.

  • In 2020, 37% of marketers said they would likely advertise on a podcast within the next six months, via Westwood One surveys.

  • Via IAB Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the estimated podcast ad money that was spent was $800 million dollars in 2020 and is estimated to rise to $1.7 billion in 2024.

It's important to stand out from the competition on a local and national level in podcasting. There are many listeners that consume podcasts whether they're at work, traveling, or cleaning their house on a Saturday morning like how the JBP fans tweeted the podcast about for years. These are five hip-hop podcasts that deserve more attention from the public.

The 804 Podcast

The trio of Jesse, Nick, and Alex recently crossed the one hundred episode mark in February and released a documentary explaining the podcast's beginnings. The documentary is a great start to learning about how the trio formed their amazing chemistry with each other. If you truly want to learn about Richmond to a deep level, they interviewed a who's who from the city. Some of those names include:

  • Radio B, owner of RVA Rap Elite and Southpaw Battle Coalition

  • Jay Guevara and OG Illa of TheMSQShop

  • Dre Person, rapper

  • The Stuttering Poet, poet

  • Tune GG, rapper

  • Ajay Brewer, owner of Brewer's Cafe and entrepreneur

  • Malik Radford, artist

  • The women of FeelGood RVA, the holistic health, and hip-hop culture brand

The 804 Podcast has released short films on Youtube to podcast episodes on all streaming platforms. The podcast only has an Instagram page.

The MidnightRun Podcast

The MidnightRun Podcast is hosted by two Southern California rappers Jay Kasai and Cam Archer. Prior to their hiatus, they were a very consistent podcast to come out of the Inland Empire region located outside of East Los Angeles. They are very technical and blunt when it comes to their responses to media events and analyzing music projects. For their pilot reboot in late March, the duo broke down a playlist they made giving praises and critiques to the songs featured in the playlist.

MNR is a podcast that mixes professionalism and barbershop talk perfectly so that one aspect does not overshadow the other. Their latest episode is a breakdown of a BarGawd playlist, as Cam and Jay bring on a friend of theirs, Gustavo to discuss the technicalities of lyricism. Check out their BarGawdisode on Spotify and follow the duo on all social media @CamArcher and @JayKasai .

Hard 2 Earn Show

Hard2Earn Show is a New York-based podcast hosted by the actor, emcee, and songwriter Torae and the cultural engineer Bonsu Thompson. The premise of the Hard2Earn Show is that the two co-hosts would break down complete albums, rating each song on a scale of one to ten. Their popularity rose because of how charismatic the duo would vividly describe how the songs from the albums impacted them when they first came out. They do state how they eliminate nostalgic biases when giving the final rating of each song.

In March, the platform and The Legion Media Group held a live podcast event at the Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn. The live event was a breakdown of The Notorious B.I.G's Life After Death album twenty-five years later. The duo had Buckwild, the producer of I Got A Story To Tell on the album share stories about the New York legend. Their episodes can be found on all streaming platforms. Torae can be found on all social media @torae. Bonsu Thompson can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

Simple Math Matrix

Prince Godbody, King Bruhman (not pictured), and King Hooplah created the Simple Math Matrix Podcast that provides an equation for entertaining and informative content. They don't just cover hip-hop; they cover entertainment media, political news/opinion, and TV series recaps. They do have a sister podcast in their Simple Math's Boondocks Recap Series where they break down episodes from the critically acclaimed show. On their main podcast, they are one hundred and eight episodes in and The Boondocks recap series are two seasons in with a total of thirty episodes. Their two podcast series can be accessed on all platforms. Keep up to date with them on Instagram and Twitter.

Let's Talk Battle Rap

The battle rap game's Adrian Wojnarowski is much more than that. The cyan partner for SMACK URL's associate platform Caffeine breaks battle rap down to a technical and historical level like no other. It provides historical and statistical references in the form of editorials and podcast conversations with battle rap stars today. If Champion with Jay Blac is the Fox Sports network of battle rap, then Let's Talk Battle Rap is battle rap's The Athletic.

LTBR has some different branches of podcast series such as Toxic Tuesdays, Let's Think Battle Rap, and The Cece Show. All of the episodes are differentiated by the title of each respective series but can be found on Spotify under LTBR Podcast. In their newest podcast episode Let's Think Battle Rap, the topic of discussion was the importance of going first or second in a rap battle. They can be found on all social media platforms @LTBRPodcast and visit their website.

Written by: Jay Guevara @justinhisprime on all social media.

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