A Guest in the House, a podcast hosted by rapper and journalist David Shanks (aka Traum Diggs) and professor and author Mickey Hess, celebrates the best of what hip-hop has to offer and the lessons it can teach us about the ways we relate to each other across cultural, racial and social divides.
The Truth vs. “Da Troof” feat. Steve Sachs - Part Two
Dave, Mickey, and guest Steve Sachs continue their conversation on "weirdo rap" and Mickey's blind spot for mainstream hip-hop. The conversation then shifts to politics, specifically the black vote and two-party politics under the context of a W.E.B. DuBois' 1956 article in The Nation. The fellas correctly anticipate the election day drama and delayed results.
The Truth vs. “Da Troof” feat. Steve Sachs - Part One
After discussing their mainstream vs. underground tastes in hip-hop, Mickey and David challenged each other to listen to an album they’d never heard before. Mickey chose Tame One and Junkwaffel’s Hell or High Water EP (2010) and Dave chose Beanie Sigel’s The Truth (1999). Steve Sachs, a rap parodist and a friend of the podcast who designed our cover art, joins the conversation having never before heard either album. This episode is dedicated to the memory of Junkwaffel.
Dave and Mickey talk music: the latest releases from Sa-Roc, Westside Gunn and Slick Rick, Locksmith, Denzel Curry, Recognize Ali, Bobby Sessions, Bill Collector, and more. A quick recap of the last episode’s conversation about patriotic education leads our hosts to talk about the 2020 releases from Public Enemy, Paris, and Wise Intelligent, who were the vanguard of political hip-hop in the late 80s and early 90s.
Make Education Great Again?
Dave and Mickey discuss the recent backlash to Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times’ 1619 Project and President Donald Trump’s announcing of a Patriotic Education Commission, which Mickey describes as an initiative to “Make Education Great Again.” They give a quick introduction to the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory and put them into historical context of landmark texts like W.E.B. DuBois’s "Black Reconstruction in America" and Carter Woodson’s "The Miseducation of the Negro."
Theory and Practice
David and Mickey talk theory and practice, education and action, and the distinctions between supporting Black empowerment and going through the motions, making a self-serving gesture, or capitalizing on Black trauma. The question to ask is “how do I best do some good,” not “how can I convince people I’m a good person?” Mickey asks what books we want protestors to have read and Dave asks if we really have time for “WAP” right now.
Peace, Love and Black Power
David and Mickey talk NBA and WNBA wildcat strikes, the love America has for Black athletes and entertainers, and how that love can fade when the attention turns to an everyday Black citizen. Then they hash out the origins of – and distinctions between – the terms “Black power,” “black supremacy” and the FBI-coined “Black identity extremist.”