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 Long Goodbye
In our final episode of the biweekly podcast, Dave and Mickey pay their respects to two fallen hip-hop icons, Kangol Kid of UTFO and Jesse D of the Force MDs. Our hosts each name the hip-hop moments they were glad to experience, the ones they were sorry to miss, and the ones they still hope to see. Podcast producer Anthony Sergi joins the guys on the mic as we sign off for now, but keep your eyes peeled — we can’t promise we won’t be back with a special recording every now and then. Thank you for listening for these two years. It’s been a meaningful project for all three of us and we hope we've given you something to think about.
2021: 2020 Part 2
Dave and Mickey start with a look back at 2021, then turn their sights ahead to the new year, sharing their hopes for more civil debate and less divisiveness. Mickey offers up a quote from author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote that our ideas are worn as “badges of friendship or enmity,” and that can cause us to dig in our heels rather than stop and think when we encounter an idea that doesn’t match our worldview.
Spotify, Money and Art
Dave shares his Spotify stats for 2021 and the guys discuss how little money musicians make for thousands of streams. They think back to earlier technologies like bootleg CDs and used CDs that also cut out the musician and talk about the differences between paid streaming services for music, and public libraries for books. Mickey shares his end-of-year publishing royalty statement and they remind themselves they didn’t start rapping or writing with money in mind.
Black Champion 10th Anniversary
Dave celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Black Champion EP and catches us up on the musicians who contributed to the album. Mickey waxes nostalgic about his old iPod and the songs it holds that are either not on streaming or have disappeared from the Internet altogether.
Dave and Mickey talk code-switching and the conflict between expanding your audience and trying so hard to fit in that you end up being less than yourself. They speak on the recent governor’s race in Virginia and the rallying cry against critical race theory and suggest that people approach uncomfortable moments in their education by asking, "What more do I need to know?"
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Larry Voss and Young Dolph.
Yeah, I'm Ready
The fellas breeze through a few random topics including more of their favorite rap names, favorite opening lines in songs, skillset vs. "cool factor," and a few artists and projects that pleasantly surprised them. Things evolve into a more poignant discussion about music and artistry reflecting the times and whether the current popular music paints an accurate picture of today's society.
What a great approach and perspective - guests are an inspiration, even for non-musicians like me. Such a resource, love A Guest in the House.