760 episodes

Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident.If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/itsbeenaminute

It's Been a Minute It's Been A Minute

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 8.7K Ratings

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Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident.If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/itsbeenaminute

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The rise of the AR-15; plus, why do comedians play so many cops?

    The rise of the AR-15; plus, why do comedians play so many cops?

    Last Saturday, former president Donald Trump was speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania when a gunman shot at him – killing one spectator and clipping Trump in the ear. The response? Outrage, condemnations, and prayers on all sides... but there's been less chatter about the gun that shot at him. And this gun has a lot of symbolism: The AR-15. Host Brittany Luse is joined by The Wall Street Journal's Zusha Elinson, co-author of the book American Gun, and Jennifer Mascia, senior news writer and founding staffer at The Trace, a nonpartisan nonprofit newsroom that covers guns. Together, they discuss how the AR-15 style rifle went from an outcast in the gun world to the one of the biggest pro-gun symbols and why that actually reflects bigger cultural shifts.

    And later - cop comedies are getting big reboots this year. But why do audiences want to see funny Black guys playing cops? And what does it mean that the characters poking fun at power are also the ones enforcing it on screen? To find out - Brittany is joined by Soraya Nadia McDonald, who wrote a deep dive on all of Will Smith's law enforcement roles, and Washington Post opinion columnist Alyssa Rosenberg, who wrote a five part series on Hollywood's long relationship with law enforcement on and off screen.

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    • 34 min
    Simmering over summer books

    Simmering over summer books

    We're at the peak of summer, which means sunny days on the grass with a good book! Bestselling authors Tia Williams and Jean Chen Ho join host Brittany Luse to give their recommendations for great summer reads. They also offer some armchair theories on why we love a gossipy summer novel.

    Books mentioned in this episode:

    The Guest by Emma KleinMeet Me Tonight in Atlantic City by Jane Wong Hip-Hop Is History by Questlove with Ben Greenman Devil is Fine by John VercherGood Material by Dolly Alderton Piranesi by Susanna Clarke Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen HoA Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams

    Want to be featured on IBAM? Record a voice memo responding to Brittany's question at the end of the episode and send it to ibam@npr.org.

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    • 21 min
    'Hawk tuah,' the Zynternet, & the bro-vote; plus, cowboys are having a moment

    'Hawk tuah,' the Zynternet, & the bro-vote; plus, cowboys are having a moment

    What did the raunchy joke say to the podcast host? That we might need to pay attention to the "zynternet." Host Brittany Luse is joined by Slate's Luke Winkie and sex and culture writer Magdalene Taylor to understand why the "hawk tuah" phenomenon is emblematic of a corner of the internet that's both culturally and politically powerful.

    Then, we're breaking down one of the most potent symbols in America: the cowboy. Brittany revisits her conversation with New York Times culture critic J Wortham, and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver director Nora Burnett Abrams to unpack the history of the symbol and explain why it continues to lasso Americans.

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    • 38 min
    Mavis Staples on Prince, MLK and a life onstage

    Mavis Staples on Prince, MLK and a life onstage

    This week, the legendary singer and civil rights figure Mavis Staples is turning 85 and there's no sign of her slowing down: She released a new song, "Worthy," and a children's book, Bridges Instead of Walls: The Story of Mavis Staples.

    Today, Mavis joins host Brittany Luse to share stories from her life: what it was like to be mentored by Mahalia Jackson, how she helped create the soundtrack for the Civil Rights movement, how she was spurned by the church then welcomed back, and what it was like to collaborate with Prince.

    Want to be featured on IBAM? Record a voice memo responding to Brittany's question at the end of the episode and send it to ibam@npr.org.

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    • 23 min
    Defining 2024 so far; plus, why brands 'de-woked'

    Defining 2024 so far; plus, why brands 'de-woked'

    It is the first week of July, which means we are officially halfway through the year. And what a year it's been! Brittany sat down with NPR Politics reporter Elena Moore and co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour Stephen Thompson, to take stock of what's happened so far in 2024.

    Then, remember when brands weighed in on politics? Like when Gushers said Black Lives Matter or Pepsi made that Kendall Jenner ad? However, in the past few years brands seem to have shied away from touching on "woke" politics. And if advertising reflects culture, what does that say about our culture now? Brittany sits down with Michael Serazio, professor of communication at Boston University – who specializes in the study of advertising - to uncover what's at the root of the reversal.

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    • 34 min
    A taste of Black Appalachia

    A taste of Black Appalachia

    Too often, our attempts at nailing the family recipes end up in disaster and disappointment. This week, host Brittany Luse is joined by former Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson, author of Praisesong for the Kitchenghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks. The two talk about Appalachian food culture, turning oral recipes into written ones, and the emotional relationship between food, family and memory.

    Want to be featured on IBAM? Record a voice memo responding to Brittany's question at the end of the episode and send it to ibam@npr.org.

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    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
8.7K Ratings

8.7K Ratings

OaklandReal ,

Brittany keeps the light shining

This show is such a great time, every time. Brittany keeps it real and also invites the beautiful, ridiculous, and thought-provoking into the conversation

Bob Garfield ,

Still has a lotta potential

The public relations episode made me wanna pull a Van Gogh on my ears. The host’s worldview makes me feel sad. This show is in love with capitalism. Absolute stinker.

JAK_13 ,

Anti-Israel Bias Perpetuates through NPR

I’m disgusted that the anti-Israel bias is across all programs of NPR, including cultural programs that I want to avoid speaking about non-cultural topics. Why is it that they never host Israeli lecturers or political analysts? As a patron and fan of NPR, I’m disgusted to see this naive one sided non-factual based (lack there of) reporting.

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