With music festival season in full swing, this week’s podcast roundup focuses on some of the best music podcasts at the moment. From shows that center around some of the greatest hip-hop albums to some that are highly critical of discographies across genres, the following podcasts are fitting for music junkies everywhere.
“The Hip-Hop Classics Podcast,” a podcast for the culture, pays tribute to some of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. Hosted by Matt Fish, the weekly show centers around specific records and artists that have made an impact on hip-hop culture and the music industry. Discussions revolve around big-name originators of the genre, such as The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac and Run-DMC, as well as modern artists such as Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar.
What differentiates Fish’s show from other music podcasts is his detailed analysis of each artist and track. It won’t seem like you’re taking a music appreciation course; instead, you’ll get a sense of what makes these albums significant from the perspective of a music junkie.
On his recent episode about Chance the Rapper’s mixtape “Coloring Book,” which blends old-school Americana and gospel music, Fish gives a backstory about the creation of the album and the trials and tribulations the rapper faced before and after his release of “Coloring Book.” Fish will give you a new perspective on the music industry as he describes Chance’s journey as an artist from his formative years to present – one that saw a teen defined by his heavy drug use blossom into a widely respected artist who has released one of the most successful hip-hop albums of the 2010’s.
Though I disagree with this opinion, many believe that alternative rock achieved its peak in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. I’m a fangirl of the genre, and so are Dan Hanzus and Bob Castrone. On “The Throwback Podcast,” these two lifelong friends revisit and review the most important alternative rock albums from their past, most of which are from the ‘90s and early ‘00s, track-by-track.
It’s obvious that the duo loves their music, and in each episode they get a bit nostalgic when detailing what the albums mean to them. The two bring an interesting outlook on the genre and often discuss alternative rock artists and albums I’ve never heard of before. Whether the hosts are discussing Smashing Pumpkins or Weezer, this show serves as the ultimate throwback podcast.
“Watching the Throne” is an in-depth podcast that concentrates on the lyrics of Kanye West’s music. The two hosts, Chris Lambert and Travis Bean, go track-by-track through the West discography.
To some, Kanye West is considered a genius within the hip-hop industry, but others see him as one of the most polarizing rap stars of all time. More broadly, he’s been described as one of the greatest lyricists and songwriters the music industry has ever produced.
This podcast focuses on the narrative and poetic techniques West uses as well as how he has grown as a storyteller. It’s the perfect podcast for Kanye fans, and the hosts do a fantastic job dissecting West’s lyrics to analyze his growth as an artist by exploring the narratives behind his most popular albums, such as “Yeezus,” “Late Registration” and “808s & Heartbreak.”
Not only does each episode break down Kanye’s albums but Lambert and Bean also release an interview series almost every other week called “My StorYe” in which they interview people about their relationships with the rapper. For musicians, writers and Kanye fans, this podcast is the perfect Ye-centric discussion to listen to when taking a break from blasting his latest album.
There are a million ways to tear apart albums that you despise. Whether it’s an artist’s redundant lyrics, repetitive riffs or tacky album art that sets you off most, “Why I Hate This Album” is guaranteed to cover everything you despise about a given artist’s tunes. Co-hosted by Garrett Harvey and Tim Richardson, this podcast alternates its material weekly as each of the co-hosts takes his turn picking an album, listening to it for a week straight and recording everything he hates about it.
The hosts have given their opinions on many popular albums that have scored a place on Billboard’s Top 100, such as Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo,” Smash Mouth’s “Astro Lounge” and Eminem’s “Revival.”
If I listened to an album every day for a week straight, I would probably hate it, too. However, these hosts’ critiques are much more comprehensive than anything I could ever formulate. The information they provide is backed up with extensive research on the albums and artists, so it’s safe to say the two have valid points to support their arguments.