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Being Black- The '80s

Being Black- The '80s

Podcast Being Black- The '80s
Podcast Being Black- The '80s

Being Black- The '80s

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Black music by the decades.  Each season will deconstruct the most popular Black music of the decade, including what was happening in Black America at each mome... More
Black music by the decades.  Each season will deconstruct the most popular Black music of the decade, including what was happening in Black America at each mome... More

Available Episodes

5 of 9
  • Tracy Chapman x Affirmative Action
    Tracy Chapman became one of the biggest musicians in the world thanks to two critical 80s concepts—affirmative action and the diasporic mindset. Because of the diasporic mindset, many Americans thought of Africa as part of their world, as if Africa’s problems are our own, and we are not truly free until South Africans suffering under Apartheid are free. And affirmative action did nothing less than change Chapman’s life. We’ll explore how those ideas  helped Chapman and how they relate to "Fast Car." We’ll also look at what Chapman’s life might have been like if she’d never been helped by affirmative action. Guests: Jelani Cobb, Dean, Columbia Journalism School Credits:  Tracy Chapman - Fast Car Label: Elektra Writer: Tracy Chapman  Publisher: PURPLE RABBIT MUSIC Tracy Chapman - Fast Car (Live Version) Label: Elektra Writer: Tracy Chapman  Publisher: Purple Rabbit Music Elizabeth Cotten - Freight Train Writer: Elizabeth Cotten, James Paul, William Frederick Label: Folkways Records FG 3526 Publisher: Figs D Music Elizabeth Cotten - Goin Down the Road Feelin Bad Writer: Elizabeth Cotten Label: Folkways Records FG 3526 Publisher: Folkways Records FG 3526 Tracy Chapman | Rare Interview, Planet Rock Profiles Tracy Chapman 1996, Charlie Rose Tracy Chapman Talks Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman Online Elizabeth Cotten, Series Down Home Elizabeth Cotten, Rainbow Quest TV I Am Somebody, Jesse Jackson LP, Respect Records (1971) Living History presents Jesse Jackson, Rutherford Living HistorySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
    6/1/2023
    29:29
  • De La Soul x Crack
    "My Brother’s A Basehead” is a true story. Posdnous from De La Soul had an older brother who had a crack addiction and it was very damaging for the whole family. For Pos and his parents, crack was literally in the house just as it was in many houses and many families during the crack era. Crack decimated many families and De La Soul made one of the most powerful songs about all that. In this episode we talk about how crack destroyed families and what went into the making of "My Brother’s A Basehead.” We talk to Prince Paul, De La Soul’s producer who’s sometimes called the 4th member of the group. We also talk about a very different song about crack users, Public Enemy’s Night of the Living Baseheads, which looked down on people who used crack while one of the members of PE was a crack addict. PE's producer Hank Shocklee joins us for that.     Guests: Prince Paul, Producer - De La Soul is Dead Hank Shocklee, Producer - Public Enemy Credits: De La Soul - My Brothers a Basehead Writer: Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove, Prince Paul, Maseo, Clint Ballard Jr. & Robby Krieger Label: Tommy Boy Records Publisher: Tee Girl Music, MCA Music, Shapiro Bernstein & Doors Music Co. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 - The Message  Writer: Clifton ‘’Jiggs’’ Chase, Sylvia Robinson, Duke Bootee & Grandmaster Melle Mel Label: Sugar Hill Records Publisher: Sugar Hill Records   De La Soul - Me Myself and I Writer: Posdnuos, Trugoy the Dove, Prince Paul, Maseo, George Clinton & Philippe Wynne  Label: Tommy Boy Records Publisher: Birdsong Edwin Music Pub, Bridgeport Music Inc, Daisy Age Music, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co   De La Soul - Potholes on My Lawn Writer: P. Huston, K. Mercer, D. Jolicoeur, V. Mason Label: Tommy Boy Records Publisher: Tommy Boy Music   Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads Writer: Chuck D, Eric Sadler & Hank Shocklee Label: Def Jam Recordings Publisher: Def American Songs Inc, Reach Global Songs, Shocklee Music, Songs Of Reach Music, Terrordome Music Publishing Llc, Your Mother S Music Inc Crack User in the 80’s epic interview, EurointheCut What is the Drug War? With Jay-Z & Molly Crabapple, Drug Policy Alliance Lawn Order, 99 Percent Invisible Toure: Why I Quit, Touré Speaking Freely: Chuck D, Freedom Forum Malcolm X’s Fiery Speech Addressing Police Brutality, Smithsonian Channel  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
    6/1/2023
    29:53
  • NWA x Selling Crack
    N.W.A’s “Dopeman” Is one of the illest songs ever made because it takes you deep into the drug dealer’s perspective on selling drugs. The crack dealer was evil but we should still seek to understand what drove him and when we look into his soul we find that like the fiends he served, he too was an addict, but he was addicted to power and money. Crack dealers and their culture had a deep influence on hiphop culture and the Black community. In this ep we go into "Dopeman” with The D.O.C. from NWA and talk to several former drug dealers about how dealers changed the world around them. Guests: Nelson George, Filmmaker Royce Da 5’9, Rapper Biba Adams, Writer The D.O.C., Rapper Samson Styles, Journalist and Filmmaker Kevin Chiles, CEO Don Diva Magazine Jim Jones, Rapper Credits: NWA - Dope Man Writer: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Sugarfoot, Junie Morrison, Marshall “Rock” Jones, Greg Webster, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, Norman Napier & Andrew Noland  Label: Ruthless Records Publisher: Ruthless Attack Muzick & Bridgeport Music    NWA - Fuck Tha Police Writer: ​The D.O.C., Ice Cube & MC Ren Label: Universal Music Group, Ruthless Records & Priority Records Publisher: Universal Music Group   Notorius BIG - The Ten Crack Commandments Writer: The Notorious B.I.G. & DJ Premier Label: Bad Boy Entertainment Publisher: B.I.G. Poppa Music, Gifted Pearl Music, Justin Combs Music & EMI April Music   Alpo Martinez, FEDS MagazineSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
    6/1/2023
    30:21
  • Public Enemy x Mass Incarceration
    “Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos” is Public Enemy’s look at prison and mass incarceration. In this episode, we leap from that song into talking about the New Jim Crow and mass incarceration and how being in America is like being in a prison. Guests: Dr. Christina Greer, Fordham Professor Hank Shocklee, Producer Adam Bernstein, Director, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos Jim Jones, Rapper  Credits: Public Enemy - Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos Writer: Chuck D, Eric Sadler, Hank Shocklee & Flavor Flav Label: Def Jam Recordings & Columbia Records Publisher: Shocklee Music, Songs Of Reach Music, Songs Of Universal Inc, Terrordome Music Publishing Llc, Your Mother S Music Inc   Public Enemy - Fight The power Writer: Flavor Flav, Gary G-Wiz, Chuck D, Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler & Keith Shocklee Label:  Def Jam Recordings Publisher:  Reach Global Songs, Shocklee Music, Songs Of Reach Music, Songs Of Universal Inc, Terrordome Music Publishing Llc, Your Mother S Music Inc   Public Enemy - Burn Hollywood Burn Writer: Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D, Keith Shocklee & Eric Sadler Label: Def Jam Recordings & Columbia Records Publisher: Cold Chillin' Music Publishing Inc, Gangsta Boogie Music, Universal Music Corporation   Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet Writer: Chuck D, Eric Sadler & Keith Shocklee Label: Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records Publisher: Bridgeport Music Inc, Reach Global Songs, Songs Of Universal Inc   Jay Z - 99 Problems  Writer: JAY-Z, Rick Rubin, Ice-T, DJ Aladdin, Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, N.D. Smart II, Leslie West, Bun B, John Ventura, Norman Landsberg, Billy Squier & Felix Pappalardi Label: Def Jam Recordings & Roc-A-Fella Records Publisher: Carter Boys Music, EMI April Music, Rhyme Syndicate Music, Copyright Control, Ammo Dump Music, Carrumba Music, Songs of the Knight, Spirit Two Music, Warner Music Group, Universal - Songs of Polygram International, BMG & Careers-BMG Music Publishing   Muhammad Ali Gives His Stance On The Vietnam War, The Dick Cavett Show Muhammad Ali Refuses Induction, Opposing Vietnam War, The Boys Who Said NO! Michelle Alexander Extended Interview, Religion and Ethics Weekly, PBS Speaking Freely: Chuck D, Freedom Forum House Negro/Field Negro, Malcolm X Message To The GrassrootsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
    5/31/2023
    26:07
  • Stevie Wonder x MLK
    Stevie’s legendary song “Happy Birthday” was originally part of the long, hard battle to turn Dr. King’s birthday into a national holiday. When Dr. King was assassinated, his approval rating with white people was very low. At that point, he was not beloved by them. It took a lot of careful, steady, thoughtful, diplomatic work by Coretta Scott King to change his image and win over politicians. Stevie Wonder was committed to that struggle and this song is just one of the things he did for Dr. King. In this episode, we talk to King's daughter Bernice as well as the engineers who worked with Stevie on the song. We talk about how they got us to having a King holiday and what that fight meant to Stevie. And why he usually records in the middle of the night.   Guests: Dr. Chrissy Greer, Professor, Fordham University  Jelani Cobb, Professor, Columbia University  Lon Neumann, Recording Engineer, Happy Birthday Gary Adante, Lead Engineer, Happy Birthday Dr. Bernice King, CEO The King Center  Reverend Dr. Barbara Reynolds, Journalist   Credits: Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday  Writer: Stevie Wonder Label: Motown Records Publisher: Black Bull Music Inc, Jobete Music Co Inc   Public Enemy - By the Time I Get to Arizona Writer: Chuck D, Neftali Santiago, Mandrill, Stuart Robertz, G-Wiz & C-Dawg Label: Def Jam and Colombia Records Publisher: Sony Music Entertainment   Stevie Wonder sings "Happy Birthday" Martin Luther King, CSPAN Stevie Wonder on creating Martin Luther King Day 1983, CNN Public Enemy, Arsenio Hall (1993) Martin Luther King, Jr. on Income Inequality and Redistribution of Wealth, Insaaf Blog Harold Washington, CBS Chicago Republican President Reagan’s Jaw-Dropping Press Conference the Day Martin Luther King Holiday Was Passed, Mediaite Public Enemy Chuck D Interview, ABC News (1992) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
    5/31/2023
    40:23

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About Being Black- The '80s

Black music by the decades.  Each season will deconstruct the most popular Black music of the decade, including what was happening in Black America at each moment in time.  Each episode of this audio docuseries focuses on a single song that defined a decade and changed the world. This music series explores cultural, political, and creative change one decade at a time. The first season will explore the Black music of the 80s and the sociopolitical roots of that music. Each episode looks at a single song from the era and what was happening socially at the moment that led to that song. We tell the story of each decade through music. Our host and lead writer Touré, interviews experts, cultural commentators, academics, and political thinkers, who will leave you feeling like you learned more about the music of the period. 

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