Politics in Hip Hop, Sleepover Podcast, & Twinkies

Jul 22, 2016

Since it's early days, hip hop have critiqued oppressions both political and economic - while flashing their own wealth and bravado. Donald Trump became a symbol of the latter, but recent mentions of him in hip hop have become much less positive during his campaign for president in the 2016 election. 

Plus, a few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. How are we preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

Listen to the full show. 

What Hip Hop Says About the 2016 Election

Back in 1989, rapper Chuck D called rap music Black America's TV station. Especially in its early days, hip hop artists boldly critiqued political and economic oppression along with their unabashed proclamations of wealth and bravado. Billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump became a symbol of the latter. Hip hop artists dropped his name in songs and praised his wealth, luxury and power. Now, his name is coming up again for different reasons.

Allison McCannis a visual journalist for Five Thirty Eight. She wanted to get a read on how all the major candidates were represented in hip-hop songs, especially whether hip-hop lyrics reflected Trump's shift from high-rolling businessman to politician famous for controversial statements on race, immigration and Muslims.

Sleepover Podcast

Anybody can sound off on the internet. It's much harder to share opinions or talk about what's plaguing them in person. For artist, actor, filmmaker and radio producer Sook-Yin Leethat real life discourse is the stuff of a sleepover.

Sleepover is a CBC radio show and podcast that invites listeners into the unrehearsed and unpredictable encounters that can only happen when strangers are thrown together face-to-face in a limited space for a limited time. 

The Sitter Dispatch

When you’re far from home, without friends, life can lose some luster. Pair that with having little to no money and freshly graduating from college and you’ve got the recipe for some serious desperation. So when Maya Goldberg-Safir was offered a babysitting gig, you'd think she’d jump at the opportunity. Then she met Louie. The seven-year old was a tornado of destruction, but also, charisma. This is a story of unexpected friendship and following it wherever it takes you. 

This story was produced by Dennis Funk and Maya Goldberg-Safir and first aired on Re:Sound from the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

You can listen to this story again via Third Coast.   

Twinkies Are Back and Last Longer Than Ever

In the early aughts, Hostess announced it was on the brink of bankruptcy, and that Twinkies, Honey Buns and Ding Dongs were going down with it. That was before a private equity firm took over and launched what it called "the sweetest comeback in the history of ever" - but not without some heavy costs. Drew Harwell is a staff writer at the Washington Post and wrote What It Took to Save the Twinkie.

Where Have All the Couch Potatoes Gone?

Today's TV viewers are no longer glued to their couch, leading Laurence Scott to wonder if the vegetative viewer exists anymore. He's a writer and teaches English and Creative Writing at Arcadia University in London. He wrote about the extinction of the couch potato era for The New Yorker.