A Beginner’s Guide For Today’s Top Podcasts

With streaming services having a major advantage over music these days, radio has also become less listened to. Radio listeners have declined so much, even our cherished local radio stations are resorting to streaming services like iHeartRadio in an attempt to stay alive. But several years ago, 2005 to be exact, Apple picked up a concept which seemed weird and mildly overlooked at the time but is now huge: podcasts.

A podcast is officially defined as an audio file used to entertain– similar to a radio show. They include episodic content from your favorite entertainers, storytellers, and public information platforms that sometimes have a video entity to it as well. The amazing thing about podcasts is there are no boundaries with the content– depending on the entertainer’s chosen publishing platform.

Podcasting was first documented and labeled as audio blogging the 1980’s but has truly evolved into a commodity of millennial listening today. As an avid podcast listener, it’s a part of my daily routine. I wait for the release of episodes from Monday through Friday and use these podcasts to fuel whatever I have planned for that day. They are funny, informing, righteous, raw and unfiltered. These are features radio doesn’t have, due to radio etiquette– although that seems to be shifting today.

Entertainment through podcasts is surely responsible for the success of some of our favorites talents such as Taxstone. It has also served as an extension of careers for Hip-Hop stars like Noreaga. Even our some of our beloved radio hosts–Charlemagne from Power 105.1 and Rosenberg from Hot 97–have their own separate podcast shows where they discuss topics that are a little too raw for their day job.

Podcasts seem to be the extensions to many people’s lives, including listeners. If it’s not on iTunes, podcast creators have also opened up opportunities to hear them on other streaming services such as the free listening service, Soundcloud.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to listening to podcast? Here are some of the best podcasts out to add to your weekly routine!


This American Life- Documentary/Culture

This podcast, hosted by Ira Glass, is about an array of stories based on the average lives of Americans. You find episodes with heavy topics centered around living as an immigrant in America, or lighter subjects like hearing what a teenager thinks of his own generation.


Another Round – Life/Culture

This partially nerdy podcast, hosted by BuzzFeed’s Heben and Tracey, is a satirical approach to everything political and not–discussing topics of mental health and race issues in today’s society. They also have an array of guests who stop by for taunting with corny jokes and crazy rapid fire questions.


The Joe Budden Podcast a.k.a. I’ll Name This Podcast Later – Music & Pop Culture/Comedy

Our favorite sarcastic rapper, Joe Budden, and his friends, Rory and Mal, decipher many topics in music, sex, pop culture and life. Due to Joe Budden’s lack of filter, his hysterical story telling skills entertains on many levels.

The Friend Zone – Comedy/Culture/Life

This podcast hosted by friends Fran from Hey Fran Hey, Dustin and Assante, gives a weekly “mental deodorant” to your life. With a focus on hot button topics/questions, not only do we get to know the hosts better, we’re also forced to think of how we operate in this everyday life. We are also blessed with a weekly freestyle, a wellness segment to assist in healthy living all around, a reality TV segment and a music man segment!


The Read – Pop Culture/Comedy

Friends, Kid Fury and Crissle, attack the latest news in pop culture with wit and attitude weekly. Always making sure they discuss the lows and the highs, the ever changing segment, now titled, ‘Shade in Full,’ keeps us in the loop of all that we may have missed in ridiculous pop culture news. After laughing out loud, you must prepare for the segment that gave the title of podcast, The Read. You never know who they will be reading, whether it was an irresponsible delivery to their home or a celebrity who did something questionable that week.

Serial – Storytelling/Culture

In its second season, Serial has captured many with it’s episodic story telling over the coarse of about 12 episodes. As a spin off of This American Life, Serial follows a plot and its characters wherever they take us. Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season. Every episode is a surprise. Think of it as an audio soap opera.


Bodega Boys – Comedy

Bronx-native besties, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, took a mild break, but came back strong with their hilarious podcast to discuss all things pop culture, in their way of course. The satirical approach they employ for their nightly Viceland show, Desus and Mero, is ten times better while hearing it on the go.

Drink Champs – Music

Remarkably outspoken rapper, Noreaga, friends and random guests, come together with drinks in hand to discuss all things Hip-Hop. The show has had many  guests including: The Lox, Joe Budden, Remy Ma and just about any other rap star you can think of. The more intoxicated everyone gets, the deeper and funnier their conversation becomes.

Random/ Sporadic Releases

Myleik Teele’s Podcast: My Taught You – Life/Business

CurlBox founder, Myleik Teele, gives constant gems with this podcast. She talks about the many aspects to consider when starting a business, recommends books to read for personal growth, discusses friendship and relationships (or lack there of) and gives candid insights to her listeners about her boss life!

Black Girl Podcast – Culture/Music

Hosted by five women who work together at Hot 97 is a podcast of pure girl talk. You can expect talk anywhere from why Beyonce’s Lemonade hit souls so hard to are you givng yourself enough credit or whether or not being single is a good thing.

Tax Season – Culture/Music

Although on a hiatus due to his recent troubles, Taxstone is the Hip-Hop smart mouth we need. His tag line, “Be safe, tho,” has become a part of many dialects today and can refer to just about anything. His raspy story telling and New York attitude makes every conversation on the show full of entertainment.

Color Full Lives – Culture/Life

Culture enthusiasts Angela Yee, Julian King and Fran come together to discuss all things tech, culture, love and music. You can expect to hear these three powerhouses share their experiences in their journey to become who they are today!

Food Heaven Made Easy – Life/Health

Healthy food gurus and besties, Wendy and Jess, extended their love for teaching healthy eating habits to podcasts! Although sporadic, these podcasts are packed with tips on healthy eating, in depth discussions on topics like diabetes, and some favorite suggestions for plant based meals.

Black Girl In Om – Life/Culture

This podcast is hosted by Rachel and is guaranteed to give you the to center yourself. Topics are structured to make you think deeper with every move you make. You can also expect to hear guided meditations during the podcast.

Last but not least: Didn’t catch the latest NPR Tiny Desk performance video? No problem! You can hear it all on the go with this podcast!

NPR Tiny Desk – Music


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