The Harlem teens who started a musical storm – podcasts of the week | Podcasts

Picks of the week

Jacked: Rise of the New Jack Sound
“You couldn’t help but shake your booty to it!” So says Taraji P Henson, star of Empire and Hidden Figures, and a fan of the R&B, pop, funk and hip-hop melange that made up the new jack sound in the late 80s and early 90s, as pioneered by the likes of Tony! Toni! Toné! In this very listenable – if perhaps over slick – new series from pod powerhouse Wondery and Universal Music Group, she tells the story of how the genre came to be, focusing on one of its leading outfits, Guy. How did these “kids from Harlem” reach the big time – and at what cost? Hannah J Davies

Constantly Evolving
Rapper Eve is the latest pop star podcaster recruited for BBC Sounds (see also: Yungblud) and this new series sees her speak to guests including Paloma Faith and Henry Holland about how their successes and failures have shaped their lives. Just hearing Satisfaction in the opening credits is a reminder of her greatness and she kicks off with a warm and wide-ranging interview with her old Ruff Ryders chum Swizz Beatz. “Live like you’re on vacation, then go to work,” he says, wisely, as he talks about fatherhood and what he learned in his late entry to Harvard.
Hannah Verdier

‘The hosts of Election Profit Makers show their deep fear of another Trump presidency’ Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Chosen by David Waters

The tension of the recent US election was at least good for podcast listening, with so much high-stakes material and unfolding drama that there were suddenly loads of US politics podcasts in my feed. From Slate’s Political Gabfest from the Guardian’s own US politics podcast there was loads of great analysis out there, and it was both reassuring (and more than slightly stressful) to have the whole experience unpacked and explained. But now, as something approaching normality might be settling (please God), I’m wondering how many I’ll keep listening to. The Election Profit Makers podcast – co hosted by sometime This American Life producer and Mystery Show creator/producer/genius Starlee Kine – is definitely one that I will. It’s become my favourite podcast in any category, but it’s initial premise is a tough sell, so bear with me!

Alongside Kine, co-hosts Jon Kimball and David Rees consider what are perhaps the two most pure lenses for looking at the US election: money and self-interest. It turns out there are a series of election-related prediction trading markets on the internet where you can bet on the outcomes in the US presidential race and associated elections. The hosts invest money and, each week, check in on their anxieties and hopes of winning and losing it as the drama unfolds.

While that might not sound like the most appealing concept ever, the humour, warmth and friendship between them is more than enough to offset the dryness of any chat about internet trading markets. To be fair they actually talk about the trading aspect of the elections a very small amount of the time, if at all for some episodes. Instead you get the intelligence of the hosts’ analysis of the unfolding events, small snapshots of their lives, and a sense of their deep fear for the impact on others if Trump were to win four more years.

It’s so funny that it has almost had me in tears in places, but it also provided me with more political insight into this election than I’ve heard anywhere else. Listening to it has made me feel like I’ve been listening long to this election with friends, which is a trick only the very best chat podcasts can do.

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