Find a New Sound: Five Local BIPOC Podcasts to Check Out

From left, The Muse, guest Charity Bailey, Coco, and guest Elizabeth Montgomery chat during an episode of Venus Clapback.
From left, The Muse, guest Charity Bailey, Coco, and guest Elizabeth Montgomery chat during an episode of Venus Clapback. Venus Clapback/YouTube

Are you ready to listen to a different point of view?

There are plenty of locally produced podcasts by people of color that cover life, love, sports, and pop culture, and more. We've gathered five of our favorites below, and for a more comprehensive list, we've put together an editable Google doc that lists shows by category.

Mat Mania

There's always been a strong relationship between hip-hop and wrestling, so it shouldn't be surprising that some of the best rappers in town would host a podcast about the (don't you dare call it fake) sport. "Nerdcore" rapper and friend of wrestler Xavier Woods Mega Ran (real name: Raheem Jarbo) started Mat Mania in 2016. And over the years, he's brought in co-hosts Teek Hall, Neoecks, Michaek "ROK" Velasco, Brennan "BJ" Faulkner, and special guests for lively recaps, thoughts on pay-per-views, some unreleased tracks, and a history lesson or two. Jarbo has stepped back from the show a bit (he also hosts Random Encounters), but the opinions from the co-host crew fly higher than "Macho Man" Randy Savage off the top rope.

Venus Clapback

On Venus Clapback, hosts Ebone Johnson (The Muse) and Collette Watson (Coco) step behind the mic to punch "patriarchy in the mouth." These two creative and engaging Black women from the South discuss everything from dating and finances to parenting and building a strong community. Knowledgeable guests often stop by to talk frankly about their experiences. Frequently funny and illuminating, both seasons of this podcast celebrate the joy of being a Black woman.

Thrilled To Be Here

The local comedy scene said goodbye to the late-night live show This Week Sucks Tonight when it moved to Los Angeles last year, but that doesn't mean fans have to go without hearing the antics of the show's co-host Anwar Newton. Thrilled To Be Here is a peek inside the life and mind of the comedian, and he often cuts to the quick with his thoughts on the 48th state, being a new father, and rapper's Kanye West's presidential run. We all could use a laugh (and a little bit of truth) in these times, and Newton delivers plenty every Wednesday..

Fat Guy Radio Show

Unless they're doing a live show, podcasts hosts don't typically interact with their listeners. But if you're ever free at 7 p.m. on a Thursday, you can chat up the hilarious hosts of the Fat Guy Radio Show every week on Twitter or streaming on YouTube Live from their Glendale digs. The team of Cory Blaze, Daniel Taylor, Doug Andru, and Daniel Blaze keep things light with their hilarious observations on social media advertisements, trending videos, and stories from their personal lives. And people are listening in droves. In a recent article, Cory stated the show has around 750,000 listeners from all around the world and a subscription-based aftershow to boot.

The Final Gays

Horror fans, have you been watching a lot of movies during the pandemic? So have artist Toby Castro and film producer Harrison J. Bahe. They're getting together every week to talk about their favorite flicks, including Hollywood hits like Anaconda, forgotten favorites such as Event Horizon, and camp classics like Carnosaur. (These descriptions are a matter of opinion, but you get the idea.) If you're the type of cinephile that geeks out over film scores or needed a thorough rundown of the entire Resident Evil film franchise, then The Final Gays is for you.

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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil