Since its emergence at DJ Kool Herc's back-to-school bash in '73, hip-hop has grown from a niche music genre into a cultural phenomenon that influences many industries. It has become the driving force behind fashion, art, film and advertising, reshaping the world's entertainment landscape.
From "The Combat Jack Show" to "The Joe Budden Podcast," the genre's popularity has given birth to a range of hip-hop podcasts that dominate the online streaming world.
These powerhouse podcasts and dozens of others provide a platform for candid interviews with artists, cultural discussions, and in-depth analyses of the rap world. But some go a bit further, digging into the practical and less-glamorous aspects of the culture like finances, entrepreneurship, education, activism and female empowerment.
Whether you're interested in the inspiration behind your fave rapper's song or simply want to learn more about the genre's history, these 10 hip-hop podcasts have got you covered.
Whether you're a hip-hop head looking for insights or just want to laugh and hear some good rap tea, Drink Champs is where it's at.
From the controversial Ye episode to Snoop's candid discussion about buying his former label, Death Row, the podcast is known for its frank and unfiltered conversations with the hottest artists in the game.
With adult beverages flowing freely, hosts N.O.R.E. (also known as Noreaga) and DJ EFN chop it up with hip-hop royalty, who share stories about their hit albums and diss tracks and bust myths that have followed them throughout their careers. The free-flowing libations help loosen everyone up, setting the stage for viral and controversial moments.
When it comes to hip-hop, Manny Faces knows what's up. He's the founder and executive director of The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy, which focuses on boosting public understanding of hip-hop music and culture. Hip-hop has faced its fair share of negative stereotypes, but they only represent a fraction of the whole picture. And Faces is trying to highlight the other side of this much-maligned movement by highlighting hip-hop's positive influence on communities across the country.
With his long-running podcast, "Hip-Hop Can Save America!" the award-winning journalist examines how the music and cultural movement is being used to positively influence aspects of education, science, health, activism, politics, business and the arts across the country.
In conversations with authors, artists, educators, activists and scholars, Faces dives deep into the myriad ways hip-hop is being used to enact change and meaningful transformation across industries.
What began as a subscription-based newsletter has since transformed into a dynamic podcast and media company that analyzes the financial aspects of hip-hop. With a dedication to in-depth analyses and insights, "Trapital" host and founder Dan Runcie uses his tech/finance background to explore the business side of the rap game, uncovering its financial strategies and impact.
Over the show's run, Runcie has interviewed music execs and examined the rise of artists like Burna Boy, the turnover at MoTown, the state of streaming and physical media, and the decline of major record labels.
Created in celebration of hip-hop's 50th anniversary, "Rap Stories" goes behind the scenes with culture-shifting artists — including Goodie Mob, MC Lyte, Currensy, Too $hort and BIG K.R.I.T. — who offer up intimate insights, production details and backstories about their most impactful and culturally significant works.
No, your mind isn't playing tricks on you. The Geto Boys' very own Scarface and Willie D are the hosts of this riveting podcast that launched in 2021 on Charlamagne tha God's The Black Effect Podcast Network. In it, the Southern rap pioneers reflect on their legacy and rise to stardom, dispels rumors and offer behind-the-scenes insights into their tenure with the Houston hip-hop group. The hosts also chop it up with guests who have impacted the culture, including Rap-A-Lot founder J Prince, Lil Keke, Krayzie Bone, 2 Chainz, Freddie Gibbs, NBA icon Allen Iverson and more.
But this isn't just a long-form chat about their careers or music. The podcast also welcomes thought leaders from the world of politics, pop culture and beyond, for thought-provoking conversations on a host of topics, from gun violence and social justice to mental health, relationships and spirituality.
"The primary goal of the podcast is to inform and instruct," Willie D told The Root in 2021. "Akin to the music we’ve done throughout our career."
From the mid-aughts to the early 2010s, music blogs played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of hip-hop. During this time, the internet provided a platform for both established and up-and-coming artists, like Drake and Kid Cudi, to share their music directly with fans through these smaller blog sites where fans could download their new music.
Hosted by brothers Eric and Jeff Rosenthal, this podcast examines the influential era of MP3 blogs in hip-hop between 2007 and 2012, when artists leveraged the power of the internet to connect with a broader audience and achieve commercial success outside of traditional channels. The series captures the impact of these amateur publications and their transformative influence on the culture.
When she's not dropping certified bangers with JT, Yung Miami holds it down on her hit podcast, where she chats with hip-hop and R&B heavy hitters like Summer Walker, Megan Thee Stallion, Trina, G Herbo and Latto. The vibrant podcast host leaves no stone unturned during these sprawling convos with her peers and other industry figures, from gossip and behind-the-scenes secrets to intimate details about relationships, careers and mental health.
But her hosting stint may not have come to fruition without the laser instincts of Diddy. After checking out Caresha's appearance on an episode of Justin Laboy and Justin Combs' podcast "Respectfully Justin," the music mogul was charmed by her responses and approached her about hosting her own show on his Revolt podcast network.
The show's premiere episode was released on YouTube in late 2022, where it broke viewership records with nearly 2 million views within 24 hours of its release.
When Jazzie Belle wanted to empower women by spotlighting their voices and fostering self-sufficiency and confidence.
"The premise of the show is to shed light on the influence, the impact and the talent from women within the culture — especially for women who are doing great in a male-dominated industry to tell their story and to inspire other women to inspire other women," Belle told Vibe.
The long-running podcast has welcomed an impressive lineup of guests, including Da Brat, Roxanne Shanté, Rapsody, Latto and Gangsta Boo, as well as multi-platinum R&B sensation Faith Evans and media powerhouse Wendy Williams.
Who better to explore the birth of hip-hop than one of its very own pioneers? Hip-hop icon Chuck D has teamed up with Audible for a new podcast series called "Can You Dig It?" Premiering this month, in celebration of hip-hop's 50th birthday, the five-episode series dives into the culture's origins in the Bronx during the early 1970s.
Narrated by Chuck D, "Can You Dig It?" combines scripted scenes with insights from street photographers, emcees and former Black Panthers. The audio documentary explores the stories of those who shaped hip-hop's early days, shedding light on their essential contributions to the genre's global impact.
The series will spotlight the story of Cornell "Black Benjie" Benjamin's murder, which led to a historic peace meeting on Hoe Avenue that united rival gangs in the South Bronx. This truce created a safer, more closely-knit community, paving the way for DJ Kool Herc's bash on Aug. 13, 1973, at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, widely considered the birthplace of hip-hop.
Music enthusiast and prolific creator Questlove is out to spread the good word about the artists who excite him in this weekly podcast co-hosted by Team Supreme: Phonte, Unpaid Bill, Suga Steve, Laiya St. Clair and Boss Bill.
This music lover's paradise features interviews with a range of acts and music legends and a stacked lineup of the hip-hop elite, including Q-Tip, Jermaine Dupri, Ice-T, DJ Drama, Pete Rock and DJ Quik.