Thursday, June 11, 2015

On Repeat: The Read

It seems that podcasts are becoming more and more the rage lately, and like many media trends, I was originally more than happy to let this one pass me by. That was until about 3 weeks ago, when I was first introduced to The Read. Around that time I came across an Ebony Magazine article about Black women who are doing extremely well for themselves in the realm of podcasting, and The Read was among the programs listed. I'd heard mention of The Read once before via LoveHour (a podcast that I only listen to casually, also included in the article), and after reading Ebony Mag's short write-up I decided to give them a listen.

And let me tell you, it was downhill from there. After I listened to their very first episode, I just couldn't stop listening. I even downloaded SoundCloud for easy access, and ended up spending nearly 3 weeks catching myself up on all of their work, which amounts to over two years' (117 episodes) worth of pop culture trash talk, ranting righteously about social issues, and "reading" people for their ridiculousness.

The Read has been around since 2013, and is hosted by friends and media personalities Kid Fury and Crissle. Both are transplants to NYC from the South (Kid Fury from Miami, Crissle from Tulsa, Oklahoma). Both are Beyoncé stans. They're also both black, gay, and Christian, which I think adds a refreshing perspective to their commentary since I personally don't know any people who publicly identify as all three. None of those things define all that these two individuals are, but they do offer insights that I've never heard before, and I feel like I'm learning about a whole new side of life thanks to them. The structure of their episodes has evolved over time, but the current one is as follows. First they chat briefly about how they're doing and how their week is going. Then they recognize one or two individuals who represent #BlackExcellence due to their achievements and how they represent for our people. Then they get into the meat of the episode, which is hot topics, where they talk crap about celebrity goings-on that they claim not to care about. Next is an advice column-like section where they answer two or three questions emailed to them by listeners. And last but not least is the main event, a segment that they call, "The Read".

Now, for those who aren't familiar with AAVE (especially as it intersects with LGBT and Atlanta slang), to "read" someone means to tell someone off. When you read someone, you're telling them about themselves with all the anger, sharp tongue, voice-raising, bluntness (and often profanity), that you deem necessary. (This is not to be confused with "shade", where you say something rude, dismissive, or straightforward to/about someone without actually saying it explicitly.) During the last segment of each episode, Kid Fury and Crissle both have their turn setting a person, a group of people, or an organization/institution straight for doing or saying something that they believe is rude, ignorant, racist, despicable, petty, or just plain stupid. Or you know, all of the above, if the shoe fits.

If you listen to one episode of theirs and don't get the appeal, just listen to a few more and let it sink it. Sure, on the surface Kid Fury and Crissle are loud, vulgar, and slightly petty themselves, but they're also exquisitely self-aware, unbothered, and brilliant at the same exact time. Plus they're hilarious! And I love them for it. Trust me, you don't know what you're missing! Give The Read a chance and I don't think you'll regret it!

Most recent episode: Because it Applies

Past favorites (in chronological order):

Say No to F*ckboys
Paula's Best Dish
Beyoncé Holiday Spectacular
Live One Year Anniversary Show
In My Skin
All Shade
The Upheaval
Ghetto Gratitude
Read & Green
B*tch U Guessed It: The Read Turns Two
The Snatching
Window Lives Don't Matter

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