Things That Matter

Oprah Helps Bring The Focus On Latinx Podcasts In Her Magazine And We Are Totally Here For It

Oprah — yes, that Oprah — has released a list of the best Spanish and Latinx podcasts in Oprah Magazine. Latinx folk are gaining visibility in the mainstream. While it is certainly not at the pace we all would have hoped (we have been in the states for quite some time now), it is always great to celebrate our continued come up in the cultural zeitgeist. 

Oprah Winfrey is a black woman who propelled herself through adversity, using grit and tenacity, into the hearts and minds of Americans. She created a magazine, named it after herself, and puts herself on the cover of every issue. To grace the pages of Oprah Magazine is an honor exclusively reserved by Oprah, and can only be earned by a lucky few. 

So for those who want light-hearted or heartfelt adventures deeper into Latinidad, you might want to add a few of these podcasts onto your lists. 

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an episodic digital audio series that can be downloaded or streamed. I use Spotify to listen to my favorite podcasts but you can use iTunes or a podcast app like Stitcher. Basically, podcasts are episodic talk “radio” shows, except they’re not transmitted through radio waves. It’s kind of like how we still call Netflix series “TV shows,” when they don’t exist on television networks. Like streaming TV, podcasts are an old format on a new medium. 

Why do Latino podcasts matter?

Podcasts have become a growing and profitable industry in the last 15 years. Breakout podcasts like SerialPod Save America, and Welcome To Nightvale, have spawned television series and HBO documentaries. However, they have largely been operated by white people even when the subjects of the podcasts have not been. Podcasting is another path to greater Latinx visibility. The comedy duo Desus & Mero, who are Jamaican and Dominican Americans respectively, have risen to fame largely earned by their popular Bodega Boys podcast. The pair now have had late-night talk shows on VICE and Showtime. 

It goes without saying, where ever there are people talking about culture from the frivolous to the political, Latinx voices need to be there taking up space. When you’re left out of the conversation, there’s no way you can be heard. As a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Latinx representation in Hollywood discovered, over the past 12 years only 4.5% of 47,268 speaking or named roles in films were portrayed by Latinx actors. Moreover, in a time where we Latinxs are being politically targeted, our voices and stories matter even more. Representation can normalize the Latinx experience and further humanize us during a time of extreme, radical, dehumanizing language being weaponized against us. So, shout outs to Oprah! 

Scratch Your Political Itch with… 

In The Thick Of It

Hosted by the award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, In The Thick Of It doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about race, politics, and identity. If you’re itching to get a Latinx perspective on news and events Hinojasa and Varela have got you covered.

Listen here.  

Radio Ambulante

For those fluent in Spanish who want a deeper look at the Latin American experience, Radio Ambulante will fill that bottomless void in your life. The series focuses on untold stories and uses investigative journalism to uncover heartfelt and moving narratives about Latinidad. 

Listen here

Super Mámas

For moms with a sense of humor (doesn’t every mom have to have a sense of humor? Kids are weird.), Super Mámas is here to drop some major funnies. Hosted by sisters Paulina and Bricia Lopez, the talk show provides comedic commentary on motherhood. However, the show has still got a lot of heart and insight. Prepare to be hit in the feels with profound conversations about postpartum depression, Latinx parenthood, and being a working mom. 

Listen here

Brujaja Podcast

Listen to comedians Anna Valenzuela, Vanessa Gritton and Cindy Aravena as they hilariously discuss everything from growing up Latinx to stereotypes to cannabis to Selena. 

Listen here

Scratch Your LGBTQ+ Itch with… 

Locatora Radio

Diosa and Mala host a “radiophonic novela” that highlights the experiences and contributions of femmes and women of color. Discussions of gender, sexuality, consent, and technology abound on this popular podcast.

Listen here

Brown Bitter Femmes

Cassandra Alicia and Rubén Angel discuss women’s and LGBTQ+ issues to dismantle bigotry and oppression. Their motto is “dismantling shit while talking shit,” and that sounds like an excellent brunch to me. 

Listen here

These are just a few of many incredible Latinx podcasts. For more suggestions check out Irina Gonzalez’s list at Oprah Mag

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Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

Fierce

Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

Nathan Howard / Getty

In the twenty years since Oprah Winfrey established her periodical publication O Magazine, only she has ever graced the cover. For the first time in the magazine’s publication, a different face is now featured and it’s one we hope you continue to remember: Breonna Taylor.

The  26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician was murdered in the middle of the night on March 13 after being fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. While initially, her death sparked outrage, it wasn’t until a few months later that the murder of George Floyd (a Black man also killed by the police) that a national reaction came about. The slow national reaction to her death and the demands for answers from her loved one’s ultimately initiated conversations about the care and concern offered to Black women in the United States and reminded those watching of how much work needs to be done to support them. And while the initial blast of the May BLM protests has waned, it appears Winfrey is determined to keep the fire going.

In a post about this month’s issue, Oprah reminded users we can’t be silent.

In an essay published on the O magazine site, Winfrey described the ways in which she felt she identified with Taylor. She also shared her own vision for helping honor Taylor’s life and the dreams the deceased 26-year-old had for herself.

“She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter,” Winfrey wrote. “I think about Breonna Taylor often. She was the same age as the two daughter-girls from my school in South Africa who’ve been quarantining with Stedman and me since March. In all their conversations I feel the promise of possibilities. Their whole lives shine with the light of hopefulness. That was taken away from Breonna in such a horrifying manner. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice.

O magazine’s cover features a portrait of Taylor, created byAlexis Franklin.

The digital artist created the image from a selfie Taylor took while wearing her EMS shirt. The original selfie has circulated heavily with coverage on Taylor’s death. On the magazine cover, the words “Her life mattered” are written next to Taylor’s face.

According to an essay written by Franklin for O magazine, the young artist was inspired by Taylor’s power in the image. “Looking at [the source photo], I see an innocence, simple but powerful. It was critical for me to retain that,” she wrote. “And there was a sparkle in Breonna’s eyes — a young Black woman posing in her Louisville EMS shirt, happy to be alive.”

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New York Radio Host Angie Martinez Is Telling Tekashi 69’s Story In An 8-Part Podcast All About The Rapper

Entertainment

New York Radio Host Angie Martinez Is Telling Tekashi 69’s Story In An 8-Part Podcast All About The Rapper

6ix9ine / Instagram

Tekashi 69, also known as Daniel Hernandez, is getting an eight-part documentary podcast series dedicated to telling his life story titled “Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story.” The rapper clearly isn’t done with sharing information, and this time he’s sharing everything about himself. The audio series was born from a partnership between Spotify and Complex.

Praised hip-hop journalist and radio host, Angie Martinez, aka the Voice of New York, will narrate the series, which takes a deep dive into the rise and fall of “2018’s biggest rapper.”

“Tekashi has a polarizing personality and his story has taken us on a roller coaster ride like nothing we’ve ever seen in hip-hop,” Martinez said in the release. “So, when Complex reached out with this project, I was excited about the opportunity to help tell this story.”

Just when we thought the rapper was about to quiet down, the Spotify project was announced.

Tekashi 69 is serving his sentence for racketeering, weapons and drug charges connected to his involvement with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. He was sentenced back in December of 2019, to two years in prison after cooperating with federal authorities to reveal crimes committed by his former gang members. He has since requested to serve the remainder of his sentence at home instead of in a private prison, a plea that the judge presiding over his case denied.

“Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story” will air weekly episodes starting Jan. 28, 2020 on Spotify.

The podcast’s plotline starts back in 2014 when Tekashi 69 was working behind a Bushwich deli counter and a customer, which ended up being his manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, told him he had what it took to become a rapper. The eight-part series will delve into Hernandez’s life from becoming a viral, rainbow-haired personality to a person behind bars for racketeering and firearms charges. 

The fallout from Tekashi 69’s testimony has found him labeled a “snitch.”

His former security will no longer work for him, and he is an outcast from the hip-hop community at large. That didn’t stop him from reportedly signing a $10 million recording contract, although it may cost him more to remain protected than to record and promote the music he allegedly worked on in prison, and there’s no telling who would buy that album anyway.

The Spotify original production tracks back Tekashi’s breakout from Instagram troll to hip-hop’s hottest commodity to cooperating witness in a wide-ranging gang sting that led to the downfall of the Nine Trey Bloods who backed Tekashi 69 in a mutualistic bid for funding and clout. 

The first episode is titled “We Scums, We Not Slimes.”

The episode begins with Tekashi’s infamous interview on the Breakfast Club, where the young rapper declared that he was the “King Of New York.” At this point in his career he had just fired his entire crew, and he felt untouchable. He used the interview as a platform to mock his ex-crew of Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, live on the morning show. Many fans still credit this moment as the beginning of the end for the rapper. Days after the Breakfast Club interview, Tekashi was arrested on RICO charges, effectively placing his career on hold.

The episode then gets into how Hernandez ended up behind bars.

Martinez recalls an interview she had with the rapper where he emotionally expressed that he’d “wear sneakers out of the garbage” and he “didn’t shower for two months.” She then asked the question could there have been an opportunity for intervention early on in Hernandez’s youth, “especially given the untreated trauma experienced at a young age.”

Tekashi 69 has already landed an over $10 million record deal with his former label, 10K Projects. 

The deal includes two albums: one in English and one in Spanish. Meanwhile, Showtime is already hard at work on “Supervillian,” 6Tekashi 69 documentary, and 50 Cent’s series “Moment in Time” will also have an hour-long episode dedicated to the rapper. He’s the most wanted man in America in more ways than one.

The new episodes in the eight-episode series will drop every Tuesday, exclusively on Spotify. In each episode, listeners will listen to people who helped to shape the problematic artist: the Scumgang members who mentored him, members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, producers, and the people who encouraged the rapper’s transformation from a Bushwick kid to the multimillionaire, colorful hair rapper, to a convicted felon.

READ: After Tekashi69 Cooperated With Authorities Against His Gang He Now Fears Spending Time In Prison

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