A talk show with a heart. Each week, Sam interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.
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Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with comedian and Nailed It! host Nicole Byer on her coffee table book: #VeryFat #VeryBrave: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini. They talk about home goods, drunken bravery, and learning to love yourself. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Latino artists like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira ruled the pop charts. But who was that so-called "Latin Explosion" actually for, and what were the business considerations behind it? In the third part of our series exploring crossover in pop music, we examine how this supposed boom turned out to be more of a marketing creation, which evaporated when digital streaming entered the picture. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Sam interviews women's work and economic justice writer Meg Conley about the documentary series LuLaRich and how vulnerable people still get sucked into multi-level marketing schemes because their shape mirrors the American economy. Then, Harvard Ph.D. candidate and Mormon Studies Fellow at the University of Utah Janan Graham-Russell joins for a game of Who Said That?You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the 35th anniversary of Janet Jackson's first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, we look back at Control, her career-defining album that changed the trajectory of pop music in the late '80s and '90s. In the second episode of a three-part series exploring crossover in pop music, we look at Jackson's musical and cultural legacy over the years. We also reconsider how Jackson was vilified after her Super Bowl XXXVIII appearance, and why. You can follow us on Twitter at @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
How much has really changed in U.S. immigration policy since President Biden came into office? After seeing graphic images of Haitian migrants being chased by law enforcement on horseback and a recent rejection of an immigration reform bill in Congress, The Atlantic staff writer Caitlin Dickerson breaks down the long history uniting Democratic and Republican administrations when it comes to enforcing immigration policy. She also plays Who Said That? with her friend and senior producer of NPR's Life Kit, Meghan Keane.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Soul Train was first nationally syndicated in October 1971, there was nothing else like it on TV. It became an iconic Black music and dance show — a party every weekend that anyone could join from their living room. In the first episode of a three-part series exploring crossover in pop music, we break down the lasting influence of Soul Train on our culture with Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America. We ask: Why has there never been another show like Soul Train since it went off the air? You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Ever since the pandemic hit, life has been split into two timelines: before the pandemic and after the pandemic. But when will the "after" truly be after? Or will some version of the coronavirus be around... forever? Sam talks to The Atlantic staff writer Katherine Wu about continuing to live with some version of COVID-19. Plus, Sam talks to playwright Heidi Schreck and actress Cassie Beck, who are currently in rehearsals for the upcoming tour of the Broadway play What The Constitution Means to Me. As live theater returns, they talk about what the last 18 months have been like and how theater has changed for the long term.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Brandon Taylor used to spend most of his hours studying nematodes under a microscope as a grad student. He wrote his first novel over a period of five weeks, mostly while in a lab. That book, Real Life, was released in 2020 to much critical acclaim. He published his second book this year, a short story collection called Filthy Animals. Taylor talks to Sam about his focus on the tensions of everyday relationships, writing from a Black and queer perspective and his intended audience of just a couple close friends. This conversation is part of a collaboration between NPR and the Library of Congress National Book Festival. For more information about the festival, visit loc.gov/bookfest.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Sam is joined by NPR's The Indicator host Stacey Vanek Smith to talk about her new book, Machiavelli for Women and how women in the workplace are still falling behind. Plus, actor Harvey Guillén on the new season of the FX show What We Do in the Shadows and not waiting for people to be comfortable with his "brownness, queerness and roundness" to be comfortable in his own skin.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was 2016, and Yebba's career was beginning to take off. But 2016 was also the year that something awful happened: Yebba's mother committed suicide. And that changed everything, too.Now, after years of collaborating with artists the likes of Sam Smith, PJ Morton and Robert Glasper, Yebba has her own standalone album. It's called Dawn, a reference to her mother's name. In this chat, Yebba and Sam talk about the emotional toll it took to make Dawn, growing up in the church, and shedding old beliefs while making room for new ones.
Sam talks to Washington Post security and terrorism reporter Souad Mekhennet about what the war on terror has—and hasn't—achieved in the two decades since 9/11. Plus, for its 20th anniversary, we look at the legacy of Mariah Carey's album Glitter with Texas Monthly senior editor Paula Mejia and Danielle Turchiano, senior features editor at Variety, to explore how culture and fandom have changed since the album's release. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Writer and actor Michaela Coel wrote, created and starred in HBO series I May Destroy You, which is up for nine Emmy nominations. Her new book, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, is out this week. She talks to Sam about why she champions misfits like herself, I May Destroy You's basis on her trauma, and how her spirituality has shifted over time. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam talks to Novena Carmél and Anthony Valadez, hosts of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, about their end of summer song picks and the best albums of the year so far. They talk about how listening to music changed during the pandemic and why any floor can be a dance floor. Want to hear more of this year's best music? Check out all the songs from the episode in this playlist. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
In this special episode from our friends at the Code Switch podcast, we feature author Ashley C. Ford. For much of her childhood, Ford's father was incarcerated, and her mother struggled to raise her while grappling with her own upended life plans. In her recent memoir, Somebody's Daughter, Ford explores how these formative conditions shaped her understanding of childhood, authority, forgiveness and freedom.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the last 20 years, the U.S. has been wrapped up in a costly war in Afghanistan, initially in response to the attacks on September 11. But America's chaotic withdrawal this year, in just a short amount of time, has left the country back in Taliban control, with troops scrambling to get U.S. citizens and Afghan allies out before the deadline of August 31. So how do we make sense of it all? And what will be the impact on U.S. foreign policy going forward? Sam breaks it all down with Monika Evstatieva, senior producer on NPR's Investigations Unit, and Asma Khalid, NPR White House correspondent.Plus, Sam talks about the FX on Hulu series Reservation Dogs with co-creator and executive producer Sterlin Harjo and writer Tommy Pico. They discuss the process of writing a show by and for Native people and why they centered on a coming-of-age story. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Jonathan Van Ness stepped into the spotlight in 2018 as a walking, talking bundle of energy, optimism and positivity as the grooming expert on Queer Eye. Queer Eye is now in production for its sixth season, and Jonathan— along with the rest of the Fab 5— have been nominated for an Emmy for their work as hosts this year. In this conversation from 2019, Sam chats with JVN about his book, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, a memoir about his life journey and addressing his trauma along the way. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maya Rudolph has had a successful career, spanning decades as a Saturday Night Live cast member and well-loved actor and entertainer. She chats with Sam about her recent Emmy nominations, her approach to comedy, and the importance of having strong role models. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Kathryn Hahn dazzled audiences in one of the biggest streaming hits of the year, WandaVision— and she just earned an Emmy nom for her performance. In this conversation with her from 2019, she and Sam talk about her film 'Private Life,' balancing politics in her work, and the nature of birth. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#ShowerGate. Sam talks to Carl Zimring, professor of sustainability studies at Pratt Institute and author of Clean and White, about the online debate over celebrities showering habits and how it taps into a long history linking hygiene and race.Then, we hear from Yessenia Funes, climate editor for Atmos Magazine, about this week's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Tracee Ellis Ross won a Golden Globe in 2017 for her role on ABC's Black-ish. She's also been nominated five times for that role at the Emmys. In this chat from July 2020, she and Sam discuss her Black-ish role, sharing her singing from The High Note with mom Diana Ross, and portraying Black joy on screen. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam is joined by LA Times television editor Matt Brennan to understand why ratings for this year's Olympics are not just dismal, but symbolic of changes in our culture. Then, culture writers Hunter Harris and Alessa Dominguez join the show to talk all things Bennifer. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Prince's posthumous album, Welcome 2 America, came out last weekend. In honor of the release, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Prince's photographer, Randee St. Nicholas. She shares intimate stories about the legendary artist: from spontaneous photo shoots in burned out buildings to late nights after sold-out concerts.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines abounds on social media, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Sam talks to Max Fisher, international reporter for the New York Times, about "disinformation for hire" and what social media platforms are doing to combat it. Plus, Sam talks to actress Hannah Waddingham, one of the stars of Ted Lasso. They're also joined by fellow cast member Jeremy Swift to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
The "Mother of Dragons" is out with a new comic book, Mother of Madness. Actress Emilia Clarke talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe about superpowers in real life and fantasy, her career-launching role in Game of Thrones and how Hollywood has changed since her first season as Daenerys.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Black Hair Experience is a pop-up visual exhibit dedicated to the beauty, history and nostalgia of Black hair. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe takes a trip there and chats with its co-founder, Alisha Brooks. Then, Ayesha is joined by NPR's Susan Davis and Asma Khalid about the two huge economic priorities for the Biden administration.— Read Ayesha's essay: "The Black Hair Experience Is About The Joy Of Black Hair — Including My Own"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Actress Sonequa Martin-Green has made a career of otherworldly roles. She survived a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead, she explores space — the final frontier — in Star Trek: Discovery, and she's the wife of NBA star LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy. She talks to guest host Ayesha Rascoe about her career, her hair and identity, and why she felt called to speak up about her internalized racism after the murder of George Floyd.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on CBS MoneyWatch editor Irina Ivanova to break down some of the reasons why. Then, The New Republic staff writer Jo Livingstone joins Ayesha to discuss the current state of horror movies and why nothing's better than a good scare. Author and Big Mood, Little Mood podcast host Daniel Lavery joins them to play Who Said That.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
The Cruelty Is The Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America, is journalist Adam Serwer's new book, based on a popular essay he wrote for The Atlantic. Serwer talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe and lays out the ways in which Donald Trump came to power, the historical roots of his vision of law and order, and how he managed to build a loyal political following on the basis of cruelty.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Sha'Carri Richardson's recent disqualification, and the controversy surrounding the banning of natural hair swimming caps, there's a lot to talk about the treatment of Black women in the Olympics and across the sports world. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe brings on ESPN producer and podcast host Terrika Foster-Brasby and The Athletic's Kavitha A. Davidson to discuss. Then, she talks to 'We Are Lady Parts' creator Nida Manzoor about the intersection of art, faith, and representation. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Tiffany Haddish has had a busy year. From starring in prank film Bad Trip, to hosting Kids Say the Darndest Things, to voicing a self-confident toucan in animated series Tuca & Bertie, it seems like she's everywhere. Sam talks to Tiffany about her many projects, her hopes and dreams for the entertainment industry, and she tells a wild story about Nicolas Cage.— Watch the full extended version of this interview on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YMESf6UUQx8You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam sits in the guest seat at Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss the glue that holds this nation together — The Fast and the Furious franchise. Alongside NPR White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe, as well as PCHH hosts Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris, the group talks about the legacy of the decades-spanning series, why we love to hate it, and how action films of this caliber could be considered "hetero camp."You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
This week, the Trump Organization and its Chief Financial Officer were charged with fraud and tax related crimes by the Manhattan District Attorney as a result of a years-long investigation. In light of these new charges, Sam revisits his conversation from last fall with Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the WNYC & ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc. They talk about Trump's business operations, debts, and how the biggest lesson from both is "we pay, he wins." You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam interviews Riley Keough, one of the stars of Zola— a new movie adapted from a viral 148-tweet thread story full of sex work, guns and plot twists. They talk about how Riley prepared her character's "blaccent," why she tends to play unlikeable characters, and how she became a death doula. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
The furor over critical race theory fits into a longer history of culture wars in schools. Sam talks to Adam Laats, a professor of history and education at Binghamton University, about what the past can teach us about today's fight. Plus, Sam talks to Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky, writers and creators of the HBO Max series Hacks. They discuss what inspired them to write the show, as well as the overlooked legacies of many trailblazing women comedians. They also play Who Said That. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you come from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color get asked constantly. But the answer is often not simply about a place on a map. It can be tied to identity, immigration, career, family... and even food. In this episode from NPR's audio and video series Where We Come From, New York Times food writer Priya Krishna tackles this question with her mother, Ritu. They explore assimilation through food and why dal represents comfort for their family. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Forty years ago this month, the CDC reported on patients with HIV/AIDS in the United States for the very first time. The disease was understudied, under-reported and deeply stigmatized. ACT UP united a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. In her new book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, Sarah Schulman draws from nearly 200 interviews with ACT UP members to document the movement's history and explore how the group's activism transformed the way the media, the government, corporations and medical professionals talked about AIDS and provided treatment. She and Sam discuss this transformation and its relevance to social movements today.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: npr.org/PodcastSurveyYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk to actor John Boyega. Since finishing his star-making role in the Star Wars franchise in 2019 and after the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd last year, Boyega has been outspoken about his treatment as a Black actor in Hollywood, and in the Star Wars franchise itself. He talked to Sam about why he was ready to talk about the "elephant in the room" that is racism in Hollywood and what he's doing to change things.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: npr.org/PodcastSurveyYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
We've witnessed plenty of historic moments with Joe Biden as president: widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Mare of Easttown. But Arizona Republicans are attempting to prove otherwise with an unprecedented vote recount of the 2020 election. Sam talks to Jessica Huseman, editorial director at Votebeat, about the ongoing election audit in Arizona and what it means for the future of elections and voting rights. Plus, Sam talks about summer movies to look forward to with NPR's Aisha Harris and Bob Mondello. We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: npr.org/PodcastSurveyYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zakiya Dalila Harris was working as an editorial assistant at a New York publisher when she ran into another Black woman for the first time on her office floor. That's when she got the idea for her book, The Other Black Girl. What's it like when you're used to being the only one, but now there's another one like you? And what if things get weird? Like, really weird. Sam and Zakiya talk about how her book subverts the office drama and what lessons it has for a still very white publishing industry.We've love your feedback! If you have a few minutes, please complete this survey: npr.org/PodcastSurveyYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
When Pride comes around every June, the same arguments start up again— should there be kink, cops and corporations at Pride? And who is Pride for? Sam talks to writer and author Roxane Gay about why the queer community has the same conversations year after year and what they mean for what Pride is today. Plus, actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales on directing the new teen buddy comedy, "Plan B."
Sam revisits his chat with best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about his book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know. The book explores examples such as the arrest of Sandra Bland and the Stanford rape case as to why interactions with strangers often go so wrong. This episode was taped in front of a live studio audience at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in September 2019.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's almost summer, and whether you're at a beach, at a park, or at home, it's a great time to get lost in a book. Sam is joined by Barrie Hardymon, senior editor of NPR's Weekend Edition, and Traci Thomas, host of the podcast The Stacks. They give advice on how to get back into the habit of reading and recommend a few great summer reads: Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins and Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor. They also play a special edition of "Who Said That?"You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Sam previews this summer's Supreme Court rulings with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern and why some of those cases could potentially have big repercussions on daily life. They also discuss the future of the Court, including its decision to take up two of the most controversial issues of today — abortion and gun rights — and why the drama between justices can sometimes equate to a Real Housewives–style argument over dinner (with table flip).You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring. Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, having experiences they haven't had in over a year. We drop in on a few of these: a dance party, a first date, a game with friends — the small pleasures folks have missed that now feel monumental.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
How do you bring up something that might be easier left unsaid? Anna Sale, host and creator of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast, has answers in her new book, Let's Talk About Hard Things. She chats with Sam about how to talk to family, why we need to start having different conversations about money, and what it means to actually listen. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does defunding the police really look like? Sam talks to Austin City Council Member Greg Casar about how decreasing the city's police budget has worked— and what they aren't getting quite right yet. Then, Sam talks to KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy about how Texas, a Republican-led state, has responded and what that could mean for other cities trying to follow in the footsteps of Austin. Plus, Sam talks to actress and comedian Michelle Buteau about hosting the Netflix reality competition show The Circle and how she feels about being cast as the sassy best friend. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
How transformative are President Biden's economic and infrastructure proposals? Depends on what gets passed. The comparisons to FDR and LBJ miss the vastly different political landscapes those presidents faced. Sam talks with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about how this moment compares to those past presidents' efforts at once in a generation legislation. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The housing market is booming— but who actually benefits? Sam talks to Jerusalem Demsas, politics and policy fellow for Vox, about what so many are getting wrong about housing. Plus, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Ziwe Fumudoh, whose comedy variety show Ziwe premieres on Showtime on May 9. Then, in honor of NPR's 50th anniversary, Sam plays "Who Said That?" with All Things Considered hosts Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
As the groundbreaking series Pose comes to a close in its third and final season, Sam talks to Mj Rodriguez about the end of her role as Blanca, the loving and lovable house mother at the center of the show. They also chat about the start of her career as Angel in Rent, channeling grief into her character, and LGBTQIA+ perseverance. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even as vaccine access expands in the the US, the pandemic is far from over globally. Sam talks to Aarti Singh, a resident of New Delhi, about what it's been like living there as India's COVID-19 cases skyrocket. Then, Sam talks to public health activist Achal Prabhala about why rich and poor countries have unequal access to vaccines. Plus, Sam chats with Invisibilia host Kia Miakka Natisse about the new season of the show and her episode on how a reparations effort in Vermont shed light on how people talk about money and racial justice.You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at email@example.com.
Patti Harrison is known for bringing her absurd, caustic, yet charming comedy to supporting roles on shows like Search Party, Broad City and Shrill. But now she's in a starring role in the romantic comedy Together Together. In it, Harrison plays a young single woman who agrees to be a gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, played by Ed Helms. Sam talks to Patti about what it was like to play a role different from everything she's done before, why Together Together is even billed as a rom-com, and the quandary of representation as a trans woman.— Watch Sam's extended interview with Patti Harrison: https://youtube.com/nprYou can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.