ABOVE: “Pour Minds” podcast hosts Lex P and Drea
In 1980, The Buggles, an English New Wave band released their debut album The Age of Plastic. Their introduction to the public was a concept album, warning about the possible dangers of modern technology. The lead single “Video Killed The Radio Star” was a critique of machines and technology being used in the media arts. There is a little irony that a band based heavily in synth-pop, a division of electronic music, would debut questioning the wave of technology in art but maybe the group saw what was coming down the pipeline. Music Television made its debut a year later in 1981, sparking a change in the industry and propelling music to the masses with compelling visuals. It’s hard to see now that MTV spends the majority of its airtime playing episodes of Ridiculousness (What does Rob Dyrdek know about the MTV executives that has allowed him to dominate that network for 23 hours a day?) and other reality TV staples, but there used to be a time where they played music.
But did video kill the radio star?
The radio has been here the entire time, and arguably has just been diversified into other mediums. There’s traditional radio but now there’s also satellite, internet, social media, and podcasting. While I do believe videos are making a comeback, it seems that budgeting for visuals to go along with the music is not the priority these days for an artist or their team. The radio and the seeds that have sprung from its roots are where artists are focusing their rollouts and, increasingly, podcasts are the place to go. Last week I spoke about the importance of supporting artists in Houston because the talent is here, but the city’s entertainment infrastructure is lacking. While I champion supporting local artists, this week I’m going to champion some of the local Houston podcasts that help to build the entertainment foundation in the city. Some of these are more established than the others but each are representing Houston in their own unique way.
Lex P and Drea have been building their fanbase since their debut back in 2018. The podcast may be based in Atlanta but the two make sure to rep Houston as their stars grow. The two ladies talk about dating, friendship, pop culture, music, entertainment, and more. They’ve joined the 85 South Media network and continue to build their brand by going city to city hosting live, sold-out recordings of the show. They’ve had guests like Funny Marco, the crew from 85 South, MissBNasty, but still make sure to keep their fingers on the city’s pulse with guests like Ali Siddiq, Trae tha Truth, KenTheMan, Z-Ro, and Monaleo. They have come a long way from recording in their living room to selling out theaters but the chemistry between the duo is unmatched and resonates heavily with their growing fanbase.
DJ Donnie Houston created a podcast where he and his friends spoke about pop culture and items from the week. It morphed into Donnie becoming one of the more important historians of Houston Hip-Hop culture with The Donnie Houston Podcast. His show is a time capsule for the music of the city, going back into the past and getting stories straight from the artists that built the sound here while simultaneously giving a platform for newer artists making a name for themselves. He is as much of a producer as he is a journalist, creating soundscapes for artists like Slim Thug and Paul Wall while also giving them a space to come and tell their stories. He recently hosted a 50-year celebration of Houston Hip-Hop alongside Bun B which featured, J Prince, Scarface, Willie D, K-Rino, Michael Watts Z-Ro, D-Reck, and so many others. If you want to know about Houston Hip-Hop, The Donnie Houston Podcast should be one of your first stops.
Prez D and DJ NiteKap have tapped into a vein of Hip-Hop that has sent their Rap Economics podcast into the stratosphere. They not only highlight Houston MCs, but MCs from all around, giving them a platform to freestyle and show off their skills. “Everybody CAN’T Come Up Here!” is the phrase thrown out every episode by Prez D as MCs freestyle their way over the music played by NiteKap. BeatKing, Lil Flip, Big Bad Kab, Cal Wayne, K-Rino, ESG, Bigg Fatts, AL-D 300, Trapboy Freddy and many others have created viral moments on the show as their freestyles get sent from phone to phone. The hosts have put in the work, bringing the show to new locations, and creating a buzz that not only helps them, but the artists that participate.
Each week JSea, KSea, Don P, and LP get together and talk about what is happening in the world of sports, entertainment, pop culture and whatever else is trending on the timeline. They frequently bring on guests and speak about life from the perspective of four guys living and working in Houston. The group is not just focused on entertainment; they often highlight local businesses as well as the other media outlets that are produced in the city.
The High Maintenance Podcast
The podcast was named for the hosts, Killahbee & Shythugg, partaking in…activities…and then just bouncing ideas off each other. The two have a real friendship and had already made some notable impressions on Twitter (I’m not calling it X.) and their style of offering blunt takes in such a straightforward style is bound for virality. They have been building a name for themselves on their own but have appeared alongside the first podcast on this list, Pour Minds, for a hilarious episode titled “High Minds.”
The OnMute Podcast
The On Mute Podcast has been championing the Houston underground scene by giving a platform to local artists, making sure their audience knows about their music, and helping to promote the shows and merchandise made by artists in the city. Artists and producers like Rob Gullatte, George Young, M$ Up Milo, Bigg Fatts, and more are guests as well as topics on the show. The group speaks about Hip-Hop in general but from a Houston perspective, with discussions on lyricism and music from outside of the city limits as well. Plus, their end of the year list where they talk about the musical releases from Houston artists over the last twelve months is unmatched by anyone else in the city.