Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Sohla El-Waylly

Sohla El-Waylly talks inequality, shrooms, and The Cheesecake Factory on Its Been A Minute

It’s Been A Minute With Sam Sanders
Sohla El-Waylly On Race, Food And ‘Bon Appétit‪’

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Sam Sanders’ NPR show is a low-key program that isn’t aiming for the prestige podcast pocket, so in a way, it’s the perfect counterprogramming to Reply All’s “Test Kitchen” series on the so-called racial reckoning at Bon Appétit (a series that was, ironically, canceled halfway through its run after Reply All itself faced a similar reckoning). In this episode, Sohla El-Waylly, former BA chef and now the star of Off-Script With Sohla, speaks candidly with Sanders about her decision to resign from BA last summer, insisting that her actions have not led to real change, just real conversation, which is only the tip of the iceberg. “Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to try and change something that’s been a problem for hundreds of years,” Sohla advises. Instead, “fight for one story at a time” and make a difference on an individual level. Sanders, meanwhile, speaks to the “crazy-making” that can result from achieving career success as a person of color, not knowing “if you’re being undervalued just because you’re a person of color, or if you’re being tokenized… and given more just because you’re a person of color.” It’s a packed 27 minutes, but El-Waylly responds in refreshingly relatable ways at every turn: She leans on her spouse for support, has occasional panic attacks, and loves doing shrooms. [Marnie Shure]


Las Culturistas
SWIFT/SWIFF (w/Matt & Bowen)

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Several years into its run, Las Culturistas is not as married to its format as it once was. That’s partially a happy accident: The logistics of bicoastal recording (Matt Rogers is in L.A., Bowen Yang is in New York) and accommodating two increasingly in-demand actors’ work schedules means that the duo must now regularly forego guests and focus instead on catching up only with each other. It’s a departure that lets the listener get even closer to the conversation, and fans of Taylor Swift will especially feel that spark with this week’s loving track-by-track dissection of evermore. The real treat, though, is this week’s “I don’t think so, honey!” segments, in which Matt and Bowen each find different angles from which to comment on the bombshell Harry and Meghan interview. Matt’s has more to do with Oprah’s interview skills, while Bowen takes on the entire institution of the Royal Family. [Marnie Shure]


Sweetbitter
Fragment 31

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Sappho wrote the original “W.A.P.” And on Sweetbitter, the OG lesbian poet and inspiration for the phrase “card-carrying lesbian,” gets a strange, delightful, super educational biography. If you love classical history and all things sapphic, want to explore the world of feminist poetry translations, or want to uncover the threads that connect your favorite Cardi and Megan joint to poetry, this episode is a great place to start. Hosts Ellie Brigida, Alyse Knorr, and Leesa Charlotte journey through the surviving fragments of Sappho’s poems each week, inviting scholars, artists, and fellow fans to weigh in. Sweetbitter’s tone alternates between stone-cold seriousness and silly snark, making the conversation fun to follow, wherever it goes. This time around they explore a juicy translation of “Fragment 31,” trying to determine whether its use of pronouns can lead us to exactly who Sappho was loving on. Since the artist’s surviving poems only exist in small pieces, and are so often straight-washed in translation, separating truth from myth is a challenge that makes for an engaging listen. [Morgan McNaught]


The Donnie Houston Podcast
The Chucky Trill Episode

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Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

A little over a week ago, the life of Houston rapper Chucky Trill was cut short when he was shot and killed in Atlanta, where he was in town for NBA All-Star Weekend. This loss was particularly shocking, since Trill had recently given a rather hopeful interview with Houston rap podcaster Donnie Houston, which was released at the top of that week. During the 38-minute conversation, Trill discussed how he was always ready to follow in the footsteps of his dad, D of Trinity Garden Cartel. (Just like his old man, Trill did a lengthy stint in jail.) He also broke down how he mostly wanted to be successful to help out family and friends with business ventures, so they could be successful as well. It’s saddening to hear Trill say he’s simply trying to be a model citizen in this rap game (“I got people really depending on a nigga—my momma depending on a nigga.”), knowing that he will have that taken away from him just a few days later. [Craig D. Lindsey]