Pop Tradition Completely satisfied Hour hosts share what’s bringing them pleasure. : NPR


Black Thought (left) and Hazard Mouse.

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

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Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

Black Thought (left) and Hazard Mouse.

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

This week, we requested to see your pet paintings, watched a loopy megafan spiral on Swarm, and traced generations of 1 mathematician’s descendants.

This is what the NPR’s Pop Tradition Completely satisfied Hour crew was listening to — and what you must take a look at this weekend.



I just lately revisited one among my favourite documentaries, Spellbound, which got here out in 2002. It follows a bunch of children who’re competing within the 1999 Nationwide Spelling Bee. We even have the film on DVD, as a result of it is a film that I wish to revisit. I used to be a aggressive speller as a baby. I now have a child who’s sufficiently old to do spelling bees and simply certified for her first school-wide spelling bee, so we determined to observe it as a household.

And man, this film is, like, excellent. It is completely structured. There’s the correct quantity of stress. It is so emotionally resonant. You actually get to know the youngsters and their households, and you are feeling the stakes. I discover new issues each time I watch it, and it makes me assume a lot about class in America, and social mobility and race and parenting and what success seems to be like in America, particularly for youngsters of immigrants, which I’m. It is acquired all of it. I cried. I laughed. I might watch this film, I feel each week. I by no means get sick of it.

—Wailin Wong

Black Thought and Hazard Mouse’s Cheat Codes

I am somewhat sluggish to the sport right here, however I have been actually binging arduous on Hazard Mouse and Black Thought’s album Cheat Codes. It’s extraordinary. My son is the one who’s actually into hip-hop tradition, and he is aware of a lot about it. He is actually self-taught. He is 16, and the place we will actually bond, we discovered, is by listening to his music collectively. With all of the call-outs, all of the samples, and all of the little Easter eggs which are in these actually brilliantly structured songs, he is capable of say, “Hey, Dad, what’s ‘Harlem Nights’? What’s ‘Billy Bathgate’? What’s Cole Porter and Akira Kurosawa?” All of those persons are identify dropped, in order that to me has been extraordinary.

We, collectively, discovered about The Final Poets and The Watts Prophets, as a result of that was form of identify dropped on this album. I used to be capable of lookup all these poets, and we learn their poetry. We talked concerning the state of affairs on the finish of the ’60’s that precipitated an increase of this creative expression. All of that is primarily based on an excellent, tight set executed by the producer Hazard Mouse and Black Thought from The Roots, and it brings me nearer to my son. Something that helps me be extra cool and fewer tedious for my child is nice, and likewise makes me smarter. It is like we’re capable of discuss stuff that we’re each captivated with. We each broaden our worlds somewhat bit.

— Walter Chaw

That is Pop


This Is Pop is a Canadian collection that aired in 2021 on CTV and has since dropped on Netflix. It is this pretty mild and generally aesthetically inconsistent docuseries about numerous pop phenomenons. Some episodes have a bunch narrator, whereas others do not. There’s additionally some tacky aesthetic decisions, together with actors appearing out the music “Chief of the Pack” by Shangri-Las, which is sort of a traditional music. The visuals that they added to it had been somewhat tacky.

Total, I discovered it actually fulfilling and informative. It takes these numerous phenomenons and tries to carry somewhat bit extra context and nuance to issues that we’re all aware of however perhaps have not thought an excessive amount of about. A few of my favourite episodes embrace one on Boyz II Males’s affect on the boy band tradition of the late ’90’s. It actually breaks down how they had been type of in some ways immediately answerable for all of those white boy bands who acquired even greater and got here after them, together with NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. It options interviews with truly three of the Boyz II Males, the remaining members of the group, and I discovered that basically enjoyable and nostalgic. There’s additionally one about auto-tune and T-Ache, which is admittedly fascinating. One other favourite of mine is concerning the Brit pop scene, which might be one of many episodes I knew the least about going into it, however they actually cowl this form of Oasis-Blur second that was occurring within the ’90’s.

— Aisha Harris

@nounverbed on Twitter

I performed plenty of the online game Elden Ring when it got here out. I performed it so much, which meant I died so much. That is the sport. You die so much. That is what the sport is understood for. It is also recognized for what occurs to you once you die. You see your crumpled physique on this wonderful fantasy setting, after which these huge blood purple capital letters with simply the phrases “YOU DIE” come up on the display screen. The Twitter account @nounverbed is an train in simplicity. It simply takes a screenshot of Elden Ring. However as a substitute of “YOU DIE,” it takes a random mixture of nouns and verbs and places them in the identical blood purple, all caps, dying font.

It is an algorithm, so it is random. They don’t seem to be all going to be winners. Do not count on it. “PLURALITY LOCKED.” That is nothing. “STANZA HOPED.” What does that imply? That is nothing. It is phrase salad. “CARCERAL STATE JOGGED.” You are losing my time.

However then generally, solely generally, you get one thing that simply has a little bit of one thing. I can not clarify why I like it, however like, “NARRATION SUCKED. INTERCOURSE BORED. SPOONS CHEERED. NOODLE LOVED.” I can not clarify it, however this little jolt of randomness popping up in my feed, I do not know why, however I discover it type of weirdly heartening.

— Glen Weldon

NPR’s Teresa Xie tailored the Pop Tradition Completely satisfied Hour section “What’s Making Us Completely satisfied” right into a digital web page. If you happen to like these strategies, think about signing up for our publication to get suggestions each week. And hearken to Pop Tradition Completely satisfied Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


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