This guest review is from Adela Mizrachi. She is a curious human and the founder of Podcast Brunch Club (PBC), which is like a book club, but for podcasts. PBC in-person groups meet all over the world to listen to a monthly podcast playlist centered around a theme.
Before I even start this review, I have a confession to make: I am not a hip hop fan. That’s not to say I don’t like it. I just don’t know it that well. I’m sure that part of the reason is that I can’t relate to a lot of the struggle that is portrayed in the music. It’s so outside of my comfort zone that I just don’t go there. And if I’m being completely honest, some of it scares me. But when one of the Gimlet shows I listen to regularly aired the first episode of Mogul, I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. I am not sorry. I’m even surprised at my own closed-mindedness because I usually appreciate the opportunity to aurally travel to places I’ve never been.
Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty is one of Gimlet Media’s latest releases. The format is that of a mini-series with 6 episodes, along with a few short special cameo episodes, that let the listener delve into the world of hip hop. In particular, the podcast explores the life and death of one man, Chris Lighty, a music industry executive who represented some of the biggest names in hip hop. Even those of you who are not into hip hop will recognize the names of the artists he worked with: L.L. Cool J, Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey, and 50 Cent to name a few. On August 30, 2012 Lighty was found dead—an apparent suicide that no one saw coming.
The podcast paints a tender picture of Chris Lighty, but the host, Reggie Ossé (AKA Combat Jack), admits that he struggles with how to portray Lighty given some of the information that is revealed over the course of the investigation and research into Lighty’s life. To me, this is honest. Painting a picture that he was either a good guy or a bad guy would be fairy tale—just as it would be portraying any one of us as all good or all bad. He was just a man who had both good and bad sides to him. Reggie said it best in the final episode, “As well as celebrating his success, we have to hold him accountable for his mistakes. He was complicated. He was flawed. But, above all else, he was hip hop.”
What do you think of this podcast? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss! Also subscribe to my twice-monthly newsletter!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (3 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (5 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (5 / 5)
Flow & Production Value (5 / 5)
Humor (2 / 5)
Investigation (4 / 5)
Storytelling (5 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (2 / 5)
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (4 / 5)
You May Also Like …
Ear Hustle, Strangers, S-Town