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Forum nameThe Lesson
Topic subjectCan't Knock the Shuffle podcast (Stony Island Audio Network)
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=5&topic_id=3027364
3027364, Can't Knock the Shuffle podcast (Stony Island Audio Network)
Posted by seandammit, Thu Oct-08-20 10:21 PM
As we are now steeped in the hip hop podcast renaissance...

Happy to announce I've launched a new show on Open Mike Eagle's Stony Island Audio network (home of his excellent Prince Paul interview series 'What Had Happened Was'.) The show is called 'Can't Knock the Shuffle' and the first episode premiered this week:


The concept is simple: Every song has a story, but some get lost in the shuffle. Each week, I sit with some of hip hop's most prolific artists, throw their catalog into a randomized playlist, and what ensues is a discussion about the songs that don't always get talked about.

This week's episode features the homie MURS, and we delve into some stories he's never told before behind seven randomly selected songs from his 600+ song catalog.

Anyway, thought I'd share here. Might post weekly updates with each new guest. Cheers!
3027366, cool premise
Posted by Options, Fri Oct-09-20 03:46 AM
a renaissance, indeed. I'm not familiar with MURS' work, but I'll definitely be checking for future guests.

also: 'Stony Island Audio Network,' huh? is Open Mike Eagle from Chicago?
3027367, RE: cool premise
Posted by seandammit, Fri Oct-09-20 06:14 AM
>a renaissance, indeed. I'm not familiar with MURS' work, but
>I'll definitely be checking for future guests.

Word. Thanks for checking it out. I think the format is definitely great for artists that the listener is aware of but I do also believe it’s still interesting if you don’t know their music either. Could be a cool gateway to get a taste of their catalog/story.

>also: 'Stony Island Audio Network,' huh? is Open Mike Eagle
>from Chicago?

Yes he is!
3027436, I. Am. In.
Posted by LeroyBumpkin, Sat Oct-10-20 03:18 PM
3027437, gonna check this out
Posted by hammam, Sat Oct-10-20 03:26 PM
really enjoy "what had happened was" so i'm all in with anything stony island audio.
3027438, Love the name and concept
Posted by Oak27, Sat Oct-10-20 04:50 PM
I'll definitely check the eps with artists I'm familiar with
3027503, Episode 02: J-Live
Posted by seandammit, Wed Oct-14-20 02:31 AM
2nd episode is up featuring the incomparable J-Live. He’s honestly one of my favorite *writers* and thus it was a joy to dive into his catalog on the show. Good mix of older songs that most fans are no doubt familiar with as well as some more recent material that may not be on everybody’s radar.

3027508, I'm soooo glad you landed on "The Upgrade" lol
Posted by Brew, Wed Oct-14-20 10:04 AM
Easily my favorite J-Live song and one of my all time favorite beats overall.
3027509, me too!
Posted by seandammit, Wed Oct-14-20 11:55 AM
I really am keeping with the concept of it being random selections, so I feel excited when it lands on a favorite haha
3032482, RE: Episode 02: J-Live
Posted by spidey, Tue May-18-21 10:27 PM
Much appreciated...great listen...
3027507, Nice job.. I enjoyed both of these..
Posted by My_SP1200_Broken_Again, Wed Oct-14-20 09:32 AM
..how many do you plan to do for the 1st season?

3027510, thanks
Posted by seandammit, Wed Oct-14-20 11:56 AM
I'm still producing new episodes and trying to lock in a solid back half that I feel good about. So that said, I think it will fall somewhere between 8-12 depending on what I can make happen.
3027548, Looking forward to checking these out!
Posted by maro, Thu Oct-15-20 08:22 AM

3027786, Great concept, just listened to the Murs and loved it
Posted by las raises, Tue Oct-20-20 11:04 AM
I'll check out the J Live one too, I'll definitely keep listening
3027787, cool concept. ill be checking them out.
Posted by mista k5, Tue Oct-20-20 11:51 AM
3027808, Episode 03: Open Mike Eagle
Posted by seandammit, Wed Oct-21-20 01:20 PM

Not only a guest, but the man behind the podcast network itself. Mike and I not only explored the stories behind seven randomly selected songs from his catalog, but also had some good discussion about the plight of the indie artist trying to navigate a field that is becoming increasingly untenable.

Also some interesting insight on his Comedy Central show and how collaborations with MF DOOM, Lizzo, Method Man, etc. somehow didn't add up to the result that one might expect by looking at all those names on paper.

Appreciate the feedback everyone's been leaving here. In my most natural state in life I create things specifically aimed at the Lesson lol, so I'm glad that you guys dig.
3027999, Episode 04: RJD2
Posted by seandammit, Wed Oct-28-20 01:56 PM

Definitely the most musically technical episode yet. We got to talk about a lot of cool components of Rj's story and production process. He also was pretty candid about some subjects that many artists might be more inclined to shy away from.

I won't say more, but you should definitely check it out. Appreciate everybody's support and feedback on this season, definitely make sure to rate and subscribe if you are enjoying the show!
3028225, Episode 05: Visitor Speaks on Homeboy Sandman
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-04-20 02:43 PM

After the past decade and change, rapper Homeboy Sandman has built a career that's been defined by marching to the beat of his own drum. He's released albums on labels like Stones Throw and Mellow Music Group, and has collaborated with artists for full projects such as Aesop Rock, Edan, and most recently Quelle Chris, who produced the entirety of Sandman's latest album 'Don't Feed the Monster.' The Ivy League-educated emcee also had a stint as a blogger, publishing a series of essays and think-pieces for Huffington Post and Gawker, which raised eyebrows and caught the attention of the blogosphere due to his strong opinions and provocative perspective. This episode is an interview with someone who identifies themselves as Visitor or Angel, but there is no one else in the world better equipped to dive into the stories behind Homeboy Sandman's songs.
3028340, Episode 06: Bahamadia
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-11-20 03:52 PM

Back at it again with Philly’s very own Bahamadia. As always, we talked the stories behind 7 randomly selected songs from her catalog. It’s a great conversation with one of hip hop’s most unique and esteemed great practitioners (and also one who doesn’t do many interviews!!!), and it’s available wherever you get podcasts.
3028342, really enjoying the podcast
Posted by Kosa12, Wed Nov-11-20 04:29 PM
I know you probably already have a set line up, but it would be awesome to hear Aesop Rock on this
3028343, thanks!
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-11-20 05:01 PM
I've got a few more in the can and am trying to wrap up the last few soon. Aesop was def on my list but I don't think it's going to be able to happen unfortunately.
3028345, If you don't mind me asking, why not ?
Posted by Brew, Wed Nov-11-20 05:09 PM
>I've got a few more in the can and am trying to wrap up the
>last few soon. Aesop was def on my list but I don't think it's
>going to be able to happen unfortunately.

Do you mean just this season because of timing, or are you saying you don't think that you'll ever be able to book him ?

And if it's the latter, why ?

I only ask out of curiosity. I'm just sort of interested in how podcasters book/land their desired guests, especially fledging/newer pods like yours.
3028347, I'd never say never
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-11-20 05:57 PM
I just have a finite ending to this first season and it doesn't look likely this time around. He's also does very few interviews/podcasts these days, so he would be a very "good get."
3028353, RE: I'd never say never
Posted by Kosa12, Wed Nov-11-20 08:56 PM
Yeah, it would be extremely interesting to hear him talk about his songs especially with the level of imagery in them. I was just thinking about it because his new album is out this Friday and he's one of my favorite emcees. In any case, Aes or not, I'll be listening to all of the new episodes!
3028416, i really like this podcast!
Posted by A Love Supreme, Sun Nov-15-20 02:09 AM
you're a great interviewer. keep it up!
3028486, Episode 07: Blueprint
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-18-20 01:29 PM
Latest episode is up with the homie Blueprint! www.cantknocktheshuffle.com

Lots of great insight to seven randomly selected songs from his catalog (including work with Soul Position as well as his show-stealing verse on Aesop Rock's "Alchemy"), as well as a great reflective analysis of the emergence of the Midwest indie scene that he and his peers helped build in the late 90s/early 00s.

Enjoy! Thanks for all the great feedback on the show! Rate/subscribe/review/etc.
3028492, Listening to this right now. Thoroughly enjoying it
Posted by mrhood75, Wed Nov-18-20 04:52 PM
All the stuff about the corny critic backlash very much rings true. I've heard him talk about it before, but it bears repeating. One of the big reasons that the hip-hop scene in the mid '00s really annoyed me.
3028496, thanks man
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-18-20 11:50 PM
Yeah, it's wild (as we speak about) how the media almost immediately started rejecting what they'd built up in the years previous. I honestly could have talked just about that topic for another hour, but had to keep it moving...it just has always fascinated me.
3028508, Print and Illogic talk about it a lot on an ep. of Call Out Culture
Posted by mrhood75, Thu Nov-19-20 01:26 PM
They get pretty in-depth. Including mention of a Pitchfork review of the Def Jux 3 compilation that is actually pretty offensive.
3028614, Episode 08: Nikki Jean
Posted by seandammit, Wed Nov-25-20 01:51 PM
Back at it with another episode of 'Can't Knock the Shuffle,' this time with the super talented Nikki Jean, who's had a pretty one of the more unique careers that I've ever heard of (from Roots affiliation to Lupe Fiasco, the Glow in the Dark tour, co-writing songs with Carole King and Lamont Dozier to name a few to now being on Rhymesayers). She's a singer-songwriter through the lens/aesthetic of hip hop.

This is a great conversation. Available wherever you get podcasts!

3028729, Episode 09: Slug (Atmosphere)
Posted by seandammit, Wed Dec-02-20 01:07 PM

Wrapping up the first season with a discussion with Slug from Atmosphere. More than 20 years in the game and plenty of different phases/chapters in his career. Young upstart turned elder statesman. Great conversation in this episode.

Thanks for the support of the show. I look forward to bringing it back for a second season next year!
3031838, Season 2 of the show makes its return this week!
Posted by seandammit, Thu Apr-15-21 06:03 PM
Back at it again with another season of Can't Knock the Shuffle on Stony Island Audio.

First up...Masta Ace.

Some great stories in this one from throughout his 30+ year career, including the origin of hip hop supergroup Crooklyn Dodgers, collaborations with producers like MF DOOM and Marco Polo, and so much more.

Get the whole thing wherever you get your podcasts, or visit www.cantknocktheshuffle.com

Full episode (YouTube):

A couple clips here too...

Waiting (and almost giving up on) the MF DOOM verse that would end up on his MA_DOOM record:

The story behind the Crooklyn Dodgers:
3031854, Great get !
Posted by Brew, Thu Apr-15-21 11:21 PM
3031942, S2E2: Fat Tony
Posted by seandammit, Mon Apr-19-21 11:14 AM

For the second episode, I linked up with Fat Tony. He's been cranking out some uniquely original music for the better part of the last decade. We talked about his relationship and collaboration with Bun B, his songwriting approach, storytelling, songs about weed (and why they are kind of played out), and a lot more. Very thoughtful discussion.

Full ep:

Bun B clip:

Weed Songs clip:
3031957, great concept
Posted by 6thSense, Mon Apr-19-21 04:46 PM
the shuffle is a powerful in the moment spontaneous convo starter
3032141, thanks!
Posted by seandammit, Tue Apr-27-21 11:04 AM
3032142, S2E3: Nicolay
Posted by seandammit, Tue Apr-27-21 11:09 AM

I don't think I really need to provide much of an introduction to the man whose career was essentially propelled by this here corner of the Internet. Nic and I chopped it up over a variety of topics in this conversation, including the formative impact of D'Angelo's live shows circa the 'Voodoo' tour, working with a very young Wiz Khalifa on Nic's 2006 'Here' album, his working relationship with Phonte, the Hot at Nights, and much more.

Available wherever you get podcasts, at the link above, or:

Full episode:

The making of "Laughing at Your Plans" (clip):

Wiz Khalifa story (clip):

If you can, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts! Thanks for the support everybody.
3032184, This is one of the best Nicolay interviews I've heard.
Posted by LeroyBumpkin, Thu Apr-29-21 02:32 PM
Outside of talking about the songs, there's a lot here really worth checking out if you're an FE and Little Brother fan.
3032270, thx man!
Posted by seandammit, Mon May-03-21 02:46 PM
3032269, S2E4: Quelle Chris
Posted by seandammit, Mon May-03-21 02:46 PM

Thanks to everybody for the feedback on these here boards, which I still consider a formative training ground for basically everything cool that I've ever done in my life. Make sure you subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it really helps!

This week I'm joined by Quelle Chris for a very casual and entertaining stroll through his catalog, including his instrumental work, collaborations with Hannibal Buress and his wife Jean Grae, and much more. We had some fun moments in this one. Available everywhere!

Teaser - Quelle talks about recording a drunk Hannibal Buress on his excellent collaborative album with Jean Grae, 'Everything's Fine':

3032374, S2E5: Esthero
Posted by seandammit, Mon May-10-21 02:31 PM

This is the first of two parts (we talked for a long time!). Esthero has had a remarkable career and she was candid about her songwriting process and inspiration as well as the politics of the music industry. Some great stories about some of her collaborators as well, including a pretty interesting story about working with Andre 3000 in this first installment.

Making her third album 'Everything is Expensive':

The Andre 3000 Story:

Check it out, subscribe, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, etc.
3032428, looking forward to part 2
Posted by Options, Thu May-13-21 07:14 PM
about an hour in I realized you'd only covered, like, 3 songs, haha.
3032466, S2E6: Esthero (Part II)
Posted by seandammit, Mon May-17-21 05:06 PM

In the second installment of my episode with Esthero, the influential singer/songwriter shares more stories from her career, including the inspiration behind her groundbreaking debut 'Breath From Another,' meeting and working with Kanye West on his '808s and Heartbreak' album, the struggles and personal challenges she faced in the making of her second LP, and her definitively anti-streaming stance that she's taken in more recent years.


Funny story about first connecting with Kanye

Writing her single "Gimme Some Time"

If you're reading these and liking them, please take a minute to leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks!
3032557, S2E7: Slimkid3 (the Pharcyde)
Posted by seandammit, Tue May-25-21 11:43 AM

Season 2 continues with Episode 7 featuring Tre Hardson aka Slimkid3 from the Pharcyde. No stone is left unturned here, as we explore the various chapters of his career including the ascent as well as the trials and tribulations of the Pharcyde (and speculating about the group’s potential future), his own genre-blending solo material, and his work with Jurassic 5’s DJ Nu-Mark.

Some clips:

Speaking about his work with DJ Nu-Mark:

The challenges of being in a group (and his speculation about the Pharcyde's future as a quartet):

Get it wherever you get pods or at www.cantknocktheshuffle.com (don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts!)

3032558, oh snap!
Posted by LeroyBumpkin, Tue May-25-21 12:49 PM
Good guest. Let me fire this up now.
3032574, RE: S2E7: Slimkid3 (the Pharcyde)
Posted by dustin, Wed May-26-21 12:22 AM
This interview is amazing. Tre loves using analogies, haha. The songs that got picked led to great stories from Tre. Great podcast.
3032713, Thank you!
Posted by seandammit, Tue Jun-01-21 12:52 PM
3032714, S2E8: Sage Francis
Posted by seandammit, Tue Jun-01-21 12:54 PM
This week I’m chopping it up with Sage Francis. This episode kind of feels like the companion piece to last season’s episode with Blueprint, in that we really get in the weeds about the indie underground scene that birthed so many careers over the past few decades.

Also discussed: Johnny Cash homages, MF DOOM remixes, what it’s like to interface with fans who totally misread the message of your songs, and more.

Get it wherever you get your podcasts, or by downloading at www.cantknocktheshuffle.com

Indie career advice:

The Story of the MF DOOM Remix to his Non-Prophets' song "Damage":
3032829, S2E9: El Da Sensei
Posted by seandammit, Mon Jun-07-21 09:50 PM

The penultimate episode of the second season of Can't Knock the Shuffle is with New Jersey's very own El Da Sensei. El’s a true working class emcee, and his dedication to his craft as a writer and as an independent artist has granted him a pretty unique experience that we uncover throughout this conversation. We also talk a little bit about the impromptu Artifacts reunion in 2009 that brought El and Tame together and set the stage for their upcoming third Artifacts album, produced entirely by Buckwild and carrying the torch for DJ Kaos, who unfortunately passed away in 2019 ; the album is scheduled to be released later this year.


The Making of Artifacts' "Wrong Side of Da Tracks":

The Secret to Remembering Lyrics:

3032962, S2E10: Dante Ross
Posted by seandammit, Mon Jun-14-21 01:35 PM

Closing out Season 2 of Can’t Knock the Shuffle with a guy who essentially was built for the long-form music analysis/discussion that podcasts are all about: legendary A&R/music exec/producer/engineer/hip hop brainiac Dante Ross.

He’s played such a crucial role in developing the careers of so many of hip hop’s brightest stars, and in this episode we touch on a whole lot of it – from emerging onto the scene working with De La Soul on ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ to his days at Elektra helping guide Del the Funky Homosapien and Busta Rhymes to the chaos of working with Ol’ Dirty Bastard on his debut to the personal tragedies that almost derailed Everlast’s platinum-selling breakthrough album and much much more.

Appreciate everyone who has supported the podcast this season by leaving a review, commenting in this thread, and helping to spread the word. See you for Season 3?