#TBT: Dive into prime pop culture moments with the ‘Back Issue’ podcast

Society & Culture August 5, 2021
Listen to ‘Back Issue’

Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios presents “Back Issue,” a society and culture podcast delving into significant moments from pop culture’s nostalgic canon. With hosts Tracy Clayton (Strong Black Legends, Going Through It) and Pineapple Street Studios producer Josh Gwynn, episodes remind us of our favorite moments, and listeners hear the stories behind them. Focusing on flourishing culture topics, from the ’90s to the early aughts, Tracy and Josh will run the gamut of pivotal moments. We can learn what these moments can teach us about our modern world and the future.

In “Back Issue’s” episodes, we’ll also hear about communities that shaped the internet. The hosts say that pop culture surfs a delicate balance of being political yet fun.

“Back Issue” returns for its second season this summer. Questions are investigated throughout the episodes that the hosts want to learn more about. What happened to girl groups? Why is the movie Glitter widely hated? Why was the ’90s a golden age for Black TV? The first episode of the second season explores who invented the high five. Did it originate from a certain place? How did secret handshakes become a thing? The hosts speak about the trending teacher who memorized special handshakes for each of his students. A recent episode recapped Whitney Houston’s iconic career.

Many guests join Tracy and Josh. In the first season, Jay Manuel from America’s Next Top Model dished on Tyra Banks and his time as a judge on the show. Sherri Shepherd reviewed daytime TV and spoke about her experience on The View. Tommy Davidson and the hosts examined how In Living Color became a legacy and changed the cultural landscape.

Guests Crissle (“The Read”) and Matt Bellassai (“Unhappy Hour”) celebrated Beyoncé in one of the first season’s episodes. They broke down their favorite Beyoncé moments. Tracy and Josh speak about Beyoncé’s documentary, Homecoming, and her recognition of the number 4. Beyoncé said the universe will share patterns for you to pick up on. Her birthday and Jay’s fall on the 4th. Their daughter Ivy’s name contains the Roman numerals for four. Beyoncé’s ponytails make the episode’s list. Tracy and Josh specifically enjoyed the dancing moments between Beyoncé and Solange in the film that exude home video vibes. They love how Beyoncé pretends to be a musical instrument, singing over guitar solos. She also does this during the Beyoncé Experience era where she imitates the entire horn section during a live rendition of “Naughty Girl.”

Musician Fefe Dobson and writer/culture critic Hannah Giorgis unpacked alternative music in a first season episode. Josh read Mariah Carey’s book Meaning of Mariah Carey, and she said she slipped into an alter-ego character and recorded an alternative album. She said she created this work to demonstrate another side of her creativity. Josh said how inspired he was by Mariah’s alter-ego.

Hannah loosely defines alternative music as songs that would appear on the 2000s tv show, The OC. The hosts get personal in episodes. Josh spoke about his affinity for alternative music as a queer teen growing up. Seeing someone experiencing something outside of himself, he identified with the music and cited Linkin Park’s “Crawling” as a past fave. Josh attended an alternative karaoke event with a live band in Brooklyn. He thought a lot about how he was the only Black person there and explores racial politics. Josh said he felt like he was in high school again.

Musician Fefe Dobson spoke her experience in the 2000s as a Black artist in the pop punk scene. Fefe said she was a 15-year-old starting out who was interpreted by the record industry as “Brandy Spears,” because she had a pop voice like Britney Spears and looked like the singer Brandy. Fefe spoke about following her instincts. She said she did not settle for the first record deal opportunities she was offered and stayed true to herself.

Tune in to learn more about pop culture moments. New episodes are released weekly.

Listen to ‘Back Issue’

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