Microphone Fiends
Diversifying the hustle is a motto these rappers live by since entering the podcast business. From vets to relative newcomers, they’re making headlines with their pod talk.
Words Trent Fitzgerald
Editor’s Note: This story appears in the Winter 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

If it seems like every rapper has a podcast these days, it's because many do. The platform once reserved for journalists and media is big business. The podcasting industry reportedly generated $2 billion in revenue in 2022 and is projected to gross over $4 billion in earnings by 2024, according to a joint annual report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Several rappers have been breaking listening and viewership records in the past few years with their popular podcasts.

The dominant king of the podcast game is Joe Budden. The veteran rapper was able to pivot and conquer the audio industry with his long-standing podcast The Joe Budden Podcast. Joe often gets in trouble for his candid discussions about celebrities (Michael B. Jordan) and other rappers (Megan Thee Stallion). Think of JBP as a digital barbershop where conversations are often raw and unfiltered.

Following in Joe Budden's footsteps, is N.O.R.E.'s immensely popular Drink Champs podcast. Launched in 2016, DC has become the place for boozy hip-hop conversations. There have been several memorable guests on the show, including Kanye West’s 2021 interview and his controversial 2022 sitdown where he downplayed the death of the late martyr George Floyd. Drink Champs continues to generate high ratings in the podcast game.

And City Girls' Yung Miami, born Caresha Brownlee, has arguably the hottest podcast in the audio and visual space. Her show, Caresha Please, on Revolt TV, features hip-hop's biggest stars divulging some of their most intimate secrets. Fellow rappers JT, Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie and Latto have all stopped by and spilled the tea.

As you can see from veteran rappers to relative newcomers, they are all making headlines with their pod talk.

Initial credit for the podcast explosion must go to the late attorney Reggie Ossé aka Combat Jack who pioneered the hip-hop podcast format that so many MCs are eating off today.

Nevertheless, check out these celebrated podcasts by rappers who are grabbing the microphone and making a name for themselves in the podcast game.

See the Rapper-Run Podcasts the Game Has Grown to Love

Read about the rapper-run podcasts the game has grown to love in the winter issue of XXL magazine, on newsstands now. Check out additional interviews in the magazine, including the cover story with Pusha T as well as conversations with Chance The RapperAb-SoulFreddie GibbsG HerboDaBabyEST GeeMurda BeatzMorrayIce SpiceJeleel!Armani WhiteDestroy Lonely, producer Dez Wright, singer Kiana Ledé, actor Shameik Moore, plus a look at how new artists get on in hip-hop these dayship-hop's love for wrestling, the ways in which women in rap succeeded in 2022, and a tribute to rappers we lost in 2022.