Sylvia Obell and Scottie Beam on their new podcast, the VMAs and fall entertainment
AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:
So have you ever told your best friend, hey, we really should start a podcast because people need to hear this? OK, before you roll your eyes, hear me out because I'm about to introduce you to a couple of best friends who actually made it work.
(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "THE SCOTTIE & SYLVIA SHOW")
SCOTTIE BEAM: Welcome to "The Scottie & Silvia Show," where we speak our minds like it's our full-time job and have fun doing it. I'm Scottie Beam, a globe-trotting media personality with great taste in music. You liked it.
SYLVIA OBELL: I did. That's a...
BEAM: You liked it.
OBELL: That's a new one. OK.
OBELL: Were you spicing it up for the new show?
BEAM: Thank you. I was trotting the globes.
OBELL: You've been trotting the globes.
BEAM: So I just thought I'd just write that down.
OBELL: And I am Sylvia Obell, a writer of profiles.
BEAM: Which ones?
OBELL: Cover stories.
BEAM: Too many to name.
RASCOE: Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell's first podcast with Netflix ended in 2022. So Hoorae Media, run by actress Issa Rae, gave them another platform, one that they say elevates the voices of Black creators. And they talk about everything, just like when we got into how rapper Ice Spice always seems to be carrying around a purse, like even when she accepted an award at last week's MTV Video Music Awards. Like, what is in this purse?
OBELL: Say, didn't she say that she always carries that extra pair of drawers in her bag with her?
RASCOE: It's just an emergency pair.
OBELL: Then she carries panties in the purse. I was hoping it was...
OBELL: I was hoping maybe it was just a backup charger and, you know, some Fenty lip gloss. But you know, what (laughter) - I think she said that it was the panties.
RASCOE: But she always going to have it. She going to have that purse.
RASCOE: But seriously, what stood out to me when I listened to their show was how they brought their true, full selves to the mic. So I asked them, like, has it always been like that?
BEAM: Yeah. I've always had to be my authentic self on the mic because I just - one, I grew up in music industry. So as far as hip-hop is concerned, being your authentic self somewhat plays a part, especially if you want longevity. Also, watching my mom, who also is in radio - she speaks with such - oh, it's just - it - to watch her navigate those lanes and be able to speak to people and be herself and those love her for who she is really spoke to me as a radio personality/podcaster.
RASCOE: Because your mother - just not to cut you off, but your mother was a big - or has been on a New York radio station for years, had a long - has a long career.
RASCOE: So you grew up in this sort of radio industry.
BEAM: Absolutely. Grew up in it my whole life. She's been doing radio for 35 years. I'm 32.
OBELL: For me, it was definitely something I had to unlearn, being made to feel like I couldn't use my own voice or my authentic voice or, for me, even writing in my authentic voice before even the mic part of it. But because, you know, coming from traditional news, they try to make you feel like it's not up to par when you speak a certain way or when your Blackness is evident or your personality is evident or humor, or if you just don't do things by the T, you know, I love the fact that social media and just our audience and just the way things have gone have shown us that that's not the case.
RASCOE: I mean, you know, I may know a little bit of something about people being upset that you don't talk like everybody else.
OBELL: Do you, Ayesha?
RASCOE: I know just a tiny, tiny bit. I may have heard something about it. You know, just a little bit. Since I have y'all here and y'all are pop culture experts, you know, I have to take some time to talk about some important current events. The Video Music Awards happened last week. You know, I don't know if you guys watched, but to me, it was just such a prime example of how women in hip-hop - they are running everything right now, whether you love Cardi B, whether you - you know, Nicki Minaj, whether you Barb, whether you are, you know, Meg Thee Stallion - they are running music, period. Like, what stands out to you about this moment for women and their place in pop culture, in hip-hop?
OBELL: Yeah. I think women are carrying hip-hop right now, like, this generation of it. And I don't know if we've ever really been able to say that before. I don't know if we've ever had the diversity within women in hip-hop that we have right now. And I just think that I love the fact that they're pushing past that there only has to be one narrative...
OBELL: ...That everybody keeps trying to put on them. At the VMAs, we had Cardi, Meg. Kaliii performed.
OBELL: You know, Ice Spice was there. Sexy Red was there. Nicki...
BEAM: Flo Milli.
OBELL: Flo Milli was there. Like, it was just so beautiful to see. Like, not only one of them got to perform. You know what I mean? There wasn't the...
OBELL: ...One moment where we let the one woman in hip-hop come onstage during a male rapper's set.
BEAM: I love to see it. I love to see the camaraderie. I love to see the women stick together, and I also like to see the competitiveness. I love to see Nicki throwing shots, but I love to see it. I love to see all of it. I love to see these girls exist in rap like how the men did...
BEAM: ...And be able to fan over them just like I did with men in rap.
RASCOE: Another thing that - obviously, we're heading into fall. It's kind of cooling down - not really - depends on where you're at. But, you know, some people will say this is cuffing season. This is the season to settle down, cuddle up with the one you love. For people who are living that lifestyle - not me...
RASCOE: ...What are you both looking forward to this fall, like, entertainment wise? What will you want to settle into this fall?
OBELL: It's weird because with the writers strike and the actors strike...
OBELL: ...It's hard because I know a lot of the things I tend to look forward to in the fall, like new season of "Abbott Elementary" or, you know, new season of whatever show we're not going to get. And so I think that that's making me sad. You know what I mean? I think "American Fiction," Cord Jefferson's movie - I'm really excited about that's coming out. I think it's starring, like, Jeffrey Wright. And there's, like, a lot of Blacks in that one.
BEAM: Oh, I love Jeffrey Wright.
OBELL: And it looks - yes. And I, like - I saw Tracee Ellis Ross in there. Like, there's a lot of faces. I have to go to the screening soon, but, like, I'm looking forward to, like, that film.
RASCOE: And what about you, Scottie? Is there anything you're looking forward to? And it could be old, just to binge or whatever.
BEAM: I think - yeah, I think reintroducing myself to old shows. I love layering. I love to wear clothes, tons of clothes. So I'm very excited about that. I'm also excited about Drake's album that should be coming out.
OBELL: Oh, are we getting it?
BEAM: Yeah. I mean, it should be coming out.
OBELL: That man's giving us, like, three albums this year. That's crazy.
BEAM: Yes. And hopefully it's good, baby.
OBELL: Are you going to start letting men inside your house this fall?
BEAM: I'm going to start letting men inside my house in the fall.
RASCOE: You don't let men in your house?
BEAM: In the summer.
RASCOE: That's probably a good plan, though.
BEAM: Ayesha, did you not hear about the Tabi story?
RASCOE: I did hear the Tabi story.
BEAM: They stealing shoes.
RASCOE: For people who don't know, she was dating this man - just, you know, just a little thing. And the man stole the woman's shoes.
BEAM: And gave it to his girlfriend.
RASCOE: Gave it to his girlfriend...
BEAM: Thank you.
RASCOE: ...Who the other girl didn't know about. What in the world?
BEAM: That's what I'm trying to tell you.
OBELL: What? I missed that last part.
RASCOE: Yes. Gave it to his girl (laughter).
OBELL: That man was - did she not care that he slept with somebody to get her those shoes?
RASCOE: Well, he probably didn't tell her. He just said, here you go, baby. I was thinking of you (laughter).
BEAM: Yeah. Without the box is crazy. You giving me a raw pair of shoes is nuts.
RASCOE: (Laughter) He...
BEAM: Now, now, listen, Ayesha, I was about to ask.
BEAM: How much is that? You know what I'm saying? Like...
RASCOE: It was like - it was some dedication.
OBELL: Absolutely - I'm shutting this down.
RASCOE: But I want to ask you, like, just finally, I know, you know, in addition to entertainment, as we talked about, you talk about life. You talk about a lot of things. You end your show with these positive affirmations. So I want to ask both of you, when you think about the future of this show and your work, what is the personal positive affirmation that guides you?
OBELL: I think I'm often trying to think of like, how do - what guides us? Like, how do we make sure we're doing the right thing or in the right place at the right time? Because it's like, life is just so unpredictable. But I think for the show and for us, it's about staying true and not forgetting who we are and getting lost in that in the midst of everything because when we don't compromise, like, what the show is - like, what we want to do, the project we're putting out- we always land on our feet.
BEAM: You know, I think we spend a lot of time thinking about what others may think of you, especially if you want to talk about things that may even be sour to others. But to know that if you're speaking from truth and speaking from honor and speaking for those who don't have the words yet, you're doing the right thing. And that's the purpose. So I try to keep that top of mind because I could - it gets - you know, some things can get loud, especially your own mind.
RASCOE: That's Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell. They are the hosts of "The Scottie & Sylvia Show." Thank you so much for joining us.
BEAM: Thank you for having us, Ayesha. This was great.
OBELL: Thank you so much, Ayesha.
(SOUNDBITE OF ICE SPICE AND NICKI MINAJ SONG, "PRINCESS DIANA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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