The podcast format was only invented in the early 2000’s, but we have already entered the medium’s golden age. They are cheap to produce and unlike traditional radio you can access content whenever you want. Titles like the true crime podcast Serial and the political satire show Chapo Trap House have become cultural phenomena, with epic story arcs and rabid fan bases. Even Obama has got into the podcast world, appearing on Marc Maron’sWTF in 2015.
Perhaps the true appeal of a podcast is in its intimacy, like you are listening to the wit and surreal absurdity of close friends. That is certainly the case with South Africa’s Rare &Sudden – aka “The Culture’s Favourite Podcast”. The show is a hilariously candid look at hip hop and street wear culture, with the verbal darts being fired by hosts Rolo Rozay and Hake$y, self-described hustlers with the magic gift of talking endlessly inspired silliness and sarcasm. The show’s intentions are signaled with its Soundcloud banner, a contemporary version of the gaudy album covers endemic to rap at the turn of the century. Rolo Rozay and Hake$y are shown in a DJ Khaled-worthy mansion surrounded by flamingos, Siberian tigers, a lion and for good measure, floating sports cars.
The tongue-in-cheek attitude towards hip hop braggadocio is central to the podcast, with the host’s making outrageous boasts and dropping ludicrous slang while taking time to remind their audience to add kale and wheatgrass to their lives! It plays on the format of US rap news like Sway in The Morning and Everyday Struggle, while retaining an authentically local voice. And while shit talking is central, the show is also deeply informative, offering insightful opinions on the latest trends in music and fashion. Rare & Sudden is addictive because it warmly pokes fun at a culture the host’s are deeply invested in.