TOURÉ is a Writer, TV host, Podcaster, and former CNN, MSNBC, MTV2, host. Music heads will remember him from the Hiphop Shop on Fuse (2009-12), and the Black Carpet on BET (2006-08). He currently writes articles for Rolling Stone, the NY Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and others. In this interview he speaks with Lashaun Turner about his latest podcast “Democracy-ish”, the Jay Z controversy, politicians & rappers working together, plus, why he’d like to see Elizabeth Warren as president..
Talk me through your new Podcast “Democracy-ish”, how did the idea come about, what can listeners expect? What types of guests and topics will you be covering?
Democracyish is a weekly look at the election from a Black and progressive perspective. Danielle Moodie-Mills and I are talking about candidates, issues, and developments in the race and exploring it from a Black lens. It came about because I love working with Danielle, we did a panel on Joy Reid’s show a year ago and I said I love you and I love our chemistry, we should do a show together. And she totally agreed. And then I noticed there really wasn’t a great Black podcast about the election and there should be because Black people are usually the king or queen makers of the Democratic party. The candidate we get behind tends to win so we should talk about the election from a Black perspective.
Music, particularly Hip-hop/Rap, and, Politics can make for strange bed fellows. As a cultural critic & commentator observing today’s political climate –I’m wondering what’s your take on candidates aligning themselves with rappers such as Cardi B.?
I think it’s normal for candidates to try to humanize themselves and find any way of connecting with voters. Especially, in that case, you see candidates who need to signal to Black and brown voters that they’re cool and they respect their world. So they talk to Cardi, one of the most beloved recording artists today, and try to find a way to win Black voters. It’s really all that different than candidate Bill Clinton going on Arsenio to signal to Black voters that he’s cool.
Right now people are talking about Jay Z and the NFL deal making him the first black person to be an owner in the league’s history. Critics are angry that the deal excludes Colin Kaepernick. What are your thoughts on this?
I wrote about it for Afropunk. I think Jay may have made a mistake and allowed himself to be someone who helps the NFL look not racist when it’s being racist. But I’m curious to see where this deal goes.
I noticed a quote from Donald Trump on your website “DUMB AS A ROCK TOURE DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT MONEY OR ANYTHING ELSE-MERELY A SIMPLETON RACIST. REALLY BAD RATINGS, REALLY STUPID GUY.” ~ Donald J. Trump | @realDonaldTrump 9:53 PM – 9 Sep 2013- … ( At first I thought that YOU were talking about Trump the “Simpleton Racist Guy” , not the other way around) What are Your thoughts on his Presidency up to this point?
Worst President of all time. By far.
Who would you like to see in the White House for 2020?
I’d love to see Elizabeth Warren in the White House. I think she’s really smart, she’s a great communicator, she’s a true progressive, she’s a true public servant who thinks about and aligns herself with working people rather than the wealthy elite. She could be a transformative President. I also think Kamala and Bernie could have powerful Presidencies but it may be hard fo them to get through the field. I hope that Biden’s lead erodes because I don’t think he’s right for the party or for the country. I think his lead is really the product of Democratic fear of losing. So they go for the safe guy, the one who they think has the best chance of beating Trump. I don’t believe Biden truly has a better chance of beating Trump than the other leading contenders, and I hate that people are scared to nominate a woman because Hillary lost. That’s a crazy way of looking at things. A white male Democrat hasn’t won the White House since 1996. Maybe it’s time to stop nominating them. They’re unelectable! Nominate a great woman.
Where will people be able to catch the Democracy-ish podcast?
Everywhere fine podcasts are streamed.
Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on..
French fries and mustard can be a great combination. And we should make Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man the new Black national anthem.
Toure Show: podcasting with smart people.