The zeitgeist is a product of the voices that contribute to it. Those that manage to be heard over the quotidian clatter of contemporary society are those most uniquely positioned to influence their times. Kid Fury and Crissle West are laying the foundation for just that. Their pop-culture podcast The Read is a deft and hilariously over-the-top commentary on the people whose names are, for better or worse, a part of our everyday lives.
The Read‘s first episode aired in March of this year and has already ballooned to 80,000 listeners each week. A number that will, no doubt, steadily increase as the world becomes more acquainted with their fiery formula of advice, attitude, and acute shade. We sat down with Kid Fury and Crissle West to talk about the past year in culture, a year tainted with preposterous happenings like USA’s Today‘s “race-themed” headline and Miley Cyrus’ twerking, and the somber accounts of a nation reckoning with race, class, and culture.
Flavorwire: This year, dialogue about race happened all along the spectrum from “race-themed” headlines to pop stars with a penchant for misguided cultural appropriation. Do you think that the national conversation about race that occurred consequently is a step forward, or do you think the tenor of it makes it ineffective?
Kid Fury: I think it’s good that we’re talking about it more. I don’t know how I feel about where we’ve gone in terms of progression. I think we’re definitely much further ahead than we were maybe 20 years ago, but it’s still mind-blowingly ridiculous — the Trayvon case is an enormous example of that. Not just the way the case turned out, but the way people were reacting to it. Silly things like people dressing up as Trayvon for Halloween, or that meme where people would lie down on the street like Trayvon. I think racism is still alive and well, and for the show sometimes we had to be like “Let us not talk about this. We talk about race every single episode.” The thing is, it’s very emotional for us. And the Trayvon case was so long and drawn and it just got to a point where it was taking a toll on us, so we’d be like, “Let’s just talk about Chris Brown and all his tattoos and drugs this week. I don’t want to talk about this.”
Crissle West: I also think it’s interesting that you even ask the question because really for non-white people every year is a “race-themed” year. Race is always a conversation we’re having. Race impacts our lives every day. And so I don’t think that this year had more — other than the Trayvon case specifically — I don’t think it was that racial of a year. There were definitely news stories about race, but for me it just feels like any other year.