Hip Hop Saved My Life With Romesh Ranganathan: a rappers delight

You dont have to be into hip-hop to enjoy the comedians entertaining chat he has a gift for making interviewees spill personal stories only loosely connected to Wu Tang and De La Soul

If you come to Hip Hop Saved My Life With Romesh Ranganathan expecting nothing but hardcore talk about rap, youll be disappointed in the best way possible. Ranganathans consistently great podcast covers a whole lot more.

His latest guest is Robert Popper, the writer of Channel 4s Friday Night Dinner, who is a delight from the moment he begins to speak. Heopens with a most un-hip-hop takedown of Ranganathans decision not to take his mum on holiday to Center Parcs. Is it just water everywhere? asks Popper. Iwould imagine there are tunnels going through your room, with kids swimming everywhere.

Musings about holidays aside, Ranganathan is there to take his guests through their recollections of hip-hop, which for Popper, or Bobby P as hes known for the duration of the podcast, began in Our Price when he heard Grandmaster Flashs The Message. While hearing him rap: My penis rise up in the morning like a Phoenix, is beyond disturbing, his casually dropped-in story about meeting Wu-Tangs Method Man and ODB when he wrote for Zig and Zag onThe Big Breakfast is impressive. Theres light controversy when he admits he finds De La Soul annoying, and dont get him (or Ranganathan) started on Gurus collaboration-happy 1993 album Jazzmatazz.

Ranganathans enthusiasm for talking about music and life is infectious; even when some guests claim not to like hip-hop, he gently squeezes them until they spill anecdotes. The chats normally unearth a few old gems in the song department, but remain the right side of nerdy to satisfy listeners looking for comedy, not Nas B-sides. Theres a refreshing lack of pretentiousness, with Ranganathan not afraid to rant about the level of guacamole in the perfect burrito or giggle self-effacingly about calling a hit a big smash.

Ranganathans attempts to get his guests to open up are always fruitful. DJ Yoda reveals his love of Stock Aitken Watermans back catalogue, particularly Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Frankie Boyle is subdued and thoughtful as he unveils his theory about Biggie and Tupacs romantic feelings for each other, which he muses led them to fake their deaths and will ultimately see them resurrected at theEurovisionsong contest.

When it comes to interviewbased podcasts, thisone is bang on.

If you like this, try Distraction Pieces Podcast With Scroobius Pip.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/dec/29/hip-hop-saved-my-life-with-romesh-ranganathan-a-rappers-delight

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