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A lot of creators talk about owning their intellectual property and distribution, but co-hosts of the For Colored Nerds podcast — Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse — actually went and made it happen, by any means necessary. The two left the Spotify-owned Gimlet Media network in 2020, leaving behind The Nod show (and its IP) which they had built up since 2017. As “free agents”, the duo made ownership a mandate in its next podcast deal.
Stitcher was happy to oblige, bringing the two together in a homecoming of sorts. Before Gimlet, Eric and Brittany began podcasting with Stitcher which included the first iteration of the For Colored Nerds podcast. Now it’s back in its second form — still with a heavy dose of discourse about the intersection of pop and Black culture, but now with a dash of personal opinions from the two on ongoing issues as they see it.
For Colored Nerds is one example of how the media industry is transforming in real-time. While Eric and Brittany got what they wanted, it wasn’t easy. The two joined me on this episode of Trapital to discuss this laborious process that included lawyers and agents — two things most creators aren’t privy to. Here’s everything we discussed in this episode:
[3:07] Why Choose Stitcher Over Other Networks?
[5:52] Changing Landscape Of Creator Ownership
[9:22] Biggest Barriers To Having A Fair Contract
[11:31] Will Future Podcast Networks Embrace Creator Ownership?
[18:23] How Does The Podcast Balance What Topics To Discuss On The Show?
[22:10] What Makes Podcasting So Special
[28:51] The Polarization Of Tyler Perry
[37:06] The Perils Of An “Elitist” Mindset
[42:28] Relationship With Present-Day Music Compared To Past Favorites
[49:23] Knowing Your Audience
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Listen: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | RSS
Host: Dan Runcie, @RuncieDan, trapital.co
Guests: Brittany Luse, IG: @bmluse | Eric Eddings, Twitter: @eeddings | For Colored Nerds Podcast, IG & Twitter: @ForColoredNerds
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Eric Eddings 00:00
What the industry kind of needs to understand is that people now, like, require that flexibility. Because so many creators understand different parts of the trajectory. Everybody’s not necessarily trying to be, you know, at the pinnacle of podcasts or like on the front page of, you know, iTunes every single day. There are different levels. Some people are having a podcast, they want it as a significant companion to maybe something else that they’re building. And so they understand what place that podcast could fit into their lives and into their brand or ecosystem.
Dan Runcie 00:38
Hey, welcome to the Trapital podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Trapital, Dan Runcie. This podcast is your place to gain insights from executives in music, media, entertainment, and more, who are taking hip hop culture to the next level.
On today’s episode, I’m joined by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings. They’re the host of the podcast, For Colored Nerds, which peels back the layers of black culture. I’ve been following Brittany and Eric’s work for a while now, back when they had their podcast on gimlet media, The Nod. And they also had the Quibi Show after that. And they recently relaunched their old podcast, For Colored Nerds. So we talked about that, we talked about the journey and how Brittany and Eric have been so open and transparent about podcast ownership and some of the back and forth challenges that have happened not just with them, but with other podcasters that ultimately what they hope to see in this industry in the future. We also talked a bit more about how they go about thinking of their content, some of the common themes that they’ll discuss on the shows, and one of the things that they discuss, which is a topic I’ve often discussed on Trapital as well is Tyler Perry. If you’ve read through Apple, you know that I’m more so, talking about Tyler for what he’s achieved from a business perspective, which I’ve always found inspiring and great. But on the content side, it’s a little different, because I think many people do have some conflicting opinions about how he’s gone about things that he put out, and, but also recognizing that there was an audience that Tyler has unapologetically been willing to serve, and what that means for him as a business leader, and how that obviously has led to his success. So we talked a lot about that.
And we also talked more broadly about hip hop as well. Folks like us, who I think grew up in the 90s and 2000s, and may still resonate with so many of the artists from that era, how do we relate to current day hip hop? And is it our place to relate to some of the current artists? So we talk about that, and a whole lot more. Here’s my chat with Brittany and Eric.
All right, today, we got Brittany and Eric from the For Colored Nerds Podcast. I’ve been a big fan. I’ve been following their work for a while, and also their journey. And before we start, I do just want to say thank you to both of you, because I feel like you’ve been so open about so much in the podcasting space. And I think a lot of people learned a lot from that. So thank you both it’s much appreciated.
Brittany Luse 03:00
Eric Eddings 03:01
Thank you for having us. Yeah, it’s been a wild ride in this industry. But it’s been good.
Dan Runcie 03:07
Definitely. And I know for you that your journey has been well documented, you’re back on the podcast that you had started years back with For Colored Nerds. And now you’re with Stitcher, and I’d love to start there because I’m sure that you got hit up by a number of different outlets or networks that likely wanted to partner with y’all. What was it about stitcher that made you want to work with them?
Eric Eddings 03:31
Wow. I mean, I felt like there was a lot I mean. To your point, we did a bit of the tour, I guess you could say, in terms of meeting with tons of distributors, you know, after our Quibi show kind of wound down after, hell, after Quibi. Went down a rabbit…
Brittany Luse 03:47
It happens on the same day.
Eric Eddings 03:50
Yeah, exactly. But no, with Stitcher, I think there were a few things that lined up pretty quickly. They were the only ones who who started the conversation, knowing that we were coming in with a desire to own our show, which is funny, because as to your point before, like, we have been very open about like some of the conflicts that we you know, had around pursuing ownership in particular. And so I think like that changed the conversation in a way where we then, actually, could talk more freely and comfortably about what we wanted the show to be, you know, because again, there was not that fear of like, you know, will it be ours? And will we maybe have to make something different, you know, after the fact if we don’t own and kind of control that so I think that was like one big piece of it. I’m curious Brittany, like what you would add
Brittany Luse 04:37
I mean, a big part of it, too, is like the team. I mean, one of the people that we got to you know, talk with coming into Stitcher when we were just sort of in the initial feeling each other out stage is someone who turned out to be the cousin of someone we met a few years ago and like hit it off with, Natalie Well who’s amazing, she’s literally just made us feel comfortable from like moment one. Also Peter Clowney, who is, Eric knows this, proper title. I feel terrible because I can’t remember anyone’s proper title. Because Eric works at Stitcher as an executive, and I am but a lowly, what’s the word? I paid a vendor, I’m a vendor. And so I’m not always proven everything happens within a company. Peter Clowney, who is like I think the VP of content at Stitcher, he was the very first editor that I ever had, like podcast editor, like the very first edit. And it is like a term in podcasting, where the team will sit and listen, or be sent a version of an episode, and leave comments and share them with each other in order to make the episode better and get to that next draft. The first time I ever did that, was with Peter Clowney and that was 2015. So, you know, I have this full-circle moment when in 2021, he’s the person who’s really extending the offer for us to come and join Stitcher. That just felt really, right.
Brittany Luse 05:52
Also, you know, we first launched For Colored nerds with Stitcher, we have an incredible executive producer, Kameel Stanley, who is basically like a legend of public radio in St. Louis and is just a hell of an executive producer. She, I mean, she kept like, the first I think we had her for what, maybe three, four months, when we were first really ramping up, she kept things together, and she kept things moving. Yeah. And she was somebody who we had already, we’ve been interviewed by before, I think the previous year with regard to rights and ownership and IP and everything like that. She is just a fantastic journalist and just was such an amazing guide. So it was just so amazing to have this experience where we had so many sharp people who we had either met before had a relationship with before or had a meaningful link to coming in. And it just kind of made things feel a lot more familiar. And also to they were just fast. They’re just fast. They were like, yeah, they followed up, they were fast. And they were, I don’t know, I mean, I think in so many areas of life, like somebody like the person who’s just eager to follow up with you and eager to form that connection or cement that relationship. That’s usually the person that you want to go with.
Dan Runcie 07:02
That makes sense. Yeah, I hear the relationship side of it. I also hear the ownership side of it too. And especially with the way things are shifting now, sometimes it’s still so shocking that it is still such a charged or controversial thing for whether it’s podcasters writers or creators in any type of shape too, what, I mean, you’re coming in, you have a base, you have plenty of leverage, like how is this still one of these discussions where they want 100% of the thing, and there’s not even a discussion about shared or what that could look like. And I mean, it’s not just, you always see this at the highest levels, whether it’s I think, was
Michaela Coel, when she was talking about I May Destroy You when she was going back and forth, whether it was Netflix or HBO on wanting a slice, like, this is something that is clearly a challenge and a difficult thing for people at every scale of this game.
Eric Eddings 07:54
I mean, the industry is shifting, and you know, depending upon what side of the Creator versus like, you know, distributor network, you’re on, you maybe view how fast that industry is shifting differently. You know? And it’s something that I think the industry has to do a better job at understanding. People are more literate about the trials and tribulations and pitfalls that you can run into trying to create something, and trying to create something that like is distributed to other people, wherever podcasts, movies, music, you know, I’m saying like, we all have the same internet, and like, we’ve all read the stories and the features. And so people know more of what to ask for. And, you know, the reasons they might have received before about why they, you know, could not or maybe should not deserve, like, you know, the rights to their own content are starting to, you know, finally feel frivolous. And so, you know, I think that thing is changing, I think it is still though a game of leverage, and it’s still, you know, depends on what you have in your corner, sadly, to be able to kind of push the issue, you know, with the distributor, with just whoever you’re partnering with to be able to get what you want. And yeah, there sadly, is still a lot of.. We got reached out to today about this same, this very same issue. And it’s that’s something that happens fairly frequently. So there’s a lot of work that still has to happen.
Dan Runcie 09:15
And on that note, is it people reaching out to you asking you for advice to be like, Hey, I know you all want Yes. Any thoughts?
Brittany Luse 09:22
Yes. I mean, yeah, emails, text messages, phone calls, DMS, I had somebody reach out to me via text on behalf of one of their friends yesterday, wondering about the same thing. And I mean, there’s, you know, we try to give as much advice as we can. But at the end of the day, the best advice you can get in those situations definitely comes from like a legal professional. Typically, those are the people that you want to defer to. We are not we are not those. That’s why sometimes I podcast people like what would you guys see what I’m like, You know what, I am not in the business of giving legal advice, but my biggest piece of legal advice is to get a lawyer. But yeah, I mean, obviously I share a little bit more people than that. But yeah, I think because we’ve been so open, sometimes people that we do not even know will reach out to us out of the blue, just to be like, Hey, this is something that I know that you went through, do you have 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes to talk with me and kind of guide me through this process? I mean, I will say the thing that I always say, which is that these contracts should not be so difficult that a regular person could not pick up and read them. I think that there’s obviously how do I put it, I mean, a barrier to being able to have a fair contract is having the financial resources and also the institutional knowledge relationships, to be able to get a lawyer like that something that we did not have, I don’t think I know when I first started working at Gimlet back in 2015. I didn’t have the financial resources to hire a lawyer. Yeah, it wasn’t an option, I wouldn’t have known how to find an entertainment lawyer. Because before then, I was working as like, I mean, marketing manager was the title, but that didn’t line up with what I was doing at my job. So yeah, I wouldn’t have had like the relationships, the understanding, I wouldn’t have known how to find an entertainment lawyer. And I definitely didn’t have the money coming into working there to have that. So I think that like, you know, there is a certain level of like, eat, we’re all being finessed a little bit, by the fact that people have to get not feel like they have to, but really, truly have to have agents and lawyers and money upfront, to be able to spend on having somebody basically be their pitbull, and get into the ring and fight for the contract that they deserve.
Dan Runcie 11:31
Yeah, it’s interesting with podcasting, specifically, because I look at the music industry, or even with writing to some extent, I have seen a few more of these hybrid models where it’s okay, you can release your music on this platform, we offer a little bit more of a distribution push and a little bit more of a network per se than you would get if you just did it solely on your own. But you could still maintain the ownership, we just get, you know, a set cut or whatever it is. And we’ve seen this in music, whether it’s record labels like Empire that started with a similar type of mindset, or some of the others, even with writing, I’ve started to see some creative things. But with podcasting, specifically, it may be part of it’s just, I haven’t seen it myself and what I’ve seen, but I still haven’t quite seen that network that is being ready to be as front and center be like, Hey, we’re here, if you want to do an exclusive deal, but you maintain your ownership and we do a licensing deal, we could do that. Or if you want to have a set split, this is what our network is known for. I haven’t quite seen that same thing in podcasting. And obviously, I know part of the challenge is the value is the ownership that they have because then they can go get sold to whoever, but I think part of me still waiting to see that, like, is that going to be a standard for one of the next, you know, rising networks.
Brittany Luse 12:51
We are waiting to see that
Eric Eddings 12:56
Everybody’s watching. Yeah, I mean, look, there are networks. I mean, even Stitcher, I don’t say this, you know, to not trying to be like a corporate shill, but like, you know, we engage a bunch of different types of deals. Yeah, I work as a creative executive there. And, you know, so what that means is like, there are some things that we, you know, own outright, there are some things that stitcher owns outright, there are some things that you know, they license, you know, and just rip the ads, there are some things that you know, are hybrid, I think what you don’t want, even that, for its worth is actually can be rare to have all those different types of like deals. But I think in general, what the industry kind of needs to understand is that people now, like, require that flexibility, because, you know, so many creators understand different parts of the trajectory, you know, everybody’s not necessarily trying to be, you know, at the pinnacle of, you know, podcasts or like, on the front page of, you know, iTunes every single day, there are different levels, some people are having the podcast, they want it as a significant companion to maybe something else that they’re building. And so they understand what place that podcast could fit into their life and into their, you know, brand or ecosystem. And the company that is willing to like, be most flexible to that is going to get that person you know, like, because they’re creating that comfort, they’re creating that like space to say like, I want to work with you so much of entertainment, what people haven’t realized behind the scenes, it’s not necessarily I want to work with you, it kind of wants to work for them, you know, and to that degree, like, you know, your contract reflects that. And I’m so excited by the shift that I see kind of happening in all entertainment-related industries. We’re seeing a lot more, hell, sports, you know, we just see a lot more creator or athlete lead, you know, like deals but things were basically the power in the leverage is becoming more equal, slowly.
Brittany Luse 14:54
I think the thing that’s tricky for me is the deals that are fair and reasonable exist, and I’ll say that we received a pretty good one from Stitcher. I mean, like from jump, when we received the contract, it was like, all fit on one page, double triple space. It was mostly plain English. I understood it when I read it. And we felt good about it. And it felt like it was befitting of like, how much air can I put into the show? And who really owns it? And I will say like, it was really nice to get that deal now, but my hope is like, you know, people are like, when will we get there? What do you think ‘there’ is there for me quote, unquote, there for me is when me and Eric back in 2014, we first started the show would have been handed a deal like the one we got last year in 2021. And so like a or even back in 2017, when we first launched The Nod, me and Eric at that point was been given new contracts. Because then that very clearly showed that was really the DNA it was based off For Colored Nerds, come on a show about Black culture hosted by me and Eric, now we based it off of something else. Are you kidding me? That’s what it was. I think that that to me is like when the equity has really gotten there, and it is going to take time, I wish that it didn’t take the time it is going to take time.
Brittany Luse 14:54
But even I will say this though, there are people usually like white, a lot of times male. And I was gonna say like, usually they have a large following. But sometimes it’s like, I don’t even know if that’s what’s going into the business decision that’s being made when somebody you know, offers, like some white guy who has a podcast a bunch of money to be able to, like make that thing forever gives that person a really good deal, or some sort of like exclusive, you know, whatever. There are people who have been getting fair deals all this time. I just would like to see sort of like the bar for that either be lower to just like I say lower, I mean, just like allowing more people in right now the bar is basically like, are you why are you guy? Are you famous? Or like, yes. Do you want to share my microphone, I would like to see sort of rather, I would like to see that avenue broadened. And that’s what I mean, when we’re there, like Success for me is just like not having to have relationships years in the game, or be like a white guy with a podcast to be able to get access to the type of deal that we have now.
Dan Runcie 17:19
Yeah. And I think that framing makes complete sense. Right? When you first started this and had the idea, you should have had this in place. And then further when you’re signing a deal with Gimlet or even you know, with Quibi, or whoever. There’s enough, not just you know, layman’s terms, but there’s also just enough commonality that those things can happen. And I think that also makes me think a bit about the show itself. And maybe just some of the slight differences between The Nod and For Colored Nerds, The Nod, at least my impression is always a bit more like, hey, here is the latest thing that is happening right now in black culture. And here’s our take on it. Well, let’s discuss it, I think For Colored Nerds has that as well. But I think you also mix in some evergreen topics that have always come in which I think I always enjoy hearing. And I’m curious, from your perspective, how has the process been about determining the topics of that balance, because I’m sure there are the evergreen topics that you may want to hit. There are also timely things that likely you may want to dive into. But then you also, you know, have things that you’re just personally interested in compared to what you may know, the audience would really want to hear or what you know what drives engagement. So yeah, how was that, balancing that piece of the event for you?
Eric Eddings 18:39
You don’t know how timely that question is. Because we are always kind of managing our relationship with it. It is a balance. And it’s a conversation that is kind of always happening. I think, to start where you did in terms of the comparison, I think how we thought about The Nod is more so we were trying to reflect what we saw. And I think For Colored Nerds is more definitively how we think if that makes any sense. I didn’t and I know Brittany, you might disagree, but Yes, just now. Yeah. But when we’re thinking about that conversation, basically how we think and how to reflect that to our audience, you know, we are looking at things that like could or either maybe a lot of things start evergreen and become more topical, if that makes any sense. Because also that’s kind of how I think our conversations often work we’re just kind of talking about things that we’ve noticed or things that we’ve seen and they start to kind of build momentum towards like something that could be like on the show and like with it, for example, we consume dating reality shows at an unhealthy clip, we are committed to that genre. And you know, we’re always kind of talking about like what we saw how we feel about you know, any given show or episode and it’s starting to kind of come to the point, I have this idea that feels like a connects kind of like what I think about all those things, and then bringing like what or, you know, I actually had This idea I was thinking this. And so we start to build that for the episode. And then as we get closer to, you know, having the conversation, we start to realize like, Okay, well, what are the things happening right now that relate to this larger conversation? How can we incorporate that and you know, that changes things as well? So we’re always shuffling Jesus, always shuffling our calendar, because that process changes, you know, you might the Evergreen thing might need more time to become a little topical, the topical thing, you know, feel too much like a flash in the pan need to be more evergreen. So, you know, shout out to our producer Alexis, for, you know, really like just kind of rolling with how much of the changes we, you know, sometimes need to make to the schedule. But if we’re in conversation with our audience, we want to make sure that we’re reacting to that in as healthy a way as possible.
Brittany Luse 20:49
Yeah. I mean, yeah, it’s tricky. Just because like, on one hand, I don’t know podcasting is so interesting in that it is one of the few truly long-form digital media. So you know what I mean? Like, other than maybe, like, reading long-form journalism, which I think we’ve learned over time, not everybody does. That’s part of the reason why we’ve gotten to the place that we are in society right now. Podcasts are digital, and so on some level, they can feel kind of ephemeral, but they live on the internet for so long, in like a well-indexed, centralized place. And they’re long. People will listen to two hours. I mean, people I mean, me, I will listen to two hours, that type of just BS, like nothing, like people just talking about old gossip. Like, I have no problem that, for me is something that I totally enjoy. And there’s so many, the success of so many shows out there is really just people wanting to listen to someone talk sometimes regardless of whether it’s evergreen or of the moment. And so it’s tricky, because like we do find ourselves straddling that line a lot of the time, sometimes, I think we managed to like really kind of, like get it really right and hit something at that moment where it just feels really fresh, you know, and really, like well thought out, even though it’s coming out like right, as the moment that sounds like something is kind of cresting out there in the zeitgeist. But I mean, that still is kind of like at odds with how we think about engaging some of the topics that we do on our show, you know, we try to be thoughtful, we try to be careful in making sure that we’re expressing ourselves in a way that’s clear in a way that’s not going to be harmful to others, in a way that’s going to be entertaining. And that does take time. So sometimes, you know, sometimes we’ll be chasing our tails a little bit. Trying to get stuff out the door. Yeah, but I don’t know, it’s like, we try to have even some of our most topical episodes still have that sustenance to them, that will get somebody to want it, you know, come back and listen to it for a second, third, fifth time, or even discover it three, four months down the line, even our most topical of the moment episodes, have that extra something to them, that keeps people you know, feeling engaged long after the moment of that episode has passed.
Dan Runcie 23:06
For me the episode that you all did that. I think it’s that exact point, Brittany, is the Girlboss in the City episode. I feel like when I heard that, I wanted to listen, because I was like, Wait, is this what I think should be by the terrible? Okay, well elicited a demo, I heard I was like, Okay, I see the trend. That makes sense. Okay. Like, and then, you know, just hearing, you know, your take, and I know, you know, just some of the other examples, I’m like, Yes, like, that makes 100% sense. And I think what makes it resonate, not just is it the trend itself, but it also I think, as a listener for me makes me think about, okay, what are some other trends that are like that, because I think so many of the things that we may think may be celebratory, especially in this past six years, where I think we’ve seen a great influx of more black media and more black representation, especially whether it’s with your Netflix or with your streaming services. That said, there are still plenty of, you know, opportunities and holes and tropes and things to push back on. So I’ve been thinking about that piece ever since you all put that up.
Eric Eddings 24:09
Thankfully, like, it was one of the things, most of our episodes, also when we’re making them, I don’t know if Brittany feels this way, but I often feel a bit kind of crazy, because we’ll have an idea. It’s not like we don’t really deal and hot takes that’s kind of why Brittany was like, you know, we take our time we try to make sure we’re, you know, fair, we do our research. And so, you know, sometimes when we come upon a thing where we’re like, Okay, now this is the take, and we see this trend, we feel like we can define it and then there’s that moment actually right after in between having recorded or talk through the episode that we’re going to record and it coming out where I feel crazy because now I’m like, I see it everywhere. And it doesn’t it’s like you know, like almost like they live where you have the sunglasses all you see like people as aliens. It’s kind of like that. And so, you know, with that episode it was really exciting to kind of make those types of connections. Because like that genre I have been consuming not as a genre, I have been just like catching pieces of it. And it wasn’t until like being in conversation with Britney, that I’m realizing, Wait, this is a genre. And you know, when you’re thinking about that, that means something might change in terms of how you consume it. And so like, you know, a lot of the surprise I had or like, I was, you know, Brittany was explaining this thing or how she feels about her genre before it’s worth, as you hear me, I’m coming to it, you know, I’m saying like, I am embracing it to kind of formulate my own ideas. And I think, yeah, I think the audience appreciates being able to hear kind of both sides of that, like the person who has, like, you know, who feels like they, they know, their I know my shit, I have figured it out, I see it, and then that person’s like, Well, wait, actually, oh, shit. Like, you know, like that tug of war, I think can be really, really fun. It happens in so many different ways. Like, you know, back and forth, which is, you know, part of what’s so fun about show.
Brittany Luse 26:00
Yeah, I’m really glad that you respond to that episode, because, like, sometimes, we’ll be putting stuff out and it’s like, okay, I know this is interesting to me. Like, you know, like, Oh, get out here on a limb talking about you know, all these white women and Sex in the City on this For Colored Nerds show you know, I’m like, how are people going to respond? We did an episode more recently about me looking at like moms throughout pop culture and how my favorite mom on TV right now is Pamela Adlon on better things, a white woman. And I’m like, I tweeted before the episode came out, I was like, Look, by these episodes, gonna be bought one of my favorite white women, but I need y’all to trust me. And it came out on March 1, and someone tried to catch me they were like, don’t do this during Black History Month. And I was like, it’s gonna be March 1. But yeah, I mean, sometimes it’s a little, it’s a little stressful to think about, you know, like, we have so many conversations, me and Eric, and also us with Alexis William, our producer, like we have so many conversations as a team. Just like pinging things back and forth, we have a group chat, where we send articles, messy stuff from the internet, Twitter, beef. I’d like to talk about this thing. It said, when we have episodes like that, it sometimes feels like we’re like letting people into like, I don’t know, it’s like opening up your medicine cabinet, or you’re like utility closet for somebody, it’s like I’m going to show you something might be a little weird, but we’ll see how you respond. So it’s really nice to hear from you. Like, as somebody who is like both has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening, sort of like immediate entertainment. But also you don’t strike me as much of a Girlboss. But it’s nice to know that you felt the episode as well.
Eric Eddings 27:39
The other thing you spoke to the moment a bit, and I think is important to kind of come back to that, like the kind of the moment that we’re in. You know, I think a part also, while we were so excited to return to the show, you know, like for us, I was actually weird. I was talking about this with a friend yesterday like I start I’m watching this, I’m watching the changes in media, people come in into the space making stuff that like, to be frank, I’ve always kind of dreamed of seeing or listening to. And the thing that I’m so happy about is that you know, I don’t know how to shut off the brain, the part of my brain is trying to understand where it’s headed, and figure out how I feel about it. And so, you know, it’s so awesome to kind of have that space where we can do that. And I think even one of the things we realized is that looking kind of back at, you know, both The Nod and For Colored Nerds, we were doing a version of kind of that same thing. We’ve often talked about it feeling a bit like a time capsule. And so you know, I’m happy that you came to this came to Girlboss in this moment, because I’m also so curious about where it goes and like then we can you know, even selfishly, I can look back and kind of be like, listen to that, like, Oh, it’s so interesting that that’s where we were considering, like wherever we end up because look at the news house, it’s kind of like we have no idea. The world is crazy.
Dan Runcie 28:51
Oh, yeah, I think the time capsule piece is a great way to play it. Because yeah, as you put it, we are in this era where so much is changing right now with Black Media, and who knows what we may be talking about in 2025, right? Maybe there’s a different type of trope, maybe things are better. And there’s, you know, less, you know, of a need to dig into tropes. But I think there’s one thing that I do think about that will probably always be a bit of a time capsule itself. Maybe not just for you all, but in general of like how we look at it, and maybe I guess I’d call it the perception of Tyler Perry. Books out and as a business person, and I think we could probably do consider I know he’s been a common theme on your shows. And going back and listening to someone else can probably reflect maybe where and I don’t want to say their culture because people have such a wide opinion of Tyler Perry even within the black community. Oh, yes. But it’s interesting because I think that you all could probably relate to maybe how I think about him and what he’s built because on one hand, it is so impressive to see this person that literally built what he was able to create and given the circumstances and As a black business leader, it is inspiring to see that. On the other hand, as people like me that often live on Twitter to log every few days, there’s slip time that clip that’s like, no Tyler Perry Studios has to be shut down. Because it’s some clip of someone wiling out and doing something ridiculous that would never be seen on any other type of broadcast. And you’re like, what? But that’s part of the basic this. And I mean, I could go on for days about it. But yeah, where are you both right now with Tyler Perry?
Brittany Luse 30:32
My feelings swing like a pendulum about how I feel about Tyler Perry. Like, on one hand, I mean, I’ll say this, like, I think the older I get, and the more his legacy like continues on, I really enjoy the camp of Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry. Like almost has no, not almost Tyler Perry has absolutely no shame. Tyler Perry is one of the most shameless performers I’ve ever seen in my entire life. He leaves it all on the floor, he holds literally looking back, like, I don’t even think he has an unexplored idea. In his mind. I think he literally has an idea. I can take action on each of them. And I think that we’ve seen them meet as possible. So like, I don’t know, there’s something about like, him just not giving a shit that I really connect to. And he just like leaning in and doing whatever he can to entertain people, maybe second himself first, I think I love that. It’s amazing. When Tyler Perry also shows up in somebody else’s movie, his acting… like I had never seen Gone Girl until like two years ago. And I watched it and I found myself saying this is just like a white Tyler Perry movie. And then he was in the regular person. Like, Star Wars. I think the Star Wars played a regular person. Yeah, like, I think that is so funny. And I kind of Oh, yeah, yeah. It’s funny the level like, I think he kind of knows he’s ridiculous. And I like that. I also like, you know, he said a bunch of things about like, how his content is like, it’s very accessible in every sense of the word. And also, like he like, does make family entertainment, which like, when you think about like, when we get together, black folks get together to watch movies or play games or have you know, Christmas dinner or whatever, wherever we’re going to turn on after that, you kind of do want that multi-generational entertainment that’s got a little something for everybody, maybe slightly risky, with a Christian message. It serves a purpose. And he’s put so many black actors and not writers. But what I would say something that I found out is that like crew people, like basically like if you’re on Tyler Perry crew, if your editor, you’re a gaffer, whatever, for what I understand, you’re making good money, like he’ll pay you in Atlanta, what you would get paid in New York or LA.
So it’s weird. It’s like I have such complex feelings, because obviously, like, he doesn’t employ writers at all, which is pretty clear. Even if you didn’t know that for a fact, I think it’s pretty evident from the work he does employ writers at all. I mean, there’s so much to be said about his content and what some people might think of as like it being harmful or holding black people back or engaging stereotypes, especially stereotypes about black women. I mean, all of that stuff is true. But I do find Tyler Perry interesting as somebody who like has built an honest business what I mean, when I say honest business is like, he knows exactly what people want from him. And he gives it to people consistently. He knew somehow that like if people would watch me playing Medea completely made up character, that people would watch grainy bootleg DVDs and be playing Medea and gospel stage place with their families, they absolutely would buy a 15 $20 movie ticket, they absolutely would go to see me in person, like on tour. And they absolutely would tune in if I was on Oprah. And that was a pretty smart way to build a brand. If you look back at it. That’s what I mean, when I say that Tyler Perry has an honest business. He provides exactly what he has always promised, and there is something compelling about that. That’s where I am today.
Eric Eddings 34:18
It’s almost like I can’t quit him completely. If that makes any sense. Like, you know, to Brittany’s point, there’s so much he’s accomplished so much. And it’s so fascinating how he uses that those accomplishments to facilitate by where there’s growth, his own growth, the growth company where growth is in the medium, whatever, and it’s just so hard to pin down his reasons, you know, saying in terms for any one thing, but you can’t help but be fascinated by it like yeah, it’s one of those people like I respect what he’s accomplished so much and you know, they’re even don’t get twisted. Another big piece of this is that I try to have very complex thoughts about what I want the world to be. And I try to educate myself, I try to really, you know, say, like, do the work of understanding who I want to be in the world, but also try not to be above at all, if that makes any sense. And I think like with Tyler Perry, sometimes people can, like, turn their nose, like the folks who enjoy his content, because of all the things that come along with it. But also, like, we can’t lose the fact that like, people are being moved by this in some way. And I try not to be above I try to meet them where they’re at, would I challenge him to maybe make a few changes? Absolutely. If I had the opportunity, you know, do I think that like, you know, maybe even those people were in his audience deserve a tiny bit better? Absolutely. But guess what they’re happy. And you know, like that, it gives me the thing that I can connect with that, you know, that cousin who I only see at the family reunion or, you know, I’m saying like on will help more recently, the family Zune call or whatever we’re doing, you know, nowadays, like, it gives me that thing that I know, I can connect with him about, you know, and I send my thoughts about everything else related to the movie to the group test, you know. So yeah, you got to respect it, even though you also maybe have to critique it.
Dan Runcie 36:06
100%. I mean, look at how he’s got about just being unapologetic. I think back to that clip that he had with Kenya Barris, where Kenya Barris said something to the effect, you know, I’m always making shows that I’m trying to seek white people’s approval or rotten tomatoes or whatever. Tyler Perry’s, like, I don’t give a fuck about Rotten Tomatoes, or any of this stuff. Like I’m making it for the people I make it for right. And then you see Tyler Perry, like two years later getting honored by the Oscars institution that he totally does not care what they have to say like, and this is how he’s built himself. And there is something amazing with that, right. And, Eric, I do like the point that you brought up regarding how it can be easy for people, especially within, you know, black folks to turn their nose up or look down on the people that clearly enjoy this content. And in some ways, it also makes me think of no different than how in, you know, the most recent election in the primaries, people were turning their nose up at some of the black voters in the south and who they supported as the, you know, Democratic candidate and it’s like, no, like, you can’t just, you know, play this elitistness of how people look at their content. And I think there is, you know, to your point as well, Brittany a beauty and who else can relate. I mean, I’ve talked to my mom about Tyler Perry, and you know, she’s a big woman in her 60s, and you know, she’ll watch beat the browns, and she’s no problem with it. And I think, you know, it’s great that she does that, right. And I think, you know, just being able to have that kind of comment places like okay, yes. Why does this exist? I’m still gonna laugh when somebody takes a clip of it and posts it on Twitter and be like, What the hell was this? But, no.
Brittany Luse 37:47
But no, I mean, to this day, sometimes me my turn off the dinner scene, like the dinner reveal scene from Why did I get married? I mean, you can just turn that on anytime a day. And you’ll be laughing for 50 minutes straight. I’m sorry, that was a good movie. When I first started dating my fiance I think maybe five weeks into us dating five weeks, and I got the flu. And he took care of me, which is like a, you know, thing that definitely set him apart. But the thing is, like, the first thing that he did was turn on why didn’t get married? He was like, Oh, you’re sick a bit. Let me turn on this tell I could have put you in a better place. And he was absolutely right. There’s something about this stuff. It’s just, it’s comforting.
Eric Eddings 38:31
It works. It definitely works
Dan Runcie 38:32
it definitely does. Alright, well, before we let you go. I wanted to talk a bit about hip hop. Of course, this is an area that I do cover with the podcast and it’s just an interesting thing for me because both have my personal interest of someone that like anyone that music I grew up listening to in high school and college definitely will always have a special place for me, but I’m covering now and looking at a lot of people whose music I may not necessarily seek out but I’m still you know, I’m following to make sure that I can, you know, not just be as subjective as I can. But obviously, you know, it’s hard not to do that. But I guess it’s people that are also in the media space. And you know, also you know, I guess I’ll include both hip hop and R&B together, it’d be good to hear you know, what’s your relationship like with current music made by current artists compared to the music that also may have been popular when you were in high school or college? What is that relationship like for you?
Eric Eddings 39:30
It’s funny. We’ve been talking about this a little bit just as a group as a show team, this exact point, at least for me, you know, it’s a really kind of interesting moment because like, I was somebody you know, back in the like, blog era Hip Hop time, you know, I was like, I caught every night right post you know, I’m saying like, I was literally because I google readers, I would make sure to click everyone listens to like first 30 seconds of the mixtape or whatever to see if I liked it, and then you know, kind of come back to listen more later, I got time for it now, you know, like, there’s just too much going on. And so, you know, I found myself at the place where I have learned that like a lot of people get like once they kind of hit their mid-30s actually start apparently retreating to the things that made them most comfortable. So I feel myself doing that, but also, to your point, like I feel conflicted about it, because I’m like, Oh, shit, I’m not trying to tap out, I’m not trying to, like push myself back from the table, you know, I’m still here. And so, you know, I do try to catch some of the kind of newer artists who are kind of coming out and watch, again, for the trends of what I see. And so you’re, I’ll still try to listen a little bit online Fridays when stuff comes out. Like I’m trying to, like hear a little bit, but not all the time, like, there have been folks who have kind of risen above and often it’s the first kind of connected to the people to the artists who I kind of evangelize from a little bit before. So like, Baby Keem, for example, I’ve been like a huge fan of like, you know, some of his like tracks that come out on the album, he obviously you know, his Kendrick’s cousin, you know, but just like that kind of folks who are kind of in the orbit of others that No, I can feel most confident about in terms of whether the sound is going to be kind of what I’m looking for. Because also hip hop is really changing. And like, you know, it’s changing around me in a way that I don’t always connect with, but I respect that power and the fact that like, you know, it’s a living breathing thing, it’s gonna become something else. And so, you know, I’m trying to understand a little bit of the trajectory of kind of where they’re going to be able to just understand how my relationship to it is changing. So yeah, it’s a complicated time. I’m not like, I think I told Brittany this at this moment, listen to more r&b than I have ever in my life.
Dan Runcie 41:41
Are we talking about modern like R&B artists or like R&B back in the day,
Eric Eddings 41:45
All of it, I’m talking about, you know, like, everything from the help that rerelease, hotels to, you know, Jazmine Sullivan, to you know, going back, and I have literally I call it like, oh, people cookout music, their playlist has been good, that placement, plenty of work for me, you know, so it really runs the range. And some of that comes from just like the volatility of the world right now, you know, but I don’t want to say that, like, I don’t know, I think Hip Hop reflects more than what we can consume. And so what I have been seeing recently has sometimes stressed me out, you know, and so I found myself leaning on other genres, but I do still have hope that they’re gonna swing back, and there’s probably gonna be somebody else Hill, everybody’s talking about Kendrick coming back this year. So maybe, you know, he can inspire some folks, we’ll see. Because, sorry, I rambled
Brittany Luse 42:28
As far as music. So I really like music that I can sing along to and kind of what Eric was saying. Like, I like to say things that like, especially like I like listening to, at this point in my life, rap and hip hop, that makes me feel aspirational. And I feel like female rappers right now are the only people who are rapping about things that actually you’d want to do. They’re like, oh, I want you know, they’re basically like, I want to have sex with a really hot guy. I want to make a lot of money. I want to buy expensive things. And I want to go on a trip. I’m like, wow, yeah. I mean, I identify with that until like, they say, a really poetic way. And they put a great beat. I’m like, This is what I’m talking about this. I understand. They’re always just like, I’m so flying. So cute. I’m so beautiful. I’m gonna have it? To me, this never goes out of style. I think that sometimes when I hear some of the young, these young men, everything is like Xanny, Xanny, Xanny. And my thought is like, I know, I’m getting really getting older because I’m just like, Oh, my God, they are stressing me out. Like, are you drinking water? Are you taking breaks? Do you have a trip, buddy? Like, you should not be taking all these empty bars by yourself and being in a club, and I tell anybody is not safe. But also like, some, like, I want to listen to things that are gonna like make me feel good or ease my stress. And I think to Eric’s point, right now, I don’t feel like listening to a lot of younger male artists at this point eases my stress. That’s not to say that I don’t think there are quite a few people that I hear that I’m like, oh, man, that sounds really good. That sounds interesting. But I also don’t follow music as much as I used to when I was younger, I was kind of into like, some of like the block hip hop. I used to follow a blind eye for the kids. And I was always downloading all the stuff and listening to it. And it was fun. But like, I didn’t have like the type of bills I have. Now. I have more energy. I’m tired now. And so I think even sometimes deciding to try something new feels like it can take energy out of me when I’m like I can just go straight to something that I know that I’m really going to enjoy. So because I love music that I can sing along to. I have always been a pretty strong r&b listener. My parents are really an r&b I’ve actually found myself enjoying present r&b and real like real good singers like a Jazmine Sullivan Ari Lennox, JoJo, like people who really can think I do like to listen to music. I love pop. But you know, speaking specifically, to slightly close up. I’ve been listening to a lot of older r&b stuff that like I will hear on like a 70s mix or something like that. And it’ll like take me back to being in a car of my parents on a Saturday night coming home from one of their friend’s parties, hearing like a quiet storm set on the radio, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, I haven’t heard the song in 25 years.
Like, I’ve been listening to a lot of that stuff. And I don’t know, it just puts me in a good state. And I feel like some of it really just speaks to my emotions, maybe that I’m experiencing as in like, as I’m getting deeper into adulthood as I’m like a real adult now at 34 when I wasn’t really 27, 24, 22. I think that there’s like a, I don’t know, like something about where the melody hits. The lyrical complexity is just I don’t know, I understand basically, now are my parents were like 35, 40. And listening to Angela Bofill. Late at night, driving workplaces. So I mean, but what I will say is that my opinion on what music is popping right now, I’m actually I don’t care that much about my opinion, even if I don’t listen to everything. I really want to know what young people are responding to. Because I think what they think of their music is a lot more important than what I think of their music. Like, it’s fine to me that like, I don’t connect with it, because it’s not meant I’m not meant to connect with it. Like my time of wearing you know, as the kids say, like the Olivia Pope business casual in the club, I had a stat investment for over 21. I worked for a party at Rutgers in 2007. Those days are behind me, thankfully. But yeah, I think I don’t know. That’s what part is more like tick tock tick tock, like playlists, or even just like seeing what’s hot on the charts. Keeps me up with like, artists that young people are super into. And also even sometimes on TikTok, there’ll be people who are way younger than me, like 1015 years younger, who like to make Top Five artists I’m listening to right now. And I get to hear snippets of their music. Like, I’m just interested in what they think about their music, because like, honestly, what they think about their music and how it speaks to them. That says a lot more to me about their, like, where culture is headed, and what they’re into that like me listening to something and being like, What the hell is this? You know, I’m Auntie now and it’s fine.
Dan Runcie 47:09
Yeah, that’s the exact point there. I think that I, like, in my view, group chats, people will do this thing. Every year, someone will post the annual XXL freshman class, and then they’re like, Hey, do y’all even know when you these names in here? And I’m like, bro, you’re 39 with you. They’re not meant for you. Like, yeah, this literally isn’t meant for you. And so I think about that piece, right? And maybe even more. So now. It’s like, I think that some of these artists the same way that media general is just becoming more niche, they know, their audience, they’re leaning into it even more. So that may be some of the forced mass marketing that they would have been pushed to do, you know, 20, 30 years ago before.
Eric Eddings 47:49
To your point, they’re smarter, you know, saying you don’t need to, and also how people think about what a hugely successful career in music is different and slightly now, you know, like, there is not actually the same scale as there used to be or if that scale exists is only for a much smaller amount of folks. So like, I think people are coming into the game. Now, the game sound like I’m trying to be cool, but like, people are coming into hip hop now trying to, you know, like, sustain themselves and have a long career as opposed to always being, you know, trying to necessarily be like the person at like, the top the charts. And I think that actually is really great. I think because again, the sustaining is a part that is really interesting, because we’ve seen so many of our, you know, favorite rappers or musicians period just kind of like burn themselves out or get burned by the industry. And then they, you know, disappear after a few albums. So yeah, you know, like the like, I’m still shocked futures is produced it, you know, he’s had a long career, but like, I think there are a lot of.
Brittany Luse 48:48
Eric Eddings 48:51
But yeah, there’s so many others. I’m like, I want them to be able to have the longevity in this space, especially a lot of the female rappers out here now, I am excited to see them. So in control of the business as well, because of how, like, you know, they’re smarter about what that’s going to protect for them later on. Man is like getting her shit together. She learned about the run me off the paint. Like, I know what the contract the paper is supposed to
Eric Eddings 49:18
The sauce was good. It was good.
Brittany Luse 49:19
It was it was great. Yeah.
Dan Runcie 49:23
Oh, man, we could talk about, you know, hip hop all day. But I know we’ve run out of time. But before we let you go, I feel like that last point you made was probably a good note to just tie things up, right? People are getting smarter about knowing their audiences leaning into it. And I think that speaks a lot to what you both have been able to build over the years with For Colored Nerds with The Nod and then you know, back with for color nerds. Again, I think that having an audience that has been with you this long, just speaks to the work that you’ve done in all of the that goes into it. So thank you again for coming on. And I mean, both as a listener and as a fellow podcaster, it’s been great to watch both of your charity. Thank you. It was great.
Eric Eddings 50:05
last night. Yeah, seriously,
Brittany Luse 50:07
You do great work/ You made this infographic like a flowchart about ESA raised businesses and how they Yeah, like how each one feeds the other. Like talking about why she still has the Patreon how she’s thinking about radio and this was probably like three or four years ago or something like that. It was like instant follow. So it’s cool to be here with you
Dan Runcie 50:31
Thank you. That means a lot. Really appreciate it, really appreciate it.
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