Pop Tradition Completely happy Hour hosts share what’s bringing them pleasure. : NPR

Black Thought (left) and Hazard Mouse.

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

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Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

Black Thought (left) and Hazard Mouse.

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

This week, we requested to see your pet art work, watched a loopy megafan spiral on Swarm, and traced generations of 1 mathematician’s descendants.

Here is what the NPR’s Pop Tradition Completely happy Hour crew was taking note of — and what you must take a look at this weekend.



I lately revisited one in all my favourite documentaries, Spellbound, which got here out in 2002. It follows a bunch of children who’re competing within the 1999 Nationwide Spelling Bee. We even have the film on DVD, as a result of it is a film that I wish to revisit. I used to be a aggressive speller as a toddler. I now have a child who’s sufficiently old to do spelling bees and simply certified for her first school-wide spelling bee, so we determined to observe it as a household.

And man, this film is, like, good. It is completely structured. There’s the correct amount of pressure. It is so emotionally resonant. You actually get to know the youngsters and their households, and you’re feeling the stakes. I discover new issues each time I watch it, and it makes me assume a lot about class in America, and social mobility and race and parenting and what success seems like in America, particularly for kids of immigrants, which I’m. It is bought all of it. I cried. I laughed. I might watch this film, I feel each week. I by no means get sick of it.

—Wailin Wong

Black Thought and Hazard Mouse’s Cheat Codes

I am just a little sluggish to the sport right here, however I have been actually binging onerous on Hazard Mouse and Black Thought’s album Cheat Codes. It’s extraordinary. My son is the one who’s actually into hip-hop tradition, and he is aware of a lot about it. He is actually self-taught. He is 16, and the place we are able to actually bond, we discovered, is by listening to his music collectively. With all of the call-outs, all of the samples, and all of the little Easter eggs which might be in these actually brilliantly structured songs, he is capable of say, “Hey, Dad, what’s ‘Harlem Nights’? What’s ‘Billy Bathgate’? What’s Cole Porter and Akira Kurosawa?” All of those persons are identify dropped, in order that to me has been extraordinary.

We, collectively, discovered about The Final Poets and The Watts Prophets, as a result of that was kind of identify dropped on this album. I used to be capable of lookup all these poets, and we learn their poetry. We talked concerning the scenario on the finish of the ’60’s that triggered an increase of this inventive expression. All of that is primarily based on an excellent, tight set executed by the producer Hazard Mouse and Black Thought from The Roots, and it brings me nearer to my son. Something that helps me be extra cool and fewer tedious for my child is nice, and likewise makes me smarter. It is like we’re capable of discuss stuff that we’re each obsessed with. We each broaden our worlds just a little bit.

— Walter Chaw

That is Pop


This Is Pop is a Canadian sequence that aired in 2021 on CTV and has since dropped on Netflix. It is this pretty mild and generally aesthetically inconsistent docuseries about numerous pop phenomenons. Some episodes have a bunch narrator, whereas others do not. There’s additionally some tacky aesthetic decisions, together with actors performing out the music “Chief of the Pack” by Shangri-Las, which is sort of a basic music. The visuals that they added to it have been just a little tacky.

General, I discovered it actually pleasant and informative. It takes these numerous phenomenons and tries to convey just a little bit extra context and nuance to issues that we’re all accustomed to however possibly have not thought an excessive amount of about. A few of my favourite episodes embrace one on Boyz II Males’s affect on the boy band tradition of the late ’90’s. It actually breaks down how they have been sort of in some ways immediately accountable for all of those white boy bands who bought even larger and got here after them, together with NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. It options interviews with truly three of the Boyz II Males, the remaining members of the group, and I discovered that basically enjoyable and nostalgic. There’s additionally one about auto-tune and T-Ache, which is absolutely fascinating. One other favourite of mine is concerning the Brit pop scene, which might be one of many episodes I knew the least about going into it, however they actually cowl this kind of Oasis-Blur second that was taking place within the ’90’s.

— Aisha Harris

@nounverbed on Twitter

I performed quite a lot of the online game Elden Ring when it got here out. I performed it so much, which meant I died so much. That is the sport. You die so much. That is what the sport is understood for. It is also recognized for what occurs to you while you die. You see your crumpled physique on this wonderful fantasy setting, after which these massive blood pink capital letters with simply the phrases “YOU DIE” come up on the display screen. The Twitter account @nounverbed is an train in simplicity. It simply takes a screenshot of Elden Ring. However as a substitute of “YOU DIE,” it takes a random mixture of nouns and verbs and places them in the identical blood pink, all caps, dying font.

It is an algorithm, so it is random. They don’t seem to be all going to be winners. Do not count on it. “PLURALITY LOCKED.” That is nothing. “STANZA HOPED.” What does that imply? That is nothing. It is phrase salad. “CARCERAL STATE JOGGED.” You are losing my time.

However then generally, solely generally, you get one thing that simply has a little bit of one thing. I can not clarify why I like it, however like, “NARRATION SUCKED. INTERCOURSE BORED. SPOONS CHEERED. NOODLE LOVED.” I can not clarify it, however this little jolt of randomness popping up in my feed, I do not know why, however I discover it sort of weirdly heartening.

— Glen Weldon

NPR’s Teresa Xie tailored the Pop Tradition Completely happy Hour phase “What’s Making Us Completely happy” right into a digital web page. Should you like these solutions, contemplate signing up for our publication to get suggestions each week. And take heed to Pop Tradition Completely happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


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