Have You Heard George's Podcast?

Have You Heard George's Podcast?

The award-winning and critically-acclaimed podcast from George the Poet delivers a fresh take on inner city life through a mix of storytelling, music and fiction.

Episodes

April 12, 2024 44 mins

George talks to John Wilson about some of his most formative cultural influences including the grammar school that taught him the essay-writing skills he still puts to use when making his podcast. He reveals how Tupac Shakur’s 1998 song Changes ignited his interest in hip hop, and discusses the impact of rap and grime on his own verse. He also remembers how his local community radio station gave him his first break and encouraged t...

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In Uganda’s capital city, a young cab driver forms an unlikely bond with a sex worker during the crippling lockdown of 2021. They are both forced to make tough decisions.

Written by George the Poet Produced by Benbrick & George the Poet Original Music and Sound Design by Benbrick.

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December 15, 2023 40 mins

George responds to audience questions taken from Common Ground, the platform he co-created in Chapter 3. Listeners discuss everything from art to race using prompts from previous episodes, reaffirming the importance of the artist/audience relationship.

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December 1, 2023 26 mins

Shaken by the passing of his grandmother, George reflects on the post-colonial struggles of her generation. 1970s Jamaica provides an early case study of the weaponised debt that went on to re-colonise much of the global South. A look back on previous episodes illuminates patterns of exploitation and extraction across African/Western relations. This is the global context that frames the questionable role of the International Moneta...

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November 17, 2023 27 mins

When keeping it real goes…wrong? For a moment in the seventies, Jamaican democracy produced an ambitious plan to end inequality between countries. But when the island’s socialist leader, Michael Manley, flew too close to the sun, he got burnt. What was the New International Economic Order? Why did it rattle Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan so much? On this fast-paced tour of Jamaican history, George looks back at the rise and fa...

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November 10, 2023 27 mins

When is a breakup not a breakup? When your ex controls every aspect of your life. After walking through the freedom struggles of Ghana and the Congo in previous episodes, George turns his attention towards the “former” French colonies of West and Central Africa. What happens when freedom is gifted conditionally, not won through revolution? Is all independence created equal?

Written by George the Poet Produced by Benbrick and George ...

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October 27, 2023 21 mins

The power of Western languages over African economies is undeniable, and nowhere is this more obvious than in Black music. Despite "Francophone” meaning French-speaking, across Africa, it signifies so much more. George looks at the power dynamics between the English-speaking world, the French-speaking world and the Africans forced to navigate both. How did these languages become so important? And what do they reveal about the lega...

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October 20, 2023 24 mins

After achieving independence, Ghana gave support to freedom fighters across Africa. What went wrong?

Written by George the Poet. Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet. Original score by Benbrick and recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Sound Design by Benbrick.

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October 13, 2023 26 mins

With enemies lurking in every corner, Patrice Lumumba is trapped in his own home. As the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo, he planned to use the country’s natural wealth to improve the lives of its people, but secret actions by the US and Belgian governments stopped that from happening. These actions give a small indication of how far empires will go to hold onto power.

Written by George the Poet Produced by ...

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October 6, 2023 27 mins

Before Nigeria took over the African music scene, the Democratic Republic of Congo had us in a chokehold. But just like its minerals, the country’s music has yet to produce an industry that eases the economic suffering of its people, despite decades of supply and demand. Why? George goes to the genesis of the DRC’s economic reality by exploring the rise of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first prime minister.

Written by George The Poet Pro...

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September 29, 2023 23 mins

Too many people don’t know that Ghana was the first African country to break free from colonial rule. Why does that matter? How could it not? Control of Africa’s resources keeps the rich world rich. What would happen if Ghana’s example set off an anti-colonial cascade across the continent? George revisits the country’s freedom struggle through the rise of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president.

Written by George the Poet. Produced b...

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September 28, 2023 31 secs

Since its rise to international acclaim, the multi-award-winning "Have You Heard George’s Podcast?" has remained famously undefinable. In its explosive new season, however, this finally changes, as George the Poet pieces together fragments of the African and Caribbean independence struggles.

Poignant tales of strength and sacrifice frame some of the most important yet least discussed events of the last six decades, from the perspec...

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September 16, 2021 32 mins

Over one billion Africans on the continent. 200 million in the diaspora. 18% of the world’s population. Thousands of artists with a gazillion listeners every day. What will it take for Black music to truly liberate Black people?

Warning: This episode contains very strong language and language that may offend.

Credits:

Written by George the Poet Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet Mixing, recording and editing by Benbrick.

Soundtr...

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September 9, 2021 32 mins

As a soon-to-be-married man, George reflects on all the things that made him propose to his partner, Sandra. He thinks about teamwork and the value of culture, sharing what he has learned about both through the transition from friendship to relationship to marriage.

Credits:

Written by George the Poet Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet Mixing, recording and editing by Benbrick.

With music from:

WizKid - True Love Benbrick - Memor...

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September 2, 2021 31 mins

There was a moment, somewhere between the 1980s and 1990s, when Black music turned gangsta. This moment shaped two of the world’s most influential genres: American Rap and Jamaican Dancehall. The story behind the music is one of oppressed Africans unlocking the ancient powers of their ancestors to break free. The dark side of this story is that many of those Africans, descended from slaves, embraced the pattern of violence that had...

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August 26, 2021 30 mins

R&B music has changed. It was once the soundtrack of love, but is now more like a journal of pain. Through this music, George tracks the breakdown of the African American family since the 1970s. He discovers that higher poverty and incarceration rates among African Americans left a generation of children to fend for themselves. By the 1990s Gangsta rappers were displaying disrespect to women - and the market loved it and reward...

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August 19, 2021 29 mins

The 1960s was a mad time for Black people. It was a mad time for the world, but especially for Black people. The African Independence movement boosted morale but quickly descended into cut-throat strongman politics. Meanwhile, the American Civil Rights movement empowered new voices but failed to eliminate racism. Both ended in violence. George revisits the birth of Uganda through the story of his grandfather - Andrew Frederick Mpan...

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August 12, 2021 30 mins

At the end of 2020, George proposed to his girlfriend, Sandra, after one year of dating. Well, technically it was after years of friendship then one year of dating. When the two met as teenagers at a Ugandan event, they were both finding their place in the world. For George, Uganda provided answers that Britain couldn't. Like many in their generation, he and Sandra developed a pattern of holidaying in the Motherland before returnin...

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August 5, 2021 30 mins

In his teens, “Gangsta for life” was the signature war-cry sung by one of George’s favourite singers - Mavado. But after Mavado’s epic clash with rival, Vybz Kartel, George saw the line as a mentality...one that had empowered and terrorised Jamaicans for decades. Music, money and murder all feature in this complex case study of Black urban street culture.

Warning: This episode discusses adult themes and has some graphic descriptions...

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July 29, 2021 29 mins

Once upon a time, the General Public pinned their hopes, dreams and issues on the Entertainment Industry. Society stalked celebs, music moved millions, and the industry expanded endlessly. Where did this obsession start?

Warning: This episode contains strong language and adult themes.

Credits:

Written by George the Poet Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet Mixing, recording and editing by Benbrick.

With music from:

Mahalia - What Yo...

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