Inside Pop

Inside Pop is the weekly podcast that dives deep ​inside the world of pop culture. Television producers Amita Patel and Sean David Johnson bring their knowledge of the entertainment industry and their passion for pop culture to cover the stories you need to know about and care about. Together this dynamic duo brings a welcome diversity (they are African American and Indian American; Male and Female, Gay and Straight, Married and Single and wannabe residents of Sunnydale, CA and Dillon, TX) into the pop culture podcasting landscape.

Inside Pop Ep. 111- Black Panther Box Office records, Janelle Monae, Musicians turned Actors, Vulfpeck

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Inside Pop

We can't help but discuss Black Panther again- from the shattered box office records to the worldwide reaction-Wakanda Forever!

Plus, Christmas came early with the 30 second teaser trailer for Janelle Monae's latest 'emotion picture' Dirty Computer. We speculate on when we'll get new music from Monae, and some of the themes in the trailer.

Then, we discuss musicians who became actors- some successfully and some...not so much.

And Amita gives her review of the Atlantic article about Black Panther Costume Designer Ruth Carter and sells Sean on a feel good funk album from the band, Vulfpeck.

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Inside Pop Ep. 110- Black Panther Special, Hamilton's Hamildrops

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From the moment the Black Panther cast took a group selfie at Comic Con the anticipation and expectations for this film began to grow; and over the past year the buzz has reached a fever pitch (especially for these two podcast hosts). Well, the film has arrived and Inside Pop is devoting this episode to everything Wakanda!

We share our review of the film (just moments after seeing a special screening) and discuss the highlights and the themes that most resonated with us.

Then we review the soundtrack for the film which is curated by Kendrick Lamar and features Lamar, Sza, 2 Chains, Jorja Smith and Khalid.

The only way we would divert from our Black Panther deep dive is to review last week's Hamilton related Big Sell.

And Sean ends this episode with a Black Panther related Big Sell which he hopes will help Amita appreciate the film even more than she already does.

Wakanda Forever!

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Inside Pop Ep. 109 - Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake, This Is Us

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It's the day when Pop Culture fans and Sports fans join forces to create what feels like a national holiday! In this episode, we dive into the Superbowl and discuss:

The pre game turn up in Philly that Sean experienced first hand
Justin Timberlake's Halftime performance (guess which Inside Pop co-host couldn't even bring himself to watch the entire thing)
The Prince tribute that should've happened
Then, we seamlessly segue into a review of Timberlake's latest release, Man of the Woods.

Plus, Amita reviews one of the most heartbreaking hours on television, the post Super Bowl episode of This Is Us.

And finally in the Big Sell, Amita reviews an essay on Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. And speaking of sports - she pitches a softball to Sean with a Hamilton inspired Big Sell.

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Inside Pop Ep. 108 - Oscar Nominations, Black Panther, Kelela

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It's been a long, strange, sometimes underwhelming trip to the Oscar Nominations but we're here to share our immediate reactions. We give you our thoughts on why certain movies are heading to the red carpet and others got snubbed and we also try to make sense of why the film Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri has become a frontrunner. We celebrate nominations for Get Out, The Big Sick, Logan, Mudbound and Lady Bird and share our gratitude to whomever was genius enough to book Tiffany Haddish to announce the nominations.

Plus Sean makes his case for why Black Panther should have received an Oscar nomination THIS year! He's not joking!

And we end the show with The Big Sell. Sean rates Amita's Big Sell from last time, Kelela's "Frontline," and then Big Sells Amita an article by Alissa Wilkinson (one of his favorite culture critics) on the backlash against Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. Read it HERE

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Inside Pop Ep. 107- #TimesUp, Golden Globes, Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Cardi B, Bruno Mars

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This week, Hollywood flexed its social justice muscle once again when it turned the 75th Golden Globes ceremony into a rally for gender equality. We'll debate the effectiveness of the black clad ceremony and revel in the glory of Oprah Winfrey's memorable speech.

Then, we'll review new songs by some of the biggest stars in music including Bruno Mars and Cardi B's "Finesse (Remix)," Kendrick Lamar and SZA's collaboration, "All the Stars," from the upcoming Black Panther film and Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl appetizer, "Filthy."

Plus, Amita reviews last week's Big Sell, the uplifting new age song by Laraaji, "I Can Only Bliss Out (F' Days)" and then Big Sells Sean on a new song by Kelela.

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Inside Pop Ep. 106 - Black Mirror, The Chi, Forgotten Films of 2017 with Dave Karger, Pop Culture Resolutions

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Guests: 
Dave Karger

Did you resolve to put more time and energy into staying on top of the best pop culture stories of the week? Lucky for you, The Pop Insiders are here to help you keep that resolution with our brand new episode!

First, we give our spoiler free reviews of the new Lena Waithe Showtime drama - The Chi (please feel free to listen and then correct our pronunciation of the title of this show) and the first episode of the new season of Black Mirror.

Then we speak with IMDb special correspondent and frequent Today Show awards commentator - Dave Karger - about the movies of 2017 that may not be front-runners for the big awards, but are definitely worthy of your attention. From Detroit to Wonderstruck to Downsizing, Dave will tell you why you should give these flicks a second - or maybe first chance.

We also share our pop culture resolutions for the new year and hold each other accountable for how successful we were in keeping our 2017 resolutions.

And the Big Sell returns - Sean recommends (wait for it) a new new age song (nope that isn't a typo) to start Amita's year off on an optimistic and blissful note.

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Inside Pop Ep. 105- Best Movie Performances of 2017

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We have spent hours upon hours sitting in dark theaters watching some of the most talked about films of the year and are ready to share our final "Best of" list of 2017!

This year, we're focusing on the performances that captivated us, made us laugh, cry and gave us all the feels. From Daniel Kaluuya's portrayal as a boyfriend slowly awakening to the horrors of his girlfriend's family in Get Out to Saoirse Ronan playing a emotional teenager in Lady Bird, to the complex relationship between Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in Logan, 2017 has gifted us with some incredible performances by some of our favorite actors and a few new faces as well.

Amita's Favorite Performances:

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Michael Stuhlbarg in Call Me By Your Name
Read how Michael Stuhlbarg and Director Luca Guadagnino crafted this pivotal scene here
Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick
Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Betty Gabriel in Get Out
Allison Janney in I, Tonya
Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Sean's Favorite Performances:

Patrick Stewart & Hugh Jackman in Logan
Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name
Jason Mitchell in Mudbound
Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water

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Inside Pop Ep. 104- Best Music of 2017

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This year we’ve listened to countless hours of new albums and songs and attended dozens of concerts and are now ready to declare our favorite music of 2017! Listen to this very special year-end episode to hear us discuss the artists who delivered music that inspired us, informed us, entertained us, made us want to dance and put us in that special mood!

We also discuss our favorite singles of the year, our most memorable concerts and the new music we’re craving in 2018.

Our favorite albums list includes:

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

Jay-Z – 4:44

Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Check out her video for Blk Girl Soldier )

Khalid – American Teen (Check out his video for Location)

Gorillaz – Humanz

Miguel – War X Leisure (Check out his video for Told You So)

Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black

Earl St. Clair – My Name Is Earl

Sampha – Process (Check out his video for (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano)

SZA – CTRL

Lorde – Melodrama (Listen to Liability)

Valerie June – Order of Time (Watch her live performance of Order of Time)

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Inside Pop Ep. 103 - Best TV of 2017

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The time has come…we’ve watched countless hours of television and have narrowed them down to our top 10 favorite TV shows of the year! And to kick things up a notch- we’re sharing the scenes from the exceptional shows that inspired us, made us laugh out loud, brought us to tears and made our hearts flutter. From network to cable to streaming platforms, horror to comedy to sci-fi, this year has given us unique story lines, captivating visuals and incredible characters.

We also take time to mention the TV shows we wish we checked out and the ones we regret watching.

Check out our 10 Best TV of 2017 below along with links to some of the scenes we discuss in this episode.

SEAN’S TOP 10

10. Broad City

9. Godless

8. Twin Peaks

7. black-ish

6. Master of None

5. The Exorcist

Scene from ‘Help Me’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t3McZvFnHs
4. The Handmaid’s Tale

3. Queen Sugar

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Ralph Angel” scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o6L9Z1yoy0
2. Fargo

Winnie and Gloria Scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fVX_70aVUo
1. Sense8

Prison Break scene:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmGJ5mO8ngY
AMITA’S TOP 10
10. Will & Grace

9. This is Us

8. Fargo

Tree Stump Bloodbath:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4qgTpslsCA
7. Game of Thrones

Cuthroat Stark Sisters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWxzRm9uf1s
6. Insecure

5. Better Caul Saul

Chuck’s Monologue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RtOgIgDrvk
4. Big Little Lies

3. Queen Sugar

2. Master of None

1. The Handmaid’s Tale

Let us know which shows made it to the top of your list!

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Inside Pop Ep. 102 - Life Defining Music, National African American Museum

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This is our final regular episode of the year and we are both sharing AND caring!

First Sean shares his experience visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He describes what it likes to visit this incredible new museum and discusses some of the amazing pop culture featured in the exhibits.

Then Amita and Sean revisit one of their favorite segments of the past year and share their discussion of the music by some of their favorite female singers that has defined pivotal moments in their lives. Whether grappling with life in the closet, coping with feeling like an outsider, celebrating the joy of a new found independence or discovering a strengthening friendship we highlight the music that has provided an essential soundtrack to our lives. Our "Defining Divas" include Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill and BOTH Knowles sisters - Beyonce and Solange.

And then Sean rates the final big sell of the year - the single "Underdog" by singer/songwriter Banks.

And finally Amita and Sean preview their upcoming year end specials! We're preparing our lists for the best TV, Music and Film of the year and have a few surprising choices in store!

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