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It's Been a Minute


Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident. If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at


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Has it been a minute since you heard a thought-provoking conversation about culture? Brittany Luse wants to help. Each week, she takes the things everyone's talking about and, in conversation with her favorite creators, tastemakers, and experts, gives you new ways to think about them. Beyond the obvious takes. Because culture doesn't happen by accident. If you can't get enough, try It's Been a Minute Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at




Fighting back against spams, scams and schemes

It's not just you – the constant texts, calls, emails and DMs from scammers are invading so many of our lives. And when the scams are successful, there's often no recourse at all. So how do we protect ourselves from these schemers? Host Brittany Luse talks first to Laci Mosley, host of a podcast called 'Scam Goddess,' about how even a scam queen can become a victim. Then, Brittany chats with Susan Tompor, money columnist at the Detroit Free Press, about how these scams work, what's being...


The 'vanilla girl' trend shows that beauty is power

If you're more than a casual observer on the interwebs, you've probably heard the term, "chronically online" – someone who knows the ins and outs of viral trends, memes and memorable moments. But sometimes you can get too deep in the Matrix. That's why our new segment, Chronically Online, is here to find the balance. To kick it off, host Brittany Luse chats with Buzzfeed News internet reporter Steffi Cao about her essay, "white women want their power back: on bbls and balletcore, and the...


Breaking down the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon

It's basically spring - which means wedding season is starting to rev up. And no one does weddings quite like Jennifer Lopez - both on-screen and off. Host Brittany Luse is joined by New York Magazine features writer Rachel Handler to break down J.Lo's wedding planning movies (the Jennifer Lopez Wedding Industrial Complex Canon), how they add to J.Lo's brand, and what they say about our investment in the real-life wedding industrial complex.


Surviving long COVID three years into the pandemic

It's been three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. And according to the CDC, out of all the American adults who have had COVID — and that's a lot of us — one in five went on to develop long COVID symptoms. While so many are struggling with this new disease, it can be hard for people to know what to do to take care of themselves. The Long COVID Survival Guide aims to give people struggling with long COVID practical solutions and emotional support to...


Silicon Valley Bank and the sordid history of 'Palo Alto'

Even after Silicon Valley Bank crumbled and tech workers have been laid off in the thousands, Silicon Valley is still surrounded by a mythos of progress and futurity. Host Brittany Luse talks to author Malcolm Harris about his new book, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World, to break down how that mythos was built, the dark underbelly underneath it, and why the tech industry is a microcosm of American capitalism. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email...


The key to EGOT-ing with John Legend

John Legend has permeated the culture for over two decades. His music has racked up billions of plays and he and his wife regularly make headlines when they bring us into some of their happiest and most vulnerable moments as a family. Today, we're looking back on his rise to fame, his most creative project, and what keeps him coming back to the ivory keys. Brittany also brings on the fun with an EGOT game of trivia. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at


How Hollywood squeezed out women directors; plus, what's with the rich jerks on TV?

In nearly 100 years, the Oscar award for Best Director has only gone to three women. The film industry as a whole has been heavily dominated by men, but it wasn't always this way. Ahead of Academy Awards, Brittany chops it up with Maya Montañez Smukler, author of Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema, to discuss the state of women directors and how the industry systematically shifted them out of the spotlight. Then, we ask Chicago Tribune TV...


Marilyn Monroe was more than just 'Blonde'

In the six decades since Marilyn Monroe passed away, Hollywood has not let her go. Actresses have portrayed her in countless films and there have been more than 15 biopics dedicated to the late icon. Ahead of the Academy Awards, Ana de Armas has been getting Oscar buzz for playing Marilyn 'Blonde.' However, one critic finds this role, this film, and these stereotypes deeply problematic. Host Brittany Luse is joined by culture critic Angelica Jade Bastién to talk about Marilyn's...


What's real about The Real Housewives?

What makes The Real Housewives peak culture – as in the #1 topic in the group chat – for so many people? Host Brittany Luse and producer Liam McBain descend into the depths of Bravocon – the Bravo convention – to find out. They talk to fans, a producer, and the Housewives themselves to understand how the franchise became a cultural juggernaut. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at


Keyla Monterroso Mejia embraces cringe as comedy's newest star

Keyla Monterroso Mejia is a dramedy star on the rise. She made audiences cringe with laughter in Curb Your Enthusiasm playing Maria Sofia Estrada and then passed the vibe check as the chaotic teacher's aide Ashley Garcia on Abbott Elementary. And to top it all off, she's leading the new Netflix show, Freeridge. Host Brittany Luse sits down with Keyla to talk about her comedic characters, her new leading role, and betting on yourself. You can watch the full video interview here. You can...


Fear, Florida, and The 1619 Project

How should U.S history be told, and who gets to tell it? Debate over these questions has raged for years – but nowhere is it more pronounced right now than in Florida. This week, Brittany Luse chats with NPR's Giulia Heyward to get the download on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent efforts to ban AP African American studies in his state. Then, Brittany sits down with Dorothy Roberts, a legal scholar and sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Leslie Alexander, a historian at...


Ross Gay on inciting joy while dining with sorrow

Looking for joy? Then it might be worth exploring your sorrow, complications and mess. In his latest collection of essays, Inciting Joy, poet Ross Gay reconsiders the breadth of joy, arguing that it can be found – and even strengthened – in life's hardest moments, when we must rely on one another. This week, host Brittany Luse sits down with Gay to discuss the complexity of joy, the beauty of grace and creating meaning in life. You can follow us on Twitter @ItsBeenAMin or email us at...


Kelela's guide for breaking up with men

If you haven't stepped into an underground club in the last decade, you might be forgiven if you don't know Kelela. But the Washington, D.C. native has had a seismic impact on dance music since she broke into the scene in 2013. Now, after a six-year hiatus, Kelela is out with her fourth and latest record, 'Raven' – and with it, she's remaking the future of dance music. This week, host Brittany Luse sits down with Kelela to discuss Black queer liberation, and how she hopes this record helps...


Unlocking desire through smut; plus, the gospel of bell hooks

This week, we're asking: do the fantasies we read in romance novels say anything about what we want in our real-life relationships? Devoted readers share how the genre has impacted their love lives. Host Brittany Luse also sits down with writer Rebekah Weatherspoon to learn how she builds a world of desire. Then, we talk to Dr. E. Gale Greenlee, teacher-scholar in residence at the bell hooks center in Berea Kentucky, about lasting impact of bell hooks' work, and how she changed the way we...


Hot and kinda bothered by 'Magic Mike'; plus Penn Badgley on bad boys

The scintillating strip sensation is back! 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' hits theaters this weekend – and to celebrate, we're talking about male dancers in the media and in the clubs. Our host Brittany Luse sits down with sociologist Dr. Katy Pilcher, to talk about female desire and what it means that a whole family can enjoy a male strip revue together. Then, Brittany talks to Penn Badgley, the star of Netflix's 'YOU.' He reflects on playing bad guys for the last 15 years, what a murderer can...


Everything leading up to Rihanna's Halftime Show

This weekend Rihanna will perform on the world's biggest stage as the halftime headliner at the Super Bowl. Yet, in 2019 she turned down the gig because she said there were things within the NFL she could not support. Brittany sits down with Gene Demby, host of NPR's Code Switch, to discuss if Rihanna's previous concerns were addressed and why she might need to step up to the mic. You can find more of Gene's reporting on the NFL by checking out NPR's Code Switch. You can follow us on...


The loneliness and longing of Luther Vandross; plus Grammy winner Samara Joy

From "A House Is Not A Home" to "The Glow of Love," Luther Vandross' music has become a staple for weddings, family reunions and graduations. While Luther changed the sound of R&B, brought ballads to epic new heights and influenced countless musicians, he somehow doesn't have the same icon status as some of his collaborators and contemporaries like Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin. 20 years after Luther's last live concert, Brittany is joined by Craig Seymour, author of "Luther: The Life...


George Santos and the great American tradition of "self-making"

New York Congressman George Santos has been embroiled in controversy since the day he stepped into office in November. The New York Times and other publications have reported that much of the Republican lawmaker's alleged resume – from where he went to college to his supposed time at Goldman Sachs – cannot be backed up with evidence. In this episode, rather than dig into what is true or false, host Brittany Luse asks why someone would embellish their resume in the first place. Author Tara...


Saying goodbye to Pikachu and Ash, plus how Pokémon changed media forever

It's the end of an era. After more than 25 years, The Pokémon Company is closing the book on the adventures of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. To celebrate the cultural impact of this dynamic duo – and of the Pokémon franchise – Brittany Luse sits down with actor Sarah Natochenny, who's voiced Ash since 2006. Sarah talks about growing up with a character who stays 10 years old, and how fans have been the lifeblood of the show. Then, Brittany sits down with Dexter Thomas, VICE News correspondent and...


Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu is everywhere, all at once

Everything Everywhere All at Once is the critical darling of the 2023 awards season. The film is up for 11 Oscars, including a Supporting Actress nomination for breakout star, Stephanie Hsu. Hsu, who played Joy Wang AKA Jobu Tupaki in the film, started her career in experimental theater, which eventually led her to meet the directors of Everything Everywhere All at Once. Stephanie joined host Brittany Luse to chat about her comedic roots, the freedom of nihilism, and how the film has brought...