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It's Been a Minute

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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 plus.npr.org/itsbeenaminute

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Washington, DC

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NPR

Description:

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 plus.npr.org/itsbeenaminute

Language:

English


Episodes

Jada Pinkett Smith, the artist

2/20/2024
Jada Pinkett Smith is the kind of celebrity that makes headlines just by breathing. But looking at those headlines — mostly about her marriage to fellow actor, Will Smith — made host Brittany Luse think that most people have gotten Jada all wrong. A graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, Jada's best known for her acting, but she's also a producer, musician, and painter. After reading her memoir, Worthy, Brittany noticed the way Jada's artistic mind and process had been overlooked. So, she sat down with Jada to ask about it. They talked about what Jada's painting, what she got out of her time as a rock singer, why she looks at her relationship with Will as a masterpiece, and what she wants for her future. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:26:05

Legendary choreographer Fatima Robinson on moving through changes in dance

2/16/2024
Choreographer Fatima Robinson has had an incredibly prolific career: she gave us the iconic King Tut-style moves from Michael Jackson's 'Remember the Time' music video, she taught us how to 'Rock the Boat' with Aaliyah, and she was head choreographer on Beyoncé's Renaissance tour. And all through that time, she's moved through all kinds of changes in how we dance – including Tik Tok. Host Brittany Luse chats with Robinson about how she pulls rhythm out of stars – and what causes the dance moves of the day to change. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:18:12

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

2/13/2024
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 revisits her conversation with writer Rebekah Weatherspoon about how she builds a world of desire. Then, we revisit our talk with Dr. Gale E. 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 think about love. If you have 10 minutes, please do the team at It's Been a Minute a huge favor by taking a short, anonymous survey about the show at npr.org/ibamsurvey. Tell us what you like and how we could improve the show! Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:36:17

A Super Bowl in 'new Vegas'; plus, the inverted purity of the Stanley Cup

2/9/2024
This weekend, Vegas hit the jackpot. For the first time ever, Sin City will host the Super Bowl; and the halftime headliner is the current Vegas residency darling - Usher. But, NPR Senior Editor Bilal Qureshi says this royal flush was years in the making. Bilal joins host Brittany Luse to share his experience covering the city's journey from 'Old Vegas' to 'New Vegas,' as new hotels, concert venues, and artist residencies bring Vegas to a new market - millennials. Then, Brittany turns her sights to the Stanley Cup. No, not the hockey championship but the colorful tumblers taking the internet by storm. The frenzy for a new collectible is never surprising, but the very thing that goes inside it - water - has The Wellness Trap author Christy Harrison wondering if this is just another extension of diet and wellness culture gone sideways. If you have 10 minutes, please do the team at It's Been a Minute a huge favor by taking a short, anonymous survey about the show at npr.org/ibamsurvey. Tell us what you like and how we could improve the show! Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:40:37

Sam Reich on revamping the game show - and Dropout's success as a small streamer

2/6/2024
It seems like there are countless streamers these days – there's Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Max, Peacock, Roku, just to name a few. Still, success and profit remain elusive to even some of the biggest in the biz. However there is one smaller streamer that seems to have found a path to prosperity: Dropout. IBAM host Brittany Luse sat down with Dropout CEO Sam Reich to find out how his company is forging a path to success in a successful market, all while revamping the gameshow format. The pair also play a little game. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:27:56

Charlamagne tha Pundit?; plus, was Tony Soprano white?

2/2/2024
Charlamagne tha God has been dominating hip-hop radio for years, and lately, his influence has extended far beyond the music industry; for better or worse, Charlamagne has become one of the go-to voices for political discourse in the Black community. And while his comments often resonate with The Breakfast Club audience, they've also been picked up by political operatives across party lines. This week, Brittany sits down with Democratic pollster Terrance Woodbury and POLITICO National Correspondent Brakkton Booker to discuss Charlamagne's power as a pundit and if tha God's politics are indicative of larger trends among Black voters. Then, Brittany turns to a classic television show that just celebrated it's 25th anniversary: HBO's The Sopranos. Although the show wrapped years ago, it remains a deeply salient portrayal of assimilation and conditional whiteness. Brittany chats with author Morgan Jerkins about whiteness in America and why the show's commentary on Italian Americans resonated with them as Black women. To end the show, Brittany passes the mic to music journalist Naima Cochrane to answer a question about the Nicki Minaj and Megan thee Stallion beef. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:40:03

Ayesha Rascoe on 'HBCU Made' — and some good old college memories

1/30/2024
We're taking it way back — all the way to college. This episode is a mini-reunion: host Brittany Luse and Ayesha Rascoe, host of NPR's Weekend Edition, are both alumnae of Howard University — they even attended during some of the same years. Howard is an HBCU: a historically Black college or university. There are around a hundred in the US, and they've had a big impact on both graduates and American culture writ large. Ayesha has edited a book of essays all about that impact, called HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience. Brittany chats with her about the book and what makes HBCUs special — they also trade tales from their own time as students. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:26:44

South Africa's case for preventing genocide in Palestine; plus, why people love cults

1/26/2024
This morning, the International Court of Justice shared a decision on South Africa's genocide case against Israel. The courts found sufficient evidence that it's "plausible" that Israel has committed acts of genocide in Gaza and ruled that Israel must prevent genocidal attacks. Earlier this week, host Brittany Luse sat down with South African journalist Redi Tlhabi to look at the context of this story and lay out how the histories of Israel and South Africa factor into this moment. Then, Brittany chats with Professor Poulomi Saha about America's obsession with cults. With so many shows choose from, cult documentaries could now be seen as their own genre. But what might our fascination with cults reveal about society's shortfalls? Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:30:59

Benny Safdie on 'The Curse' — and performing goodness

1/23/2024
Director and actor Benny Safdie is probably best known for co-directing the film Uncut Gems, but he's also acted in Oppenheimer, Licorice Pizza, and one of host Brittany Luse's personal favorites: Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. In his latest project, Safdie co-created and acts in Showtime's The Curse. It's an intensely uncomfortable examination of the smoke and mirrors behind your favorite home improvement shows, but it's also a marriage drama – and it picks apart our desire to seem like good people, rather than being good people. Host Brittany Luse sits down with Safdie to learn what makes home improvement shows both soothing and sinister — and the difference between do-gooders and seem-gooders. They also play a game where they're forced to distinguish reality from fiction. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:20:59

The political power of white Evangelicals; plus, Biden and the Black church

1/19/2024
For decades, Evangelicals have propped up Republican presidents. And while church attendance has fallen across the board, Evangelicals are still making waves politically; they just helped deliver Trump a historic win in the Iowa caucus. But the political bent of Evangelicals begs for closer inspection because white Americans who align with Trump are more likely to start identifying as Evangelical, even if some of them no longer sit up in the pews. NPR Political Correspondent Sarah McCammon joins the show to dig into host Brittany Luse's question: are Evangelicals now a religious group or a political one? Then, after calls for a ceasefire interrupted President Biden's speech at Mother Emanuel AME Church, many people denounced the protest saying that it was not the right time or place. But Brittany wonders; if not there, then where? She sits down with Dr. Anthea Butler, religious scholar and chair of the department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, to dive into the roots of political activism within the Black church. They also look at the complicated relationship between Democrats and the Black church. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:39:10

Anna Deavere Smith plays real Americans on stage - and she shares her lessons

1/16/2024
Anna Deavere Smith is an acclaimed actress, journalist, and playwright. She's a pioneer of what's known as 'verbatim theater,' which is performance based on conversations and interviews with real people. But after decades of becoming thousands of Americans on stage, what has she learned about our nation? Host Brittany Luse sat down with Deavere Smith in studio to hear her unique perspective about who — and what — America is. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:18:14

The life lessons Fantasia brought to 'The Color Purple'; plus, Personal Style 101

1/12/2024
Fantasia Barrino-Taylor is picking up awards buzz for her portrayal of Celie in The Color Purple, and Brittany is sitting down with the former American Idol winner to look at the path she took from high school dropout to potential Oscar nominee. Brittany and Fantasia explore how her journey in life has made her come to love the character she plays, and even heal some old wounds along the way. Then, after living through the fast churn of microtrends, social media influencers are embracing the trendiest anti-trend in fashion: "personal style." And while personal style is the it-girl, other fashion trends may be around the corner. Will 2024 be the most conservative fashion year yet? We turn to Washington Post fashion writer Rachel Tashjian to talk about personal style, why it's trending, and what to look for in 2024. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:43:28

American Fiction is a rich story — but is it a successful satire?

1/9/2024
American Fiction is a movie you can spend hours discussing. Based on Percival Everett's novel Erasure, the movie is a satire of what the publishing industry wants from Black authors. The film also belongs to a lineage of Black movies that look at selling out in the entertainment industry: from CB4 to Hollywood Shuffle. But does American Fiction say anything new? Host Brittany Luse chats with Aisha Harris, NPR culture critic and co-host of Pop Culture Happy Hour, about her essay on what American Fiction gets right — and the cultural marks it misses. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:20:13

Looking ahead to the 2024 election; plus, getting "sober curious" for Dry January

1/5/2024
This week, host Brittany Luse is starting with the biggest story of the year - the upcoming presidential election. The economy, foreign policy, reproduction rights have all been top of mind lately - but how will these issues play out in the voting booth? NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben and Domenico Montanaro join the show to talk about what might sway voters in November. Next, Brittany tackles a popular New Year's tradition: Dry January. Last year, one out of every seven American adults participated in Dry January, and one in three say they want to drink less in general. Writer and journalist Ana Marie Cox joins the show to discuss the growing interest in sobriety. She shares what's contributed to this "non-alcoholic" moment, who benefits, and the lessons she's learned as a recovering alcoholic. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:35:29

Ross Gay on inciting joy while dining with sorrow

1/2/2024
Looking for joy? Then it might be worth exploring your sorrow. In his collection of essays, Inciting Joy, poet Ross Gay considers the breadth of joy, arguing that it can be found – and even strengthened – in life's hardest moments. After all, those are the times when we rely on one another. Brittany Luse sits down with the poet to discuss the complexity of joy and creating meaning in life. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:19:39

'Oh Me Oh My': Finding grace after something hellified (a New Year's story)

12/29/2023
To close out the year, Brittany is sitting down with Lonnie Holley. He's a painter, sculptor, and musician who released his latest album, Oh Me Oh My, in early 2023. In it he sings of his difficult childhood growing up in Jim Crow Alabama where he was sold, beat, and effectively enslaved. But today he sings of hope. He's been on a journey to heal his pain, and the pain of the generations that came before and the ones that will follow. It's a story of gratitude. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:24:05

Why grief sometimes looks like a hyphy party

12/26/2023
On August 11, 1973, hip-hop was born at a house party in the Bronx. 50 years later the genre has been reshaped in the image of cities and regions around the world. Brittany is joined by KQED's Pendarvis Harshaw to do a deep dive into one hip-hop scene from the Bay Area known as hyphy. They unpack how the loud, brash, hyperactive music helped a community grieve. To hear more of Pendarvis Harshaw's reporting on this Bay Area music scene, check out the Rightnowish series: Hyphy Kids Got Trauma. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:16:53

Why does flying suck so much?

12/22/2023
Flying can be a frustrating experience, but holiday travel tends to shift our stress levels into overdrive. Overbooking, delays, lost baggage, and long TSA lines are just the tip of the iceberg. Even pricey membership services can't promise a completely efficient or comfortable travel journey. With big price tags and the quality of service seemingly going down, host Brittany Luse wondered: How did we get here? To answer that question, aviation and travel journalist Benét J. Wilson joins the show to give us a birds eye view of the issues and why things may not be getting better anytime soon. Then, Brittany takes on one of the most recognizable stories in Christmas lore - A Christmas Carol. To celebrate the iconic story, she plays Spot the Scrooge with NPR critics Linda Holmes and Bob Mondello. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:28:14

2023: The year of the celebrity memoir

12/19/2023
2023 has been huge for the celebrity memoir game: Britney Spears, Prince Harry and Jada Pinkett Smith are just a few of the many A-listers who dropped bestsellers. But which memoirs should you actually read? To help parse through the pages, Brittany Luse is joined - once again - by Celebrity Memoir Book Club hosts Ashley Hamilton and Claire Parker. They each share their favorite memoirs of the year and discuss what these books reveal about the machinations of fame. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:23:22

The IBAMmys: The It's Been A Minute 2023 Culture Awards Show

12/15/2023
Welcome to the first ever IBAMmys, the It's Been A Minute 2023 culture awards show! It's been a minute - a whole year - and we're looking back at the biggest cultural moments of the past 365 days. Host Brittany Luse, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe, and Vox's senior pop culture correspondent Alex Aband-Santos all made nominations for each category, and a select group of culture experts at NPR voted for who should take home the prize. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices NPR Privacy Policy

Duration:00:35:25