623: We Are in the Future

623: We Are in the Future

Aug 18, 2017
One of our producers, Neil Drumming, has recently become fascinated with Afrofuturism. It's more than sci-fi. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic, creative, and oddly hopeful—which feels especially urgent during a time without a lot of optimism.

Featuring the new song "The Deep" by clppng. Original artwork by Paul Davey. Click to enlarge.
  • Ira and producer Neil Drumming visit a comic book store in Philadelphia to try and help Ira understand Afrofuturism. (9 minutes)

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  • Producer Neil Drumming spends a couple days exploring Detroit, first with a quirky mayoral candidate running an Afrofuturist campaign, and then with a couple of locals. (12 minutes)
    Song:
    • "Right In", Bryce Detroit (feat. Coco Butterfli)

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  • Comedian and actor Azie Dungey recounts her time playing a slave for visiting tourists at George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon. (12 minutes)
    Song:
    • "Wake Up", Funkadelic

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  • This American Life commissioned an original song, “The Deep,” from the hip-hop group clppng., featuring actor and Hamilton performer Daveed Diggs. The song is based on the underwater mythology of the 90s Detroit electro band Drexciya. (6 minutes)

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  • Producer Neil Drumming looks into two videos he found on YouTube—one that takes place in Atlantic City, another in Brooklyn—that deal with the trouble kids face walking home from school.
    Song:
    • "Errbody’s Going to Make It", Funkadelic

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