By JR Valrey, The People’s Minister of Information
From Snoop’s “GGN”, to Nore’s “Drink Champs”, to the Oakland based productions of Rabb’s “No Vultures” and VJTV’s “Cognac Confessionals”, the hood is starting to represent in the podcasting world, which is important because we are starting to create and own our own productions, say what we think needs to be said, and bring on our on guests, no matter how controversial society thinks that they are.
“I Need to Know” is an art and hood based podcast, in Oakland, that has interviewed some of the biggest people in sports, the streets, and independent music in northern Cali; people like future hall of fame running back Marshawn Lynch, the legendary hoop star Gary Payton, the independent music mogul Tajai Massey of Hieroglyphics, and the upcoming local rap star Alley Cocaine, to name a few. I sat down with host, Laurence the One, so he could give us his perspective on what he has going on, as well as what is going on in the Black Podcasting World. Stay tuned to Laurence the One, in his own words.
JR Valrey: Why did you get into podcasting? What podcasts inspired you to do it?
Laurence the One: I got into podcasting because people kept telling me I’d be good at it, and it was the new wave. I just stopped drinking and asked God to help me with my entertainment career, and I needed something positive to do, you know, to replace bad habits with good ones. Right about that time, friends were talking about doing a show with me but Steve aka S-Class was the person who actually had the studio setup. All I had to do was show up. What inspires me to do podcasting is my love to have thought provoking conversations. I love asking questions to make you think outside the box, which drives you to dig deep within.
JR Valrey: What’s the name, purpose, and who is the target audience of your podcast?
Laurence the One: The name of my podcast is “I Need to Know”, self entitled after a song I released on Fool’s Gold Records out of Brooklyn, New York. My target audience for my podcast is anyone who’ll listen, like minded individuals who have a unique story to tell, and are willing to share.
JR Valrey: How long have you been doing this podcast? What were some bumps in the road that you encountered on this journey?
Laurence the One: I have been podcasting for a year and a half, we haven’t really received any bumps in the road, my business partner S-Class communicates pretty well, and keeps me informed.
JR Valrey: What are some of your biggest accomplishments in the podcasting world?
Laurence the One: Some of my biggest accomplishments in the world of podcasting are doing interviews with Marshawn Lynch, JStalin, Black C, Casual, Tajai, Gary Payton, Alley Cocaine, and many more. Another accomplishment is reaching 4000 downloads on buzzsprouts. I have been working with honorary groups like Outtapocket, who manages, and brings us acts, Gary Archer, Barry House aka Black, Zimbabwe, and my main guy Alias from Amg music group.
JR Valrey: Who were some of the most interesting guests that you have had on? Why did you see them as interesting?
Laurence the One: Osagi the New Dirty Bastard, Looovemore, Zoe the Roasta, Big C, Melvin, 100 years podcast, Apb Lem, Casual, Tajai, Miz Dre, 4 rAx, Gary Archer, Lord Rab, and Town Royalty. These are some people I found very interesting because they all had a lot to say. If you ever met any of these people, they are some of the most unique people I’ve met, especially Osiago the Great.
JR Valrey: Where are you taking “I Need to Know” in the short term and long term future?
Laurence the One: For me it’s like Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s one step at a time, but we collaborate with Carter Block Ent, for an event called Hip Hop on the Hill in which we love. I plan to do more music, collaborations, and hosting shows, etc
JR Valrey: What’s the importance of your podcast being local to Oakland or the Bay?
Laurence the One: The importance is giving artists the necessary outlet they need and deserve. Shout out to all the artists that we have worked with, we just made our 100th episode featuring the homie, J Dandrige.
JR Valrey: How could people hear the “I Need to Know” podcast as well as stay online with you on social media?
Laurence the One: People can hear or see the “I Need to Know” podcast, by clicking my bio on Instagram: Laurencetheone or 39thKings, and I’m on all platforms. Peace