July 21, 2020

This Is Not A Drake Podcast (All Episodes)


According to Vulture, the CBC’s This Is Not a Drake Podcast is, true to its title, a potent mix of many other things: a loving study of different subjects within hip-hop history, a subtle critique of Canada’s public broadcaster, an overt indictment of the Canadian music industry, and a classic take on the audio-documentary format. The podcast is created and hosted by Ty Harper, a veteran storyteller who has covered the Toronto hip-hop scene for decades. Harper is a deep well of knowledge, himself a piece of an institution. Together with Reza Dahya, he was the co-host of a beloved radio show, OTA Live, that for several years in the mid-2000s dutifully served a largely underserved and under-acknowledged community of hip-hop fans in the increasingly diverse city of Toronto. Harper is now a producer at the CBC, working on the public broadcaster’s flagship arts magazine show Q. He was brought on to lead the podcast after a somewhat extensive period of creative negotiation: The project’s original concept was a fairly standard Drake biography, but Harper pushed back, feeling that Drake’s story has already been well-told — and besides, Drake didn’t come out of nowhere. Hence This Is Not a Drake Podcast. The limited-run series is relatively short, coming in at a quick four episodes plus a prologue and an epilogue, but each entry is dense, ambitious, and incredibly thoughtful. One episode seeks to explore the role of Toronto as a hip-hop city, sketching out the scene’s textured history and its ties to New York City. Another is built around hip-hop’s relationship with gender, which features Harper bringing in the Toronto-based journalist Anupa Mistry to lead the inquiry. Vulture spoke with Harper recently about the series, its origins, and the struggles embedded in developing a project like this for Canada’s public broadcaster. Read that and more HERE, and listen to this incredible audio-documentary/podcast below...