Society & Culture
052: SHAWN SETARO (hip-hop journalist w Complex/ The Cipher/ Tekashi 69 book/ Pop Smoke pod) + RIP Greg Tate
It’s an honor and a privilege to welcome accomplished journalist, author, and rap podcast OG SHAWN SETARO, a reporter at Complex, to Episode 052. Setaro has a brand new book on the shelves this week, about the sordid saga of Tekashi 6ix9ine. He's the writer and reporter on the podcasts 'Infamous' (about Tekashi), 'Complex Subject: Pop Smoke'. He’s written about music and culture for Forbes, The Atlantic, Vibe, The Source, GQ, Esquire, The Sondheim Review, and more. Setaro was Editor-in-Chief for Rap Genius, and hosted the iconic rap pod The Cipher, an encyclopedic hip-hop program featuring deep dive interviews with 250 legendary figures in the culture. The Cipher was among the biggest influences and inspirations for The Upful LIFE Podcast, and in this interview, you will see the parallels and find out just why I revere “Same Ol’ Shawn” the way I do.
Setaro is the author of the fantastic new book Complex Presents Dummy Boy: Tekashi 6ix9ine and the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, his first. We discuss this extremely shocking tale, his process reporting the story, and unpack the project at large. In tracing Tekashi 6ix9ine's life - from Bushwick to the heights of the rap scene - Setaro illuminates the story of the young rapper who forged an alliance with a notorious street gang to bolster his image and boost his internet clout. More than a biography, Dummy Boy is an American crime story, a critical examination of internet trolling in the Trump era, and an exploration of the long-running connection between rap, gangs, and police in New York City.
In this conversation we touch Shawn's career journey into journalism and podcasting, plus the violent/criminal nature of drill rap culture, how it finds its way into the mainstream music culture. Shawn Setaro is a man of many talents in the musical sphere; in addition to his journalistic accomplishments, he’s is also a Berklee-educated bassist and guitarist who has recorded and performed with The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer, the Lordz of Brooklyn, Alina Simone, and others
BUY HIS BOOK! Complex Presents Dummy Boy: Tekashi 6ix9ine and the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods
LISTEN to THE CIPHER podcast w/"Same Ol' Shawn" HERE!
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