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Ear Hustle

A Society and Culture podcast featuring Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods
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Best Episodes of Ear Hustle

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The Boom Boom Room
Being married in prison is common. Opportunities to get intimate with your spouse are not, and – like everything else inside – are governed by both official and unofficial rules. In this episode of Ear Hustle, Greg and Maverick share stories about keeping their relationships strong, and getting close with their wives. Thanks to Maverick and Greg Eskridge for sharing such personal stories with us, and to our guest sound designer, the “Swedish Phenom,” David Jassy. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered in a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Big thanks to Mail Chimp, Square Space and Casper for supporting the show.
Unwritten
The color of your skin influences your life in prison, from sharing food to celebrating birthdays. Meet Andrew Sabatino (Drew Down) and Arthur Snowden (AR), two guys whose close friendship often challenges the unwritten rules of race relations on the inside. Thanks to Drew Down and AR for sharing the story of their friendship. It’s a big deal to talk about race in prison, so thanks also to Lonnie Morris, Lemar, Phil Melendez, Wayne Boatwright, Charlie and George “Mesro” Coles-El for stepping up. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Sound design in this episode is by Earlonne Woods, with contributing beats from Antwan Williams. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered in a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Big thanks to Mail Chimp, Squarespace and Texture for supporting the show.
Excuse Me on the Tier
Ear Hustle is back with season four! Let’s get oriented: to a new format and a new inside host, and through the stories of guys learning the prison ropes in Reception, while they wait to find out where they’ll serve their time. A heads-up: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violence. Listener discretion is advised. Thanks to HelloFresh for sponsoring this episode. For a full list of credits and to find out more about the show, head to earhustlesq.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Catch a Kite 4
Sleep, soundtracks and signing in prison — the Ear Hustle crew tackles questions from listeners about these topics and more, in this season’s “Catch a Kite” episode. Plus, we’ll share some of our favorite listener-generated Ear Hustle theme remixes. Spoiler alert: harps ahead. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show, and Lantigua Williams & Co. and BetterHelp for sponsoring this episode.
Birdbaths and a Lockbox
During a San Quentin lockdown, the prison grinds to a halt, and men are confined to their cells 24 hours a day. On the heels of a summer lockdown, we’re kicking off season three by looking into what causes one, and how guys survive the wait when boredom, uncertainty, hunger and isolation can push them over the edge. A heads-up: this episode contains discussion of suicide and self-harm — listener discretion is advised. You can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Thanks to Michael Williams, Jason Perry, Aaron Taylor, Jessie Vasquez and Lee Jaspar (aka Matthew Lee Jasper) for sharing their stories with us. Thanks also to Gregg Sayers for performing his song “Lost in Time,” with additional vocals by Eric Abercrombie, aka Maserati E. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods with help from outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller, who also comes in to lead the sound design team. This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, Lee Jaspar, E. Phil Phillips and Earlonne Woods. Our story editor is Curtis Fox, Erin Wade is our digital producer and our executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. We also want to thank Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their continued support of the show. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, where you can now buy an Ear Hustle mug to go with your t-shirt! Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Respect the Paper
Hardly anyone writes letters anymore. On the streets it’s all texting, posting, sharing and liking. But in prison, pens, paper, envelopes and stamps are highly prized, and still considered an essential lifeline to the outside world. Thanks to Article for sponsoring this episode. For a full list of credits and to find out more about the show, head to earhustlesq.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Catch a Kite
“Kite” is a common term in prison for a written note. Over the course of the season, listeners have been encouraged to send in their questions about Ear Hustle via postcards, or “kites.” In this episode, Earlonne and Nigel dig into the pile of postcards that have arrived from all corners of the world, with some help from guys in the yard. You’ll also hear from a familiar Ear Hustle voice — the man who approves all stories for publication, Lt. Sam Robinson. Thanks to the following San Quentin inmates for helping catch these kites: Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll, Miguel Fuentes, E. Phil Phillips, Joshua Burton, Luke Colondres, Michael Mackey, Louis A Scott, Tommy Shakur Ross, Eddie Herena, Sha Wallace-Stepter, Rahsaan Thomas. And to San Quentin staff: Officer Reyes and Lt. Sam Robinson And to music contributors: Jovan Mills (“Worth It”) and Lee Jaspar (aka Matthew Lee Jasper) (“Darn that Dream”) Thanks also to listeners who have sent postcards. We can't answer them all, but please know each is read, archived and deeply appreciated. In this episode we tackled questions from: Lucy from New Jersey, Dan from Canada, Adam from the United Kingdom, and one listener who wishes to remain anonymous. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered in a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Big thanks to Mail Chimp and Texture for supporting the show.
Kissing the Concrete
Serving a prison sentence is hard, but getting out isn’t exactly a cakewalk, either. A lot depends on who’s waiting for you, what you have lined up on the outside and how you handle the regular pressures of life after incarceration. Thanks to Article and the American Red Cross for sponsoring this episode. For a full list of credits and to find out more about the show, head to earhustlesq.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Looking Out
The need to nurture and show love for another living being (or, in San Quentin parlance, “looking out”) is an essential human impulse. Away from your family and friends in prison this can be difficult, if not impossible. Sure, guys create strong bonds among themselves that help to alleviate the pain of missing family. But like on the outside, some people inside just relate better to animals than people. Thanks to Rauch for sharing his story, and to the guys who contributed to the Yard Talk segments in this episode: Jovon Mills, Kao Chung, Henry Charles, Rahsaan Thomas, Sha Wallace-Stepter, Arnulfo Garcia, Aly Tamboura, Emile DeWeaver, Antwan Williams, E. Phil Phillips, Curtis "WallStreet" Carroll, Donte Smith and Noah. The song "Worth It" was written and performed by Jovan Mills, and Sister Maria is played by Sandy Claire. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered on a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Big thanks to Mail Chimp and Bombas for supporting the show.
The SHU
The hole, the box, solitary confinement. It doesn’t matter what you call it; doing time in the SHU (Security Housing Unit) means you are alone and segregated from the general prison population. In this episode, four men who served between 8 and 28 years in the SHU share their memories of that time. Thanks to Armando Flores, Gus Lamumba Edwards, Richard Johnson and Isaac Flores for telling their stories, and to John YaYa Johnson for assisting with this episode. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered in a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Big thanks to Mail Chimp, Bombas and Casper for supporting the show.
Misguided Loyalty
Tommy Shakur Ross grew up in South Central Los Angles in the 1980’s. As a boy, he was seduced by what he saw as the “glamour” of gang life. Thirty years later, he is still paying the price for giving his most to a gang that ultimately brought the kind of fame he wishes he’d never earned. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Thanks to Tommy Shakur Ross for telling his story. The excerpt from Larry Davis’s book, “America’s Conduct: Inner City Escort” was read by Joshua Burton. Additional music in this episode was provided by Jeff Atkins, who is also incarcerated at San Quentin. Find out more at earhustlesq.com where you can also find out how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered on a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Thanks to Mail Chimp and Bombas for supporting the show.
Life Shows Up
Getting a job after serving time is crucial to rebuilding your life, but a criminal record inevitably gets in the way. Four people share stories about how their time inside both helped prep them for jobs outside and impacted their getting back to work. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also download and remix our theme song (remixes are due Aug. 31, so get yours in soon!!), sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. As always, thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show, and Lantigua Williams & Co. and Audible for sponsoring this episode.
Future on Ice
Being an immigrant in an American prison can pose unique challenges, like deciding which racial group you’ll identify with. But sometimes the biggest hurdles don’t become apparent until the day you are released. Thanks to Martin Gomez, Miguel Sifuentes, Wayne Boatwright, Phoeun You, David Jassy, Borey Ai (aka PJ) and Marco Villa for sharing their stories with us. And thanks to Jose Diaz, Vicente Gomez and Gerardo Sanchez-Muratalla, the Three Guitarists. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods with help from outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller, who also comes in to lead the sound design team. This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, with contributions from Antwan Williams. Our story editor is Curtis Fox, digital producer is Erin Wade, and executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. Thanks also to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, where you can also buy an Ear Hustle mug to go with your T-shirt. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Cellies
At San Quentin State Prison, the typical cell measures approximately 4’ x 9’ and contains a bunk bed, toilet, sink, two men, and their six cubic feet of belongings. In our first episode of Ear Hustle, hear stories of negotiating this space and the relationships that come with living in such close quarters.
Meet Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system.
Tell Christy I Love Her
Tom was a cop; Jason was a teenager in a gang. One night in 1997, they had a violent encounter that Tom describes as “inevitable.” In our season finale, Tom and Jason relate the story of that night, and the series of events that unfolded in the years afterward. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show, and Native, EPIX and BetterHelp for sponsoring this episode. And thanks to you for tuning in through all of season four!
I Want the Fairy Tale
How does dating work in your 30s when you’ve been locked up since you were 15? How soon do you share your incarceration history with new love interests? And how the hell does online dating work? Recently released men and women muse about all of it, and one former San Quentin inmate tries to make a beeline from the gates to the altar. Thanks to Article and the American Red Cross for sponsoring this episode. For a full list of credits and to find out more about the show, head to earhustlesq.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
P.S. Asking and Giving
As the annual Radiotopia fundraiser wraps up, we bring you one final missive of the year, including an appeal for support, a chance encounter and a musical offering from the inside. What a season! Deep thanks to our listeners, to Dwight Krizman, Richie Morris and the other guys from Quentin Blue, and as always, to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their epic support of Ear Hustle. And to Radiotopia, the network that brought Ear Hustle to life! Donate here to support Radiotopia, and all of the shows it helps make possible. Happy holidays to all, and we’ll catch up with you in 2019. In the meantime, sign up for the Lowdown to stay informed about all things Ear Hustle. Love, Team Ear Hustle (Nigel, Earlonne, Pat, Curtis, Julie and Erin)
Catch a Kite 3
A “kite” is prison slang for a written note, and since Ear Hustle launched we’ve encouraged listeners to send in their questions about daily life inside San Quentin, via postcards, or kites. In this episode, we answer a handful of kites received via voice messages from listeners, touching on spectacle, humor, mental health, laundry and more. A heads-up: this episode contains graphic descriptions of violence — listener discretion is advised. Thanks to Rahsaan “New York” Thomas for helping out with this episode, and check out earhustlesq.com for a full list of the guys who helped answer questions. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods with help from outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller, who also comes in to lead the sound design team. This episode was scored with music by Antwan Williams, David Jassy and E. Phil Phillips. Our story editor is Curtis Fox, digital producer is Erin Wade and our executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. We’re grateful to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show. And thanks to Nectar for supporting this episode. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to buy a handsome Ear Hustle mug to go with your T-shirt. And, check out the San Quentin News, who work in the media lab with us. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
This Place
This time on Ear Hustle we’re trying something different: we’re diving into San Quentin’s 166-year history. Normally, we get the guys inside to tell stories. But this place itself does speak, and it’s not always through words. A heads-up: this episode contains graphic descriptions of violence — listener discretion is advised. Thanks to George “Mesro” Coles-El, Richard Richardson aka Bonaru, John Robb, Norman Willhoite, Gregg Sayers, Lee Jaspar (aka Matthew Lee Jasper), Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Clinton T. Duffy for sharing their stories. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods with help from outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller, who also comes in to lead the sound design team. This episode includes music by David Jassy, with contributions from Antwan WIlliams. Our story editor is Curtis Fox, digital producer is Erin Wade and our executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. We’re grateful to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show. See the photos the guys describe in this episode on our website. You can find out more about the San Quentin Archive project on Nigel’s website, and information about Nigel’s show in Milwaukee through the Milwaukee Art Museum. Plus, learn more about Warden Clinton T. Duffy and check out his book. Thanks to Nectar for supporting this episode. You can find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, where you can also buy an Ear Hustle mug to go with your T-shirt. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Gold Coats and OGs
Dealing with aging and death is never easy. But in prison, these issues are fraught with extra challenges, both emotional and physical. Meet two inmates serving extended sentences who grapple with the idea of dying in prison, and have also stepped up to take care of their fellow aging prisoners. Thanks to Lonnie Morris, Richard Lathan and Andres Eric Watson, for sharing their stories. And special thanks to Anthony Marzett for being on the receiving end of of Andres’ shit talk. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor, Antwan Williams and Earlonne Woods with consulting editor Curtis Fox, outside production advisor Pat Mesiti-Miller and executive producer Julie Shapiro. Sound design for this episode is by Antwan Williams, with extra music tracks supplied by JB Burton. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com, including how to send us a question (by postcard) that might get answered in a future episode. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Lastly! Yet more thanks to Mail Chimp, Squarespace and Texture for supporting the show.
Catch a Kite 2
A “kite” is prison slang for a written note. Since Ear Hustle launched, we’ve encouraged listeners to send in their questions about the show and life inside via postcards, or “kites.” In this episode, Earlonne and Nigel dig into the pile of 1021 (!) postcards that have arrived from all over the world. So many people contributed to this episode: Thanks to all the men in blue and volunteers who tried to guess the most common question we get asked. Thanks to Kevin Sawyer for talking books; Adnan Khan, Eddie Herera, Khalifa Christensen and Shadeed Wallace-Stepter for talking TV; Luke Colondres, Antwan Williams, Kevin Sawyer, Greg Eskridge, E Phil Phillips and Jason Jones for singing TV theme songs; Bruce Brew Fowler for explaining his tattoos; Rodney Card Man Wiley for performing his magic; Maserati E for performing music for us, and big thanks for Officer Girard for being the first Corrections Officer to get on the mic. Now and always: thanks to Lt Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of Ear Hustle. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods with help outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller, who also comes in to lead the sound design team. This episode was scored and sound designed with music by David Jassy and Antwan Williams. Our consulting editor is Curtis Fox and executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. Thanks also to NECTAR Sleep for supporting the show. Find out more at earhustlesq.com, including how to send a kite that might get answered in a future episode — just like this one. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. p.s. That answer to your question about whether we have t-shirts for sale? Yes, we do.
Firsts
“Firsts” in prison can be especially memorable: the first time you meet your cellie, or leave the prison for medical treatment, or run your first marathon. Alongside these tales, Adnan Khan shares the story of his first visit from his mom, 13 years after he was incarcerated. Thanks to Adnan Khan for sharing his story and Shane, Michael Thompson, Rahsaan Thomas, Jason Jones and Antwan Williams for also sharing their firsts. Ear Hustle is produced by Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods. Outside producer Pat Mesiti-Miller comes inside to lead the sound design team. This episode includes music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, Joshua Burton & Dwight Krizman Our story editor is Curtis Fox and executive producer for Radiotopia is Julie Shapiro. Find out more about the show at earhustlesq.com where you can also buy a brand new EH t-shirt! Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Eternal thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for supporting the show, and to our sponsors Burrow and NECTAR Sleep.
Chicken on the Bone
Historically, death sentences in California have led to eventual execution by the state. But these days, public opinion and state protocol are in flux, and the future is uncertain for those on death row at San Quentin. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Thanks to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show, and Native, EPIX and BetterHelp for sponsoring this episode. And stay tuned for our season four finale, in two weeks!
Snack Money
Running a prison takes a lot of work, and not just by the staff running the place. At San Quentin inmates work regular jobs, earn pennies on the hour and often supplement their income with a side hustle. Find a full list of episode credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also download and remix our theme song (do it!), sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Thanks also to Lt. Sam Robinson and Warden Ron Davis for their support of the show, and Article, Lantigua Williams & Co. and Native for sponsoring this episode.
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Followers
12
Podcast Details
Started
May 25th, 2017
Latest Episode
Oct 16th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
43
Avg. Episode Length
30 minutes
Explicit
No
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