While browsing different options for podcasts to listen to, I came across the possibility of picking any episode from Dissect, a podcast on Spotify that analyzes different albums across the course of an entire season. While looking through the seasons, it was almost impossible to decide which episode to start on. The podcast has already covered three of my top ten albums – To Pimp A Butterfly and DAMN by Kendrick Lamar, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West. Thus, I decided to start at the beginning, with Dissect’s very first podcast. This episode was simply an introduction to the first season, breaking down first the history of the city of Compton, and then looking into Kendrick Lamar’s past, and his path to becoming one of the greatest rappers of this generation.
The podcast utilizes many different features to keep the audience engaged and interested in the topic. First, there are the more technical aspects of the podcasts. The creator blends background music, samples from various artists like Kendrick Lamar, and other unique sounds to help keep the reader engaged, rather than just listening to the same voice drone on for 20 minutes. This technique works very well and accompanies the story to help the listener feel as though they are there, in the moment.
Another successful element implemented in the podcast is its formality, and tone of presentation. While the first season dives deeply into Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly, the creator makes it clear that no background knowledge of Kendrick Lamar or his music is required. The podcast feels more down to Earth, almost as if a friend who really did his homework is introducing me to the world of hip hop. This was just another reason that I found the podcast so engaging.
Finally, the podcast demonstrated ethos during its first episode. Although I had never heard of the podcast or the creator of it, he quickly made a strong case as to why I should listen to his perspective. Not a detail was spared while explaining the episode’s topic, including some likely not even on Wikipedia about Compton or Kendrick. For example, talking about the government’s aid of the introduction of crack into Compton’s neighborhoods, and the subsequent gang activity that eventually set Kendrick Lamar on this path to stardom. This level of extremely detailed, deep analysis and explanation of each topic allowed me to really trust in the narrator and believe that the podcast is credible – both in its history and its perspective. Overall, the first episode of the Dissect podcast implemented several rhetorical strategies that kept me engaged and wanting more. I am excited to continue on through season one, and to hopefully learn a little bit more about one of my favorite artists.