I Host a Popular Podcast. I’m Also in Prison.

he sun shines brightly through the gated windows so I grab a pair of Sony headphones and the Tascam (a portable audio recorder) and leave the office with my co-worker, John “Yahya” Johnson, an intellectual Muslim brother out of Oakland. Curious as to how many people behind bars have seen the romance movie “The Notebook,” we venture outside to the yard to find out. I walk up to the first guy I see, someone waiting on the sidelines to play basketball. 

“Hey man, can I interview you about the classic romance movie called ‘The Notebook?’”

“I’ve never seen ‘The Notebook.’” 

“So what’s the best romance movie you have seen?” 

“’Baby Boy.’” 

I laugh because Baby Boy, an urban tale about a childish young man who needs to grow up in order to raise his son alongside the mother, is not what I would consider a classic romance movie. 

Then I remove a release form (to have the man I’d just interviewed sign) from a green binder with an Ear Hustle logo stuck on the cover.

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