Story time. A man drifts away from his family after his brother is killed. His estranged wife struggles to raise four kids alone. Their youngest son turns to the streets. A mix of genius and luck propels him from the jaws of death to superstar status. What can we learn from the life and times of Shawn Carter?

Warning: This episode contains some very strong language, language which may offend and adult themes.


Written by George the Poet

Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet

Mixing, recording and editing by Benbrick.

With music from:

Nines - NIC (feat. Tiggs Da Author)

Lonnie Liston Smith - A Garden of Peace

Jay-Z - Dead Presidents

Jay Z - My First Song

All original music is written by Benbrick and recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

We had the following guests:

The former DMC world champion DJ Blakey scratching those Jay-Z samples, and Sandra Makumbi.

Thank you to:

My team Sandra, Vidhu, and Birungi. Dylan Haskins and the team at BBC Sounds, BBC Concert Orchestra, Jay-Z's Mum, Ms Lowden, Torrie Maas, DJ Clark Kent speaking on DJ Vlad, Kareem Burke talking on the Reasonable Doubt Documentary, Andrew Marr, Evan Rogers, Tom Kelly & Adam Miller, my nephews.


The clip of Jay-Z in the restaurant at 12:10 is taken from the Jay-Z record Only A Customer.

There are various clips between 15:12 and 15:27 introducing Jay-Z and these are taken from CNN’s Van Jones Show, Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, Jay-Z on Conan O’Brien, Jay-Z’s appearance on 106 & Park, and Canada’s Breakfast Television.

The clips of Jay-Z’s mum Ms Gloria Carter used at 17:18 are taken from the Jay-Z record December 4Th.

The clips of Jay-Z’s teacher Renee Rosenblum-Lowden used at 18:11 are taken from the Brut Media video “Jay-Z Credits Teacher With His love of Language”.

The Jay-Z acapellas used at 18:03, 18:57, 19:46 are taken from the Jay-Z record Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)

The clip of DJ Clark Kent used at 20:21 is taken from the DJVlad show titled “Clark Kent on Introducing Biggie to Jay Z, Biggie Best Rapper but Jay Z Best MC".

The clip of Kareem Burke used at 23:06 is taken from the Tidal documentary Reasonable Doubt.

The clip of Jay-Z used at 27:04 is taken from the BBC Andrew Marr show.


Nines - NIC (feat. Tiggs Da Author)

00:37 - 02:30

Benbrick - Young Intro

02:18 - 03:51

Jay Z - My First Song [Benbrick Remake]

04:41 - 05:30

Benbrick - Young

05:45 - 06:40

Benbrick - Back to the kid

07:15 - 07:49

Benbrick - All Aboard

08:02 - 08:21

Benbrick - All Aboard

09:08 - 10:08

Benbrick - Damon

11:16- 12:03

Lonnie Liston Smith - A Garden of Peace

12:27 - 15:09

Jay-Z - Dead Presidents

15:10 - 15:54

Benbrick - Back to the kid

16:20 - 17:13

Jay Z - December 4Th (Benbrick Remake)

17:15 - 18:01

Benbrick - Dec 4

18:10 - 18:54

Benbrick - Back to the kid

19:05 - 19:46

Benbrick - Rodolfo

19:54 - 21:15

Jay Z - My First Song [Benbrick Remake]

21:48 - 22:45

Benbrick - Roc

23:04 - 24:00

Benbrick - Back to the kid

24:50 - 26:05

Jay Z - My First Song [Benbrick Remake]

26:08 - 26:57

Jay Z - My First Song

26:35 - 28:00

Have You Heard George’s Podcast? is a George the Poet production for BBC Sounds.

Commissioning Executive for BBC: Dylan Haskins

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