R&B music has changed. It was once the soundtrack of love, but is now more like a journal of pain. Through this music, George tracks the breakdown of the African American family since the 1970s. He discovers that higher poverty and incarceration rates among African Americans left a generation of children to fend for themselves. By the 1990s Gangsta rappers were displaying disrespect to women - and the market loved it and rewarded it. At the same time, Black women were pushing back through songs calling out immature men, and celebrating financial independence.

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


Written by George the Poet

Produced by Benbrick and George the Poet

Mixing, recording and editing by Benbrick.

With music from:

Ginuwine - Differences

Jhené Aiko - P*$$Y Fairy (OTW)

Kaash Paige - Love Songs

George The Poet - Baby Father

Cardi B - WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)

Megan Thee Stallion - Cash Shit (feat. DaBaby)

Rick Ross - Sanctified (feat. Kanye West & Big Sean)

Drake & GIVĒON - Chicago Freestyle

Chris Brown - Loyal (Instrumental)

Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free

Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)

Whitney Houston - It’s Not Right But It’s Okay

Dr Dre - Bi*****s Ain’t S**t

Destiny’s Child - Bills, Bills, Bills

Sunshine Anderson - Heard It All Before

TLC - No Scrubs

Jazmine Sullivan - Pick Up Your Feelings

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

Thank you to:

My team: Sandra, Vidhu, and Birungi. Dylan Haskins and the team at BBC Sounds, BBC Concert Orchestra. Torrie Maas. My Common Ground team: Anne Whitehead, Darshan Sanghrajka, and Benbrick.


The clips of Candi Staton used at 07:31, 08:05, 08:28 and 08:59 are taken from her interview with Paul Morley on Guardian Music.

The clips of Jay-z used at 11:06 are taken from his interview on the Scandinavian talk show Skavlan, and his interview with Sway for MTV.

The clip of Tupac used at 11:32 is taken from his BET Networks interview with Ed Gordon.

The clip of 50 Cent used at 12:23 is taken from his interview with Larry King for Ora TV.

The clip of Barack Obama used at 13:01 is taken from CBS News.

The clip of Lauryn Hill used at 14:26 is taken from her 1998 BET Rap City interview.

The clip talking about crack used at 20:05 is taken from the Glide Memorial Church conference “The Race Against Crack”.

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

Commissioning Assistant Producer: Adam Eland

Commissioning Senior Producer: Alex Entwistle

Commissioning Executive for BBC: Dylan Haskins

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