Detroit Speaks: Local Podcasts Bring Grit, Hustle to Your Eardrums 

Talkish podcast hosts (left to right) Fox 2 News reporter Josh Landon, Mikey Eckstein and Chuck Bennett, are “in the know” men of Metro Detroit.  

Photo courtesy of Josh Landon 

 

They’re real, raw and already putting some primetime stank on it for listeners and viewers wanting some flair and flavor while learning about what’s good in and around the D.  

 

Two sets of local podcast hosts from different shows delve regularly into various topics aimed to entertain, enlighten, and most importantly keep people tuned in. 

 

Talking ish 

 

Talkish podcast hosts Mikey Eckstein, Fox 2 News reporter Josh Landon and Chuck Bennett are “in the know” men of Metro Detroit. And on their podcast, launched last August, they talk lighthearted “ish” about entertainment, politics, current events and more surrounding Detroit and beyond. 

 

Bennett, a style ambassador for Fox 2 News with a heavy multifaceted news background, said that the trio linked up after he told Eckstein about getting the itch to be on a show. Then Eckstein invited Landon to come on board. 

 

“(We are) three types of totally different (people),” Bennett said, adding that they blend well together and bring unique qualities to the table. “With the pandemic aside, I am a very social person … so I can talk a lot about the dining scene, fundraising scene in Detroit. … It is a serious show but we don’t talk about serious topics. I like to keep it fun and sexy.” 

 

Landon said that the podcast is doing “very well” and they have a variety of guests, with the show set up into four, 15-minute segments slotted per guest. Typically, what they do is talk between the three of them on the segments then feature a couple of guests, and end the show highlighting a Michigan artist. There’s food and conversation flowing in the electric atmosphere. 

 

“Here is how I like to describe the show: It is a slice of life — you get everything,” Landon said, adding that what made him even more confident about the show is that his mother likes it and thinks it’s interesting. “I say we got something.” 

 

He added that he brings a bit of his news persona to the show but as Eckstein said with Landon during a joint interview with The Michigan Chronicle, it’s “Josh with a lot less filter.” 

 

Eckstein said that he gets a lot of feedback from former residents who tell them that the podcast helps them keep up to date with what’s going on with their hometown. And while the podcast is Detroit-centric, it’s broader than the city, too. 

 

“We have such a broad spectrum of guests,” he said of interviewing everyone from political leaders to rap artists. “Whether it’s music, fitness, politics, a strip club restaurant owner — people always learn something different from our show.” 

 

The Talkish podcast episodes are recorded every Monday at the Mix Factory One Studio in Southfield and uploaded on iHeart radio later in the week. Listen to them on the iHeart radio website or download the iHeart radio app. 

 

Pandemic’s Podcast 

 

Shannon Cason, 45, of Detroit, operates several podcasts, including the latest one that he developed during the pandemic called the 31 Forever Podcast. It’s called “31” because Cason and his friends met at Cobo Hall decades earlier and were inspired by the 31 flavors at Baskin-Robbins. 

 

“We had to come up with a crew name and 31 [Flavaz] stuck. … We’re old friends from Detroit’s hip hop culture in the ‘90s coming back together to connect with old friends just like back in the day when we hung out at The Hip Hop Shop, St. Andrews and in basements and attics making hip hop songs,” Cason said.  

 

They have since dropped the word “Flavaz” and since the pandemic picked up steam while reconnecting. 

  

Shannon Cason (far left) speaks with fellow 31 Forever podcast host Chris Childs, (center) about their rap group days when they were teens with featured guest, Zo (far right).  Photo courtesy of Shannon Cason 

 

Cason, aka E’s, does the podcast with Atlanta-based Chris Childs, aka Freak of Nature. The 31 Forever Podcast is based online – YouTube and Facebook live at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Their guests are from everywhere. 

 

“We talk about hip hop, but not only hip hop. It’s just like being together when we were young. We’d sit around and wait for a beat to be made and write rhymes. In the mix of all that we’d have conversations about current events, different things that are happening in the world,” he said, adding that he was inspired to create the podcast after talking to Childs about a way they can all stay in touch more.  

 

“He knew I worked with podcasting a lot, so Chris offered the idea of starting a podcast. I told him if he were serious, I’d set it all up and we can start. We started. Honestly, I needed this outlet to be creative with long-time friends. I’ve been cooped up in the house so long. I need the outlet! And my friends are some of the most creative people I know,” Cason said. 

 

Soon to be available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, the show as of right now is all hip hop friends — people they knew from The Hip Hop Show on 7 Mile and friends they knew from different crews around Detroit. 

 

“Some of my friends I only know by their hip hop names. People have regular jobs, families, and I still only know them by their monikers. On the podcast, I hope to dig deeper and get to know each other more,” he said. “We want listeners to be in the basement with us while we talk life and hip hop. We are all grown now, we met as teenagers with a love for music. We have all kept that bond over all those years. Hip hop is bigger than just the music. It’s a culture. Even if we haven’t seen each other for years, there’s that connection. We want the audience to feel that connection.” 

 

Childs, born and raised in metro Detroit, has lived in Atlanta since 2008 and said they haven’t “looked back since” the start of the podcast.  

 

“The beautiful thing about the culture is a large majority of us grew up with hip hop, so our guest could be a surgeon, a principal or a CEO of a major corporation and they could still name their top five emcees,” he said. 

  

Childs added that he and Cason have been friends for years and 2020 was a horrible year in a lot of ways “but this podcast was something good to come out” of it. 

 

“We want to give the city and its artists a platform to show the world the untapped talent that Michigan and, honestly, underground hip hop everywhere has to offer,” he said. “We hope to incorporate performances. Cyphers, live performances, poetry — the list goes on. Plus, I like to get drunk and talk trash. Come kick it with us.” 

 

Visit bandcamp.com for releases and upcoming music releases from 31 and its affiliates.  

 

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