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The Message with Ebro Darden
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The Message with Ebro Darden

Author: Apple Music

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Welcome to The Message, an interview series about music, culture, mental health, and politics, brought to you by Apple Music.

The summer of 2020 was marked by an unprecedented awareness for--and anger about--the continued injustices Black people and people of color in America and worldwide face. The ensuing protests, activations, and social media fury inspired musicians around the world to speak out about their own experiences, with some going on to record music that speaks directly to the moment. Hosted by Apple Music's Ebro Darden, The Message is a series that aims to further the dialogue about the unrest and inequalities in the United States and abroad via intimate conversations with some of the most prominent voices in the culture today, who also create exclusive playlists of the songs inspiring them to keep pushing forward.

Guests include Jon Batiste, Erykah Badu, Jon Stewart, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Common, Vince Staples, and many more. Follow to get the uncut and uncensored interviews delivered to you every two weeks, and subscribe to Apple Music to listen to the guests' playlists and add them to your library.

34 Episodes
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Conway the Machine

Conway the Machine

2024-07-0843:02

Conway the Machine has been through a lot. The rapper, best known for his work with his Griselda brothers Westside Gunn and Benny the Butcher, helped build the Buffalo music scene from the ground up, and all in the wake of multiple jail stints and a shooting that left him partially paralyzed. In 2022, to honor the release of his second studio album God Don't Make Mistakes, he sat down with Ebro for The Message to talk about the meaning behind the album and how to survive your circumstances and come out on top. Listen to Conway the Machine's Message playlist exclusively on Apple Music.
Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo

2024-06-2439:19

There are many artists who could stake a claim for the title of Queen of Black Music, but it'd be hard to argue against a legend like Angelique Kidjo. Ebro spoke to her back in 2021 for Black Music Month about finding her identity through Black music and the importance of learning the stories of Black people all around the world. Listen to Angelique Kidjo's Message playlist, exclusively on Apple Music.
Fire In Little Africa

Fire In Little Africa

2024-06-1047:48

2021 marked a dark anniversary for America: It was the centennial of the Tulsa race massacre, a two-day long white supremacist reign of terror that destroyed Tulsa, Oklahoma's thriving Black Wall Street. To honor the 100th anniversary, a group of Tulsa rappers came together as Fire In Little Africa to produce a mixtape that told the story of that terrible event.In this episode, originally taped in 2021, Ebro sits down with Tulsa artists Steph Simon, Dr. View, and Saint Domonick to talk about the legacy of the massacre, and what the Black community can do to support the Tulsa community.Stream the Fire In Little Africa mixtape and their Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Big Sean

Big Sean

2024-05-2724:46

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, and few rappers have been as open about their mental health throughout their career as Big Sean. Ebro called him up in 2021 to talk about his IGTV series he made on the subject with his mom, and the growth he's made throughout his career.Listen to Big Sean's Message playlist exclusively on Apple Music.
Audrey Nuna

Audrey Nuna

2024-05-1336:08

In honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Ebro plays back his conversation with Korean-American artist Audrey Nuna. They discuss her childhood growing up as the lone Asian-American in a non-diverse community, and the music that has influenced her artistry, from Korean classics to underground hip-hop.Listen to Audrey Nuna's Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Residente

Residente

2024-04-2950:06

Puerto Rican artist Residente has never been one to mince words in his songs, which may make the title of his latest album, LAS LETRAS YA NO IMPORTAN ("The lyrics don't matter"), surprising to fans. But despite the seemingly dismissive name, Residente still has a lot of big topics on his mind, and in this brand new conversation, he sits down with Ebro to discuss them. In this wide-ranging interview, they talk about his mental health struggles while writing his single "René," his desire to push himself out of his comfort zone, and speaking out against the Israeli siege on Gaza.Listen to Residente's The Message playlist, only on Apple Music,
Van Jones

Van Jones

2024-04-1537:18

Back in 2021, the Black Lives Matter movement scored a definitive victory: Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd, was found guilty on all three counts. In this conversation, originally taped in the wake of the trial, Ebro speaks to Emmy-award winning political analyst, author, and activist Van Jones about the conviction, as well as his ongoing work to reform the carceral state and get Black people out of prison.Stream Van Jones' exclusive Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Bianca Belair

Bianca Belair

2024-04-0122:00

In this special Wrestlemania episode of The Message, Ebro talks to WWE superstar Bianca Belair about her work with her husband, fellow wrestler Montez Ford, to connect Black people with their culture. They also discuss mental health and Bianca's goal of changing the world's perception of what a female wrestler looks like. Listen to Bianca Belair's Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Vince Staples

Vince Staples

2024-03-1842:34

In celebration of The Vince Staples Show premiering on Netflix, Ebro throws it back to his 2021 conversation with the Long Beach rapper about mental health, his path to being a full-time rapper, and hip-hop's sudden inclusion in the Super Bowl. Listen to Vince Staples' Message playlist only on Apple Music
Willie Jones

Willie Jones

2024-03-0428:42

In this interview recorded in 2022, country/hip-hop artist Willie Jones joins Ebro to talk about his Message of taking care of your mental health, and how he put that message into his song “Get Low Get High” with Jon Batiste and Michael Todd. Listen to Willie Jones' Message playlist, as well as his series The Cross Roads Radio, only on Apple Music.
Ebro throws it back to Black History Month 2021, when he called up rapper Common and his friend Chef Lauren Von Der Pool for a conversation about nourishment and resilience through good eating, hydration, and getting enough sleep. Listen to Common and Chef Von Der Pool's Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Jeymes Samuel

Jeymes Samuel

2024-02-0550:50

The Message returns just in time for Black History Month! This week, Ebro talks to filmmaker-writer-producer-musician-composer Jeymes Samuel about his Message to "obey your crazy." They also dive into his new film The Book of Clarence, discuss building the soundtrack with "Black gods" Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, and Lil Wayne, and Jeymes shares some secret easter eggs about his last film, The Harder They Fall.Stream Jeymes Samuel's The Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Billy Porter

Billy Porter

2023-12-1151:31

On this brand new episode of The Message, Ebro sits down with Grammy, Emmy, and Tony-award winning singer and actor Billy Porter to talk about his message to always believe in yourself, and how he amplifies that message on his new album Black Mona Lisa.Listen to Billy Porter's Message playlist, exclusively on Apple Music.
Tony! Toni! Toné!

Tony! Toni! Toné!

2023-10-0949:11

For the first time in 25 years, all three founding members of Tony! Toni! Toné! are back onstage together. Brothers Raphael Saadiq and D'wayne Wiggins, along with their cousin Timothy Christian Riley, changed the face of R&B in the late 80s and early 90s, and now they've reunited for a tour, and possibly a new album.In this special episode of The Message, the trio sits down with Ebro to talk about their legacy, reuniting after all these years, and their Message about spreading love through music.Listen to Tony! Toni! Toné!'s Message playlist exclusively on Apple Music.NOTE: After this episode, The Message will be moving exclusively to Apple Podcasts. Episodes will now include music from the artists' playlists, and will be available to Apple Music subscribers. Follow the podcast on Apple Music to hear this episode with music, and to get notified when new episodes go live.
Royce da 5'9"

Royce da 5'9"

2023-09-2556:10

Today on The Message, Ebro is joined by Grammy-nominated Detroit rapper Royce da 5'9" for a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from racism in the music industry to therapy to family trauma. Royce's Message is all about accountability, and he's got some thoughts about how everyone can better open up to the world around them through personal responsibility.Listen to Royce's exclusive Message playlist on Apple Music.
Lecrae

Lecrae

2023-09-1130:03

In today's episode of The Message, originally taped in 2021, Ebro sits down with rapper Lecrae to talk about his Christian faith, the work he's doing in his community, and watching Kanye West figure out his own faith in the public eye.
Jeezy

Jeezy

2023-08-2830:59

Ebro continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop by flashing back to his 2020 conversation with Georgia trap legend Jeezy, to discuss his Message that true success is all about mindset.Listen to Jeezy's exclusive Message playlist, only on Apple Music.
Grandmaster Flash

Grandmaster Flash

2023-08-1436:25

On August 11, 1973, hip-hop was born. It all went down in the Bronx, at the Back To School Jam hosted by DJ Kool Herc. Today on the Message, Ebro celebrates the 50th anniversary of the genre that changed the world by sitting down with one of its originators, Grandmaster Flash. Flash's contributions to hip-hop cannot be overstated. He was the first person to play the turntables like an instrument, and developed a new way of spinning called the Quick Mix Theory. Today he joins Ebro to share his Message and reminisce on the early days of hip-hop.Listen to Grandmaster Flash's Message playlist only on Apple Music.
Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage

2023-07-3132:28

In 2020, while the U.S. was dealing with the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Nigeria erupted in a nationwide protest movement of its own. The hashtag #EndSARS swept social media worldwide, calling for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a division of the Nigerian police force known for its brutality. The youth-led movement was buoyed by support from celebrities both abroad and at home, including today's guest, Nigerian singer, actress and activist Tiwa Savage.In this conversation, taped at the end of 2020, Tiwa and Ebro look back on the summer of demonstrations, what they learned from the state's reaction, and what the future looks like for the youth of Nigeria.Listen to Tiwa Savage's Message playlist only on Apple Music.
T.I.

T.I.

2023-07-1730:13

This week on The Message, Ebro is joined by Atlanta rapper T.I. to discuss his message of Black liberation. Together, they dive deep on the American police state, Black Lives Matter, and dealing with family conflict. Listen to T.I.'s Message playlist exclusively on Apple Music.
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