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What’s hip about “Mogul” the podcast

A series podcast about the life of a hip hop mogul you've never heard of

written by Matt Stickland
September 14, 2017 1:25 pm

Mogul podcast is a six-part podcast about a guy you’ve never heard of who’s responsible for a lot of the names in hip hop that you’ve heard of.

In Mogul, Reggie Ossé, also known as “Combat Jack,” explores the life and times of Chris Lighty who died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012. Lighty was a huge instrumental player in the rap and hip hop worlds. He managed the likes of L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, and 50 Cent. In the podcast, Ossé explores the relationship that Lighty had with the industry and how his actions changed the way the music industry does its business. There’s a reason Vitamin water is so popular now, and it has its roots in hip hop.

As a previous entertainment lawyer and a former managing editor of The Source magazine, Ossé himself is an industry insider. He came up at the same time as Lighty and they had many of the same clients. So, this podcast has a lot of interviews with the big names of the time because Ossé has the access. It provides a unique look into both the industry and the culture.

The podcast is all about the music industry, and Ossé intertwines the history of hip hop with the history of Lighty. Mixing the history of hip hop from an industry perspective, and from fan who grew up in the middle of its evolution makes for a very interesting podcast.

The only problem with Mogul is that both the story of Lighty and the history of hip hop, as told by Ossé are very engaging.

We just want more

In a very real way it leaves listeners wanting more.

The podcast is telling two very involved stories in a very limited run, there feels like so much more that could be explored. The east coast versus west coast rap beef is abridged to about 30 seconds of audio. It probably could have been a whole episode. The only reason this is disappointing is because telling the history of a music genre in audio format is probably the only way to do it, and Ossé does an amazing job with the story and medium.

A man who had as much influence as Lighty in the music industry deserves more than six episodes. It can be really felt in one of the episodes where Ossé discovers something about Lighty that shakes him to the core. Ossé dedicates the tail end of an episode on it, then moves on in the next one. Ossé tells the story so well that listeners are invested in the story and can feel cheated in that moment which deserves more exploring.

It’s the downside of telling two huge stories in a short, six-episode series.

In spite of those minimal short comings, this podcast is a must-listen to anyone who enjoys hip hop, biographies or good story telling. Be advised that this podcast contains a lot of strong language, and depictions of sexuality and violence.

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