The Sean Combs Saga Is Catnip for Pop Culture Podcasts

The Sean Combs Saga Is Catnip for Pop Culture Podcasts

In recent years, podcasts and radio shows devoted to hip-hop culture have risen in prominence, particularly those which lean into interviews and commentary. Black-led shows have carved out a lucrative industry for their fun, informal insider tone and perspective unavailable on other mass-audience platforms.

“You have this space that opens up where all of the journalism is just rampant fandom,” said A.D. Carson, an associate professor of hip-hop at the University of Virginia. “Fan service can exist where people who were formerly artists or who have that kind of access might still leverage that access to be able to have something to say about whatever is going on.”

Combs has been a popular conversation topic since November, when he settled a lawsuit by his former girlfriend Casandra Ventura, who makes music as the singer Cassie and had accused him of rape, physical abuse and forced sex with male prostitutes. Three other women accused Combs of sexual misconduct in lawsuits in the following weeks, and the producer Rodney Jones Jr., known as Lil Rod, filed a similar lawsuit in February.

In January, the comedian Katt Williams said he had turned down invitations to party with Combs in a conversation on “Club Shay Shay,” the podcast hosted by Shannon Sharpe, an ESPN personality and former N.F.L. player.

Earlier in the lengthy conversation, which received 63 million views on YouTube, Williams said that Combs and others he called “deviants” would be “catching hell in 2024,” saying that “all lies will be exposed.”

This week’s raids rejuvenated interest in Combs around the podcast world.

For about 40 minutes on Wednesday’s episode of the former rapper Joe Budden’s podcast, he and four other hosts discussed the tracking of Combs’s private jet, the false speculation that he fled the country, silence from A-list celebrities and potential next steps in the federal investigation.

“This is a wrap,” Budden said. “Not only is this a wrap, this is about to get much worse.”

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