When Did R&B and Hip-Hop Become One?

After a quick postmortem on the Drake-Kendrick beef, Confucius and Fresh dissect how R&B crept into Hip-Hop’s sonic sector. Get that, an Unpopular Opinion around Kendrick’s de facto influence on the West Coast’s relevance, plus Hip-Hop Facts and Confucius’ reactions to the latest headlines right here.

Who’s Winning This Beef?

As the Kendrick-Drake beef escalates, Confucius and Fresh are joined by cultural strategist Keys and producer-DJ Mason Flynt for a rare, three-part roundtable discussion on the ongoing exchange. Hear everyone’s takes plus an Unpopular Opinion and Confucius’ reaction to university protests in the latest episode.

The Drake-Future Feud / Sex Appeal

Confucius and Fresh cover the latest rap beef before weighing the importance of sex appeal in the modern era. Hear that, Hip-Hop Facts, Confucius Reads the News, and an Unpopular Opinion on industry politics.

Climate Change Fatigue

The details of climate change can be overwhelming. For some, it’s so overwhelming that they begin to shut it all out. Others are just tired of hearing about it. Those where the dual inspirations of this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

The Great Resignation

The pandemic changed life as it once was. Many lost jobs. Others began remote work. Everyone took stock of what was most important. Even two years in, we’re not seeing a workforce that’s back to “normal.” That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Attack on Dave

Confucius and Fresh discuss the recent incident at a Dave Chappelle show where a fan jumped on stage and attacked him and muse on the recent nominations to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about the connection between Run-DMC, Suge Knight, and 2Pac, CeeLo Green’s criminal past, the connection between Young Thug and Lil Baby, the connection between Future and Dungeon Family, and more!

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Travis Scott has a better catalog than Young Thug.

Confucius talks about the recently leaked draft Supreme Court Opinion signaling that the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in Confucius Reads the News

Rest in Power DJ Kay Slay

Fresh and Confucius celebrate the life of DJ Kay Slay, and debate whether Future really is the best rapper alive.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about DJ Kay Slay, DJ Drama’s Gansta Grillz, and more!

After T-Pain called out the city of Dallas over low ticket sales, Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that artists can’t be mad about low ticket sales.

Confucius talks about the fall of Netflix, Future’s comments about whether he wants more kids, Florida’s decision to revoke Disney’s special status,  Jerry Seinfeld’s friendship with Wale, and more on Confucius Reads the News.

The Breaks’ Mt. Rushmore of Rap

The week on The Breaks:

  • Fresh is out, so Confucius answers the question put forth by Rap Caviar — Who are the 4 best rappers of the 2010’s? For Confucius it’s Drake, Kendrick, Future and Nicki Minaj.
  • Confucius puts forth that of his top 4 hip-hop artists, Drake is hands down the biggest artist of them all.
  • Confucius discusses the release of DMX’s  posthumously released record “Exodus.”
  • In this week’s installment of  Random Hip-Hop Facts you’ll find out info about  Lil Jon, the writing of “Still D.R.E.,” why Jay-Z skipped the Grammys and what the most bootlegged album of all time is.
  • In his Confucius Says segment Confucius encourages listeners to be honest with themselves about who they are so that they can be true to themselves.

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.

Respect Nicki Minaj!

This week on The Breaks:

You can hear the latest full broadcast of The Breaks Saturday night show.


Texas Standard: October 27, 2020

There’s some hope from the left Texas could go blue in the presidential election, and some likelihood it could when it comes to the state house. We’ll explore. Also, the divisive state of politics right now has many concerned about the risk of violence on or after Election Day. We’ll dig into news Texas Army National Guard troops will be deployed. Plus, misinformation going out before an election is nothing new. But evidence it’s targeting Spanish-speaking communities. Also, when counties can turn any building into a polling place it often means many of those buildings won’t be fully accessible. And a small-town Texas story is getting its shot on the big screen. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 12, 2019

Blocked at the border: a judge in El Paso puts the brakes again on part of the president’s border wall project, although parts of the wall are still going up. We’ll have more on the latest legal challenge to the president’s effort to fulfill his campaign promise of a border wall from the Gulf to the Pacific. Also, a battle in the Texas Capitol City over changes to the code may be the shape of things to come for the rest of Texas, we’ll hear why. And 2019, a good year for cyber security? Our tech expert Omar Gallaga gets us up to speed and more today on the Texas Standard:

Asymmetry: Past & Future

Dating back to when we were kids, two weeks into the future seems a lot longer than two weeks in the past. Even as adults we know two weeks is the same length regardless of when it takes place and yet we still experience this asymmetrical mindset.

In this episode of Two Guys on Your HeadDr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss asymmetry between the past and future.

Texas Standard: May 15, 2018

the US Supreme Court’s decision on sports betting: what are the odds things will change in the Lone Star State? We’ll explore. Also, what’s the best and worst price for gasoline you’ve seen? Tweet us @TexasStandard because this hour we’re exploring the rise to $3 bucks per gallon, and how that could affect us way beyond the pumps. Also, more and more states moving away from hypnosis as a tool in law enforcement. Some officials calling it junk science, though in Texas, in can be a matter of life and death. Lauren McGauhey of the Dallas Morning News explains. And the attempt to hear what your ears can-not. A new idea to combat killer twisters before they strike. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Higher Ed: Helping Students Flourish In Careers Of The Future

One of higher education’s biggest challenges in the coming years may be to prepare students to flourish in a world with many careers and positions that don’t now exist. In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how higher education can be ready for this new reality. Ed  wrote the following in his 2017 President’s Report:

…in the decades to come, higher education faces some serious challenges, not the least of which is remaining relevant to the intellectual and creative needs of students who will graduate into a world in which over 65% will eventually holds careers in positions that have yet to be created.

In this episode, Ed and Jennifer discuss the ways that education already prepares students for a broad range of careers and some ways it may need to pivot as the work world continues to evolve. Listen to this whole episode for a glimpse into the future and to get the solution to a retro puzzler about old-fashioned cash registers.

This episode was recorded Feb. 28, 2018.

Texas Standard: March 12, 2018

The president’s gamble over tariffs: why Texas may be in the crosshairs if Europe decides to go tit-for-tat. We’ll have a conversation with the EU ambassador. Plus, full speed ahead for the general election? For dozens of Texas candidates, the brakes are still on for the runoffs. We’ll lift the curtain on what it takes to get past the next political hurdle. And is a historic part of downtown El Paso ready for the bulldozer? Some residents say no one prepared them, and they’re pushing back. Also evangelical women in the era of Trump and me too. After allegations from a porn star and more, can Trump still count on support from the religious right? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 8, 2018

The Texas primaries are just around the corner. We’ll follow the money to find out which big organizations are funding candidates so far. Also the numbers are devastating and they seem to be growing. What’s behind an uptick in child abuse deaths in Texas? And a central Texas university is mired in debate about racism involving the student body president. We’ll have the story. Plus as the state’s first medical cannabis oil dispensary opens we’ll talk with a doctor about why even those eligible for a CBD oil prescription might have a hard time getting one. And a new book about an odyssey in the Texas Hill Country is getting a lot of praise and complimentary comparisons. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 29, 2017

An ongoing election recount issue in Virginia has a Texas tie. Why the state thought they had a fool-proof way of counting ballots in the wake of Bush v. Gore. Plus, thinking of changing careers in the New Year? Or taking steps to do so? We’ll lay out which industries across the state are likely to have the biggest needs. And we’ll introduce you to a new group of superheroes and, later, the candidates for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. We’ll also get a call from the future -sort of- thanks to a former Texan whose back “home” in Australia. And Fridays mean the Typewriter Rodeo and a wrap of the biggest stories in Texas politics, today on the Standard:

On The 20th Century, And The 22nd

With 2018 upon upon us, let’s look 100 years back at 1918, and let’s make some guesses about the coming year.

In 1918, there were fewer than 250,000 vehicles on the road in Texas. No driver’s license was required, by the way. Given that there were only about 5 million of us back then, we had one vehicle for every 20 people. That made getting to the family reunion a tight squeeze.

Today there are 22 million vehicles on the road in Texas – sometimes I think all of them are in the I-35 corridor when I’m there. There are 28 million Texans. Subtract the children and you have damnear one vehicle for every Texan of driving age. Since 1918, cars and trucks have proliferated far faster than Texans. We’ve seen a twenty-fold increase in vehicles and only a 6-fold increase in people. We’re adding cars and trucks faster than we’re making Texans.

In 1918, World War I ended. Incidentally, it was called The Great War then. It didn’t become WW I until we had a WW II, which created the unique war labeling. Many people have been talking about WW III for some time but fortunately, nobody has been able to produce it yet.

A million Texans registered for the draft and 200,000 fought in the Great War. Texas volunteerism was high, perhaps because Germany had offered Mexico a deal in the Zimmermann Telegram. They said that if Mexico threw in with Germany, Germany would help them get Texas back.

5200 Texans died during the war. About a third of them died from the other devastating event of that year, the influenza pandemic, better known as the Spanish Flu. It was particularly sad that we had soldiers survive four years of unholy trench warfare and mustard gas only to come home to die of the flu.

The Spanish Flu was unusual in that 20-40 year old adults were most at risk rather than children and old people. A common story of the time was of four healthy women who played bridge late into the night. They went to bed and the next morning, three were dead.

Children who survived the flu that year, some believe, went on to live healthier lives than most because they developed powerful immunities. My mother had the flu when she was eigh years old. She lived to be almost 102. She was in good company: Walt Disney had it, Woodrow Wilson had it, and so did Texas novelist Katherine Ann Porter, who later wrote a novella based on the epidemic called “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.”

A study by Vanderbilt University in 2008 found that people like my mom still had the Spanish Flu antibodies, working hard 90 years after they had the flu.

Texas cities like El Paso were particularly hard-hit, partially because of Fort Bliss, the military base there. 600 people died in El Paso, almost 1 percent of the population, and many more, of course, survived the flu.

Today, we have the flu vaccine, which was invented by Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis in 1933. So though a pandemic of the 1918 variety is not impossible, most experts feel it is highly unlikely. But we cannot say the same for World Wars. It always seems one surprise assassination of an obscure archduke away.

Turning to the future, what will Texas look like in 100 years, in 2118? All one can do is look at trends and guess. As Peter Drucker said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights on while looking out the back window.” So with that warning, let’s try anyway.

If we go by the futurists at Google, we can predict that there will be fewer cars on the road, per capita, than now. We will have many types of public transportation such as self-driving buses and cars. Fewer people will own their own cars and trucks in the future. Experts believe we will simply hail self-driving taxis using some future version of smart phones which probably won’t be called phones anymore. I wonder if we will have taxi pickup trucks, nicely lifted, with an occasional set of longhorns strapped to the front, just for nostalgia.

I asked former official State Demographer of Texas, Steve Murdock (everybody’s go-to guy for the future of Texas) what the Texas population would look like in 2118.

“If Texas continues to grow as it has in the recent past, one would expect it to increase its population to more than 80 million by 2118. This assumes that Texas will obtain technology and other factors to increase the water supply,” he said.

From this number, we can see that this would put us in the neighborhood of present-day Egypt for size and population.

Murdock also said that in the 2050-2060 decade, Texas will be about 55 percent Hispanic and 20 percent white. It’s hard to predict trends beyond that point. He said we need very much to ensure educational opportunity for all or we will not have the success in the century ahead that we enjoyed in the last one.

My personal guess is that Texas will be incredibly urban in 2118, as compared to today, particularly east of I-35. DFW, Houston and San Antonio will be super cities. Austin may well be a kind of giant suburb of San Antonio. It’s quite possible that San Antonio and Houston will fight over city limit signs.

If the big tech giants have the future properly envisioned, our cities like Dallas and Houston will be more people-friendly – pushing vehicles out of our streets and reclaiming many as green spaces for walking and biking and sports. And we will all have artificial intelligence robots.

I just hope the robots say things like “howdy” and “fixin’to” and “while I’m up, can I get y’all a beer?”