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Ear Hustle - looking at life inside San Quentin State Prison




Earlonne Woods, the co-host and co-creator of the podcast, Ear Hustle.
Earlonne Woods, the co-host and co-creator of the podcast, Ear Hustle.

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Last year we talked to one of the creators of a new podcast that is called Ear Hustle. It was launched after Radiotopia, a podcast network run by Public Radio Exchange (PRX), had an open call for new podcasts. 

More than a thousand ideas were submitted, from all over the world,  but the winning podcast came from California and is named Ear Hustle.

But what makes it so unusual is that it's made inside San Quentin State Prison. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area artist and Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin.

Here's a video of Earlonne, produced by PRX, talking about Ear Hustle

We spoke to Earlonne about the goals of the podcast, and what his hopes for it are. We started by asking him what the name, Ear Hustle, means. 

Ear hustle, it actually means being nosey being in someone else's business when it's not your business, or listening into someone else's conversation. Like say for instance, if your boss is saying something and he's using your name - you're going to key into that conversation. That's what ear hustling is, keying into someone's conversation that might not be yours.

The first podcast episode was titled, Cellies, and it dealt with the hardships, difficulty and often times fear involved when you share a cell with someone. We asked him why they chose that topic as their first one. 

Well, when we came up with the cellies idea, we did it from the perspective of - if people in society  can't relate to prisons, maybe they can relate to having a roommate. And that is very important ... I mean. the person that you're going to be in a cell with, you have to be compatible, because you're going to be in there ... sometime for 24 hours a day. So you have to be cordial - so that was one of the stories where we were like, well people in society should be able to understand this one. 

We asked Woods what he hoped the lasting takeaway would be for the person who listens to Ear Hustle. Here's what he said.

In our eyes and in the stories we do, we hope that we can show transformation. We hope that people understand that, yeah, prisons are here for a reason and we're trying to take advantage of those reasons, which is to rectify our lives. 

(click on the blue arrow to hear the entire interview)