FLINT, Michigan -- With various local guests ranging from creative and music artists, fashion designers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, Jeff Skigh, Figga Da Kid, and JT Money have created one of Flint’s most unique podcasts called The Laid Back A-- Podcast. Created early last year, the LBA Podcast has flourished in a COVID-19 world and expanded its host lineup to include rap artist Cameron Tyler and comedian Chessstix.
Each week the host, together or with guests, discusses and sometimes argues over a wide selection of topics, including music, sexuality, politics, and consciousness. Since its inception, the podcast has grown with over 1,000 followers and thousands of views across YouTube, Facebook, and Apple/Spotify Podcast channels.
Flintside caught up with Jeff, JT and Figga to discuss all things podcasting and how the group is looking to shake up the global media landscape.
Flintside: What was the inspiration to start a podcast in Flint?
: “[We] had been discussing creating separate podcasts, but after we released our first round of Flint Rap Trading Cards, we decided to start one together.”
Flintside: You’ve named it, The Laid Back A-- Podcast. What’s the inspiration behind the name?
“We like to think of ourselves as "laid back" people individually. The title is more of a misnomer because the conversations we have on the podcast are anything but laid back.”
Flintside: This is a podcast whose members are mostly music artists outside of JT. In y’all opinion, what sets this podcast apart from others in Flint?
“We and Cam Tyler, who joined in Season 02, are artists. JT Money is the cool, money man. I think what sets it apart is the largely different perspectives. We aren't afraid to touch on sensitive topics in a way that allows people to laugh and feel involved.”
Flintside: The topics that y'all talk about are pretty diverse. I was surprised that there is a good portion of the discussion centered around politics and current events. How important is it to talk about what's happening in the world?
: “Our viewers watch us to stay up to date on light news, or at the very least, appreciate our opinions on current events enough to tune in every week. Current events and real-life experience are probably two driving factors that fuel the podcast every week.”
Flintside: There's a perception that rap artists aren't interested in or ignore current events. Yet, the podcast seems to counter this narrative. Is it essential for the music community to be politically active and engaged?
: “Yeah. We all have jobs to do in every community, whether it means going out and protesting or being a voice to the cause. We're just trying to do our part individually and as a group. When trying to create real [conversations], you have to play the whole field.”
Flintside: With the platform that LBAP has, what are some of the messages you want people to take away from each episode?
“It's okay to have differing opinions and not be afraid to discuss them with people who might disagree with you. Growth is everything, and we are all growing every day. We might not agree with who we were yesterday, but it's all an opportunity to learn and grow.”
Flintside: What's been some of the struggles in producing a podcast in Flint and trying to market it?
: “Dealing with egos and learning how to navigate being a voice in the media realm. You gotta learn to watch what you say because individuals might get mad or cancel culture might come for you--which it has multiple times. [laughs]”
Flintside: The LBA Podcast is host to a wide range of people. Is there anything, in particular, y'all are looking for when inviting guests?
: “They have to be able to have a different perspective. Or maybe to help discuss something we've been planning to discuss. We've had women join us to discuss relationships, people from the LGBTQ community join us to discuss their lives and experiences. We want everyone to feel welcome, but they have to be interesting for sure.”
Flintside: In what ways do you all see the podcast growing, and what are the goals?
: “We have the potential to take the podcast world by storm. We have a very special product and we need to keep growing. We're on the way. The goal is to be the biggest podcast globally, and we won't stop until we get there.”
Flintside: In being a part of this, what have y’all learned about yourselves as the podcast continues to grow?
: “We’ve all learned to be more open to others views and opinions. Being on a podcast like this kind of forces you to acknowledge others’ perspectives, discuss their experiences, and sometimes put you in their shoes. It keeps us from being hyper-focused on the immediate world around us and opens to the bigger world outside the window.”
You can find The Laid Back Ass Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Apple Podcast. Tune into the show every Tuesday starting at 10 p.m. EST.