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  • Writer's pictureKia

To the Top

To the Top

Welcome back to No Filter, where I dish on the things that spring up on my mind... or suggestions that I may have a long opinion about. lol Today's discussion will be on my top 5 favorite podcasts to listen to and Instagrammers to follow. I originally was going to have a whole diatribe about something completely different. However, the more I delved into it, the more exhausting it became simply because you can speak until you're blue in the face and some still won't get it. There will still be both misogynistic and judgmental people in this world and it was doing nothing but irritating me to talk about it AGAIN. It felt like a broken record on replay. (Yes, that horrible) Anywho...

Since this week's topics are lists, this can cater to those who don't like to read a lot... maybe. :-) But before we get into that, let me give a little background. Just a little bit.

1. I started listening to podcasts back in 2015. I was trying to get caught up on The Breakfast Club on the iHeart Radio app and started listening all the time. I don't listen to the radio because of the commercials, repetition of songs, and it's edited. Besides, I never caught the show from the beginning anyway. I kept hearing Charlamagne tha God talking about someone named Kid Fury and the name sounded familiar. So, I looked it up and found The Read. From there, down a wormhole I went. I currently have 23 podcasts that I am subscribed to. There used to be a lot more, but some have fallen off of their own accord. Some, I lost interest after awhile. And then there were those, I attempted to support, but the ignorance just wasn't it for me.

2. I was the one that was adamant about not getting a Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. I stated over and over again, why get another app when Facebook does all of the things I need it to be. Well, I sort of changed my mind about Instagram. My reasoning, at that time, was to grow my businesses. Not only am I an author, but I am a Graphic Designer. (Of course, you know that if you're on my website, right?) Anyway... That was over 4 years ago and now I have two pages. On March 23, 2016 was when I posted my first image on the platform. You remember how I said I got on to promote my businesses? Hehehe... The first picture was of my dog for #NationalPuppyDay.

So clearly, that didn't quite jump off the way I planned it to. But today, I over 600 followers and I follow about the same, give or take some duplicates. However, since the start of my original accounts birth, I have started a system of promoting on both accounts for almost everyday to keep people either informed, entertained, or two promote someone as well as myself. (Not all at one, though) So, if you are on Instagram and aren't following me, check me out on @authorkiabarlow or my personal/designer page @juicyfruit1788. Oh, but I still don't do Twitter or Snapchat. (Kanye shrug)

Now, on to the lists...!

Top 5 Podcasts

1. The Read- Of course, this is on the list. It was my introduction to all things podcasting. It started in 2013 and is still going strong. So, if you're like me and like to listen from the beginning, you have a long journey ahead of you, my friends. This show is a weekly podcast featuring Kid Fury and Crissle West that discuss a variety of topics today's hip-hop and pop culture happenings. They shout out black excellence, speak on justice, give advice and read you for filth all on one episode. And if you are in the beehive, stanning is an understatement for these two. You will get your feelings hurt for talking about their queen.

2. Black Widow Podcast- Now this one... Don't listen to it on speaker unless you're away from the kids and definitely not at work... That is, unless you work at an X-rated place of business. I've been listening to Black Widow from its inception. It is a scripted podcast that "investigates the mindset of dating as a millennial." On many occasions, your ears will be tantalized by the erotic sounds of the characters enjoying their freedom to express their sexual sides. Eric Dizzy, the content creator, conceptualized this show to promote "positivity around sexual experiences", especially for women. I'm sure many who looked at my stories have seen me shout them out more than once. I've personally encouraged multiple people to listen to it and they've loved it.

3. Jesus & Jollof- Created in 2018 by Luvvie Ajayi Jones and Yvonne Orji, this show is the culmination of entertainment and insight. When I heard they were coming up with a podcast together, I think I pre-subscribed. I was so ready for this one and they have not disappointed at all. If I had to be honest about anything at all, I can say that this podcast has dropped more gems for my everyday life in the past two years than a lot of people have tried to impart on me. In fact, I've resulted in keeping a notepad with me when I listen to them because the advice is worth keeping it in your tool belt. I look forward to the proverbs Luvvie speaks and Yvonne's DMX renditions in almost every episode. If you need some relatable advice, this is definitely one to go to.

4. The Friend Zone- This podcast is another show I've been listening to since the beginning. The show began in 2015 and they have been tickling my funny bone from the start. The hosts are Assanté Davis, Francheska Medina (Hey Fran Hey), and Dustin Ross. I first heard them when they were guests on The Read and when it was announced about their show, I practically did the same thing I did for J & J. On this show, you get the full table to feast on: music, television, and wellness. You also get the jokes, camaraderie, and advice you'd expect to get when you indulge in something with friend in the title. They also drop major gems for your everyday life on a weekly basis. So, get into it.

5. Insecuritea- The best way to round this top 5 list up. The official aftershow for HBO's Insecure. Hosts Crissle West (The Read) and Francheska Medina (The Friend Zone) are the ultimate recappers (I know that's not a real word) of one of my FAVORITE shows. A fresh update is dropped shortly after each episode of the show is aired on Sunday nights, which means, you only get new installment when the season is active. But it is worth the wait for me. These two ladies break down the entire episode, which helps for people who may have missed something. They also give out predictions of what will happen throughout the season... and for the next season. For season three, Crissle was on point with her predictions.

  • Notable Mentions- Gettin' Grown & LeVar Burton Reads are to other podcasts that I'd like to shout out. It was hard trying to narrow down which ones I wanted to highlight and I would be remiss to not give them their accolades for keeping me entertained as well.

Top 5 Instagrammers

1. @ccfierce87- CC Reid is an erotic artist out of London. I can't remember exactly how long I've been following her but I fell in love with her work immediately. I discovered her when I was trying to find black love artwork through my explore page. The funny thing is, the first piece by her that I saw was very... mild. But, upon a further inspection through her page, I discovered all kinds of eye-openers. It's great for those who aren't ashamed of adults being their raw selves.

2. @iamcarlosdanielart/@carlosdanielart- Carlos is another artist I've come to love. He's not an erotic artist but he does have some sensual pieces that toy the line. Much like CC, I was looking for black love art when I learned about him. He also does commission work for those who would like to have their own images recreated. I also love the fact he is not limited to making couple art with smaller characters. He caters to full figure individuals as well. For the family-friendly images, go to @carlosdanielart and the sensual work is now all being transitioned to the newer page under @iamcarlosdanielart.

3. @arnell.armon- As a writer, I try to make my characters more realistic. So, oftentimes, I will try to find people, clothing, and locations that give me a visual of what I'm trying to convey. This is how I learned about Arnell. My explore page is my go to, and I was looking for black twins with hazel eyes for some characters I'm working with. Arnell and her sister Alissa (@alissa.ashley) fit almost perfectly for my characters. I started following them after that because of their hilarious personalities. Arnell is an influencer on Instagram and on YouTube. She does tutorials and first-takes on makeup, skincare, fashion, hair, and much more. Check her out if any tips on YouTube or her Instagram for updates or laughs via her lives.

4. @theshaderoom- For all pop culture and beyond information, The Shade Room is the place I go to. Whether it's the good, the bad, or the... shady, this is where I get most of my news. Wanna know who was spotted out with who? How about the #zaddies of the week? They have you updated on who's pregnant, extravagant proposals, right along with what's going on in the government. Need the dirt? They got you. Need to know what's going up in politics? They GOT you. If you just need a cute #familyaffair post to look at, THEY GOT YOU. In '99, Warren G said, "I want it all. Brand new socks and drawers." Well, guess what, they can point you in the right direction for that too.

5. @theestallion- Thee hot girl rapper on these streets. Megan Thee Stallion is apologetically her. She raps, goes to school, is a brand ambassador, has fitness routines of a beast and the dog mommy to the cutest little dogs. I love the interactions she has with her friends. The work together, they play together, they workout together. I can tell from the videos and pictures that she loves to have fun. And after the recent issues she's been through, I sense that she tries to keep the negativity out of her space so that she can best live her life as well. Goals to live by.

*Just a note* The lists are not in a specific order of least to most or most to least favorite. I love them all just the same. Hope you are able to enjoy them just the way I do.

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