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The Nostalgia Mixtape

Music Podcasts

A story-telling series rooted in the music that soundtracks our memories. Hosted by Sama'an Ashrawi. Produced & Edited by Jason Crow. Additional Production by Jasmine Chen. Illustrations by Nataly Menjivar.

A story-telling series rooted in the music that soundtracks our memories. Hosted by Sama'an Ashrawi. Produced & Edited by Jason Crow. Additional Production by Jasmine Chen. Illustrations by Nataly Menjivar.


United States


A story-telling series rooted in the music that soundtracks our memories. Hosted by Sama'an Ashrawi. Produced & Edited by Jason Crow. Additional Production by Jasmine Chen. Illustrations by Nataly Menjivar.




Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker is probably one of the coolest people to ever set foot on Planet Earth. The man literally invented the high five in 1977 (seriously, look it up, I'm not lying) and yet somehow that isn't the coolest thing about him. His love and passion for music runs very deep, you'll hear that in the stories he tells. PS shoutout to Sydney Colson.


When Jay-Z Turned Noel Gallagher Into A Sham Pain Supernova

Once upon a time, Jay-Z was announced to be the first rapper to headline Glastonbury. Noel Gallager from Oasis didn't like that very much, he told the press, "I'm not havin' hip-hop at Glastonbury. Fookin no way." The way Jay-Z responded was equal parts class and ether.


Text +1-910-898-3547 on WhatsApp, Watch What Happens

Text +1-910-898-3547 on WhatsApp, Watch What Happens. From the beginning we've always wanted to make The Nostalgia Mixtape a community thing. It’s cool to talk to our favorite artists, but we've always wanted to hear stories from *you*. Now we're happy to report that we've finally figured out a way to do it, but here’s the thing: it won’t work without your help! Over the summer we worked with the team over at the Elis app to create a bot that will allow anyone with a smartphone to be part of...


Jamel Johnson

Comedian and sports enthusiast Jamel Johnson stops by the campfire to tell a few funny and affecting coming-of-age stories; tales of romance, fisticuffs, and maybe a little bit of the ganja. His stories are soundtracked by Ludacris and Lil' Wyte, and boy are they worth hearing. Follow: We are @nostalgiatapes on IG and Twitter.



Lenora, a singer from Houston, Texas, (the Hiram Clarke area to be specific) stops by the campfire to get a little vulnerable, tell some stories, cry a little, and laugh a lot. 3:20 - Growing up in Hiram Clarke 14:15 - Almost got a Ginuwine Whoopin' 22:04 - The album 'Girls', the 'Cool' music video 27:05 - A happy memory 35:26 - "Goin Up Yonder" is *the* song that shaped Lenora 41:30 - Songs Lenora sang as a kid 49:00 - Long Live Mama Lenora 1:02:00 - Water (hug) break 1:02:45 - Grieving...


When I Interviewed Bill Withers

One fateful day, I found myself holding a camera and staring into Bill Withers' eyes. Or, I should say, he was staring into mine. No, he was gazing into my soul. He could see all the highlights of my life, he could see every mistake I ever made. And he was smiling. Here's that story + at the end a chance for you to reflect on pieces of people you care about that you carry with you. This story was first published on the Elis Audio app in two parts, find the story here:...


We're Back! Season 3 Starts Now (Thanks to Elis)

We're back, folks! And the campfire is here to stay. Season 3 is under way thanks to the good people at Elis, a new social media app that puts the power of audio storytelling in your hands. For season 3, you'll hear exclusives on Elis first and then you'll find them here a short while later. If you have an iPhone, download the Elis Audio app from the app store, or, if you don't have an iPhone, simply head to to check out the latest from The Nostalgia Mixtape, Insomnia...


The Bun B Episode

Legendary rapper, college professor, one half of the mighty UGK, and Sama'an's personal mentor, Bun B joins the campfire to tell the story of his career (and his marriage) through five of his songs. [00:01:50] Chapter 0: Trill Foreword by Jon Caramanica [00:11:20] Chapter 1: Findin' Love While Ridin' Dirty [00:23:10] Chapter 2: It's Dark and DMX Knows My Lyrics [00:35:56] Chapter 3: Tupac and UGK, The Collab That Almost Was [00:40:25] Chapter 4: Sometimes A Knowles Checks on *You* [00:51:02]...


Aaron Stephens plays "Do Something" & "Small Axe" (Bob Marley cover)

From our episode In Support Of Black Liberation, Aaron Stephens shares two songs in his live performance: his original tune, "Do Something," and a cover of Bob Marley's "Small Axe." Buy Aaron's music here: Listen to the full episode here: "Do Something" Lyrics: Some people want Some people need Some people give expecting to receive We’re earning wage they’re waging war We made them...


Christelle Bofale covers Solange's "Borderline (An Ode To Self Care)"

From our episode In Support Of Black Liberation, Christelle Bofale shares her cover of Solange's "Borderline (An Ode To Self Care)," accompanied by Jake Smith on guitar. Buy Christelle's music here: Listen to the full episode here: Christelle's Statement + Lyrics: Christelle: I just wanted to give a quick message to anybody Black, and, that message is: just an acknowledgement of how...


In Support Of Black Liberation

A statement from us + exclusive live performances by Christelle Bofale and Aaron Stephens, in support of Black Liberation. Buy their music at: Read an annotated transcript of this episode at: Abridged Transcript: [00:00] Jamel Johnson clip. [00:47] Nina Simone “Mississippi Goddamn” excerpt. [02:34] Our statement: We at the Nostalgia Mixtape, and yours truly, Sama’an Ashrawi, stand firmly in...


Nostalgia LIVE Tape: Hamish Anderson

Bonus content! Taped live at Soundworc Studios in Burbank, California, Hamish Anderson performs a short acoustic set for his appearance on The Nostalgia Mixtape. Set List: - "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" (Bob Dylan cover) - "Winter" (original) More episodes at


The Hamish Anderson Episode 🎸

Melbourne, Australia-based guitarist Hamish Anderson on how a Bob Dylan classic inspired "Winter," the first song he ever wrote, and how The Beatles' "Back in the USSR" made him want to pick up a guitar in the first place. This episode features two live performances from Hamish. Donate to The Nostalgia Mixtape on Venmo @SamaanAshrawi or CashApp - $SamaanAshrawi. Bonus content at:


The Rinny Perkins Episode

Houston-raised, Los Angeles-based writer, artist, and comedian Rinny Perkins sits down with us to tell the story of how Toro y Moi soundtracked her attempt to apprehend shoplifters at American Apparel in 2009. Perkins first gained a following on Instagram through her collage art that combines vintage 1970s Black magazine aesthetic with 21st century slogans. Find her there @rinnyriot. Foreword by New York-based writer and editor, Sydney Gore. Artwork by Nataly Menjivar. Hosted by Sama'an...


The Thundercat Episode

One late night, a teenaged Thundercat and his father walked into a laundromat, around the corner from the house where Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by Marvin Gaye Sr, and changed the channel on the TV to Adult Swim. His life would never be the same. He sits down with host Sama'an Ashrawi to tell the story. *TW - from 46:00 - 60:00 the conversation discusses depression and suicide.* If you think you don’t know Thundercat, you there's a good chance you actually do — he’s a Grammy-Winning...


Welcome to Season 2 of The Nostalgia Mixtape!

Hello, World! Welcome to season 2 of The Nostalgia Mixtape. We know you could all use some good news right about now. Hell, we could too. In the middle of all this madness, a good story is a great escape, and that’s what we hope we can bring you with season two of The Nostalgia Mixtape. My name is Sama’an Ashrawi and I’ll be your guide. If you’re new to this, it’s pretty simple: every episode we have a cool guest tell the story of a memory that’s tied to a song. What’s beautiful is that many...


The Hannibal Buress Episode

Esteemed thespian, underrated martial artist, motocross rider, and part-time EMT, Hannibal Buress recalls his first-ever walk-up music at his second-ever stand-up gig. (We love hyphens!) Hannibal and host Sama'an Ashrawi ponder whether or not they should take credit for the Hiatus Kaiyote sample on Drake's "Free Smoke" and how reminisce about the time Hannibal dunked on Kevin Durant (figuratively).


The Gary Clark Jr Episode

Genre-bender Gary Clark Jr. gets philosophical about the psychedelia of chopped and screwed music and how winning a Grammy finally helped him earn some validation in the eyes of his parents.


The Sam Bailey & Fatimah Asghar Episode

Sam Bailey & Fatimah Asghar look back on how Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' got them through the filming of their acclaimed web series 'Brown Girls' .... and how it continues to get them through this thing we call life. Read along with the annotated transcript here: More episodes at:


The Lupe Fiasco Episode

Grammy-winning rap superstar Lupe Fiasco sits down to reminisce about how a cult classic film, 'The Last Dragon', is connected with the karate (and life) lessons his father gave him as a kid. Read along with the annotations here: