TuneDig is an in-depth and informed conversation between two lifelong friends about the power of music — one album at a time.

In each episode, we go down the rabbit hole to spend a while in the strange world we discover. We take an honest look at creativity in all its complexity—from writing and production to history and cultural impact.

We promise you’ll learn something new every time, no matter how much you already love the album we explore.


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Episode 016

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill

There’s little doubt at this point that Miseducation is a great album, but after really spending time with it, we came away with a deep belief that it’s one of the best ever, full stop. It’s a perfect record — albeit from an imperfect vessel — delivered at the perfect moment for maximum impact, and we only manage to scratch its surface here. We hope it hits you like it has us.


Note: our transcripts are mostly AI-generated for now. 

Episode 016: Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill": Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Episode 016: Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill": this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

You're listening to TuneDig podcast from Music lovers, the premise is simple in each episode we dig deep into an album we love and then we give away a copy to you about I'm on vinyl Go to TuneDig.com to see what's up for grabs and learn more about us.

Today we're talking about the miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Oh. Oh.

So we're recording this episode in twenty eighteen. And this year marks the 20th anniversary of this album coming out. She's done a tour this year kind of celebrating the 20 year anniversary. We've got lots of long reads, whatever else. I think one of my biggest takeaways about this record has been the further you go into it, the more you feel like it needs to be talked about. There's so much here. This thing debuted at number one. It broke the record for first week sales by female artists. There are ten Grammy nominations. She won five of them. She was the first woman to receive that many nominations and that many awards. In one night, this album is sold almost 20 million copies worldwide, eight times Platinum in America. It's an album of the decade type thing, right?

Yeah. All those stats that you just rattled off barely scratched the surface of how felt this was. It was because of quantitative stuff like that and because of qualitative stuff like how against the grain it was and the culture at that time.

The ripples are still on their way out from the pond. This is still being used and it's changing things and still has an impact to this day. This album is still getting sampled and hits that are coming out this year and Drake is using them.

Khateeb is always said to be there if you're better musically. This is continuing to be used.

But culturally, it's a little weird. It's it's like that phenomenon where you don't notice the same type of car you have until you buy it and you start looking for it and then you start seeing the car everywhere. This singular album's impact is a lot like that. It's so woven into the fabric of a lot of the music that we already know and love. But until you really look specifically for the touch points, you don't start to see the giant network effect that happened when she dropped this singular thing. The more that I tried to learn about this, the more my interest turned into reverence for what happened here. Totally. This is one of those times where music went way beyond even the realm of sound. The more that I learned about this, the more I began to see that this had an impact in a way that I literally, as the person that I am, couldn't really fully understand that this had deep meaning, especially to black women in the moment that it came out. And it continues to have a deep impact there. This work is so seminal that not only can we not cover everything in this episode, but we shouldn't even be considered a real authority on this at all. But I think the thing that we can do and the thing that we should do is give as much context as we can, give as much perspective as we can, and then rely really heavily on you, the listener, to go and learn more.

You put me on to Joan Morgan. She begat this arguably the definitive retrospective on this album and everything that has surrounded the career of Lauryn Hill. She talked about the formula for the success of an album being place, time and impact, but she compared it to lemonade, the way that felt when it came out.

And it, quote unquote, disrupted everything I did in Alabama, Louisiana, Miqdad Negro with make the baton with the. Well, no doubt in the country I, I got my big swag, this record is important, I think, exactly because of what you said, because there are a million rabbit holes to go down.

You could spend just about a lifetime studying and trace it all the way back to its roots.

Even Pitchfork agrees with us. Even Pitchfork gives us record a nine point five. There's such a great pull quote from this. Half of Miseducation was recorded in Jamaica at Marley's own Tuff Gong studio, and the baby she carried was conceived with Rowan Marley's son of Bob. So from this regal lineage, miseducation strikes out with a lionhearted courage of a crusader. But it can't stay there. Metaphor's of God and soldiers and lions of Judah are good as far as they go, but they don't quite go far enough. The problem is that such a worldview is fundamentally male, which is to say, more ubiquitous than correct. Lauryn Hill was tasked with something more difficult than that to walk a series of intertwined type roots specific to young black women, to be vulnerable but fearless, to tell the truth, but to look beautiful while doing so, to be driven by love, but be ready to fight, to be soft enough to mother a newborn, but hard enough to protect her family. At twenty three and pregnant, she was too young to be responsible for this much. It's just that most people didn't notice it because the miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she handled these competing drives so beautifully.

Just the fact that she did this when she was the same age that I was graduating from college and had a ponytail and didn't know what I was going to eat for breakfast the next day. And she just had this wellspring of wisdom. However, sometimes inconsistent or occasionally problematic in retrospect, that she just had this strength of conviction and of self is really, really interesting to me. And it's also been the thing that has complicated her legacy and the legacy of this album as she's navigated that and grown up in the spotlight, essentially the same way that, like Kobe Bryant has come in straight out of high school going into the league. And we have scrutinized every move that she's made collectively as a society. And that's made it a little tougher to look back on this record. But this record encapsulates a lot of those things because it's not perfect. One of the best retrospectives that I read was like, it's not perfect, but it's important because it's not perfect because this is a person's whole humanity on display. This is their truth. And that's why this record resonated with so many people. She wasn't afraid to be raw.

In fact, she said that she wanted the production of the album to be raw. Aim for the LP was to write songs that had the integrity of reggae, the knock of hip hop and the instrumentation of classic soul.

Trust in me when I say, oh, hey, oh, pretty baby, don't let me down. Pretty bad.

And I think that this is even a great example of how all of those different narratives continue to get pushed all the way through to where we are now. So, Driggs, nice for what? Samples X Factor.

Louisiana, should madonia be.

Everybody gets a motherfucking wrong, but that highlights something about sample culture that really draws out an interesting angle of this song in this album, too, because just like what you said, Drake is sampling a song because what he can do is kind of copy and paste the context of the song. Right. It's less about the music most of the time. And this includes Kanye and other great producers who are sampling music. They're not just finding the right hook. They're finding a moment that they can put inside of another song that can recall another time.

That's the thing that I didn't understand about sample culture for a long time was it's like, remember the way we all listen to this when we were kids or if, you know you know what part of our shared experience this is from, like, I just always thought it was because this is a thing that sounds cool. It's very mixed. Maybe like a mixtape in the way you would make a cassette for a person you have a crush on. There's always subliminal between the line stuff there.

Yeah, that's a perfect way of putting it. But X Factor itself. So just to trace one example of this line, Drake's nice for what Samples X Factor, which is off the miseducation of Lauryn Hill X Factor samples. Can it all be so simple by the Wu Tang Clan. Can it all be so simple? Samples Gladys Knight in the Pits The Way We Were, which is a cover a Barbra Streisand song. Steve, and so you've just got a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of context that's overlaid with the current circumstance or situation. And it's this beautiful thread of hip hop in general, where you can just take moments in time and put them in a new context and add new context. And then someone else will take that context and put it into something different. And there's this beautiful sense of family and heritage and lineage that's all wrapped up. When something like this happens inside of a song, it goes much deeper than just making a great hook or making something sound good when it's produced. And this song opens up into history and into learning more about all of your influences and all the people that you love and where it comes from. And just that lineage itself of Drake to Lauryn Hill, to Wu Tang Clan, to Gladys Knight is in and of itself a history class that feels like you're reading the playlist from Love Deejaying and after party somewhere.

Honestly, it's smart in that way. Let's backtrack for a second. Lauryn Hill was in the Fuji's before her solo record, and this record was highly anticipated when it came out in ninety eight because it was preceded by the score, which was and still is one of the gold standard Hip-Hop records from.

With his fingers singing along with his wife. Killing me softly, softly, softly with his song.

The score, the Fuji's record, sold six million albums, and it came out in 96 and 96 was also the year that reasonable doubt came out and gave us Jay-Z and aliens came out. So it was a year where we started to see critical and commercial success get really melded for hip hop. But they were a huge success. And a lot of people, in retrospect, it seems like, would argue it's disproportionately because of Lauryn Hill. Their live shows were described as a shit show and people didn't know how to make heads or tails of Prowse and Wyclef. But then Lauren would start singing from backstage.

He was saying, in my life with his wife.

It's killing me softly with his song, Killing Me softly with his song, telling my whole life with his words, killing me.

So everybody knew by the time this record came out that she was the one to watch.

And I mean, she was the best singer and the best rapper.

She had bars. Do I play my enemies like a game of chess without rest, no sweat and no smoke? Says, yes, I must confess my destinies manifest the support, sex and sweats. I make tracks like a homeless rap orgies. But would you best captured your lousy life as the GetNet? Yes, bless you if you represent the food. But that hexa with the witch's brew. If you don't do it, I could do with you.

She was almost literally born for this. It feels like. I mean she was that open mike night at the Apollo when she was thirteen.

Did you read that story that she sang The Star-Spangled Banner at a middle school pep rally or basketball game, and they used a recording of it for the rest of the season because it was so good. So I agree with you.

She's been this way forever, so, yeah, so she's a prodigy. And then on top of that, she is songwriting for all of these amazing artists. You wrote a song for C.C. Wynans at ninety seven while she was pregnant. She wrote and produced A Rose is still a Rose for Aretha Franklin. And then Aretha, who was kind of notorious for not being easy to work with, liked working with Lauryn Hill so much that she had her director music video for the song. And then later Lauryn Hill would write with Whitney. And a lot of this stuff is going on after she had gotten that role in Sister Act, too, like she's an amazing, talented artist. You rarely have the full alignment in a singular person of performer, an artist capable of thinking and expressing things deeply, but also knowing how to work an audience.

That's the difference between a person who makes a great album or movie or TV show or something that sits with us for a little bit and somebody who's going to live forever through their work.

And I think to add another layer on top of what you're saying to you, she's coming out in the context of Erica Badu and Missy Elliott on top of coming out of the Fuji's and being known for being extremely talented in a band. That was awesome. Like if you walk away from this listening to more Fuji's, that's also a win for the top once on a front like you. How about la la la la la la la. So everyone in the Fuji's had apparently an agreement to release solo albums anyway, and so, yeah, so this was kind of like a premeditated kind of agreement.

So prenuptial agreement, a little weird in the context of everything we know now as a rabbit hole.

We're not going down on this one.

Yeah, this is not like a Real Housewives Post episode wrap up, but you could read more about this on Google.

She's got the weight of having clearly carried a good portion of the Fuji's so far. She's got the weight of being a black female musician who's a fantastic rapper and a fantastic singer who's being compared to both people like Missy Elliott, but then also Nina Simone. At the same time, she's got the weight of some culture behind her who is aspiring to be like her because she's showing a type of effortlessness. There's so much to unpack there as well in terms of what a cultural icon she was already becoming. And so there was so much pressure that was already happening for this to be created. That's such a fascinating aspect of this album, all the expectations that were put into it. And then the thing that she turned all those expectations into because she really had to fight to create this personal of an album.

I think that's a huge take away from this record. But again, especially when she's really young and in an industry that is changing in ways that's almost like designed to be predatory to some of these new artists and this new untapped market, I can't fathom having that kind of self-awareness to know what you're sitting on now.

So, yeah, it's funny how money changes situation, miscommunication, lead to complications, emancipation. double-Jointed, I was going to humble you on every stage. Yeah. Some lovely young lover like she does, but she's got this thing recorded.

There are doing the thing with the record label where they're still kind of pre negotiating how this album release is really going to go. And Lauren felt really strongly about releasing lost ones as the single so that it could get in the clubs and whatever else and the label can. I disagreed with her on that. I don't know. There's not a lot of information about why the record label itself wasn't really interested in releasing that single or why it wasn't thinking that. But Lauryn Hill and the people she was working with to produce the record went ahead and got lost ones printed on some 12 inch vinyl records and started distributing them out to the DJs and clubs to force the record label to kind of do what they think that they should do with the album and release that as the single. And it worked masterfully. That became the hit that every D.J. had in their set. You know, we've talked about great albums that seem to hit the right moment or be in the right place at the right time, and they have an outsized impact. And I think that that's the case here. But it's incredible to see how masterful she was at understanding exactly what she wanted to do and exactly how to execute on it.

I think it's a combination of two things. One, I think she was unbelievably true to herself. Just I have this thing in me. I am a lightning rod for all of history and my ancestors and everything that I believe when I think of Lauryn Hill, I think of power and command, both of words. She's just very dexterous and economical as an emcee, but she's very commanding as a presence, less so live than she used to be. But you go back and you watch the old videos and you're like, she was one hundred feet tall. So she knew who she was, but she also knew who and what she was going against. The rising tide and hip hop and a lot of ways was of materialism and misogyny and of the carefully curated images and narratives that the record labels and big corporate America wanted to perpetuate about black culture. It's kind of unbelievable how obvious all of that is. In retrospect, she's fighting a feminist battle on one front, but then she's also fighting a lot of what the other female emcees are doing at the time, you know, like the locums and the foxy Browns. And doing what I've learned has been described as soldiering, as putting on an aggressively masculine persona. I'd like to be one of the boys. She felt no need to do that. She beat them at their own game as an emcee. But then she was vulnerable and feminine and delicate. You know, she's very much like Nina Simone. And that way I think that's a great comparison. There's almost nothing performative about Lauryn Hill in the same way that it is kind of a. Infuriating about Andre, three thousand. Like all of it is such a performance because none of it is, they're just so uniquely distinctively themselves. And I'm glad that you brought up Erykah Badu and botulism, which came out a year before Miseducation did something that he knows nothing.

And some and we were in his car and it's still not nearly as bad, but when I think of this record compared to botulism, which is a little unfair because they're apples and oranges, it made me think a lot of kind of blue and a love supreme body wisdom had to exist for this to exist in a way both were going to happen, definitely regardless.

But they get entered into the cultural conversation sort of in the same way. And you see one come up and retrospectives of the other a lot. So I think it's fair because it seems like it's on the top of a lot of other people's minds, the same way that those two records and fifty nine and sixty one were part of a cultural creative movement. And this was the like this is the definitive this is the number one artifact. Like if we shoot a time capsule into space and we want people to know about the 90s or just the history of the black experience in America and all the things that have happened like this is a document. This isn't just a piece of art or great music or cool songs like this is a thing that needs to be at the Smithsonian.

Look at your career. They say, Lauren, baby, hey. But instead I chose to use my now the job, my.

The mark of a great artist is somebody that can take all of these things that we all feel and share and value and can channel them into an expression that is cogent and that resonates right. It's literally a vibration that you, as a listener, as a fan, can get on the same wavelength as desire. And like, if you really listen to it actively will make you cry. It doesn't matter how tough you are when you know the story and you really feel it, it's powerful. She was pregnant with this kid.

I just can't imagine living in a scenario where I felt like this was OK to do. People were telling her that she should have an abortion because it would affect her career. So there's that.

But I got to shout out the dissect podcast. The best episode for me is the two Xeon episode. It's forty five minutes on this one song. And you see that when it pops up in your app and you're like, oh yeah, absolutely not. But then you start listening. And the story of this song beyond the context of it is so incredible. So when you break it down to the music theory, it alternates in the chord progression between major and minor, and that basically is reflective of the uncertainty that's felt in the song. And as the story goes, Lauren said that she was looking for a vehicle to talk about the subject matter, but didn't know what the song would sound like until she heard this thing that had been composed by one of the Newark people. And to me, that's one of the things that makes someone like Lauryn Hill a really profound artist, like the ability to recognize those elements that work on a theoretical logical level and to be able to feel them with your instincts shows what a powerful and profound artist she is to know immediately.

This is the thing where I'm going to be able to talk about this and channel all this and store all of these feelings in four minutes and then deliver it. That's what makes her next level, even what's loaded into the title. Right. Tzion is the name of her first born son, which is heavy, but to Zion is also sort of her artist's statement or her mantra pointing toward God, all things that are holy, just like living in an enlightened, actualize life. So it's a letter to her son that says these are the circumstances in which you were born. You changed my life forever. But it's also a message to everyone else to be able to weave all of those things in its on its face. Ostensibly, the song is about her. It's like a diary entry. It's the most vulnerable open song on this record, but that it's also a big spiritual vehicle. Miseducation is full of little moments like that that are just so powerful and so dense and so packed that when you add it all up, it's a pyramid of really, really big heavy bricks.

And that's why I think it's really just good to reiterate one of the things we do for our episodes is we try to give you on Twitter or something like that.

We try to give you a thread of resources to check out the kind of spun off from our conversations here, videos that we talked about or an article that we were heavily influenced by. And certainly we'll make sure that some of the big things that we talked about today, she got this the dissect podcast, that those things are linked up. But even though we can only ever give you a glimpse into a moment or an album, in this case, it's so small compared to the whole that you can get that it's important to understand that this is in no way canonical and doesn't try to be. There's so many facets and aspects of what happened here that we didn't even try to cover, much less the things that we did try to cover that we couldn't do fully. And so it's really important that whatever aspect of music, this kind of lights up in you to pursue it for this record, because I would love for other people to have this sensation and experience that I have had when really focusing on this album over the last several weeks, again, of it turning from appreciation into reverence for what music can really do, not just as a powerful outlet from someone who wants to express themselves, but as a singular, impactful object in time and space that can touch so many other things for so long, and that this is so deep on so many levels. I mean, we even touch on some of the personal things she had going on at the time. We didn't touch on MTV Unplugged that came out afterwards, which caused a lot of controversy and confusion about her as a person or all of the. The people have put on her since then for not meeting the social contract and showing up everywhere, that she said that she would on time and with a good attitude, we didn't even talk about the enormous seismic lead single or video we didn't talk about do it all.

Want to believe what cats used to harmonize like? Yo, yo, yo, my men and women, don't forget about the day, is not the most came. We spent a lot more time from a research perspective on this record than we normally do with others, because I think we implicitly knew that we didn't know everything we needed to know about this record.

And now we know we couldn't possibly know everything we need to know about this record.

But that, I think, is a really important takeaway for me. Don't go to the museum and just take pictures of the things that look cool and leave, really sit with things, wrestle with them, and I would encourage everybody to do the same. It's been a very helpful exercise and has made just getting to have this conversation and getting to this point a profound personal thing that I'm going to carry with me for a long time. And it's going to help me feel a lot more connected to a lot of people and a lot of conversations that I wouldn't have otherwise. For anyone who's like a playlist person or a casual background person or I like, oh yeah, I got the Cliffs Notes, no pun intended. I'm I'm good to go spend more time with the thing than you think you should, and it'll reveal itself to you in ways that you never thought possible.

The easiest thing you can do to just open your third eye immediately is just read whether it should she got this or something else. Read about the miseducation of Lauryn Hill from a black woman and all of a sudden your eye will be opened to levels of impact that you never understood how she was an icon in a way that as a dude in general, I never really would have thought of how she became deeply iconoclastic from a fashion perspective. So just that quick direction and opening yourself up to hearing from particular people during that era or who remember that era is a gift in and of itself. And there was something really peaceful about remembering that music can have that level of impact. But this is one of those moments where you can just say this was a thing that meant more than any single person can ever understand. And it came from an imperfect person who herself was just trying to express the depth of emotion that she had. At one moment, it's still out there.

It can still happen.

And I'm excited to see what happens next.

But a TuneDig.com to sign up for our emails and click the link in the email when you want to win, that's at.

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Original "Bitches Brew" Art

To celebrate the endless creativity of Bitches Brew—and especially its famous album artwork—TuneDig partnered with two incredible Atlanta-based artists to create one-of-a-kind, handpainted gatefolds.

With the spirit of the original art in mind, each artist brought their own vision to life. These pieces will spark conversation for any jazz fan.

Each piece includes a new vinyl copy of Bitches Brew. 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist, so take this opportunity to support the arts in the raddest possible way.

Seriously. There’s literally only one of each. Make it yours. 😎


Season 6—featuring our most eclectic selection of albums yet—concludes July 1, 2022.

TuneDig Episode 50: Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain”

Before uniting one nation under a groove, the lysergic lords of chaos in Funkadelic harnessed wild lightning into an amulet called Maggot Brain, bestowing the bearer with raw, dark power stronger than any force known to man. Between reaching our 50th episode and coping with the “maggots in the mind” of today’s universe, it felt like the right time to free our minds. We hope y’all’s asses will follow.

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TuneDig Episode 49: Alice Coltrane’s “Journey in Satchidananda”

The story of Alice Coltrane — an accomplished bebop pianist from Detroit who transcended into something far greater before walking away from public life altogether — is a glimpse into what it means to be truly free. Alice’s masterpiece "Journey in Satchidananda" is a cosmic dance that sparked creation from destruction. And in a time when we’re all desperately searching for a spark of meaning and hope, Journey abides abundantly.

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TuneDig Episode 48: Heart’s “Little Queen”

Take a moment to appreciate Ann and Nancy Wilson, who kicked down the doors of rock ‘n’ roll’s boys’ club with their peerless guitar work, soaring soul vocals, and tight songcraft. 1977’s Little Queen — an oft-overlooked gem in the classic rock canon — offers a snapshot of those elements at their most urgent and pure, powered by the Wilsons’ simple motivation (as described by their producer): “It was a war.”

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TuneDig Episode 47: Tangerine Dream’s “Phaedra”

When you think of “electronic music,” what comes to mind may not be a genre you deeply love — hip-hop, house, new wave, or even dub reggae — but all of it owes some debt, scientifically or otherwise, to Tangerine Dream. Dig in with us as we study a prime example of the band’s brand of effortful innovation, where they patiently and persistently labored at the cutting edge of electronic technology to open a portal to new worlds in our minds.

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TuneDig Episode 46: Olivia Rodrigo’s “SOUR”

Did you catch one of 2021’s biggest albums, or like us, did you almost overlook it? If you have any expectations of pop music, "SOUR" will likely subvert them. Teenage dream this is not; it’s an exquisitely universal portrait of a weird time to be alive.

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TuneDig Episode 45: Fela Kuti’s “Expensive Shit”

The story of Fela Kuti — one of the most famous people on an *entire continent* passionately struggling to liberate power to more people — is absolutely one worth deeply knowing, regardless of whether you find yourself drawn to Afrobeat or (cringe) “world music.” But once you know it, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Fela and Afrika 70 as their revolutionary grooves rewire your brain in magical and meaningful ways.

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TuneDig Episode 44: Meshuggah’s “ObZen”

Meshuggah’s ObZen—an artifact of human creativity pushing the limits of what’s possible—will quite literally make you hear music differently. If you’re looking for a new musical adventure, and especially if you don’t think you like “heavy” or “weird” music, consider this your sign to push past your comfort zone.

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TuneDig Episode 43: mewithoutYou’s “Catch For Us the Foxes”

A misunderstood wise man once said “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds.” In our most personal and vulnerable episode yet, we do some seeking through the lens of songs that fill us with the bravery and sincerity to love ourselves and others fully. Dig deep with us as we fish for words about our tiny place in the universe and dance with gratitude for our ability to do so.

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For lifelong headbangers and the musically curious alike, a new podcast from TuneDig is here to push your palette with aggressive, abrasive art. Each short, fast-paced episode offers (1) a new metal, punk, noise, or experimental release we recommend, (2) a related playlist we’ve curated, and (3) a heavy issue to consider and an organization doing something about it. Join us in the void.


TuneDig Episode 41: Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew”

Let’s be clear: "Bitches Brew" is a challenging record, even to some of the best musicians in the world — but all of them say it’s worth the investment. It’s the kind of trip that, even if we *could* draw a map, it wouldn’t take you there. Let go of the need for meaning and enjoy the ride with us. We can promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you end up.

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TuneDig Episode 40: Fiona Apple’s “Tidal”

On the heels of one of 2020's most acclaimed albums — Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters — we revisited Apple’s debut Tidal and wound up working to extract ourselves from the mostly male gazes that made its reception … much different. We arrive at a question much like writer Jenn Pelly had: “People would constantly prod Fiona on how an 18-year-old could write songs as mature as these ... Why did they not ask instead how she became a genius?”

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TuneDig Episode 39: Death Grips’s “The Money Store”

The modern world is accelerating beyond our control, shaping our reality in ways we can’t yet perceive or understand. Enter Death Grips, an art project capturing the chaotic energy and illustrating the absurdity of our hubris in trying to harmonize the surreal and extremely real — never more perfectly than on 2012’s prescient "The Money Store".

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TuneDig Episode 38: Augustus Pablo’s “King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown”

Reggae music is easy to take for granted, but its impact is underappreciated and massive — in the case of dub in particular, everyone from Radiohead to Johnny Rotten to Run-DMC owes it a debt. Augustus Pablo and King Tubby together created what’s regarded as “one of the finest examples of dub ever recorded.” Join us as we dive into the culture, history, and unique engineering experiments that made it possible.

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TuneDig Episode 37: Rihanna’s “ANTI”

By every measure — sales, awards, chart-toppers, global name recognition — Rihanna is objectively as big as the Beatles ever were. In fact, ANTI is so big it’s still on the charts, a record five full years later. Take a closer look with us at “the record you make when you don’t need to sell records”, and get a taste of the true freedom that comes from focusing on your inner voice when faced with insurmountable expectations.

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TuneDig Episode 36: Son House’s “Father of Folk Blues”

All American music traces back to the blues, and deep at the root sits Son House. That the recordings on "Father of Folk Blues" even exist is something of a gray area that cuts to the heart of the great American myth, but wherever you land after hearing these stories, you’ll find that what matters most is what the great Muddy Waters once said of House: “That man was the king.”

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TuneDig Episode 35: Melvins’s “Stoner Witch”

The futility of describing the Melvins has stretched critics in the direction of absurd words like “Dadaist” for nearly 40 years now. They’ve belligerently flogged any attempt to pinpoint their essence simply by being themselves, but "Stoner Witch" remains a reliable mall directory for the Melvins’ vast and wild discography. Grab yourself some pretzel bites.

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TuneDig Episode 34: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”

We should talk about Dolly the way we talk about Prince. Her extraordinary kindness and unique kitsch both make her universally loved, but what gets left out of the conversation is the very thing that made her famous: the music. Join in as we focus attention on the sonics and songwriting of the low-key masterpiece "Jolene".

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Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

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We're Cliff (right) and Kyle (left). We’re two dudes born and raised in ATL with day jobs in tech and sustainability, respectively.

We met in middle school, and in one way or another, music’s been the thing that’s kept us close for the two decades since — whether it’s sharing and talking about new music (like this podcast, except in our texts or over beers), going to shows, or working with our favorite record stores to help them survive and thrive.

We started TuneDig as a little art project that connects us more deeply ourselves and to the world through the infinite gift of music. We hope you’ll join us for the conversations, let us know what you think, and share discoveries of your own.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.