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Good luck trying to pin a label on Baron Vaughn, because he is an artist who has built a career out of defying expectations. Learning from an early age that humor can be both a weapon and a shield, he has carved out a unique identity for himself through his eclectic stand up comedy albums, performances in Netflix’s Grace & Frankie and Mystery Science Theater 3000, and creating the series The New Negroes for Comedy Central. Vaughn takes an unflinching look at the world’s expectations of what it means to be black in America. But in reaching the position he is in today, much is owed to the groundbreaking work of the creative forces that came before him, including psychedelic funk godfathers Funkadelic, who shattered genre stereotypes while also getting people to shake their asses to the drug-fueled grooves of their 1971 release, Maggot Brain.
00:45 – Intro
07:15 – Baron’s only music growing up was his own beatboxing
14:15 – Musical theater is a good entry point into being weird
19:00 – Really good musicians are telling you a story
20:00 – This is a George Clinton album?
24:45 – What the fuck does George Clinton actually do?
26:00 – Just being black is a political act
27:30 – Telling your own story louder than the one being told about you
32:30 – Using the specific to talk about the universal
37:30 – Fearing your own darkness
43:30 – Therapy: It’s not just for white people anymore!
48:15 – Attachment Theory
56:15 – When you just can’t get enough
59:45 – Baron hates to party
01:03:15 – When the debtors come a-knockin, don’t stop a-rockin’
01:12:00 – What passes from parent to child
01:21:00 – Never let a fuck up get you down
01:26:30 – The healing power of 1,000-year-old drugs
01:35:30 – The teachings of a bad trip
01:41:45 – Facts!
01:44:00 – Being afraid all the time makes you less afraid when it counts
01:48:45 – Baron’s silliness is far too often overlooked
01:51:45 – It’s hard being incomparable
01:55:15 – Baron’s partners in crime
01:58:45 – Don’t judge a crowd by their scream-o loving children
02:06:15 – Smoking crack with Marie Kondo
02:07:30 – This album is super black
02:09:30 – Outro
02:13:00 – “El Moran” by Mascaras
02:15:15 – “Bay City Blues” by Idle Hands (s/o Fleece Army Captain Jack McCue!)
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The 500 with Josh Adam Meyers is a production of Native Creative Podcasts.