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Only Human

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Most Recent Episodes

The Realness Ep6: Missing You

Prodigy is supposed to fly back home right after a show in Vegas, but he never gets on the plane. As the world of hip hop mourns, there are still questions surrounding his death. We try to find answers, and go inside Prodigy's memorial service to say goodbye to a rap icon. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

The Realness Ep5: Go See About the God

It's The Alchemist's birthday, but thanks to the NYPD's "Rap Intelligence Unit," he and Prodigy are forced to celebrate in a jail cell, and soon after, P is headed upstate. But even Prodigy says prison changed him for the better. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

The Realness Ep4: The Most Racist Judge in Nassau County

When Prodigy goes on trial for violating probation, his lawyer files over 90 pages of P's medical records in his defense. We find those records buried deep in a Brooklyn courthouse, and they open a window into how Prodigy's body was at war with itself. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

"The Realness" B-Side: Roxanne Shanté

Roxanne Shanté is the queen of Queensbridge rappers. As a teenager in the 1980s, she lyrically demolished all comers. In this B-side outtake, we talk with Roxanne about meeting Prodigy, encouraging Hav to go solo, and how the water in Queensbridge bestowed her with rap superpowers. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

The Realness Ep3: Son, They Shook

Someone is shot inside Def Jam. A rap star chases Mobb Deep through Lower Manhattan. And Prodigy convinces a hip hop mogul to sneak weapons into one of New York's most decadent nightclubs. Mobb Deep came up in rap's golden age. No other group defined the era quite like the duo from Queens. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

The Realness Ep2: T'Chaka

As a kid with sickle cell anemia, Prodigy was told he'd barely make it to adulthood. The work of doctors, athletes, Hollywood stars and The Black Panthers help transform his fate. But what kind of life would he lead? LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

The Realness Ep1: This Sunny Day Right Here

Prodigy and Havoc begin laying down rhymes together in high school. When their first album flops, they come up with a new sound that's directly influenced by P's sickle cell, and it helps define a generation of hip hop. Plus: Big Twins talks about the sickle cell attack he'll never forget. LANGUAGE WARNING: The Realness contains strong language that some listeners may find offensive. WNYC's health coverage and The Realness by Only Human is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio of Prodigy on Questlove Supreme is provided by Pandora, which also has a recording of Mobb Deep's classic hit "Shook Ones (Part II)" performed by Nas.

Aftereffect Ep8: "They call him Cheese"

One day in February, a group of staff packed up Arnaldo's belongings, moved him out of Carlton Palms and into a three-bedroom house in a suburban neighborhood. On its face, it's the type of setting disability advocates strive toward. Arnaldo has his own bedroom, more autonomy, a staff that looks after him. At the moment, Arnaldo is the only resident. He'll eventually share the house with two other men, but just days before the first is slated to join Arnaldo, he dies - under suspicious circumstances in the care of Carlton Palms.

WNYC Studios presents: The Realness

The Realness is about how a sick kid became a legendary rapper, but still couldn't escape sickle cell anemia.

Aftereffect Ep7: "The man behind an empire"

For decades, Carlton Palms' elusive founder, Ken Mazik, has wielded his power and influence to sway members of Congress and state legislatures into bending the rules in his favor, from scuttling laws that would have limited the use of physical restraints, to securing leeway from the state of Florida in order to amass a fortune in Medicaid funding. As one of his former employees told us, "Ken Mazik made millions of dollars tying up little kids."

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