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Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle & Radiotopia

Ear Hustle brings you the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration.... more

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Episodes

Ear Hustle Presents: My Mother Made Me

The Ear Hustle team is hard at work on our next season, which launches September 7! In the meantime, we’d... more

03 Aug 2022 · 33 minutes
Last Memory: Ryan and Earlonne

The jig was up for Ryan, so he told police he’d turn himself in. His mom had one request: a... more

08 Jun 2022 · 50 minutes
Last Memory: Michael

The day before committing the crime that sent him to prison, Michael stood in a parking lot in Bakersfield, California,... more

25 May 2022 · 29 minutes
Catch a Kite 7

This season we're flipping the script on our traditional Catch a Kite episodes, exploring questions asked and answered between San... more

11 May 2022 · 37 minutes
What Is This?

Life in prison, without regular sex and intimacy, can cause all sorts of emotional and physical issues. Yep, we're going... more

27 Apr 2022 · 38 minutes
Gabrieleen Silver Queen

What happens to a prison town when its main prison closes? The residents of Susanville, in Northern California, are about... more

13 Apr 2022 · 42 minutes
Is Your Name Alfredo?

Six massive murals span hundreds of feet across the walls of a San Quentin chow hall, depicting the history of... more

30 Mar 2022 · 36 minutes
Boots and Max

We talk about love on Ear Hustle, plenty, but it’s hard to think of prison as a “romantic” place. What... more

16 Mar 2022 · 27 minutes
15 Minutes

In California and many other states, calls from prison are limited to 15 minutes and are monitored, recorded, and often... more

02 Mar 2022 · 19 minutes
Ear Hustle Extra: Making Trouble

Sometimes, when you’re up against a big state institution, you have to make some trouble. For this mini-episode, part of... more

23 Feb 2022 · 6 minutes
Ear Hustle Extra: A Call from Sacramento

We’re between seasons but have an exciting update to share with listeners: Our friend and colleague Rahsaan “New York” Thomas’... more

26 Jan 2022 · 4 minutes
Ear Hustle Presents: Written Off

While Ear Hustle works on its next season, which starts March 2, we wanted to introduce you to the podcast... more

29 Dec 2021 · 33 minutes
Camp Grace

This past fall, we followed a group of kids into Salinas Valley State Prison to spend two days with their... more

22 Dec 2021 · 39 minutes
Tray, Tumbler, Spork

Earlier this year, some of the Ear Hustle team spent a month living under a specific set of constraints informed... more

08 Dec 2021 · 54 minutes
Yard of Dreams

Sports in prison are more than just games. They can be an outlet for stress, the realization of dreams deferred,... more

17 Nov 2021 · 53 minutes
Counting Lines

Going to prison in your home country can be disorienting enough. What about when you’re new to the culture, don’t... more

03 Nov 2021 · 54 minutes
Taxx Is Tripping

What does it take to be bonnaroo in prison? We explore the creative ways people inside transform and beautify their... more

20 Oct 2021 · 55 minutes
Stormy Monday

At Ear Hustle, we hear more from listeners about music than on almost any other topic. In response, we bring... more

06 Oct 2021 · 56 minutes
Do It Movin’

We bring you stories about the ups and downs of making bail and the bittersweet taste of freedom when you... more

22 Sep 2021 · 49 minutes
August 21, 1971

August 21, 1971 was the deadliest day in San Quentin history, and it’s still a painful topic, both inside the... more

08 Sep 2021 · 55 minutes
Coming Soon: 50 Years After George Jackson

Ear Hustle’s eighth season launches on September 8th with a dramatic account of one of the most notorious days in... more

25 Aug 2021 · 2 minutes
Ear Hustle Presents: Life Jolt

With just a few weeks to go before Ear Hustle returns with Season 8, we wanted to introduce listeners to... more

11 Aug 2021 · 37 minutes
Home for Me Is Really a Memory

Leslie has served more time in prison than anyone we’ve ever interviewed on the show: over half a century, for... more

09 Jun 2021 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
Cracked Windshield

A year after George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer, the Ear Hustle team and friends talk... more

26 May 2021 · 41 minutes
The Whole Shabang

Toothpaste, ramen noodles, sneakers, coffee creamer. If you want to shop from prison, it’s either the commissary or a prison-approved... more

12 May 2021 · 44 minutes
Catch a Kite 6

Can you have an Xbox in your prison cell? Is it OK to say “inmate”? How have stimulus checks affected... more

28 Apr 2021 · 45 minutes
Lifer Bakery

A small Israeli bakery in downtown San Francisco has offered first jobs to dozens of lifers just out of prison.... more

14 Apr 2021 · 41 minutes
Marcel and Angie

Marcel and Angie each spent years in prisons determined by the gender on their birth certificate, not the one they... more

31 Mar 2021 · 30 minutes
Hot Trash

Visiting a loved one in prison is both emotionally intense and constrained by countless rules – from how much PDA... more

17 Mar 2021 · 48 minutes
Sugarbutt's a Snail

A lot has happened since we got behind the mics to record Ear Hustle’s first season. As we begin our... more

03 Mar 2021 · 46 minutes
Ear Hustle Presents: Suave

While we work on our next season, launching March 3, we’re excited to introduce you to a new podcast series... more

17 Feb 2021 · 37 minutes
The Bells

One in five incarcerated people in the U.S. has tested positive for COVID-19, and here in California, more than 100... more

23 Dec 2020 · 1 hour,
The Trail

In 1990, Leonard attacked a female hiker off a trail along the California coast. Three decades later, we hear the... more

09 Dec 2020 · 52 minutes
Crew No. 7

Incarcerated people have long played an important role in firefighting in California. Now, in the middle of the state’s worst... more

25 Nov 2020 · 45 minutes
On Stage in Chicago

Back before the pandemic, Nigel and Earlonne joined Jenn White (WAMU’s 1A, formerly WBEZ) on stage in Chicago for a... more

11 Nov 2020 · 1 hour, 35 minutes
Are You Listening?

Incarceration doesn’t just separate a parent from his or her child, it changes that relationship forever, often leaving wounds that... more

21 Oct 2020 · 44 minutes
The Great Ear Hustle Cook Off

For our first-annual Ear Hustle Cook Off, four formerly-incarcerated people replicate meals they used to make inside their cells, using... more

07 Oct 2020 · 45 minutes
The Christmas Boxes

Six cubic feet. That’s how much stuff each incarcerated person in California is allowed to have in his or her... more

23 Sep 2020 · 52 minutes
The Gray Goose

Being incarcerated doesn’t always mean staying in one place. Ear Hustle kicks off Season Six with stories from inside the... more

09 Sep 2020 · 51 minutes
Ear Hustle Extra: Summer Listening

Ear Hustle will be back with new episodes starting September 9. In the meantime, we talk with people experiencing the... more

22 Jul 2020 · 33 minutes
Nobody Comes Back

Getting out of prison means freedom, but this liberation often comes with caveats. In our final episode of the season,... more

10 Jun 2020 · 56 minutes
Tired of Running

Hollywood loves stories about fugitives on the run, but in reality that lifestyle is anything but glamorous, especially for those... more

27 May 2020 · 46 minutes
Catch a Kite 5

Every season we answer questions from listeners in our Catch a Kite episode. This time around, formerly incarcerated people lend... more

13 May 2020 · 43 minutes
Hold That Space

Four women share their stories of loving incarcerated men, and the challenges they face in maintaining their relationships, staying hopeful... more

29 Apr 2020 · 46 minutes
Sorry Means Nothing

One crime is treated differently than all others, both inside and outside prison. People who commit sex crimes against children... more

15 Apr 2020 · 53 minutes
Us and Them

The relationships between incarcerated people and the correctional officers who guard their prisons are often as bad as you might... more

01 Apr 2020 · 56 minutes
Locked Down Again

As the Coronavirus pandemic locks down parts of America and the world, we revisit an episode from 2018, about how... more

18 Mar 2020 · 41 minutes
Myths & Monikers

In prison, almost everyone has a nickname, and whether true or not, nearly every nickname has a story behind it.... more

04 Mar 2020 · 39 minutes
Ear Hustle Extra: In It for the Long Haul

In honor of the launch of “Over the Road,” Radiotopia’s new show about long-haul trucking, Earlonne and Nigel talk with... more

20 Feb 2020 · 11 minutes
A Message from Ear Hustle

Back in 2016, our podcast network, Radiotopia, made the Ear Hustle dream a reality. In honor of Radiotopia’s annual fundraiser,... more

27 Nov 2019 · 5 minutes
Ear Hustle Extra: Antwan Williams, Journeyist

Surprise! In this season four bonus episode, Earlonne sits down with Ear Hustle co-founder and sound design contributor, Antwan “Banks”... more

15 Nov 2019 · 22 minutes
Tell Christy I Love Her

Tom was a cop; Jason was a teenager in a gang. One night in 1997, they had a violent encounter... more

16 Oct 2019 · 43 minutes
Chicken on the Bone

Historically, death sentences in California have led to eventual execution by the state. But these days, public opinion and state... more

02 Oct 2019 · 41 minutes
Catch a Kite 4

Sleep, soundtracks and signing in prison — the Ear Hustle crew tackles questions from listeners about these topics and more,... more

11 Sep 2019 · 32 minutes
Life Shows Up

Getting a job after serving time is crucial to rebuilding your life, but a criminal record inevitably gets in the... more

28 Aug 2019 · 37 minutes
Snack Money

Running a prison takes a lot of work, and not just by the staff running the place. At San Quentin... more

14 Aug 2019 · 40 minutes
Inside Music

I think we can all agree: It’s high time we devoted a full episode to the music of San Quentin.... more

01 Aug 2019 · 44 minutes
I Want the Fairy Tale

How does dating work in your 30s when you’ve been locked up since you were 15? How soon do you... more

17 Jul 2019 · 41 minutes
Kissing the Concrete

Serving a prison sentence is hard, but getting out isn’t exactly a cakewalk, either. A lot depends on who’s waiting... more

03 Jul 2019 · 30 minutes
Respect the Paper

Hardly anyone writes letters anymore. On the streets it’s all texting, posting, sharing and liking. But in prison, pens, paper,... more

20 Jun 2019 · 35 minutes
Excuse Me on the Tier

Ear Hustle is back with season four! Let’s get oriented: to a new format and a new inside host, and... more

05 Jun 2019 · 35 minutes
Season four preview

Ear Hustle is back with season four, starting June 5. Mark your calendars and tell your friends!

29 May 2019 · 4 minutes
Road Trip

Ear Hustle will return with season four later this year, but in the meantime, here’s a timely bonus episode. Nigel... more

16 Jan 2019 · 14 minutes
P.S. Asking and Giving

As the annual Radiotopia fundraiser wraps up, we bring you one final missive of the year, including an appeal for... more

17 Dec 2018 · 6 minutes
Bittersweet

In prison, life’s major milestones usually pass at a distance. In our season three finale, Earlonne gets up close to... more

12 Dec 2018 · 45 minutes
Big News: It's Time

Earlonne and Nigel got some big news earlier this week, from the office of California Governor Jerry Brown. Stay tuned for... more

24 Nov 2018 · 4 minutes
Prime Real Estate

Despite the additional hurdles involved, daters in prison fall into the same categories as daters on the outside: romantics, hopefuls... more

21 Nov 2018 · 37 minutes
The Big No No

When you’re incarcerated, falling in love with prison staff or volunteers is prohibited. But… it happens. And it happened to... more

08 Nov 2018 · 36 minutes
Catch a Kite 3

A “kite” is prison slang for a written note, and since Ear Hustle launched we’ve encouraged listeners to send in... more

24 Oct 2018 · 30 minutes
This Place

This time on Ear Hustle we’re trying something different: we’re diving into San Quentin’s 166-year history. Normally, we get the... more

10 Oct 2018 · 38 minutes
Future on Ice

Being an immigrant in an American prison can pose unique challenges, like deciding which racial group you’ll identify with. But... more

26 Sep 2018 · 40 minutes
Birdbaths and a Lockbox

During a San Quentin lockdown, the prison grinds to a halt, and men are confined to their cells 24 hours... more

12 Sep 2018 · 38 minutes
Season three preview

Ready for more stories about life inside? We bet. Season three of Ear Hustle drops September 12. In the meantime,... more

05 Sep 2018 · 5 minutes
So Long

Leaving an organization or community often calls for an exit strategy – even in prison. In this final episode of... more

20 Jun 2018 · 41 minutes
Down Low

Of the thousands of people incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, no one is openly gay. No one. And only... more

06 Jun 2018 · 33 minutes
The Row

San Quentin houses California’s only death row for male inmates. And though it’s technically not far from the media lab,... more

23 May 2018 · 42 minutes
Catch a Kite 2

A “kite” is prison slang for a written note. Since Ear Hustle launched, we’ve encouraged listeners to send in their... more

09 May 2018 · 32 minutes
Thick Glass

Parenting is never easy, but from prison it's especially challenging. In this episode, incarcerated fathers share their stories of striving... more

25 Apr 2018 · 35 minutes
The Workaround

Looking good and feeling good matters just as much on the inside, as on the outside. But in prison, you... more

11 Apr 2018 · 32 minutes
Dirty Water

Sex trafficking crimes are hard to talk about. In this episode, Sara and LA share their individual experiences of being... more

28 Mar 2018 · 36 minutes
Firsts

“Firsts” in prison can be especially memorable: the first time you meet your cellie, or leave the prison for medical... more

14 Mar 2018 · 39 minutes
Season two preview

Ear Hustle is back March 14th! To tide you over until then, here’s a taste of season two. Find out more... more

28 Feb 2018 · 5 minutes
Ear Hustle Bonus: Songs From S1

Music is an important part of Ear Hustle, and there are many talented musicians in the San Quentin community. Listeners... more

20 Dec 2017 · 22 minutes
Getting a Date

There are only a few ways to leave prison: serve your time, get out early on parole... or escape. Steve, Danny,... more

25 Oct 2017 · 33 minutes
Gold Coats and OGs

Dealing with aging and death is never easy. But in prison, these issues are fraught with extra challenges, both emotional... more

11 Oct 2017 · 24 minutes
Left Behind

“I’m a stupid idiot who stole some money.” Curtis Roberts was sentenced to 50 years to life, under the three... more

27 Sep 2017 · 35 minutes
Unwritten

The color of your skin influences your life in prison, from sharing food to celebrating birthdays. Meet Andrew Sabatino (Drew... more

13 Sep 2017 · 30 minutes
The Boom Boom Room

Being married in prison is common. Opportunities to get intimate with your spouse are not, and – like everything else... more

30 Aug 2017 · 28 minutes
Catch a Kite

“Kite” is a common term in prison for a written note. Over the course of the season, listeners have been encouraged... more

09 Aug 2017 · 28 minutes
The SHU

The hole, the box, solitary confinement. It doesn’t matter what you call it; doing time in the SHU (Security Housing... more

26 Jul 2017 · 28 minutes
Looking Out

The need to nurture and show love for another living being (or, in San Quentin parlance, “looking out”) is an... more

12 Jul 2017 · 23 minutes
Misguided Loyalty

Tommy Shakur Ross grew up in South Central Los Angles in the 1980’s. As a boy, he was seduced by... more

28 Jun 2017 · 27 minutes
Cellies

At San Quentin Prison, the typical cell measures approximately 4’ x 9’ and contains a bunk bed, toilet, sink, two... more

14 Jun 2017 · 23 minutes
Meet Ear Hustle

Ear Hustle brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a... more

25 May 2017 · 4 minutes
Ear Hustle
Looking Out
Ear Hustle
0:00
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Description

The need to nurture and show love for another living being (or, in San Quentin parlance, “looking out”) is an essential human... more