Not just your average podcast

From left to right are the hosts of the new podcast Pick a Side; James Stackhouse, Lerone Gore and Preston Wingate.

Not just your average podcast
June 16
14:07 2021

Starting a podcast is the new wave. Nowadays you can find a podcast that covers just about any topic known to man.  Fortunately for local listeners, three African American young men have started the “Pick a Side” (PAS) podcast that covers a multitude of topics like sports, education, politics and more that affect the Black community.

James “Stack City” Stackhouse and first cousins, Preston “Barbershop P” Wingate and Lerone “LG” Gore, came up with the idea for the podcast last year during the pandemic. They would routinely have conversations on the phone about various topics and felt they should bring that to the public.

“It got started because like most friend groups, we get on the phone and we talk and we argue about sports all the time,” said Stackhouse. “During the pandemic, when everything was shut down, we had a lot of free time on our hands, so we came up with the idea to take what we do off camera, on camera, and start a debate podcast centered around sports.”

The three friends started putting things together in April of 2020. They did not want to rush the process, so they chose to record shows to stockpile material. Along the way the show transformed from only sports to include other topics as well. They released their first official episode on April 20 of this year and they will debut a new episode every Tuesday and Thursday of each week.

“It was just like a year of trying to figure out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it,” Stackhouse continued. “To be honest, it started out as strictly a sports debate show, but then through life circumstances and things that were going on in the world, we started talking about other issues as well.”

The guys did not want to sound or look like the typical debate show that you see on ESPN or FS1. They don’t have the typical moderator and commentator roles on PAS. The three men rotate between each role depending on the topic being discussed.

“We all wanted to have our equal share and equal part, and no one wanted to stand out more than the other,” said Wingate.

The pilot episode for the podcast was 40 minutes long; however, the guys felt that the 10- to 20-minute range would be better for the future shows. The response they have received has been very positive to date and they have even connected with other start-up companies like Hoodlamb Apparel, who is one of their sponsors.

“Another thing we wanted to do was to have our platform be a platform for other people,” Stackhouse said about the podcast. “We have connected with a photographer and video editor so far.

“We have had a lot of positive feedback and through the friends we know would tell us the truth, we have had a lot of constructive criticism as well, and we have tried to apply that to the show and get better.”

Wingate says he enjoys being a part of the show because it is doing something positive for the community by portraying Black men in a positive light. He is the more “radical” personality out of the trio and enjoys discussing political matters and issues in Black America.

“I think it’s important for young Black men to see guys like us who are still relatively young, in the culture and not out here doing the wrong things, like hustling and other stuff,” Wingate said. “We are trying to be positive and show there are other ways of making it out there.

“There is a lot of work to be done and I feel like we can be a catalyst to definitely push that agenda. Nobody is controlling us, so nobody can tell us what to do and nobody can tell us what content we can or can’t drop. That is another thing that Pick a Side is about; we are our own thing, our own entity, and at the end of the day, we have to make sure we are putting the right message out there.”

The group also wanted to differ from other shows by approaching sports in a different way. Instead of using analytics or stats, they have chosen to look at it from a fan’s point of view to make it more relatable.

“We used to always say with sports we would come from a fan’s perspective, so that was our whole thing with sports,” said Gore. “We’re not sports analysts or former professional athletes, we are just like regular fans debating.”

The trio says their show has a foundation that was built on five pillars: teaching, serving, learning, growing and entertaining. They feel if they accomplish these pillars, they have done their job, because their goal is not to get rich.

They guys feel they all have a different perspective and personality that they each bring to the show. 

You can find the Pick a Side podcast on YouTube, Spotify, as well as the podcast platforms on Apple and Google.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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