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March 29, 2022
Stuck with Damon Young
Stuck on Whooping Some Ass (in My Head)

In This Episode

Damon explains why he wants all the smoke – specifically, why he needs to know if he’s capable of smoke – with Darnell Moore and Hannah Giorgis. 

 

 

Transcript:

Sensitive Content: Hey everybody, just a note, this episode contains adult themes and language. 

 

Damon Young: Yeah so the last fight I was in wasn’t even really a fight. I was 10. He was 13. He tried to jack my bike. I tried to stop him. We struggled. He won. I cried. And after all that, he just left…without my bike. 

 

Since then, and we’re talking 30 years now, I’ve been in a gang of basketball-related arguments, I’ve thrown elbows, I’ve been pushed, I’ve mean mugged, I’ve talked shit. But no real actual fights. Which I guess ain’t really all that rare. I feel like most people are on opposite ends of the fighting spectrum. Where you’ve either been in no fights since you were a kid, or you’ve been in 67, and just fought in a Costcos parking lot last weekend. No one’s been in like six fights.

 

Even my lack of fistfights during the fight-formative teenage years can be explained. We weren’t really fighting in my neighborhood then because some niggas had guns. And you’d never know who did or who didn’t, so you learned how to look tough so niggas don’t fuck with you, how to diffuse when shit might get real, and how to duck and run when it did. 

 

But a part of me, at this big ass old advanced age, still wants to be in a fight. I mean, I don’t for real. But I do. I don’t feel a desire to whoop someone’s ass. But I do want to know if I can. If I have that in me.

 

I’m aware of how irrational and absurd this desire is. I mean, what is it inside of me that wants me to possess this other thing, that’s maybe not inside of me? And definitely not necessary. It doesn’t make any sense. Or maybe it does. 

 

This is Stuck with Damon Young the show where we whoop theoretical ass. And on today’s episode we’re gonna unpack the performance of physicality and how race and gender inform how we feel about our bodies and the desire to prove that we can handle all the smoke.

Damon: Now, have you ever felt anything like that? 

Darnell Moore: Damon, I love you so much. Y’all can’t see me, but I’m presently passing out in my plastic chair I’m sitting in. 

Damon: That’s the homie Darnell Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America, and the host of the podcast Being Seen. He’s also got a fancy Netflix job. And I hit him up because he’s grappled with these same questions of performance and physicality, and how it connects to what we were taught about what it means to be black and male. And I thought he might have some answers.

Darnell: You know, as somebody look, I regrettably probably for my own sake, was, just had so many experiences with like fighting and, you know, being physically attacked and shit growing up. And having to learn how to fight back. I also was brought up in a family who, I was sort of the black sheep in that way. Everybody was a fighter. I just wasn’t. So I’m the only person that wasn’t fighting. I probably was running home and getting sent back outside to fight. But I grew up being very, very uncomfortable watching the underdog being taken advantage of. I was very uncomfortable with injustice happening, injustice happening in front of my face. I mean, I grew up in a home where my father physically assaulted my mom as one example. Right, so me fantasizing about taking him out was a real, that was real. Right? Like it was, you know, so much of what I wanted was for the violence to stop. I wanted my mom to be safe. And that has translated into like a way of life for me, where I get very uncomfortable when I am in the presence of people who are being taken advantage of, or being somehow harmed. 

So all that to say, I think today what I would say is that, and I know this is true about you, which is why I would not be surprised that you feel like you need to sort of just I need to make sure I can hold mine. Because we live in a world where we’re surrounded by people, we are that people, who are constantly in battle and swung on by the state, by various forces, sometimes by each other. And the need to sort of remind oneself that we have a part to do, a work to do, and like stopping those punches from swinging. It is part of the work. 

But the other thing I would say, too, is growing up as a dude, as a young person who was socialized and taught to believe that the way that I was going to prove my manhood was by being good at swinging hands, I had to sort of unlearn that for the most part, most of the dudes who were swinging the best hands around Camden, I think lacked the type of space that they that they needed to be fully human, to feel vulnerable, to not have to always show up as tough like my daddy, to not cry. And they used, they thought the fist was going to sort of solve the problem when, in fact the heart was supposed to. And I don’t think that they ever had access, a lot of real access to that.

So today, you know, the last thing I’ll say is when I was, you know, much older with gray in my beard and I was on the A train. And I’m you know, I’m somebody who had to learn how to fight. And this dude was on a train and he kept saying, I ought to shoot this faggot ass motherfucker. That’s what he kept saying over and over again. And I’m sitting here of two minds: Camden mind and like, OK, now you are like 38. You ain’t going to be fighting on no A train. So whack. Like, what if somebody get a YouTube video of you? Like, that’s so corny. You know what I’m saying? Like in your full on, like, skinny jeans and like your whole outfit and like some Jordans. Are you fighting at thirty? 

Damon: I don’t want to scuff your outfit…

Darnell: But I’m sitting here and he’s saying, like going in on me. I said nothing to him. All I am doing is showing up dressed in my skin. And I’m also thinking, what if he pulls out a weapon or something? Will I have time to maneuver out of this space? But it was a moment where I had to check myself and to say to myself that my showing up in this space for me doesn’t necessarily mean I got to do the, you know, do to him, like I often say, we’re trained to do to each other what the system does to us, you understand? And it’s like fighting him and whooping his ass, which I was close to doing, wouldn’t have solved the problem of making him less homophobic. You know, you understand? So I had to tell myself like, see here, just sit here, feel alright in your tight jeans and your little pink – I had like some pink LeBrons on or some shit – and just be good. And that actually is probably going to do more for him than you trying to swing on him. 

[Music Transition] 

Damon: The whole just construction of manhood, of malehood, and how fighting and how protecting yourself and how being able to do this thing is a part, it’s a Lego block, or a Jenga piece in this, this construction or whatever and how you’ve been like, you know, fuck the construction. Now, are you still unlearning?  

Darnell: Yes. You know this. So I’m working on a second book. But, you know, as soon as I see that, all the anxiety comes up because I’m late! 

But the second book is actually titled Unbecoming: Visions Beyond the Limits of Manhood. And what I’m trying to do and yes, I am, every day that process of unbecoming that process of unlearning is like my work to do, you know. And essentially what the book tries to say, like for me, it was those moments where I gave the middle finger to all the lessons, the ideas that I was taught were true. All the things that others told me I needed to be, I needed to execute in order to be sort of valued and seen as a quote unquote, real Black man, a real man. It was my failing at them that actually allowed me to sort of get in touch with freedom. 

So in essence, the argument is, you know, I don’t know if becoming men is the project. I mean, what would it mean to unbecome or to resist all that we have been taught to be for everybody else’s comfort, really, but our own. And ask the question instead of what it might mean for me to be a sort of good man? Like what does it mean to be human? Shit. What does it mean? When I talk to brothers and I, you know, do this on book tours and we would get into sort of manhood in conversation, I would say to them, when is the last time you cried? Like, when is the last time, like, you cried-cried, like and in and in front of like maybe another dude. And when you cried, if you did, like, did you feel safe enough? Did you feel brave enough to ask that person to hold you while you were crying? You know what I mean? And I would just go down and so many a good 90 percent of the people would say things like one, I have not cried in so long. I don’t feel vulnerability or brokenness is sort of not ours to present as men, Men-identify people. No, I don’t ask my boys for hugs. They don’t hold me. I don’t hold them. And I kept thinking, what is to become of the person for whom those gifts have been withholding? 

Damon: It’s, it’s funny because like you are, so you ask that question, you know, when was the last time that you cried? And I’m feeling good about myself. I’m like yo, I just cried two weeks ago, I just cried two weeks ago. My dad was in the hospital. He wasn’t doing too…. he wasn’t doing really well. I was upset about it. And I let myself cry. And then you asked the second question, when’s the last time you cried in front of somebody. It’s like ah shit because these tears were in the car. These tears were in the car when no one could see me, windows up, made sure that I composed myself by the time I got back home, made sure that my dad didn’t see me, you know, in the hospital that I didn’t – and there’s other reasons for that, wanting him to be positive and stay positive for whatever, and not have to take on whatever weight, emotional weight that I have, you know, too. And so that second part, because I think that we do, I think that we do allow ourselves to be vulnerable in certain contexts. 

Darnell: Yes, we do. Right. 

Damon: But it is the second part about being vulnerable out loud or being vulnerable in public. That is the trickiest part. And even as you said that, a part of me kind of recoiled when thinking about that and thinking about what it would take for me to do a thing like that. Like it would have to be some like, tremendous life altering trauma for me right now to do that. And that I, I feel like that surprises myself. That surprises me about myself, because I would have assumed that I would be more free.

Darnell: I mean, we all express that freedom in different ways. You’re a writer and a content creator. You are an artist. So I get to see that aspect of you and your art works. But I’m also thinking about why we have had too many of us have had to be so hard, even if our interiority really is soft, like even to embrace softness as a value, as a positive quality almost makes people recoil. To say like I’m soft is somehow to deny me, like, my humanity. I actually believe that’s essentially what’s at stake here. When we are not allowed to fully be ourselves, whether that is through expressing our emotions, whether that is through expressing our vulnerability, or crying, or like expressing fear or whatever it is expressing love, we are denied access to our full humanity. And that’s why it’s a problem. 

[Music Transition]

Darnell: To your original question every day, these are things I’m thinking about, like how can I show up as a human person who happens to be Black, who happens to be queer, who happens to have grown up in a world socialized as a man. But who is inevitably on a quest to really free myself from anything that has caged me up to this point. 

Damon: And yeah, I mean, by denying ourselves that access to just the full spectrum of humanity, you know, we’re not allowing ourselves to scab. We’re not you know, we’re not allowing ourselves to heal. We’re not allowing ourselves to possess empathy. Yeah, you know, because that’s what ends up happening, where this you know, the performance becomes such a behemoth that it flattens everything that surrounds it. And one of those things is empathy. And you end up sometimes committing that harm or doing whatever to people around you because of this perpetual flattening that is existing, you know, within you.

Darnell: And I get it, for Black and poor Black men, regardless of how one identifies, straight, Black, queer, whatever, trans. When you grow up under the conditions of white supremacy in a world that tells you, that targets you because of who you are, the idea of showing weakness in that world is like anathema. Right. Like, I mean, you know, I was growing up and I’m getting stopped by a police officer at 17, hardens you.

But that’s the thing, I don’t want to live my life on like as a contingency of, of white supremacy. I’ll get to live my life for me, not because of patriarchy, which tells me that I need to be the head and the king and all this bullshit. And, you know, I’m all powerful, the giver. Not because sexism tells me that somehow, you know, anybody that is not male are like less than, and deserve to be treated in a certain way. Or are any of those things, like all of those things are cages for us, like I want full big ass expansive humanity. I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want to do all that. You know, I’m sad because everybody else could do that shit. Well, why can’t I? 

Damon: Yeah, I, I have some ambivalence about, I guess, the importance of representation. And I’ve been trying to unpack, you know, where the ambivalence comes from, and I think it’s due to just like, I recognize and I’m very aware, like even you were talking earlier about performance and, you know, these certain expectations of masculinity and manhood or whatever, and then attempted to subvert that. And some of those expectations come from the images that I saw when I was a kid. And I’m sure you saw when you were a kid. You know, you see certain people on TV or movies or whatever, and it’s like, you know, that that is how you’re supposed to be a Black man.

You know, you’re supposed to be, you’re supposed to walk in every room like Denzel. Right. And if you and if you do cry, it needs to be the one tear, like him in Glory. Just the one single thug-ass tear. Don’t let the waterworks go, you know. And so there is I guess a tremendous value in just young people being able to see not just themselves, but like different versions of themselves on screen, but I do wonder if…

Darnell: If that’s enough? 

Damon: Or not just if that’s enough. Alright so you have the scale, the representation scale, right? And so you have representation on one end and then you have misrepresentation on the other end. And I, and I kind of feel like misrepresentation does more harm than representation does good. 

Darnell: Yeah. I love that. That’s absolutely right. Which is why I think authentic representation is key, and that requires people being able to tell authentic stories. Also in a world where we celebrate a lot of firsts and place a lot of emphasis on who’s being represented. You know, symbolic, I want to say symbolic representation does not necessarily transfer, or have, always have, positive consequences either. You know, one can be a first Black astronaut and have really shitty ideas or politics that may or may not be good for the Black people that might celebrate that person. On the other hand, I’m thinking about what can happen when there are as many opportunities for, not only for people to see themselves, but to see, to have access into windows that might expose them to the world of others, too. And mirrors that can show them authentic sort of versions. I’m stealing that from like somebody, windows and mirrors, but it comes from, you know, literary sort of scholarly tradition. 

But then as a young person growing up, I asked myself the question, I say all the time, when I read books from K to 12, with the exception of Langston Hughes’ poem Mother to Son, which I was, which our teacher made us remember, I did not read books with Black characters. I didn’t read book with many Black characters in them. I read books that had white people in a variety of ways in which they lived their lives and talking animals. Now to be starved of access right to stories or characters that might have some semblance of a connection to who I was, that does a type of damage to a child. So that’s really what I’m responding to. How do we fill in that gap? What are those stories that can make a space for me to think differently about what it means to come up in the world as a person socialized as a boy. Right. Like where are those other narratives that, you know? I didn’t read books that had any queer or trans or non-binary characters when I was coming up. Never, ever, you know, like, so what did that do? How did that shape the way I felt about family, about relationships? How did that shape the way I thought about myself as a person who would come into his queerness? Right. But, you know, now today, like, I live in a world where because people, we’re getting more access to stories, not all of them are good. Not all of them are, I think, authentically representing some aspects of lives. Not all of them are, you know, some might be even horrible. But I do know that we have a world where people have more access points, so such that my nephew, who was twelve years old from Camden comes to visit me and my partner. Without me ever talking to him about my partner, and he walks up, first thing he says to the house, yo is that your boyfriend’s car? I like what? Where’d you get that? But he just said it, just like it was not even a second… In his world, that is part of the vernacular. That’s part you know, that’s part of like, how he understands… But you know what’s funny, I think back and I imagine if you could talk back to that young Damon, you, if I had access to talk back to that young Damon, I would probably tell him, the way that you are going to fight is not by the swinging of the sort of physical hand, by the swinging of the proverbial ones, the metaphorical ones. And that you will end up being an artist in the world of, Black artist in the world, who’s using words, who’s using humor, who’s using deep, deep political insight to really fight against so many systems that are trying to constrict us. I think young Damon would probably be mad, mad, surprised at who he ended up being in a world. 

Damon: All right. Thank you. I appreciate that and we’re going to pretend like that advice was for a young Damon and not me, right now, today.

[Music Transition]

Phone Rings

 

Mr. Young (Weeb): Hello?

 

Damon: So dad, tell me about the last time you got into a fight?

 

Mr. Weeb: This incident occurred about 20 years ago, and I you know, I was at the Homewood House to pick up some mail of our Aunt Gladys, who had been hospitalized. And I was able to get into the building because I had her passkey. And as I was leaving, there was a gentleman in the lobby who had hesitated about letting me in the first time I came there to see about Aunt Gladys. We had an exchange of some heated words, and the next thing I knew, he he started towards me in what I perceived as bad intentions because he began reaching into his pocket. I didn’t know what he was reaching in his pocket to retrieve a knife, gun, brass knuckles. I don’t know what he had.

 

Damon: Brass knuckles?

 

Mr. Young Yeah, but I reacted by grabbing his arm. And when I grabbed his arm, I swung him around and our momentum carried us all the way out of the building onto the sidewalk.

 

Damon: Mom and I are sitting, we were in the car waiting for you because you just had to run in the building and run back out and just out of our peripherals. We just see, like, these two gray old men, older men wrestling outside of the Homewood house, just like dust. It’s like a cloud of dust and gray here. If we have phones at that time, I definitely would have pulled out my phone and started recording it.

 

Mr. Young Like I said, I’d never punched and kicked him or anything. I just slammed him on his back, you know, and I did twist my ankle in the process. If I hurt him, you know, it wasn’t my intention to hurt him. But like I said, my intention was just to protect myself.

 

[Music Transition]

AD BREAK 

Damon: So shout out to the homie Darnell bringing some much needed zen shit to this show, but today I choose violence. 

 

Hannah Giorgis: I want people, and this is a real before times sentiment, but I want people to be just racist enough not to sit next to me on the Amtrak. But not so racist that they like, call the police, you know what I mean? Like, that’s fine. Sure. Think that I’m intimidating. I’m not going to do anything to you. But if it means that I have this row to myself, I’m happy to do that.

 

Damon: Yeah, just racist enough is definitely a thing. 

 

Damon: So I hit up Hannah Giorgis. She’s a staff writer at The Atlantic. She covers culture and is a bit of an unscripted television historian. I wanted her to help me unpack why we love to pantomime violence on social media and also watch people perform it on TV.

Damon: So Hannah, on July 9th, 2018, you tweeted the following. 

Hannah: Oh, no. Oh, no. Wherever this is going, it can’t be good but OK.

Damon: “When Megan Thee Stallion said, ‘Bitch, do I look like I can fight, bitch? Do I look like I fight?’ I really felt that.”

Hannah: Yeah, I did tweet that. 

Damon: So what were you, what were you feeling about that sentiment? What were you feeling so much that you needed to share it with all your followers? 

Hannah: In that specific moment, you know, I think that there’s a brashness and a cockiness and a kind of weaponized femininity about Megan Thee Stallion and her lyrics and her sort of posturing and way of moving in the world and specifically in rap, which, as we all know, is an extremely male dominated genre with an extremely male dominated industry in a country that is the way that it is. And so there’s something about the way that she shows up and consistently sort of asserts herself that I’ve always found powerful, that I’ve always found entertaining. And the reason I love that line in particular is that it’s, in some ways it’s quite soft. And it’s saying, you know, sort of underneath all of this exterior, like don’t sort of, don’t get it twisted. This is not a person who wants to mess up the face. This is not a person who, for all of my talking, really does kind of want to scrap at the end of the day. And I’ve always sort of appreciated the like, just know that this is a show, this is theater. And underneath it all, I don’t want to mess up everything that’s going on here, whether it’s, you know, the hair, the nails, the makeup, what have you. 

Damon: But you can, I feel like the implicit message in that tweet is that, and the lyric, too, is like, you know, I don’t want to…but I can.

Hannah: Correct. Don’t drive me to the point of it, exactly.

Damon: I’m capable of violence. 

Hannah: Correct. And that’s sort of how I feel in general, is that I frequently resent being put in the position to have to engage a certain kind of conflict. Now, if I feel like I’m there, will we go there? We can. But you know, why do that? Why do that when we could just not. And so I sort of appreciated that. 

Damon: I mean, do you find yourself, you know, being in positions, you know, you’re not just on Twitter, but what do you have to remind people of your capabilities. Despite the exterior, that lurking beneath it is, you know, it’s Megan, it’s, I don’t know, it’s Mike Tyson.

Hannah: This actually reminds me of another tweet from Erykah Badu, actually. But it’s the one that’s about how she sort of looks calm, but if you run up on her in the wrong way, right, that it’s Newport’s and violence or what have you. And I’m butchering the exact phrasing of the tweet, but I like to keep it cute. And I think about that specific phrasing all the time in the sense that, like, facially, I’m not trying to get messed up, physically, I don’t want I don’t want that kind of engagement. And also in a sort of more meta sense, I think a lot of times on Twitter and frequently in real life, a lot of conflict isn’t actually a thing that I personally am going to care about a month from now, two months from now, three months from now, certainly not years down the road. And so in those instances of like, you know, I’m going to keep this cute for right now and I’m going to keep it cute for future me and just let this thing slide, which I realize is like as I say, that is a lot of the like California and me is like, you know what? This is just going to roll off my back. 

Damon: No, that’s that’s real. Like, keep it for future me. That’s an edict right there, because at a certain age, at a certain place, you just know, everything that I’m doing today is like intentional, like my beard, glasses, everything. There was thought, there was like an intentionality there. And I don’t want it to get messed up because of some altercation, like, I want to come home the same way I left.

Hannah: Right. I always have, like, braids or like a sew in or like, God forbid, a wig on, like I don’t want that. I don’t want that in the street, like, I don’t want to see a fallen soldier, and it’s one of my tracks. It’s just not like, we have things to preserve here. Yeah. And that frequently for me supersedes any feeling of being sort of disrespected or whatever, especially, you know, in the context of again, like media and Twitter and what have you. This stuff is really deeply unimportant. And so it’s sort of easier to remind myself that if I log off, the thing disappears.

[Music Transition]

Damon: What do you think draws us to depictions of this toxicity on reality TV?

Hannah: Oh, man, there’s a vicarious thrill about it, right? I think that many of us feel like in instances of conflict, we might wish that we could respond in such dramatic and over-the-top ways with an audience rooting for us or depending, you know, at least against the person that we’re engaging in this way. And we don’t get that, of course, because our lives are mundane and boring for the most part. And most of us are not on reality television or being, you know, serving as avatars for other people. But there’s an excitement and a thrill, I think that people project their own lives or their own life experiences onto. And aside from that, there’s just a kind of entertainment about a thing that is separate in that way and that feels low stakes for us as viewers. 

Damon: What’s the most iconic TV fight that you remember? 

Hannah: Oh, God, it’s a reality TV one. It’s during Flavor of Love, when New York and Pumpkin got in that fight and there was the spit and New York reacted. And there’s something about the specific visual of, first of all, grown women spitting at each other that was a little a little different than a lot of reality TV fights. And this was sort of an early 2000s, so this was kind of when reality TV was really making waves. 

But I think about that fight a lot, not just because of the theatrics of the moment, but because New York has been such an enduring figure in reality TV and in like online communication. Like a lot of when people communicate that they’re upset or that they are feeling a specific way is by using gifs of her. 

Damon: So just thinking about Tiffany Pollard, why do you think so many people used gifs of her to express anger on, on Twitter, on IG or whatever? 

Hannah: Yeah. Some of it I think is what Lauren Michel Jackson referred to as digital Blackface a while ago in a Teen Vogue piece. And she’s written super intelligently about the ways in which white folks in particular gravitate to images of Black people, Black entertainment figures expressing strong emotions, especially those that they would identify as being either negative or, you know, sort of anger, sadness, disappointment, what have you.

So I think that Tiffany Pollard in particular is at the nexus of those two things for a lot of people, and that she conveys the negative emotions. Right, the anger, the sadness. There are so many gifs of her just crying in ways that people identify as being theatrical and intense. And then also, of  course, the sort of sassy Black woman, sassy reality TV figure as well. So she kind of does both of those things for a lot of people who might not be comfortable making those faces or those gestures themselves.

Damon: And why do you think that happens so much with women?

Hannah: Yeah, I think people in general are more comfortable feeling through women, and that shows up interpersonally in their relationships. I think that the ways in which men are permitted to express emotion are a lot more limited. And that shows up visually, too. And I think in particular, when it comes to expressions of super patriarchal male aggression on TV or otherwise, oftentimes that’s coded as threatening and, you know, for especially like women using these images online, it’s not one that one would reach to, like, lightheartedly. And so I think that there’s more, there’s just more comfort and less fear, I think, surrounding expressions of women’s anger, which is in some ways, of course, just reproducing the extent to which male anger is associated with violence.

Damon: Even though there have been quite a few Black men on reality TV, I really can’t think of any who are, except for maybe Kevin Powell, you know. But aside from him, like, I can’t think of any who have this persona, who created this persona on reality TV where, OK, I have this other life as a musician, artist, whatever. But in this context, I am the antagonist and not like an antagonist, like Rich Dollaz where he’s just a fuck boy and that’s a different sort of antagonist, but like a violent conflict sort of person. 

Hannah: Yeah, I think some of that is just about the way that reality TV positions men and women differently. Like we have Bad Girls Club in a way that we wouldn’t have with a group of men. It just wouldn’t be positioned as, you know, like five, six men that you regularly watch because they get into conflicts with one another. And so often on shows like this and on, you know, a Love & Hip-Hop, the conflicts between the women are actually rooted in actions of men. And so men are kind of the silent, not silent exactly, the unseen, unseen catalyst for a lot of these conflicts. And that means that they get away with not being seen as the people who start the conflict, even though oftentimes they are. 

[Music Transition]

Damon: So I know that some of my anxiety about this fight experience gap is that it doesn’t meet people’s expectations of me. I’m Black, and I’m male—and this experience is one of the things I’m supposed to possess. Expected to possess. And I know that this is bullshit, and that this anxiety is a function of toxic and internalized expectations of what it means to be Black, and what it means to be male. But it’s still sticky. And I can’t shake it off me. And for real I don’t know if I want to either.

 

I want people to see me and believe I’m capable of violence. I think I like how it feels to be considered a threat. And, as much as I think I should let this shit go, I just dont think it’s safe for me to exist in America without it. 

 

[Music Transition]

 

Damon: Stuck with Damon Young is a Spotify Original Podcast from Gimlet and Crooked Media. It’s hosted and written by me, Damon Young. 

 

Ruben Davis is our Executive Producer. Our producers are Ashley Velez, Morgan Moody, Carlton Gillespie, Priscilla Alabi, Stephen Hoffman, and Corinne Gilliard.

 

Mixing and Sound Design by Jesse Naus, Charlotte Landes, and Veronica Simonetti. 

Theme Music and Score by Open Mike Eagle.

 

From Crooked Media, our Executive Producers are Tanya Somanader, Sarah Geismer, and Katie Long. From Gimlet, our Executive Producers are Rosie Guerin, Krystal Hawes-Dressler, Collin Campbell, and Lydia Polgreen.