While this podcasting duo has had a long-standing friendship over the years, they officially joined forces back in 2020 while co-hosting their popular Netflix podcast, Okay, Now Listen.
The show garnered rave reviews and a devoted community throughout the pandemic, however, in July 2022, the podcast ended. But as timing would have it, these media besties are now launching their latest series, The Scottie & Sylvia Show, with Issa Rae's “audio everywhere” platform, Raedio.
And yes, it’s bigger and better than before.
With so much shifting in our day-to-day lives and so many pop culture moments unfolding right before our screens, Scottie and Sylvia are the perfect pair to provide a refreshing take on today's ever-growing society. Each week, the two will tackle topics such as colorism, imposter syndrome, romance, and vulnerability, featuring celebrity guests and engaging gamified segments that invite listeners into their inspiring friendship.
The podcast partnership came together as organic as Scottie and Sylvia’s bond, only, their missing link was multi-hyphenate media mogul, Issa Rae. As the co-hosts were wrapping up their Netflix podcast, Sylvia — who has a background in journalism — had the opportunity to profile Issa Rae for her Today.com cover story. After the interview, Rae inquired about how things were going with the podcast when Sylvia shared the news of its ending.
“I knew that a lot was about to change on the landscape again, and I was like, ‘Where can we go and be safe?'" Sylvia says. “I didn’t want to be under the whim of white billionaires anymore. And that’s why Issa was the perfect fit for that.
”What she didn’t know at the time was that Rae was interested in picking up their show under her media company, and after a few discussions, their partnership was born.
"Scottie and Sylvia are so raw and relatable, and I'm such a fan of their effortless, hilarious chemistry," said Issa Rae, CEO of HOORAE. "I'm so grateful they chose Raedio as their podcast home."
xoNecole: Since the moment you all announced the completion of your podcast with Netflix, you all were very adamant about saying, “This is not goodbye…” Can you all touch on how the power of speaking things into existence played a role in your careers thus far?
Scottie Beam: Listen, sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue. I truly believe in saying things, manifesting things, and then going after them. So when we said we were going to come back, we definitely did, and we made sure it was bigger and better.
Sylvia Obell: I'm a believer. So I've always believed that God had a purpose for my life and that the prayers of ‘the righteous availeth much.’ If I asked for things and they coordinate with God's will, then they will come to pass. What's interesting about this portion of my life is that this wasn't my initial plan or dream; I think it's something that happened to me, which makes it feel more purpose-driven and [like] where I was supposed to be, rather than something I pushed myself into.
The part we manifested, or at least believed in, was that if Netflix wasn't the place for us, we would find the right place.
xoN: Let’s take things back a little, many of us were first introduced to Scottie through Hot 97 and on to 'Black Girl Podcast.' What initially drew you to podcasting in the beginning, and did you ever see it becoming what it’s become today?
SB: My love for radio. I love radio, I've been in radio before I started podcasting, and with Black Girl Podcast, we figured out that other Black women were talking and that Black women need to be talking to each other. We decided to sit in front of those mics, talk, and see where it goes. That podcast was us talking about experiences, sharing each other's feelings, and being able to relate on so many different levels.
A lot of us feel alone most of the time because we don't have the spaces. But now we get to dominate these spaces and are trying to dominate these spaces, and Black Girl Podcast really did its thing. It's incredible what we were able to do during that time.
xoN: Sylvia, you come from a journalism background, and you’ve always said that you create with Black women in mind first. Why is it important to have and see more Black women represented within the podcasting space?
SO: We deserve to hear our stories and see ourselves in one another and not feel alone and not feel like our experiences are just siloed. Finding community and realizing that there are people who know how you feel, what you're going through, and here's how they got out.
Also, just feeling seen — it’s like the feeling of coconut oil being poured on your soul. Knowing you’re not alone, especially after the pandemic, and because we launched our first podcast during the pandemic, so much of what it was based on was us helping people not feel alone, feel like they're with their friends, and feel like they're a part of our friendship And like that matters.
That's why it's important that we all contribute to that as much as we can, not just me and Scottie, but as many Black women who are able to step up to the table because our experiences are also not a monolith. There's diversity within that diversity. It’s important to get as much representation as possible out there in the podcasting space and in all spaces.
"Sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue."
xoN: The first episode of your podcast was a really touching moment of reflection on the past year you both have shared “navigating unknown territory.” What was the biggest lesson you all learned from that time?
SB: Being still is a skill. It's an art that I have not mastered yet, but I had to do [so] in order to find some calm within the chaos. And the chaos, meaning my mind, overthinking everything, trying to reach for perfection, and never seeming to actually get it not. But what I had to do was listen to God and be still.
SO: Knowing who you are outside of your job and your work. Cultivating that part of you, the evolution and growth of you as a personal human being, especially when you have a platform. It's so important that you do the inside work to be somebody who can be responsible on that mic, who can share fruitful thoughts and not just petty ones or shady ones or quips or things that will go viral because they're wreaking havoc. I don't want to wreak havoc, I want to wreak joy.
I want insight, knowledge, and growth. Yes, we're going to laugh, have fun, and be light, but I want to go viral over, like saving somebody from pain or a mistake.
xoN: I truly believe that you all are the bounce-back queens. What do you think is the secret to bouncing back after life’s darkest seasons?
SB: It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. And that is the hardest thing that I have to learn, and I’m still learning to do. Also, knowing that you're gonna bounce again, and bounce again, and bounce again. Because life is going to "life" and it’s going to continue to "life" for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living.
SO: Just knowing that that's all life is: bounce back after bounce back. It's not some type of cruel personal thing that's happening to you, that's just the gig of life, and it's just going to keep happening until it's over. So to wish for it to stop happening is to wish for life to stop changing — and this is coming from somebody who hates change. I had to [learn] how to do what did Toni Morrison said, "If you surrender to the air, you could ride it."
"It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. Because life is going to 'life' and it’s going to continue to 'life' for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living."
xoN: Issa Rae is a role model for so many of us Black women today. In working with her, what is one lesson or trait that you all have been able to glean from her?
SB: I learned from Issa Rae how to stand in your talent, stand in your power, and believe in the power that you have. Make sure that you work for it, and it works for you. Make sure that whatever power, talent, and blessing that you have, you lean into it. I am 100% behind that. The humble approach is nice, but sometimes you do have to realize that you are really that girl, so lean into it.
SO: Networking across, not up. From the Awkward Black Girl web series to Insecure, they didn’t have these big stars… they didn't lean on ‘hey, look at me, look at my show,' or beg [them] to be a part of this. There’s power in how many people are to my left and my right; there’s talent, and together we have this power to make this really cool thing that will get that attention naturally.
We just need a platform, and together, we can really take off and continue to extend. That's why Raedio just feels like a perfect fit because they're already about looking in versus outwards to create art. And I think that that's such a beautiful lesson Issa has shown us all.
xoN: For fans that have followed you since the start of your career to the new ones that will be introduced to this new platform, what can listeners of 'The Scottie and Sylvia Show' expect from you all in the new chapter of your podcasting era?
SO: We're going to be able to talk about more, be more, and do more, all while still keeping that friendship base and all the things that people love from us.
SB: With this new chapter of podcasting, there's also a new chapter of life that we've lived, so we'll be able to share a lot on that, our experiences. I'm so excited to be able to just talk to y'all again, relate to y'all again, and joke with y'all again. We have games, new segments, guests — we have it all, honey! It's just better because we're on Raedio now; so that's gonna be amazing.
Featured image courtesy of Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell
Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images