Now in season 2 of The Grits and Glory Podcast, Ron Ricks a.k.a Juan Grits talks about his history, the idea behind his brand and why he wants his listeners to get fed.
B4GMG: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What is some of your past work?
RR: “I’m originally from Toledo, OH. I moved to Cincinnati in the early 2000’s to go to school and pursue my rap career. I went to University of Cincinnati and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. I was also student body president and had an undefeated rap battle career under the name of “Strezz”. I battled at the legendary Top Cats club and went against some of Cincinnati’s finest MC’s (Skandal the Ruckus Man, RIH). In 2008, I signed with a record label out of Columbus and dropped The OH-FFICIAL Mixtape hosted by Dj Green Lantern under the name “Guvna Ricks”. I have performed all over Ohio and the tri-state area. Since then, I have had one foot in the corporate world and one foot in the entertainment world looking to motivate, inspire, and make an impact.”
B4GMG: How did you get into doing The Grits and Glory Podcast? Where does the name come from? What is the premise behind it?
RR: “Although I will destroy your favorite artist at the drop of a dime, I consider myself a “failed rapper” lol. As I have matured I realized that there was a broader conversation and message that I wanted to get out to the world that I felt would be lost in just music. After hosting a few friends’ podcasts, I felt ready to bring my own brand and message to the forefront. The name “Grits and Glory” is a play on words of the phrase “grit and glory” which basically describes that fact that you cannot achieve anything of significance without hard work and perseverance. Grits as a food has a deep history in the African-American community and in my family. So, “Grits and Glory” is really a twist on the original phrase and the concept of “you are what you eat”. I firmly believe that a person becomes what they consume and surround themselves with, so when we call ourselves “Grits and Glory” we are saying that we are feeding you the type of mentality, entertainment, philosophy, and energy that will fuel you towards your goals. Being that grits have to be slow cooked and are very hearty, we pride ourselves on the fact that we create content that “sticks to your stomach” and has the type of substance that will stay with you.”
B4GMG: Tell us about your co-hosts.
RR: “My current co-hosts are E.A. and Shawn B. Shawn B is a critical thinker and someone who questions and examines anything that is presented to him. He thinks outside of the box and is not shy with his opinions. Shawn has an extensive history in the political realm and corporate world and is able to provide the perspective of the general public when examining some of the topics and concepts we discuss. E.A. is what we call a “thinker-thinker” raised Ghanaian and American, he has a unique perspective on what it feels like to experience Black American and African Culture. Always thoughtful and measured, E.A. provides wisdom and introspection to every topic – he is constantly working on and will inspire you to be “The best human being you can be.”
B4GMG: How is this podcast different from the other podcasts focused on Black culture?
RR: “I listen to a lot of podcasts and I can’t seem to locate one where you hear intelligent black men speak and it is not 100% music or sports related. This is the first podcast that you can hear grown black men talk about grown man (and grown black man) things without it being under the umbrella of sports or music. We have no political agenda – we just want to challenge your thinking and expose you to a world that our current media seems to ignore.”
B4GMG: What are you hoping to accomplish with this podcast and your brand?
RR: “The ultimate goal of the Grits and Glory Podcast is to challenge your thinking and to entertain you. We want you to smile, laugh, and talk back while you’re listening but ultimately, we don’t want you to see things our way – we want you to think critically and form your own conclusion on what is your truth.”
B4GMG: What final words do you want to leave with listeners?
RR: “First I want to say thank you for giving us a shot. There are thousands of podcasts out there but you chose to lend us your ear. We don’t take that lightly and hope that you enjoy what we discuss and it makes you want to be a part of the larger discussion. Please share and comment on our platforms and don’t hesitate to give us feedback. We want to feed you the best podcast possible. Also, please rate us 5 stars and, after you press play. PREPARE TO BE FED!”
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