Podcast Companion Blogs

‘To Live Woke’ by Dr. Nacoste



Dr. Rupert Nacoste, the Social Psychologist who created the concept of ‘Neo-diversity’ and teaches the one-of-a-kind ‘Psychology of Interdependence and Race’ course at NC State University, brings us his fourth novel ‘To Live Woke’. In this novel, much like his teachings, he shares stories of his past experiences to aid in his teaching. Having grown up in the Jim Crow legally segregated south, and serving in the Navy during a time that involved Race Riots, he uses stories from his past to give the reader a taste of his perspective. He uses this new understanding to demonstrate why people must learn to not simply ‘tolerate diversity’ but to fully respect and embrace neo-diversity. Dr. Nacoste says ‘We can save the soul of America’ and he uses this book as a way to show us how we can contribute to this effort and actually understand what it means to ‘live woke’, not just by saying we are woke, but by ‘knowing how to act on this awareness’.

Neo-diversity is ‘that interpersonal situation in which we all have to encounter and sometimes interact with people from different groups by way of race yes, but also sexual orientation, religion, bodily-condition, sex-of-person, mental-health condition, gender-identity, age and on and on.’ (Nacoste 2017). 

Dr. Nacoste uses Social Psychological principles and real life stories to make the lessons he shares resonate with the reader. He shares his nine tips to ‘help you live woke’ which include; ‘never trying to interact with a person as a representation of a group’, ‘ask open-ended questions’ (‘not stereotype based questions’), and ‘when the person you are interacting with uses the language of bigotry, do not be silent: speak into the moment: do not argue, yet speak into the moment and object.’ 

Dr. Nacoste introduces a wide variety of topics that demonstrate how this new ‘neo-diversity situation’ impacts our social lives in every way. These everyday encounters of neo-diversity can often cause people ‘neo-diversity anxiety’. This book teaches the readers how to handle those anxieties and keep it from causing us to ‘crash’ in our interpersonal situations.

An important point Dr. Nacoste makes sure we understand is that ‘prejudice isn’t bigotry isn’t racism’. He explains the importance of understanding this because, as he put it, ‘Something old and anti-american needs to be addressed and changed: leftover demeaning language of hate about (neo-diverse groups), and leftover anti-group prejudice and bigotry (that is) aimed at America’s neo-diversity’

‘What are you prepared to do?’ Dr. Nacoste asks.

He gives us everyday interpersonal-strategies we can use to combat these acts of bigotry. ‘Let the person know your standards for continuing to interact with you’ when someone uses bigotry in front of you ‘Speak into the moment using your inside voice to say ‘I’m sorry, I would prefer not to hear that kind of (neo-diversity) slur/stereotype. It hurts me.’’ This method has been proven effective.

There is far more important, and incredibly useful, information in this book than I could possibly fit in a blog post. You can find a link to the book below to learn more about how ‘To Live Woke’. 

My advice when you read is to take it nice and slow. Read each chapter and give time for the material to set in before continuing. These are concepts and lessons I have been learning for over two years, since I first took a course with Dr. Nacoste, and I still find them powerful and impactful each time I hear them. I think it is important to stop and reflect on how these concepts relate to your life. Allow them to resonate and make sure they stick. 

Until next time

Let’s stay psyched about social psychology,

DJ Psyched

‘To Live Woke’ Hardback


Dr. Nacoste Psychology Today

Podcast Companion Blogs

Habit Change



A few weeks ago Dr. Nacoste sent out an email providing ‘Social Psychological Advice’ on living in this time of quarantine. He was asked by a student what he thinks of Social Distancing since, as we know from his teaching, humans are inherently social beings. ‘How will it affect us? Do you have any advice?’ the student asks. Dr. Nacoste responds with a simple but powerful message ‘Given the conditions, my advice is structure your days.’

Is it really that simple? Yes. I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Nacoste on the matter. Ever since he sent out the voice-essay I’ve been trying to follow this advice, and whenever I do I feel significantly better. On days that I don’t, well, let’s just say I agree with Dr. Nacoste that this can ‘get out of hand quick.’

What does this have to do with habits? This ‘habit change’ thing I’ve recently started is largely my attempt to keep my days both structured and exciting. The habits I am working into my days are giving my life structure and something to look forward to each day. ‘Structuring your days’ doesn’t mean you have to be doing overly demanding tasks all the time, it just means planning ahead of time so you can avoid boredom and the discomfort that comes with not knowing how to answer the question ‘what are you doing today?’ Weather it be setting time for reading, meals, movies, gaming, etc., as long as you know what you’re going to be doing you’ll feel the benefit of lessening some of that ‘free floating social anxiety’ that comes with a ‘vague situation’ like this.

This is why I encourage habit formation. If you aren’t sure what to do with your days, think of some things you might want to improve in yourself, things you want to learn, or any personal goals you have. Then think of little things you can do everyday to get closer to those ideals and use these new habits to structure your days. Habits make up over half of all of our time, having good habits provides a foundation that fosters structure.

I will link my habit video below if you’re interested in learning more about habits and the best ways to instill them, but the bottom line is, having good habits, such as taking the time every morning to structure your days with timely tasks you enjoy, can really help ease some discomfort in this time. I know social distancing is difficult, but as Dr. Nacoste has let us know, this kind of ‘focus and agenda’ is critical in ‘protect(ing) our vulnerable psychology.’

Until next time

Let’s Stay Psyched about Habit Change,

DJ Psyched

Video on Habits

To Live Woke by Dr. Nacoste 

Podcast Companion Blogs

Let’s Get Psyched About Reading: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman



Heartstopper is a graphic novel, written by Alice Oseman, that tells the story of two boys falling in love. The characters come from the author’s debut novel ‘Solitaire’. This previously online comic series serves as a way for the author to tell the backstory of the once minor characters. The story originated on tumblr and after the artist had a large amount of the story drawn out they were able to get it self-published right before it was picked up by a publisher. The story originated in Kent, UK but is now available in most places and on a website called Tapas.

This graphic novel is shaped largely around LGBTQ+ topics and currently consists of three book volumes, or 153 episodes (if you read it online). The author has published endless content around the story including Q and A’s, short stories, and even fan-fic like crossovers (including Harry Potter and Detroit Become Human). 

The story is centered around a boy in high school who was bullied a lot after accidentally being ‘outed’ to the school. He starts the story in a secret ‘relationship’ with a boy who is in the closet and openly dating a girl. The boy he is talking to treats him terribly so once Charlie meets Nick he decides he deserves better and cuts things off. Charlie and Nick met one day in class when they were assigned seats next to each other. Nick is a slightly older student and plays on the rugby team.They slowly become good friends and soon after they become best friends… until of course they catch feelings.

The art in this graphic novel is absolutely amazing. I find the simplistic nature beautiful and the artist’s unique ‘soft’ style really makes this story visually irresistible. The US edition comes in blue-green shades, but the artist’s work originated in gray-scale using only four tones. This story is full of variety including lots of LGBTQ+ representation and different experiences all of these characters have. There is love, support, hardships, communication and much more. We get the good sides of love and the harder sides: simpler experiences with coming out and harder ones. This story is one that a large and diverse audience is likely to find some aspect of relatable, this is why I find it the perfect story for anyone looking for a feelgood love tale.

Find the story online

Until next time,

Let’s Stay Psyched about Reading,

DJ Psyched

Podcast Companion Blogs

Get Psyched Podcast Episode Highlight: DIY Series ft. The Saw


Photo by Courtney Breen 

Erika aka ‘The Saw’ is a DJ at WKNC and has also been the Chainsaw music director for over three years now. She’s worked multiple other positions including Content Creator and Content Manager. As NACC’s DJ of the month for June 2019, The Saw has also emceed the State Fair and introduced Between the Buried and in 2018. Also in 2019, she taught 2 workshops at the CBI convention! The Saw’s work is endless also including interviewing bands, writing blog posts for WKNC and a personal website, hosting ‘The Saw’s Electric Chair Heavy Metal Podcast’, and so much more.

In this episode, The Saw gives us insight into how she got into metal and how it set her on her current path. Both her parents are metalheads who met in a mosh pit, “it’s in my roots” she said. The DJ was also exposed to metal through her older brothers and cousins who were in local bands and was involved with the scene since she was 8. At age 14 she went to her first Carolina Rebellion. “This is where I’m supposed to be, this is where I belong,” she said she knew this as soon as the show started “it filled a void in my heart,” after this she said “metal was always there for me.”

As far as getting into working at WKNC the DJ says her father told her about the station and suggested she try out DJing Chainsaw. She said she had no idea before and when she checked she saw that no one was currently in the genre. This is where she decided to fill the gap and started her mission to share metal with more people and make sure people see how special the genre is.

This is where Erika’s mission comes in. “There’s a stigma that metalheads are mean and you can’t talk to them” she says. “The music might sound one way but the people are very kind.” Erika wants to show people the truth behind the genre and that there’s no need to stigmatize or judge based on how the music might sound. Since metal got her out of a rut, she wants to do anything she can to give back to the music. She says metal is an underground genre right now, so she wants to do all she can to shine some light on the genre and the bands in it, “I wouldn’t be here without the local bands.” This is why The Saw started ‘The Bone Cruncher,’ her local metal segment at WKNC. This helped ‘The Butcher Shop,’ gain another segment and that is when The Saw took off. 

As I mentioned, The Saw has a website, attached below, this is where she showcases all of her work. She plans to use the site to continue her work after college, using it as a ground base. She soon realized “I can really do something with this website.” She considers all of these platforms a way to show off all the band’s hard work, and she enjoys her role in the community. Especially being able to support these bands. She said she loves “seeing the community come together” and that “the DIY scene in all genres, it’s all helping one another out.” She’s participated in many benefit shows (Crowdkill for Cancer and WKNC’s First Chainsaw Show where she emceed) and says seeing the people come together is really what makes it worth it and what keeps her going. She enjoys the friendship and commodity of the scene. “You can be happy, metal isn’t that sad to be honest.”

As The Saw says “I’ve been a metalhead my entire life, it’s a lifestyle for me,” “my blood type is type o-negative, (which is) a metal band… that’s not a coincidence.”

The Saw’s Butcher Shop Website 

– “You can’t get rid of DJ Psyched and The Saw”

DJ Psyched 

Podcast Companion Blogs

Get Psyched Podcast Episode Highlight: DIY Series ft. Pat Danger



Pat Danger is an Independent Musician from New Jersey who’s been making music for almost two years now. On describing his sound he says ‘I don’t want to box myself in but it’s definitely hip hop… lofi to houseparty, or anything in between’. A lot of his music can be found on his soundcloud, but he’s also recently been posting his newer tracks on Spotify. He is now on a personal mission of releasing a new track every Friday (a link to his first two tracks can be found below).

When I asked Pat about how he got into creating music he said he’s always been a big fan of music and was known to freestyle at parties around friends. It was just for fun and he never really saw it as anything else, until he decided he wanted to try making an EP. He went out to best buy and got a starter mic, some software and found some beats online to start recording over. This was around the time he moved out of Jersey and had a bit of free time, but when we recorded together he was back in the city and full time in school and work; all his free time still went to music.

We then talked about how he balances all of his commitments with his music making, and he told me that the way he sees it, it’s all about not allowing yourself to make excuses. ‘Anyone can do it, I’m not superman or anything’. He switched all of his classes online so he could be in control of his schedule, and said that making excuses is in the past. ‘There’s a lot of time in the day, the less time you spend on the phone or wasting away…  you do have a tone of time even if you are doing a bunch of things.’

After he started creating, he also started using reddit as a place to share his tracks with others and also find people to collaborate with. This is how he ended up meeting his first producer. He says he does not have any goals of being rich or famous, but just wants to put his words out there.

When we talked about ‘making it’ he said he feels like since he was able to put music out there he’s made it, but something cooler can always happen, and each new milestone feels even better then the last; and he’s always happy to see where things go.

What matters to him most is to just be genuine and get himself out there naturally. He’s not into networking or looking for clout, he just does what works for him. We talked about putting work out there and how scary it can be sometimes, especially being nervous for judgement. He says he wants to make sure he’s never too stubborn, and has been focusing on receiving criticism and feedback well ‘I try to take the mature mindset (with feedback)’.

His charismatic nature and love for freestyling led him to meet his most recent producer at a party. He said it felt kind of like fate since he was looking for some beats and his producer was looking for someone who can rap. The first track they put out together was ‘Tennessee’ and, on his most recent mission to release new tracks every Friday, Pat has put out ‘Dead by The Morning’ feat. downside and ‘Gritty Freestyle’ on Spotify.

On his recent releases he says ‘I’m trying to make something that I think is good’.

Pat’s Spotify:

Link to podcast episode:

– DJ Psyched

Podcast Companion Blogs

Get Psyched Podcast Episode Highlight: DIY Series ft. PME



PME is an independent creator from Fayetteville, NC. He’s self taught and specializes in music production and beat making. He released his first official Single on Spotify in mid 2019 titled ‘Peanut Butter’ and, at the start of this year, he released his first Album titled ‘20/20/20’. 

We’ve known each other since highschool and in this episode we talked about everything from what it means to ‘make it’, how he got started, advice for others, his goals and plans for the future, and how crucial support is for any independent creator.

His biggest goal at the moment is to focus on the business aspects of being an independent producer. He talks about how beat making comes naturally to him and that the hard part comes from getting your work out and being heard. He runs an instagram, twitter, Spotify and other accounts to share his music and beats. One of his big plans for the year is to drop more singles (which he has been recently) and get them on more platforms. 

We also discuss how investing in yourself is crucial when you’re doing things on your own, and he gives advice as to where he puts his money and energy in building his brand. ‘The only thing I’ve really bought for my music has been my launch key and macbook … if you want to get into music and you have a laptop, and you can find some free program that you can use to make music, that’s honestly all you need. If you want to get started, invest your money and just save for a minute’ 

We also talk about how he believes school is not a must for up-and-coming creators and he gives his view on other ways creators can learn. His take on learning is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on it these days. If you have access to a device with youtube, you’re good to go. ‘Youtube is your best friend’.

Most importantly, what PME thinks is critical for any independent creator, is support. We discuss how important it is to support small creators and how simple that can be. Even something like sharing a friends post can be incredibly instrumental to getting their work out there, and this kind of support is what gets small artists off the ground. It always starts locally, so we encourage everyone to support their creative friends and community. ‘Support means more to us than you think it does, we need that to make a living, without support we’d just be weirdos in our rooms or studios making music for no reason. Without yalls support, we would have nothing’.

Thank you PME for being on the podcast! You can checkout our episode at the link below and checkout the artist himself as well!

PME is also the creator of the beat I use for my podcast. The track used is ‘300k’ off of his first album.

– DJ Psyched from the Get Psyched Podcast