Ear Hustle


Ear Hustle is prison slang for eavesdropping, and that’s what listening to the show feels like: a raw, often funny, and always surprising peek into the reality of life inside prison.

Hosts Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods co-created the show that launched in 2017 while Earlonne was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, where Nigel was a volunteer teaching photography. Since Earlonne’s release in 2018, the show has expanded to include stories from prisons across the state, including the California Institution for Women, as well as stories about getting out of prison and starting over, post-incarceration.

From finding romance, to grappling with a life sentence, to trying to parent via 15-minute phone calls, Ear Hustle stories deliver what This American Life host Ira Glass calls a “"very real” and “untragic” take on prison life.

Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at radiotopia.fm and learn more about Ear Hustle at earhustlesq.com.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • lamumfia
    Earlonne is a treasure
    Deeply human, compelling, funny, engaging, insightful, challenging, complex, and humanizing. Worth the download, and the time to listen. And listening to the arc as storytellers are released and transition to civilian life? Heart-expanding. Thank you for giving me so many people to root for in a chaotic and confusing world.
  • bugeatmud
    One of the best
    This show is one of my absolute favorites. Nigel and Earlonne are great storytellers and have a strong, respectful friendship with their conversations building off each other. Ear Hustle tells intimate stories related to San Quentin without being exploitative. They’re sincere, genuine, and just engaging. I was hooked after the very first episode where they discussed how to create makeup while locked up.
  • veteran podcast listener
    In my top 10
    Everyone should listen to this podcast, it sheds light on the prison system and gives you an amazing perspective on incarcerated individuals
  • @EarHustle
    My favorite by far!!!
    Since the conception of the show I’ve been a faithful listener. Being a former inmate in North Carolina, I can relate to most of not all topics and have learned how society looks at formally incarcerated individuals. Erlon and Nigel are a great duo and I hope EarHustle last forever!!! Keep up the great work!
  • Aperrr
    Great show
    Nigel and Erlon are a great pair. Even though Nigel stands out like a sore thumb, she radiates comfortability, so that makes others comfortable to speak with her. Some of the stories are so intimate others are just kind of funny. Truly a great show.
  • Awesome😀👍🏻
    the garden
    Nigel, Earlonne and crew. This podcast is a beautiful experience, one episode at a time.. The way you delve into people and their stories is how we should all invest in each other, despite differences. Thank you for the goosebumps, the tears, the understanding and the laughs. You are planting seeds of humanity.
  • Gems granny
    Keep up the great work
    This podcast humanized the Incarcerated for me. As a result, I have been volunteering with the restorative justice movement in Louisiana. Thanks Earlonne and crew for all you do! - Melody
  • Tan’s mom
    Life Changing!
    Ear Hustle has literally changed my life over the 10 years I have been listening. It has introduced me to a world about which I never thought before I started with the podcast. It has encouraged me to get use my skills to try to help to bring justice to incarcerated people. It is tremendously important!
  • 04Heaven Slake
    I love this podcast
    It gives me insights inspiration education and hope.
  • MRose340
    Best podcast out there
    Hi! I’ve been listening from the beginning and am obsessed with the show. I tell everyone that it’s the best thing out there and so eye & heart opening. I’ve also got Nigel’s beautiful book and am such a fan girl. I saw you in an airport a few months ago and wanted to tell you all how much your work means to me but was too starstruck to speak a word to you and I regret it so here it is, thank you!!
  • Toughchick128
    So Real!
    I just found this show and I love it! It is so real! I love how the hosts disarm inmates when they are feeling nervous about a certain subject, such as with Metro and his objects in “Hope Laquer”. I highly recommend this podcast!
  • DJWill44
    Love this show!
    Been listening to this show since the beginning and I just learned how to leave a comment lol. Keep killing it guys. Love how you’re showing a different side of the Prison system. These inmates are people too and they all have different stories. Again, keep up the great work!
  • Jackstere
    Fantastic podcast!
    I love this podcast so much! It has taught me a lot and always makes me think
  • #unicorn sparkle
    Receipts / Reviews 🙂
    Hey Ear Hustle! Compelling, thoughtful and moving Podcast! Thank you to all involved for your time and effort interviewing, writing, editing and inspiring. My dad goes into Folsom prison weekly to hold a church service and facilitate a recovery class. If it weren’t for Ear Hustle and my dad’s stories I would know nothing about the folks living inside. I am grateful for the stories and important insights the people offer here! Your stories matter. You matter. Peace.
  • arcticfox01
    Profound and mythic.
    Almost impossible to describe the perfection of the presenting, presenters, and most importantly the subjects that open your mind to ideas and situations that express the human spirit and are humbling and thought provoking. If you listen, be ready to cry, smile, feel compelled, and saddened, all within a few minutes.
  • Florida Evans
    No, just no…
    Let me say I love this podcast and have been listening for years. This message is specifically for Nigel, everyone does NOT pee in the shower. Animals even prefer a designated place for their waste. I hope anyone who has ever stayed in your home heard you say this and in the future will book a hotel or make sure they have a pair of shower shoes.
  • Ms. Gabbi
    My All Time Favorite Podcast
    I love this show! I’ve learned so much about humanity and life. It’s funny, sometimes sad, but ultimately moving. As a writer and poet, I’ve been inspired by the people and stories on this show. I literally fiend for the next episode. Thank you to all of the people who have been kind and brave enough to share their stories.
  • Sara--G
    Fan since the beginning
    I’ve been listening to this podcast, and so very beginning. If you have a loved one, who’s been to Saint Quentin, it’s even more insightful. The last couple seasons, they have showcase, incarcerated women, and I really appreciate that!
  • Peafly
    All the love and best wishes for Greg.
  • Bflatchristian
    Thank you for such beautifully produced, honest, and heartfelt shows. I am not incarcerated, nor have I ever known anyone in prison, but I thoroughly enjoy hearing the stories of people whose voices we don’t normally get to hear. Keep cranking it out!
  • Spike 1954
    unbelievably good!
    I heard a short ad for this podcast on another. I was listening to and I subscribed immediately. My third husband – I know that’s a little excessive but I was a kid of the 60s – had been in Folsom prison for 12 years. This show gives me great insight into his life before our marriage. The marriage, I am afraid to say “went south“ but I still have very fond memories of who he was. Thank you for an excellent production. There’s no other word for it but “excellent”. If you’ve never listened do so it will change your outlook almost immediately. You can’t say that about mini podcasts. Love you guys! You’re doing a great job.
  • olivecat
    Thanks for still making the pod accessible to all:)
  • Irisjennae
    10 stars !!!
    Wow I’m HOOKED just started listening yesterday currently on season 1 episode 3 I LOVE THIS !!!!
  • J<3Daddie
    Best podcast
    I love your show. I learn a lot. You guys always make it interesting. -attorney jasmine
  • BeautyIsAnimate
    I have enjoyed Ear Hustle since the beginning. (Snap Judgement *might* have been the pod that pointed me to Ear Hustle.) This week’s episode with Sky was probably my favorite episode to date. If there’s any way the folks at Ear Hustle could connect Sky with Button Poetry, I think all parties would be very happy with the outcome. 💖
  • Adr_San
    So excited for new season
    Finding the humanity in each person thru candid interviews while giving us a real sense of what its like to be a resident in SQ and other places. The questions are insightful. Many of those interviewed are introspective, funny, creative, and have plans and ambitions. Through the stories we get insight into justice systems and the impact that reforms could have. The dynamic between E and Nige is so endearing, sometimes humorous and they elicit the best of each other. It’s in my top2 of all podcasts ever. I wait with great anticipation for the next episode and often re-listen to to get all the nuances and original music. Written long ago and now I am disappointed because I was an early adopter and now being asked to pay to listen. I listen to 20 podcasts so I can’t afford to pay for all of them.
  • blacksun
    Content only available if you subscribe
    I used to be a huge fan of this podcast, but now most content is only available if you subscribe :/ I don’t mind listening to adverts but please don’t force me to subscribe!!
  • super vision
    Binged and learned.
    I was late learn about Ear Hustle, but once I started I smashed through all 12 seasons in a few weeks!! Listen and learn. I’m so happy to have this knowledge that I’ll use to support changes we very much need in our prison systems… and you’ll have fun. I miss Sam Robinson’s perspective and wisdom. I hope more CO’s feel this is a welcome place to contribute, and we’ll listen. I have my Ear Hustle Hoodie and rockin’ it in Brooklyn NY. Continued best wishes for this important work. sj
  • 1sheek1
    I cannot listen for free anymore? This was one of my favorite podcast. I lost my job. I can’t afford to splurge on Podcasts right now. This really bummed me out. You guys are always a five star review but now I can’t even listen. It’s really depressing. Please change it back. Please give people the option to here a few episodes.. It’s just not fair not everyone can afford to listen. I really miss you guys.
  • Sammy_ez1897
    Best podcast
    one of the best podcast for all time,,thank you for all efforts
  • yantiarifin
    Amazing podcast
    This podcast humanizes and brings to light the beautiful and forgotten souls in Americas prisons. Completely changed the way I think of the incarcerated. Everyone in America needs to listen to this.
  • chaosd
    It was great and now a paywall. Great. I’m sure it’s still great but I’m so sad. I know support is needed, but there’s so many other ways than messing with the flow.
  • #agirlhasaname
    Thanks for giving us voices from the inside
    So thankful that a friend in my book club told me about this podcast, which I’m now telling everyone about. Thanks for finding a way to let people tell their stories.
  • FebMa
    Fantastic Podcast
    I love Ear Hustle and have been listening to every episode since the beginning. Earlonne does a great job.
  • Mslarue72
    Stories that hit
    Completely changed my perspective on prisons in America and the people who live within. Nigel and earlonne are really great interviewers. Long time listener first time commenter. Stay cool.
  • Wabi N
    I can not say enough
    I have been listening to Ear Hustle since the second week of it’s original air date. Nigel and Earlonne take us on such an immersive ride. We learn about the two of them( feels that way)and listen to their growth and their growing love for one another, and their journey to take us on the inside. Something I thought was a new concept,an interesting one no doubt. They have brought something refreshing to the podcast table,and I can appreciate them taking an interest in the world that they have. Guys rate and review this show. Listen from the beginning,support and take care of these two. The only downside is having to wait for the next season !!!
  • ronniwells23
    Incredible! Enlightening! Evoking!
    It’s so incredible to be able to hear directly from incarcerated people about heavier topics and their every day lives. Such a large portion of our population lives completely segregated stripped of their freedom and silenced, this podcast feels like a much needed connection to human beings we as a society have decided to “throw away.” Nigel and Earlonne have great chemistry and the whole team shows empathy and true connection with their interviewees. Ear Hustle successfully presents their interviewees to the listener as layered and complicated human beings. I’ve been listening since the beginning and am so proud of all this team has accomplished, congrats on 100 episodes and I can’t wait for the next 100!
  • Leilareview
    Eye opening
    This is such an amazing podcast. It really opens your eyes to the lives and stories of imprisoned people, plus it’s funny and entertaining! It’s got it all. I love Nigel and Earlone!
  • __k.z
    Shines light
    Love this podcast and how the hosts really dive deep into the culture inside prisons and educating the world about it, especially appreciative of the light on marginalized communities such as trans folx.
  • Lifecake devotee
    A gem - everyone should listen to this
    Prison life is not something I had ever wanted to imagine or know more about, but I took a chance on this excellent podcast when it first began and quickly because hooked - I never miss a episode. Though it’s broadcast from San Quinton and other prisons (for both women and men) featuring largely incarcerated people, this is a hopeful, touching, interesting, at times funny, always evocative and original series of stories about people. Eat Hustle humanizes the experience of incarcerated people in a way I could never have imagined. Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor are masterful storytellers and extraordinary partners; their vision and heart is captivating. Everyone should listen to this podcast to better understand humanity and what connects - and separates - us all.
  • Previous Droid User
    Such valuable insight and perspective in this podcast. It’s a beautiful balance of tough stuff, self-expression, and the everyday mundanity of prison life. I’ve listened for years and was even inspired to start writing to an incarcerated person. We’ve built an invaluable friendship over the last few years.
  • Juneboogy
    Listen up
    I started listening to Ear Hustle in 2019 during a debilitating illness. I have been listening ever since. This podcast will change your understanding of United States prisons and the people who are doing time in them. In their interviews and reporting, the Ear Hustle team reminds us that people who are incarcerated are human and deserving of respect and understanding. Give this podcast a listen.
  • kelmirah
    I Love Ear Hustle
    I have been listening to Ear Hustle since season one and it keeps getting better. The story lines are fantastic and it is so fun to hear about some of your favorite host and guest being released. I hope for many more seasons.
  • Chillic77
    If you’re new- start with episode #1 the whole crew is great! The whole ride is amazing!
  • Mlrcreates
    Congrats on your 100th ep!
    I’ve been a listener from the beginning and feel I’ve grown along with Earlonne, Nigel and the crew. You’re amazing! If you’re new to Ear Hustle- start from the beginning and enjoy the journey.
  • DerpyHooves22
    SO much more than a podcast
    I loved hearing Steve Brooks reporting on the pop corn craze 🍿
  • HT, fan of Spencer.
    Heater T
    So. Good.
  • mikeyivan
    Ear Hustle is
    ….possibly the beet thing on radio, ever!
  • A.Abbate
    Ear Hustle Rocks!!!!
    What an amazing podcast! Bringing another more compassionate look at prisoners! Much needed!
  • ahrxmkrdb
    Love this podcast!
    I’ve learned so much I didn’t realize that I didn’t know. One of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to. Thank you Nigel and Earlonne!
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