'State of the Culture' is the show you turn on to hear unfiltered, unapologetic, gritty opinions in regards to topics within hip hop culture -- whether you agree with what's being said or not. Joe Budden, Remy Ma, Jinx, and Scottie Beam aren't here to hold your hand in their debates and sugarcoat their words. They're here to say what everyone else is afraid of saying, and do so with no hesitation. From talking about music, politics, sports and everything in between; the hosts are always with the shits. Welcome to 'State of the Culture.'
This week, "State of the Culture" explores major headlines which, oddly, seem to highlight the importance of knowing the facts before you act. Joe wonders if Travis Scott knew what was at stake for the culture before agreeing to hit the Super Bowl stage this year. Were the memes at 21 Savage’s expense really all for laughs or does this have propaganda written all over it? Did Liam Neeson really know the definition of “racism” before he parted his lips to admit his own predatory past? Also, are new artists doing their due diligence to read the fine print before signing away their artistry? It's some heavy stuff that's definitely worth delving into. But first, a look from Remy Ma!
1. Remy Ma’s Look This Episode Might Have Gotten "SOTC" more views than ever.
I mean...if you have eyes, you’ll know why.
2. To Boycott Or Not To Boycott
The huge elephant in the room this episode is, of course, the snooze-fest that was Super Bowl 2019. The overwhelming majority agree that is the entire affair sucked - proven both by the plummet in viewership and the outpouring of disappointment shared on social media about the halftime show (looking at you, shirtless Adam Levine!) The panelists can’t quite figure out if Jinx boycotted the Super Bowl or if this was a matter of lost interest. Bottom line: thank u, next.
3. For Joe, Travis Scott’s Halftime Participation Has Him Looking a Little Funny
Hip hop’s most prominent figures, including Jay-Z, Rihanna and Cardi B; all turned down the opportunity to perform at the halftime show in order to show solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Beyond our support of our beloved brother Kaep, this boycott was meant to apply pressure to NFL owners who were punishing black players for peacefully protesting the national anthem. Pretty simple, right? Sure, except where does that leave Travis Scott, who agreed to perform at the Super Bowl against the reported advice of his rap peers? “I probably am looking at Travis Scott a little differently,” Joe admits. “I have a problem any time it appears we can be purchased. We should have a little more pride.” There’s also the shady little press mix up where Kaepernick’s team denied giving Travis his blessing to perform, despite leaked stories from the Astroworld rapper’s camp. How can the community have a united front when one of its most admired figures goes rogue in pursuit of the bag?
4. We Have 21 Questions About 21 Savage
But, the most important of them all: What does his arrest say about our culture? Immediately after news broke that 21 Savage was arrested and detained by ICE for allegedly overstaying his Visa, the internet found humor in the discovery that 21 is actually a British national. But, all jokes aside, Jinx peeps the finesse (as he always does) in how ICE tried to turn the hip hop community against 21 by implying that he's a poser. "Getting you to turn on each other is such a huge hurdle. When you can conquer that, what can they do?" Jinx said. His theory is that laughing at 21 Savage's deportation case is aiding in ICE's propaganda. He continued, "I watched them meet us at our own vantage point. For all I know, the first memes that kicked off could have been sent from them."
5. Without Entry To The U.S., 21’s Savage’s Career Could Be DOA
This is without a doubt one hell of a monkey wrench thrown into the trajectory of 21 Savage’s career, regardless of where the chips fall. But, we have to start looking at worst case scenarios. Will 21 be able to salvage his career if he’s forced to live and work in the U.K. for the next ten years? "SOTC" thinks the answer is probably not -- especially considering how big of a music market the U.S. is. Then, there’s the status of his credibility as a street rapper, which Remy rightfully scoffs at. “You don’t rep where you were born, you rep where you grew up,” she reminds us in reference to 21’s home base of Atlanta. Unfortunately, "SOTC" thinks 21 -- with all his celebrity status -- just might be the government’s prime pick to make an example out of.
6. Memes Are Lame (Chris Brown Said It, Not Us)
Offset and Chris Brown’s IG beef is yet another SMH-worthy event this Black History Month. But, it's also entertaining as hell for obvious reasons. After Offset called out Chris Brown for participating in the 21 Savage meme party, a real life fight ensued (chill guys, it’s only the internet.) Sadly, this is probably only the beginning of what will be a very long, drawn out beef. Remy Ma points out, “People think because people are celebrities they don’t have emotions.” Let's not forget, address were dropped. Joe reminds us that there’s too much violence in hip hop right for this to get physical. Hopefully nobody gets touched.
7) Has Liam Neeson’s Career Really Been Taken By His Recent Scandal? Probably Not
The culture let out a resounding “oh hell no” when Taken actor Liam Neeson admitted to stalking and plotting to kill random black men after his friend claimed she was raped by a black man. Scottie Beam thinks Neeson is dead wrong for insisting he’s not racist, but so are the black journalists like Robin Roberts from "Good Morning America" who didn’t check him on it. “When I see him talk about it like it's nothing, it's baffling to me,” the co-host said. As Far as Jinx sees it, Neeson’s career really didn’t take a hit from this. He said, “His movie is still coming out... Maybe it's an awkward stare at Starbucks. But, Liam Neeson is still Liam Neeson. He’s got it pretty good.” Overall, the fact that Neeson admitted this and expected some sort of congratulatory pat on the back from black people has our "SOTC" panelists looking at him sideways... now and forever.
8) Bow Wow Set The Record Straight With Joe Budden About His Domestic Incident With Kiyomi Leslie... Well, Sort Of
There’s currently a rumor floating around that a flirtatious run-in between Bow Wow’s ex, Kiyomi Leslie, and Shaq caused his most recent domestic violence incident. This was discussed on the Joe Budden podcast, and then, Joe got a call from Bow himself saying his theory was all wrong. “[He told me] ‘Joe, you had that shit all wrong. That ain’t what happened... and I would never go in a chick’s phone.’” Of course, Mr. Moss can’t say much else besides that. But, Scottie reminds us that domestic violence is wrong no matter who the aggressor is in the relationship.
9) Joe And Remy Ma Want Young Artists To Be Schooled On The Glossary Terms Of The Music Industry
Kanye West is suing all of his publishers from 2003 - 2010, which opens up the proverbial can of worms about artist rights within the music industry. Those unfamiliar with how important publishing is, it's basically how artists get paid from wherever their music is used, which means it's very important for artists to have full ownership of their own content. What’s sad is that many up-and-coming artists sign contracts without knowing what publishing even is, much less who else owns a piece of the pie (just ask Joe). The record industry tried to run the same game on Remy, but she has Big Pun to thank for helping her avoid a shady deal. But truthfully, not everyone’s as lucky. Remy said, “The sad thing is these young guys have people that know. Instead of putting them on, they go, ‘Here, sign this’ and they go to the label.” Ultimately, Remy hopes Kanye’s pursuit inspires other artists to fight for themselves. She added, “Maybe when these newer artists get their paperwork, they may not know what [publishing] is exactly. But, know that it's yours and you need to keep that.”
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