'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 on "State of the Culture," we learned that we’re all we got -- and it's crucial that we start acting like it. Gucci’s horrible blackface sweater controversy had T.I. and Floyd Mayweather going at it once again in the name of the culture. The same can be said of Steve Harvey and Mo’Nique’s on-camera debate about integrity, steeped in respectability politics. The Grammys called itself paying tribute to Motown, a fixture in black music, but didn’t give it the love it really warranted. And finally, what the hell was going on over at BET the night it tried Nicki Minaj? Is that any way to treat a black legend? Joe, Remy, Scottie and Jinx delve into these topics vigorously and with no filter (as if they’d have it any other way.). There’s a lot to chew on. But, each conversation seeks to reignite the black excellence this month has been missing.
1. Pray for Rich the Kid.
Someone get Jesus on the mainline because Rich The Kid needs all the prayers he can get. The “Plug Walk” rapper was robbed, along with Usher, at a recording studio. This is the second time Rich has been jacked in less than a year (the first robbery took place at his girlfriend Tori Brixx’s home, which many believed was a set up.) Is it just bad juju or a sign that homie should just move a little different? “He can’t go to the studio, he can’t go to his girl’s house...where the fuck can Rich the kid go?” Joe asked.
2. Is the Gucci boycott a waste of our time? Scottie Beam thinks so.
T.I. and Floyd Mayweather’s epic beef was reignited when the boxer vowed to continue shopping at Gucci even after their tragic “blackface” sweater controversy. Tip is known to take other celebrities to task for what he perceives as “coonin’” (see Kanye West for example). But, did this really have more to do with Mayweather’s past flirtations with T.I.’s wife, Tiny? And furthermore, how do our "SOTC" panelists feel about “Gucci don’t really want your black ass in their clothes anyway”? Things begin to get spicy as Remy questions how we’d feel if the sweater were a different color. But, she eventually decides to hit a U-turn on that one. I think we can agree it’s for the best.
3. The chat gets spicy as Joe urges Scottie and Jinx to draw a line with Jussie Smollett.
Look, we’d be remiss to not admit that the new evidence suggesting Jussie Smollett may have staged his attack has the "Empire" actor out here looking crazy. What’s even crazier is the thought that his former supporters might have to eat their words. But for Scottie and Jinx, they can’t solidify their position until concrete evidence comes to light -- something Joe says is never going to happen unless Smollett confesses. “I’m going to choose to stand with him,” Scottie argues. “If that makes you upset, then that’s on you.”
4. Despite the uproar, not all of our "SOTC" hosts are mad at the J. Lo tribute.
From the weirdly selected Motown tribute to the questionably brief Aretha Franklin tribute (and let's be frank, we’re still pissed about Lemonade being snubbed) a lot of folks are damn near over the Grammys, including Jinx. “My takeaway was, ‘Why do I watch this shit?’” he said. Call it a Bronx thing, but Remy Ma doesn’t agree with the anti-Jennifer Lopez backlash. “I look at things differently. I grew up in the Bronx. I’m positive that Motown records were played in her house... I do think they could’ve incorporated other people, as well. But, no matter what you do, you can’t satisfy everybody,” the host said. Jinx thinks it's low-key ludicrous that Grammy-winner H.E.R. wasn’t asked to perform in the Motown tribute. “I kept thinking “Motown, you’re trying to make this relevant and show how it's connected to today, and you didn’t have today’s young dope artists do renditions of the old classic songs?” I meannn...
5. Remy Ma thinks BET dragging Nicki Minaj wasn’t worth the RTs.
Was there a worse business move than BET dragging the upcoming headliner of their biggest annual show? If there is, we couldn’t find it. In the words of Jinx, to “blow the rent money off the tweet” was the ultimate bad look. Despite the well publicized beef between she and Nicki, Remy doesn’t condone how the network treated her. “I do think BET was dead ass wrong. I don’t know why people always co-relate. If any female in rap does anything, it has to be compared to what she’s doing or not doing,” Rem said.
6. Money and integrity? Get you somebody who can have both.
Mo’Nique’s career -- and the Hollywood big wigs determined to keep her blackballed -- have been public knowledge since last year. As we know, Mo’s not backing down on her whistleblowing. Steve Harvey recently invited the comedian on his show in hopes of convincing her to play the “money game” and not piss off the folks who write the checks. Joe feels Steve has about this much room to talk, considering how he’s moved in his own career. “I would feel Steve a little more if maybe Cedric The Entertainer was on 'Family Feud.' If he pulled up some of these other black comedians and gave them a spot at some of these white people jobs he occupies, I would look at him differently,” he said.
7. Joe Budden relates to Dame Dash and Mo’Nique more than we thought.
Former Roc-a-fella head honcho Dame Dash just apologized to JAY-Z, Lyor Cohen and other moguls who he’s had longstanding gripes with over the years. Though Joe feels he has every right to feel angry for catapulting artists who have left him in the dust, he thinks Dame is an under-appreciated OG much like our sis Mo’Nique. “Dame could be a huge asset to the industry today. It just doesn’t feel like the industry is trying to give him a shot, so he’s stuck in that Mo’Nique box having to do it on your own,” Joe said. When Scottie asked him how he got out of that similar rut in the music industry, Joe hit us with the humble brag. He said, “None of these niggas can stop me. I’m one of the greatest creators in the world.” Talk your shit, Joe!
8. There are perks and pitfalls to being a female artist.
We spoke a little about female rappers being pitted against one another in the Nicki vs. BET section. But, Remy Ma does believe there are advantages to being a woman in the music industry. “If you look like something, you’re gonna get perks. Men don’t have to worry about physical appearance. That’s just the way the industry works,” she said. When it comes to artists like Tierra Whack who are blowing up on skill alone, Remy knows from experience that it’s a roll of the dice. “I wish her the best. But, she’s going to have a harder fight than someone who is probably nearly as talented as she is, but is doing the super pretty girl thing,” the rapper added.
9. Nipsey Hussle is following in Hov’s footsteps.
Nipsey Hussle is producing a documentary about Dr. Sebi, a Honduran herbalist who went to trial for false advertising; claiming he’d discovered herbal cures for cancer, HIV, blindness, herpes and other illnesses. The conspiracy of Dr. Sebi’s acquittal, followed by his suspicious death in 2016, is an easy sell for a documentary. But for Jinx, this project says more about Nipsey’s “hustle” (pun intended) and passion to create independent content. “Hip hop has made people rich and made people stars. This is the right example of black culture. He’s putting out information,” the co-host said. Black excellence is in full effect!
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