'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.'
It’s Women's History Month, which feels perfectly timely with some of the dope women on the "State Of The Culture" docket this week. Queen Latifah’s $14 million housing development is the latest string of money moves she’s made, which solidifies her legacy as one of hip hop’s most underrated moguls. Solange’s new album, When I Get Home, is black excellence. As much as we wish this rundown of glowing positivity could continue for the duration of the show, of course there’s some f*ckery we need to discuss. The alleged Jordyn Woods/Tristan Thompson love affair makes us question what’s the crime in dating someone a few degrees removed. Kanye West is trying to restore our faith in him, but it's going to take more than a grand philanthropic gesture for us to believe in the old Kanye.
All this and more in the 9 gems from this week’s "SOTC" recap below.
1. Jordyn Woods makes us question the gray areas of girl code.
By now, you already know why Kylie Jenner’s BFF Jordyn Woods is in the headlines. But, we’re not here to talk about who stole whose man and who’s out here breaking up families. We’re here to draw clear lines in the sand about what’s acceptable when it comes to hooking up with your friends’ leftovers. Scottie thinks the Kardashians are being a bit hypocritical when it comes to the standards of girl code. “Only they can do that shit,” Scottie says. “Anybody else outside, I guess they turn their head.” Joe hits the nail on the head when it comes to Tristan Thompson’s alleged dirty dog ways, “Women ain’t supposed to get mad over community dick.” Aannndd there it is!
2. Queen Latifah may have a rap comeback in the works that Joe says is certified fire.
Queen Latifah has her hands in many pots as a rapper, actor, producer and now soon-to-be owner of a $14 million housing development in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. According to Joe, her musical comeback is on the way that he promises will turn heads. “Latifah has a verse coming on an album that will be released really soon and you bitches don’t want no smoke,” he said. Remy had nothing but glowing thoughts about the queen. “Between [Latifah] and [Shakim Compere], I’ve learned so much about the business, movies and other things that I’m trying to do,” she said. As the "SOTC" hosts talked through the pages and pages of receipts on her solid legacy, Jinx applauded Latifah for pulling others up along the way. “Latifah is building a conglomerate, and it's happening quietly,” he added.
3. Documentaries are the new indictments.
Following the explosive "Surviving R. Kelly" documentary on Lifetime, Michael Jackson is the latest pop star whose alleged dirty laundry is making a resurgence in a feature length project. Our "SOTC"peeps have a theory that “documentaries are becoming the new indictments” and they make a persuasive case. Jinx explains, “We are in a crazy time for what is true. It’s crazier than it's ever been. We have so many sources and bits of information, it pokes at who we are more than the subject.” Remy Ma calls this latest trend a “witch hunt” that seeks to take down legends. Joe’s only commentary is that “Neverland looked like fun.”
4. And the Oscar goes to...way more black people!
Unlike any Academy Awards ceremony in the past, there was way more color on screen in 2019 than ever before. Mahershala Ali, Regina King and the brilliant minds behind Black Panther were standout winners in major categories this year. But, there’s something to be said about the fact that Green Book, a movie that essentially made a white man the center of a black music legend’s life story, won Best Picture. Scottie summarizes the racist undertones in the film, claiming, “They love these white savior movies. This driver is teaching Dr. Don Shirley how black culture works... Dr. Shirley’s family said none of it was true.” Joe begs the question, “Why do we keep expecting white people to identify flavor?”
5. Remy, Jinx and Scottie are convinced Joe’s conspiracy theorist tendencies are rubbing off on them.
Remy Ma touches on the new scary "momo challenge" on the internet, which she can’t help but think is a scam to disrupt the millions of dollars in ad revenue being made from kids content on YouTube. She says her antennas have been up about certain things since hanging around Joe, and he was shocked by the observation. “I don’t like that title! I don’t always rush to the conspiracy,” he claims. *cue eye rolls everywhere*
6. Chicago PD is looking a little sus these days, but what else is new?
Chicago police superintendent, Eddie T. Johnson, is on a crusade to bring down Jussie Smollett... and he’s made it clear that his mission is personal. Jinx thinks Johnson is “fishing for the wrong thing” by putting the Jussie case on such a high pedestal. Given the immense accusation of crime and corruption hanging over the Chicago PD right now (including Johnson’s own appointment), Johnson's best bet was to probably keep quiet.
7. Kanye West donated $1 million to the Chicago Avalon Regal Theater, but Scottie doesn’t think it's enough to buy back our love.
Perhaps what we love most about Kanye (when he’s not being that Kanye) is his charitable efforts. Recently, Kanye invested a milly in restoring one of Chicago’s landmark black theaters. While the “Jesus Walks” rapper’s distasteful antics in support of Donald Trump have recently simmered down, Scottie Beam thinks he still has some explaining to do before we can really digest his recent acts of goodwill. “It’s not my job to forgive, but I’m not going to listen just because you brought the choir out and some white sheets, and now you wanna act like things have passed,” Scottie tells Joe. She is, however, open to streaming his next album if Kanye expresses remorse for his Trump-isms. But, Joe thinks Kanye will say just about anything to get people on his side, even if they’re empty apologies. He also doesn’t appreciate Ye, and other celebs, who make their charitable giving so public. Jinx agrees with Scottie’s opinion that Kanye owes us more, adding, “If you wild out in the public, you apologize in the public... Kanye’s a lot smarter, and he’s been winning by playing idiot savant.” Preaaacchhh!!
8. De La Soul’s streaming service scramble brings Joe to tears.
Legendary hip hop trio De La Soul planned to finally release their music to streaming services. Unfortunately, due to legal loopholes, it was announced that their label, Tommy Boy Records, would withhold 90% of the profits from those streams. The group believes their paltry cut is a reflection of the shady deal they signed back in the late ‘80s, which was common at the time. As Jinx reflects on how exploitative the situation is, Joe is brought to tears. In explaining his reaction to this topic from an artist’s perspective, Joe gets a little deeper with it. “I’m getting teary eyed because it’s depressing to hear, but they sell us depression,” Joe says, getting choked up. “For this to be happening to one of the greatest albums ever made, at some point it has to get away from the business side and it has to get to, ‘Well, how do we sleep at night?’”
9. Scottie and Jinx are here for Solange’s new album. Joe feels differently.
Scottie and Jinx are giving high scores to Solange’s latest effort When I Get Home. Everything from the rollout on Black Planet to the experimentation of new sounds hit the nail on the head for them. Joe doesn’t quite think this was a slam dunk as a follow up to what is widely considered Solange’s best work. “Solange isn’t one of the people I would want to say that about, so I’m not going to say it,” Joe admits. “I heard it at 3:30am and I hated it. I hated every minute of it… I think Solange missed a golden opportunity to take the next step.”
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