'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," the energy is still on 100. On this episode, our beloved panel talks about big headlines like the thirst to cancel Cardi B, Trump’s ongoing obsession with the wall and Jussie Smollett’s case being dropped. But, we’re also re-examining old metrics that we use to rank rising artists and presidential candidates vying for the black vote. After all, it wouldn’t be for the culture if we didn’t call some things into question.
Take a look at the 9gems from "SOTC" episode 21 below.
1) Not all of Us got the true meaning Of Jordan Peele’s new film
I think we can all agree that Get Out set the tone for the type of cerebral horror flicks we can expect from the great Jordan Peele. Unfortunately for Jinx, Us went over his head. “I left the theater mad confused,” he admits. “I’m trying to put it on me and not Jordan. Like, maybe I’m dumb.” As a tried and true horror fan, Remy felt there was more gore to be had. “I was a little bit disappointed because I wanted it to be more gorey,” she said. “I wanted them to do all the foul shit that most horror films don’t do, like off one of the kids.”
2) Cardi B can’t stop winning and the haters won’t stop trying
Recently, an old Instagram Live video of Cardi B’s resurfaced where the rapper confessed to robbing men she’d met in her strip club days. While Cardi has since copped to the video, explaining that she’s not proud of having to had done that as a means of survival, some folks tried their best to have Cardi cancelled. Jinx is split 50/50 on the issue. “We praise artists for this. Future says something crazy on a record, we love it,” he explains. “The other portion of me can see certain pieces switching up, like Cardi being a dude and [her victims] being women and it being totally different energy.” Ultimately, Jinx says we’re not canceling Cardi over this. Remy Ma says this type of story isn’t news to her. But, deeper than the act of robbing itself, she implores us to think about the desperate times Cardi must have been in. “Do you know what has to really be going on in your life for you to take the risk of going to a hotel by yourself with a guy you don’t know just to take his bread?” she questions. “I look at things a little differently because I come from the bottom.” As far as the Cardi B comparisons to Bill Cosby, Joe isn’t buying into it. “I think it’s a nasty comparison,” he asserts. “Not to speak for rape victims, but I’m sure they’d much rather be robbed in a different way.”
3) Will Packer shed light on a missing piece in our community
Will Packer’s three-part series "The Atlanta Child Murders" recently aired on Investigation Discovery and shed light on two dozen black children who were killed in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. As a result, Atlanta’s mayor and chief of police announced that these cases would be reopen forensic evidence will be reexamined. The fear of childhood abduction haunted Remy as a kid and still does now that she has children of her own. She imagines the pain of not knowing where your child is as heartbreaking. “[People say] everything happens for a reason. But, what would be the reason for two dozen black children to just be killed, gone, missing or whatever the case may be?” she questions. Jinx brilliantly ties this back to another "State Of The Culture" conversation we had a few weeks back about the role documentaries are playing in serving up justice on a platter. “I like that Will Packer saw that and knew it would work,” he said.
4) The "SOTC" panel absolutely thinks cloning exists
When Joe asks if they think the government is cloning humans, they respond with a resounding, “Yes.” This shouldn’t be a surprise to faithful viewers, as Jinx and Remy have both admitted that Joe’s conspiracy theorist ways are rubbing off on them. Still, it's worth discussing. “I know for a fact that they’re cloning animals. If I knew how to clone an animal, I’d be feenin’ to clone a human,” Remy says. Jinx has a more cautious view of things. “As a society, we’ve ended up in a lot of bad shit out of curiosity,” he added. Joe things Tesla’s hiding the clone machine. “He’s putting a plane underground!” he said.
5) Trump’s budget slashing in the name of the wall is a sign of scarier things to come
Trump has ruthlessly cut millions of dollars of funding from vital government programs to pay for his wall. While nothing about the Cheeto-in-chief’s asinine decision making should surprise us anymore, this is a little damn jarring to our "SOTC" panel. “[He’s cutting] $7 billion from the department of education. That’s the last place he should be cutting,” Remy says, adding, “Pretty soon, everyone’s going to have to pay for their kids to go to school the same way you have to pay for college.” Jinx believes this is a sign of more troubling things to come, adding, “When you start spending more on war and things to divide people than you do on social infrastructure like schools and roads, it's the downfall of every nation.”
6) Something in the Jussie Smollett milk ain’t clean, but not so fast, Chicago
The Jussie Smollett case has transformed into a tightly tangled web of secrets, suspected motives and political power moves that we’re still trying to decode. At this point, it’s very clear that Jussie Smollett is merely a part of a way bigger problem. “[The story] flip flopped so many times that there’s no way there’s only one guilty party,” Jinx suspects. There’s also less pointing fingers and a lot of looking in the mirror that the Chicago Police Department needs to do. “It's Chicago. Y’all have been wrong,” Jinx continues. “You ain’t about to get right off of [Jussie].”
7) XXL’s Freshman Class -- it might be time to throw the whole list away
Each year, XXL’s Freshman class is welcomed with open arms and lots of debate. Though most people tend to question if the magazine got the best picks of the newcomer litter, this year, it seems the crop of rappers who are being considered are too accomplished for such a title. For example, Flipp Dinero is collaborating with Tory Lanez, Blueface already snagged a Cardi B collaboration and Tierra Whack has a Grammy nod under her belt. If you ask the "SOTC" hosts, it might be time to throw the whole list away. “[These rappers] really don’t need what the Freshman cover use to be able to do for artists,” Remy explains. “It used to put artists that weren’t in the forefront, right in your face. Now, magazines aren’t even a thing at all.” As a former writer/editor, Jinx also isn’t feeling the fact that artists had to campaign for the 10th slot. “I think it's weird for artists to have to pitch themselves to the magazine,” he says. “As someone who's worked on those lists that everyone gets riled up about, it’s really the thoughts of the people in the room. These are the things they think are valuable in the culture.” Joe swoops in to XXL’s defense by reminding us that the list’s popularity started to dwindle because of the artists they chose were “trash.” But, he questions, “Can this list gain back some credibility now that the artists are ascending?”
8) Reparations may or may not work
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson announced a plan to enact reparations by injecting funds of up to $500 billion into economic and educational programs in African-American communities. Problem is, that’s not exactly the way we saw reparations panning out. Jinx says, “I like that someone who are running as a candidate feels brave enough to say that today. But also, is it brave to say it today, as it would have been 20 or 50 years ago? Is it now more a thing that elevates you and gets your name in the running?” The lack of “how” makes the "SOTC" panel think this is more of a ploy to get the black vote. All things considered, it's far too earlier for anyone to feel comfortable endorsing any candidate (except Rem, who's gunning for Cory Booker).
9) Does struggle and art go hand-in-hand?
With Big Sean opening up about his struggles with mental health and Lil Uzi Vert getting a restructured deal via Roc Nation, it's great to hear these two mega talents are on the up and up. But, will the music hit the same? Remy Ma uses her own personal testimony to open up the conversation. “Some of the best things I’ve written is when shit wasn’t as good as it seemed. Even if, in my music, I may have been talking about happier times, in real life, shit was a little rough around the edges.” Joe also talks about the difficulty artists have pulling inspiration from situations they’re no longer in.
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