'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.'
We hope you came with an appetite because "State Of The Culture" is about to have your plate full with hot topics this episode. Of course, you already know we’re going to dive into that controversial top 50 rapper list and Joe’s newfound status as a top three emcee. We’re also talking about the state of female rap, why artists are afraid to take an L on their own songs, and whether or not spying on your significant other is really worth it.
See below for the nine gems from the season two, episode two of "State Of The Culture."
1. We have a top 3 emcee in our midst
Joe is fully taking advantage of the bragging rights that come with being named the 3rd best rapper on "The Brew Podcast’s" viral Top 50 Rappers list. After all, let’s not forget our dude gets busy on the mic. “Half of that list, they better not ever step in front of me and rap a bar,” he proclaims. All jokes aside, Remy Ma makes a valid point about top 50 lists in general. It’s not so much the names, but the rankings that gets the most undeserved shine in most cases. “When I’m sitting there and I’ve got [Big Daddy] Kane, Rakim, Pun, Nas, Hov...it gets a little murky as to who goes above who,” she says. Some other names come to the fold, who were missing from the list, like Kool G Rap, and the appearance of fallen rappers like Prodigy. This makes us question if rappers who end up on these lists are more of a sign of respect than a nod to their catalogue.
2. The mass shootings in Texas and Ohio
The mass shootings in El Paso and Ohio at the hands of racists just proves the obvious: People of color are under attack in this country and always have been. Jinx calls out sudden awareness of white folks, saying, “People that are also white are looking up and wanting the momentum because their backyards are threatened. We were already built for this, and not by choice.” Joe gets down to the brass tacks by asking the simplest question, “When are they going to stop selling high artillery assault rifles and weapons to ordinary people?”
3. Yes, federal government clout chases, too
After an outpouring of support from celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, Cyntoia Brown is a free woman. As someone who has dealt with the prison system firsthand, Remy Ma knows how difficult it is for a convicted felon to make their case for clemency. She believes Brown should have never been convicted in the first place, but was freed largely because of the high profile nature of her case. She says: “Everybody wants to be famous. I’m pretty sure [the judge] is somewhere at a bar saying, ‘Yeah, I’m the one that let her out.’ There’s millions of other people in prison wishing, hoping, and praying for clemency, as well.”
4. Illinois is setting the standard for prison reform
Changes in policies and the appointment of a new state attorney have led to a drastic decrease in the Illinois prison population. Jinx explain that the changes were evaluated based on the state’s time persecuting minor crimes. “You have to look at people who are stealing things for $200 or $500 versus $1,000,” he explains. “That’s also part of the system. People need to steal because they don’t have anything.” Ultimately, Illinois is proving to be an example to other states, such as New York, that small changes can make a big difference.
5. Remy Ma explains why female rappers are marginalized
Remy Ma is a fixture on many people’s top five female emcees, and overall emcees list. The need to separate the two, she says, is driven by age-old stereotypes. “Dudes just call us a female rappers,” she says. “So, if you can get that attention from guys and not just because they want to smash, that’s dope to me.” Jinx thinks the uneven playing field is based on ego. “It’s like when dudes get on the basketball court and see a girl who's dribbling around,” she explains. “You might not want to play because what if she smokes you?”
6. Are artists today scared to take an L on features?
Friendly competition in hip hop is a thing of the past, according to our panelists. Jinx in particular feels the "win some, lose some" philosophy seems to be gone, and says rappers are selectively hopping on features and re-recording verses just so they’re not outdone. “[Some artists] just want the streams, they don’t want to have their career altered. If I make a record, get you on it, and you smoke me, it could be hurt or help me. More artists today are shook than the ones I grew up listening to,” he states.
7. Spinderella’s receipts are called into question
DJ Spinderella is suing her former group Salt-N-Pepa for unpaid royalties. After a judge denied her motion for immediate compensation, the case is now being mediated between both parties. Remy explains that, though she was a notable part of the group, it all comes down to the contract. “If you’re signed on as part of the group, yes [she is owed]. But, when you do the songs and the split sheets, did you get publishing? How would you get royalties if you’re not performing on the record or producing?” she questions. Joe feels that plenty of artists, including De La Soul and TLC, have signed screwed up contracts. Regardless of the fine print, there’s a moral obligation on the label to do right by its artists.
8. Joe and Remy are giving their kids tough love with their music careers
On this episode, we learned that Joe and Remy’s young adult children are aspiring artists, who have sought their parents’ help getting on. Unfortunately for their kids, help is not going to come that easy. “It’s not fair that I have to help you with rap stuff and college,” Joe says. Remy says it’s about building discipline. “I would definitely support them with extracurricular things. To me [music] is a side hustle. That’s not ‘I’m not getting a job, I’m not going to school, I’m going to be a rapper.’ Nooo!” she says.
9. SOTC says stalking ain’t worth the trouble
Reginae Carter made headlines after announcing her breakup with rapper YFN Lucci. The last straw, she says, came after she spied on him at Trouble’s pool party and discovered he was cucumber creeping with another woman. The situation calls into question the worthiness of spying on your romantic partner. Jinx admits he won’t even bother, saying, “If I get to a point where I feel like I gotta stalk you, it’s just too much.” Remy understands Reginae’s plight. “Sometimes you’ll know, but if I see it, oh it's over. You need the visual to put the nail in the coffin,” she says. Pro tip: Remy says if it's really in your spirit to spy, send a friend to do it.
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tags//State of the Culture