“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 Eboni K. Williams 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 never hold back. Welcome to “State of the Culture.”
Another lit virtual episode of “State Of The Culture” came our way this week, and we dived into the role Instagram has played in keeping our minds off these trying times. Tory Lanez and his “Quarantine Radio” sessions on IG Live have drawn millions of collective viewers, but how exactly should artists be monetizing their viral sensations? Our SOTC panelists also talks about the variety (or lack thereof) in R&B right now, and of course, there’s the elephant in the room: How COVID-19 is deadly to the black community. Plus, you don’t want to miss seeing Jinx be put to the test with our new segment “Going Left.”
Check out our nine highlights of the latest “State of the Culture” episode below.
1. Quarantine Radio has been getting us all through self-isolation — except Eboni
Tory Lanez has been keeping the entertainment coming with his raunchy IG Live-hosted segments, which were briefly shut down due to his violation of the platform’s nudity policy. Eboni just got wind of the show, and her poor eyes weren’t prepared for what they saw. “[These ladies] were definitely professionals,” she said. “I haven’t been to a strip club in maybe 10 years. I’ve never seen things poured in the ass crack like that.”
2. Artists and influencers take to Instagram as a great escape
Tory isn’t the only artist keeping things spicy on the ‘gram. While the economy is still closed and everyone is stuck inside, creatives have found a way to keep the people entertained through Instagram Live. “I really treat it like it’s going to the club,” Joe admits. Jinx predicts that sponsored lives are going to become the norm. “We need to keep our eye on the fact that Instagram is going to step in somehow,” he says. “Big business is going to try and find a way to win that.”
3. When will black folks create an app?
Joe brings up an interesting point, which is that it’s about time black people created their own social media app to house our content. Jinx believes that discussion is way more layered than they have time to discuss, but notes that so much of the magic black people have been making comes from “creativity in the moment.” He also thinks getting the infrastructure to launch the app requires a lot of leg work.
4. The IG battles keep SOTC talking
One of the standout moments from the weekend was legendary producer DJ Premier going head-to-head with Wu-Tang’s RZA in an IG Live battle. SOTC was filmed before the battle, and Joe made the prediction that DJ Premier would leave the winner. “I say this with all due respect to RZA, but I don’t think this was a good match up,” he says. “Premier has over three decades of range to pull from. They’re going to learn about Preem on Saturday night.” As far as wish list battles, Eboni would like to see Bad Boy vs. So So Def. Remy thinks Bad Boy vs. Roc-A-Fella would be a better match up.
5. Does Jinx cheat?
Jinx is the star of this week’s “Going Left” segment, and his co-hosts pull no punches as they grill him with the most uncomfortable questions. Joe gets right to the mess, asking if he’s been unfaithful in relationships. Jinx doesn’t take the bait, but does concede that he has commitment issues because he’s a textbook Sagittarius. Needless to say, his co-hosts don’t buy it. He also denies thinking he’s the smartest guy on the panel, and says he’s observed everyone he works with is of equal intelligence.
6. Kiana Ledé’s KIKI album won Joe’s approval
Though he’s given her some tough criticism in the past, Joe approves of Ledé’s new album KIKI for its tried and true R&B vibes, and features with Arin Ray. “I just like when really good R&B people link up, and all of these songs sounds really good,” he says. Jinx isn’t convinced the project is something he’d listen to on the regular, but bigs her up for creating an individual sound. Remy Ma disagrees, saying Lede’s vocal style is so reminiscent of other artists making waves right now. “The question I have is what is she going to do to separate herself from everyone else,” Remy asks. Eboni follows through on Remy’s thoughts by saying there’s a crop of racially ambiguous, airy-sounding R&B singers all competing for our attention right now, While she’s not mad at it, she feels none of it is compelling. “I wouldn’t cut away from the Jazmin Sullivans or Fantasias to listen to this,” Eboni says.
7. Black people are overrepresented among COVID-19 deaths. Is it a conspiracy?
It’s clear that Coronavirus has been hitting the black community the hardest with black people dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than white people. Joe believes the virus was created by the government to do us in, and Remy notes that the death rate is higher among black people because of our likelihood to have underlying diseases. “Not only do we not have the best healthcare, we don’t have the best eating habits,” she explains. “Certain things that are staples in our household are things that lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.”
8. Remy Ma breaks down the importance of the Census
Part of the reason urban communities are so ill equipped to handle pandemics is because they’re underrepresented in the Census. Remy schools us on why black and Latino populations must participate. “The Census takes into account how many people live in a certain area, so they can allocate funds for things like hospitals, schools, etc.,” she explains. “If 10 million people live in Brooklyn and only 2 million people fill out the census, [the city] only gets money to support 2 million people.” She also notes that the lengthy personal questions on the census probably deter people from filling it out.
9. Democracy is a myth
The way this country has capitalized on the COVID-19 crisis doesn’t surprise the panel. “It’s America, Inc,” Joe says. “I needed to hear no more than our government auctioning the tools we need to the highest bidding states.” Eboni says this scenario is nothing new. We’ve seen this play out with the AIDS epidemic in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and with Hurricane Katrina. The answer is the same now as it was then, says Eboni. “Financial stability in the black community has to be paramount.”
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