“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.”
Starting another week in the house isn’t so bad when you get to kick it off with a dope episode of “State Of The Culture.” This week, we got things going with a special guest appearance from Senator Kamala Harris, who gave her take on the COVID-19 pandemic and Georgia’s premature reopening of its businesses. The SOTC hosts also gave their final verdicts on the long-awaited Babyface vs. Teddy Riley battle, and predict who will take home the W if ever Diddy and Dr. Dre got hit-for-hit. Also, Remy Ma finally has her day in the hot seat with the segment “Going Left,” and per usual, she kept it a buck.
All this and more in the 9 gems below. Check them out!
1. Kamala Harris sides with Mayor Bottoms on the reopening of Georgia businesses
Former presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris stopped by SOTC and addressed a number of COVID-related issues, including Georgia Governor Brian Kent’s decision to open many of the state’s businesses regardless of the increasing rate of new cases. Harris sides with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ stance that everyone should stay home despite the Governor’s hasty decision. “Trust her when she tells you when it is safe and when it is not safe to go out,” Senator Harris says. “The other folks are playing politics with people’s lives.” Harris also believes that recurring stimulus payments should be sent to U.S. citizens as an unprecedented 26 million people are out of work, and that credit lenders should give a leniency period of 120 for late payments. “Many of the problems we had as a society are being highlighted by this virus,” she adds.
2. The 2020 election is high stakes and you better vote!
The election taking place this November may have to be executed differently due to the pandemic, but our vote is still critical. In fact, it’s more crucial now than it’s ever been. Senator Harris describes her proposed bill, the Vote Safe Act, which encourages early voting and voting by mail. “There is a real history in this country of denying us the right to vote,” she says. “We have a tradition of honoring our ancestors by going to the polls.”
3. Teddy Riley vs. Babyface’s Verzuz battle was a win for the culture
After a long wait, the Teddy Riley vs. Babyface Verzuz battle finally happened, and the SOTC panel is weighing in. Though there were technical hiccups at the end that caused the Instagram Live to stop short, Jinx is at least happy they “made it 10-12 songs deep from each artist.” Joe scoffs at the suggestion of yet another rematch. “You’re not putting my WiFi through that again,” he jokes (but not really). Remy says future IG Live battles need to extend past an hour, do sound checks prior to going public, or go to another platform where there’s more freedom to execute them properly. Eboni weighs in on the content of the battle, saying Teddy didn’t match Babyface’s hits properly. “You could tell Teddy was saving a bunch of shit that he never got to,” she argues.
4. Jinx thinks Diddy is the one to beat
Talks of a face-off between two of hip hop’s most prominent cultural figures, Diddy and Dr. Dre, has been in the ether for weeks now. Dre spoke on the phone with Babyface and revealed that he’s not totally sold on taking to the social media streets for a Verzuz battle, but the culture hasn’t stopped asking for it. When weighing in on who he thinks will take home the W if the proposed battle actually goes down, Jinx thinks Diddy’s got this one in the bag. “Puff in his nature is a showman,” says Jinx. “We’re talking about a dude who has a catalogue, has jumped generations and is familiar with Instagram Live…I wouldn’t do it either.” Eboni thinks the match up is off. “The energy between Puff and Jermaine Dupri makes more sense to me,” she says. “Dr. Dre is a completely different energy.” Remy Ma is afraid this might reignite the dormant east coast/west coast battle, which claimed the lives of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. “I don’t know if people are mature enough to not allow that negative energy to seep back into it,” she says. Joe not only thinks the matchup between Diddy and Dre is ideal, but sees the contrast is the most excite part about their pairing.
5. RIP Fred The Godson
Remy Ma and Joe were both friends with the late rapper Fred The Godson, who sadly passed away last week after battling COVID-19. Remy fondly remembers their friendship, saying she “thoroughly respected his pen” and also appreciated his support as she was going through her legal troubles years ago. What frustrates her is his career never reached the heights she feels Fred deserved. “[Whenever someone passes] people dig up pictures and say all these nice things about them. But, when they’re here and putting out music, we don’t see that support,” she says. Joe reveals Godson passing was not only sad as a personal loss of a friend, but a reminder to all of us to “stay your ass home” until Coronavirus is no longer a threat to our lives.
6. The culture fights COVID-19 by giving back
In the midst of such a sad time, our culture has risen to the occasion to give back in major ways. Diddy launched new programming on REVOLT called “REVOLT BLACK NEWS,” which features COVID-19 topics from members of our community. Birdman has also agreed to pay one month’s rent for residents of New Orleans’s uptown neighborhood. Moreover, A$AP Ferg teamed up with Melba’s restaurant in Harlem, New York to donate 300 meals to hospital workers. Salute to all this black excellence!
7. “Going Left” puts Remy Ma in the hot seat
At long last, Remy Ma is finally in the hot seat for this week’s “Going Left” segment, and boy did her co-hosts go in. Joe kicks it off by asking what she thinks of female rap beef. She said she doesn’t feed into it. “I always felt I was different than other female rappers,” she says. “I hate that with women, our gender always gets mentioned.” The rapper then admits there’s only a handful of women in the industry whose pen game she respects, but won’t name names because “you have to be careful when you give compliments.” We also got to know more about Remy’s views on her relationship with Papoose, feeling judgement as an ex-convict, and her being misperceived as a bully. (Bonus points for her priceless tanning horror story!)
8. Missy Elliott gets in her special effects bag for the “Cool Off” video
When it comes to music videos, Missy Elliott is in a league of her own. Her new video for “Cool Off” impressed Remy, who has often cited Missy as one of her inspirations. Jinx feels the new visuals underscores the fact that Missy is only in competition with herself at this point in her career. “She’s the bar,” he says.
9. Lil Baby shows growth with “All In” video
Lil Baby’s career has taken off like a rocket in the past few years, and his video for the song “All In” proves his polishing up as an artist. “His visuals have been getting better and better each time,” says Jinx. He also thinks it’s more evidence that Quality Control is invested in Lil Baby, and that his future is bright. Remy Ma says the song and video made her more aware of Lil Baby’s lyrical finesse. Eboni thinks the video was boring, but agrees that the video was authentic.