‘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 are always with the shits. Welcome to ‘State of the Culture.’
“State Of The Culture’s” topic list is spicy this week...oh wait, that’s every week. But seriously, we’re here for some of the topics that confront everyone’s experiences and that shape their views. Namely, we’re talking about the Latinx community and who among them gets to say the N-word. Nearly everyone had a different perspective on the topic, and Remy Ma stood up for her friend and longtime collaborator Fat Joe, whose comments about the black and Latino communities ruffled some feathers. Though there was plenty of material to debate, there were a few topics — like Tekashi 6ix9ine’s pursuit of music after his release from jail — that didn’t need to be questioned.
Check out the 9 gems from this week’s “State Of The Culture” below.
1. Jinx’s outfit this week was not a hit with the panel
Sadly, our boy was the topic of a lightweight roast session at the start of the episode. Remy Ma kept it honest, saying she “hated” his outfit, but Jinx was unbothered...even if his co-hosts felt the look came straight off the Marshall’s clearance rack. Joe gives himself a bit of flack as well for missing the mark. “[Remy and Eboni] look like they’re going to the Met Gala. We look like we’re going to a Met’s game,” Joe said. Damn. Guess you win some, lose some.
2. Remy Ma defended Fat Joe’s controversial statements about African and Latinx culture
Fat Joe was recently criticized for comments he made about Latin people identifying with African culture more than black people. Jinx questions the validity of that statement, saying, “For him to say that, I’m curious about in what ways he means that and where that authority comes from to say that [Latinx] people identify more with your culture than you do,” he says. Remy chimes in, saying that although she wishes she had a chance to call Joe prior to the taping, she has a good idea of what he meant. “What I think he’s [referring to] is the motherland Africa. Not the Bronx or Brooklyn...we’re not from here,” Remy says. “Some people from Latinx countries weren’t as stripped away from their belief systems as black people were. They still have pieces of their heritage and know some of their lineage. Most of the black people from here don’t know.” With her creole heritage, Eboni agrees with Remy’s interpretation of Joe’s statements. “I’m not offended because I assume blackness is as broad as possible,” she says. “I don’t like a limited definition of blackness.”
3. When it comes to the N-word, the jury is still out on who gets to say it
With the topic on Fat Joe, it was only natural for the conversation to flow to the age old debate of whether or not Latinx people should be allowed to say “nigga.” The discussion gets interesting, as each SOTC panelist describe their unique perspectives. Jinx grew up in a racially mixed neighborhood where his friends of all races used the term. Over time, his perspective changed. “Now if I’m in rooms where someone who doesn’t appear to be black says it, I wince,” says Jinx. He goes on to say that many black people make exceptions for their non-black friends to say ‘nigga’ because of their personal connection to them. Eboni says that growing up in the south, she has always associated the term with violent racism. It was a culture shock moving to New York and seeing Latinx people use the term in front of their black friends. She also has a problem with the “opt-in” attitudes toward blackness displayed by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. “If you’re going to benefit from leaning back from your blackness, how dare you use the N word?” she says. Joe says he never felt the need to police Latinx people’s use of the word, but was surprised to learn that many didn’t even know the origin of the word. “[They’re] just using it stylistically because its trendy,” he says. “As a black man, I felt some responsibility for it [for saying it around them]. I’m going to try to stop saying it.”
4. Will Smith goes dark, and Jinx thinks it’s about time
Will Smith is generally cast as the hero, but he’s about to go a more notorious route by playing infamous drug kingpin Nicky Barnes. Jinx thinks it’s a good look for Smith not only because he looks like the real Nicky, but it’s an opportunity to show some range. “Denzel had that run with Training Day,” he reminds us. “Do that. Be anti-hero.” Eboni disagrees. “I don’t like this casting at all,” she says. Remy Ma thinks Eboni’s casting instincts are off, reminding us that she recommended her to play Cleo’s girlfriend in Set It Off.
5. Remy Ma responds to the backlash from her Tekashi 6ix9ine comments
Remy Ma says she got a barrage of comments from folks regarding last week’s SOTC episode, who think she’s encouraging youth to follow the street codes. Based on those comments, its clear to her that some viewers haven’t grasped the very definition of snitching. “When you are involved in illegal activities, hiring hits, shooting guns, buying guns; then when you get caught, you decide to give the cops information about others that committed crimes with you, that’s snitching,” Remy says. She then explains the choice that ratting out others for your own freedom is a moral wrong, not necessary a street violation. The rapper also thinks it’s “crazy” that Tekashi still plans to pursue music with the protection of 24/7 security. To no surprise, the rest of the panelists agrees.
6. Antonio Brown’s future may not include the NFL
Surveillance footage from 2018 shows the recently fired NFL player trashing a condo. He allegedly threw furniture out of a window into the condo pool, when it almost hit a child. This comes at a time when Brown claims he wants back in the NFL, after not too long ago saying that he would never return. Jinx stands by his statements that CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) may be at play. “Something is not correct,” Jinx says. “If he does have CTE, the league isn’t letting him get anywhere near close to them. Not with everything they have going on.”
7. Though he’s not a fan, Jinx feels Nicki Minaj’s future outside of music is bright
Nicki Minaj broke her vow to retire from rap with a new collaboration with PnB Rock and Murda Beatz. “I feel like she has potential in so many other facets like radio or as a personality, or even fashion,” Jinx said.
8. Best diss song of all time? Looks like Nas takes the cake
A conversation that started on Twitter inspired a debate about the best diss song of all time. The panel, especially Remy Ma, believes “Ether” was one of the hardest diss songs ever simply because Nas was the underdog at the time. Tupac’s “Hit Em Up” was close because of the savagery of it all though. “He was taking shots at people we didn’t even know he had beef with,” Remy says. Joe, who’s been the subject of many diss tracks, says his favorite that he was the target of was by Lil’ B. Gotta love it when someone can laugh at themselves.
9. This “King and Queen” shit gotta go
Fantasia landed in hot water for her comments on “The Breakfast Club” where she suggested that women need to be “submissive” to their king, if want to find and keep a husband. Jinx thinks any couple that refer to themselves as ‘king and queen’ is doomed from jump. “Those are people that care more about the wedding than the marriage. Your shit is torched,” he says. Afterward, Eboni opens up by revealing that her recent divorce taught her to be more yielding in relationships when you’ve found a man capable of leading. “Instead of trying to control, [I need to] select a man that I have enough respect and trust of his judgement.” As someone who has sustained a 10+ year relationship, Remy reveals that “men want to be needed. A lot of them won’t admit it, but [they think], ‘What am I here for?’”