‘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.’
This week on “State Of The Culture,” there’s a lot to celebrate — namely Tyler Perry reaching the pinnacle of black excellence by opening up his own studios in Atlanta. Everyone who is anyone in Black Hollywood was there to celebrate this moment in history, and it goes without saying that our SOTC panel is proud AF. They also talk Billy Ray Cyrus looking for clout, tension between Drake & his father, the BET Hip Hop Awards and a whole lot more.
Check out the nine gems from this week’s SOTC below.
1. Tyler Perry wasn’t invited to the table, so he built his own
Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard an accomplishment as grand as what Tyler Perry just pulled off. The filmmaker recently opened his own studios in the ATL, becoming the first black man to ever do so. Eboni celebrates this tremendous achievement by quoting the late Dianne Carroll, who said, “When they don’t invite you to the party, just throw your own.” Jinx analyzes not only the fact that the studio was built on former Confederate land, but the fact that he named a stage after one of his biggest critics, Spike Lee. “It’s poetic,” he says. “From here on out, that land will be dedicated to a whole new purpose.” The fact that the studio is in Atlanta also speaks volumes.”
2. “State Of The Culture’s” live show is coming
Have you grabbed your tickets to the REVOLT Summit in Los Angeles, which is going down on Oct. 25 - Oct. 27? If not, you’re slacking. Our panelists have some exciting events up their sleeves. Remy Ma’s “Real Talk With Remy” panel is in the works, and our girl Eboni will have office hours at the summit, where she’ll give candid life and career advice to 10 selected people. Joe will also be there...being Joe!
3. Joe defends Billy Ray Cyrus’ inclusion in hip hop
Legendary country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus received a BET Hip Hop award for his collaboration with Lil Nas X on “Old Town Road.” Upon receiving the award, Eboni mentions that some folks thought he was pandering. Joe shuts this idea all the way down, reminding us that, “It took Billy Ray Cyrus to come and say, ‘No white people, y’all gon’ [accept Lil’ Nas X] because I’m on this and I’m country.’”
4. Are the BET Hip Hop Awards lacking in appreciation or just participation?
SOTC agrees that the stock that people put into awards shows these days is dwindling each year. However, Remy makes the valid point that the BET Hip Hop Awards show seems to be receiving less commitment and budget from the network than the BET Awards. “If we put more into it, the awards would be appreciated more,” she says. “The same way everyone is feening for a Grammy because of the value they’ve placed on it...no one puts the BET Awards accolades on their resume to make it mean something.” Eboni suggests that, at the root, it has more to do with our people’s underlying need for white validation. Jinx suggests that artists often know ahead of time whether or not they’ve won certain awards, and will negotiate their attendance based on certain perks. Joe just wants us to know he’s not going to any award show unless he’s won.
5. Protect all Joshua Browns around the world
Sadly, the witness who testified against Amber Guyger in the shooting death of Joshua Brown was shot and killed. Most of us call conspiracy on his death while the Dallas PD says it was a drug deal gone wrong. Eboni ties the situation back to a previous episode where she and Remy went head to head about snitching. Eboni says this is a classic example of what she meant by suggesting witnesses secure their protection before cooperating. “I think this young man should have never testified in open court,” she says. “He could have done a sworn statement. I just think this young man could have been protected.” She also warns viewers to get their own lawyer prior to testifying in any case. Jinx thinks the police departments account of Brown’s killers driving across state lines to purchase marijuana is total BS, and the panel agrees. “This has all the symptoms of being fucked up,” he says.
6. Trump’s re-election is highly likely if we, the people, don’t tighten up
Recently, hundreds of young black conservatives attended the young black leadership summit, where they grossly overpraised Trump’s so-called support of the black community. Remy Ma is flabbergasted that such a group exists. “I would love to see what Trump has done for the community,” she says. Joe says this shows exactly why young voters need to turn up. Eboni explains that the stakes are extremely high right now, and many voters don’t realize it. “We are not in normal circumstances,” she explains. “We can’t afford to be choosy. We’re [in] crisis mode. We have to have increased turnout, even more so than when we elected President Obama.”
7. Tekashi 6ix9ine is rumored to have been offered $10 million while behind bars and SOTC isn’t buying it
Hold up wait a minute...y’all thought he was finished? Tekashi was reportedly offered a $10 million record contract, despite the fact that he is currently the most hated figure in hip hop. The deal is said to include two albums: one in English and one in Spanish. Joe flat out doesn’t believe there’s any record deal to speak of, but wants the culture to “start paying attention to the connection between law enforcement and the music business.”
8. Drake’s dad is in his feelings, but does he have a right?
Drake and his father, Dennis Graham, recently fell out after Dennis claimed that his son fabricated lyrics about him being an absentee father for record sales. Jinx doesn’t Dennis for not wanting to be portrayed in a negative light. “Anyone that does bad, allegedly, doesn’t want to be perceived bad,” he says. “I don’t think we should circle the wagons and revel in it... people on the outside shouldn’t be trying to pick a side.” Eboni feels that absentee fathers don’t deserve anonymity. “We have been raised to be protective over family business,” she says. “The cost of it is the continuation of generational trauma. This is his man’s truth and interpretation. As a human being, you get to share your truth.” Remy Ma recalls being confronted by family members, whom she mentioned on her first album. She feels that when family is mentioned by their superstar relatives, it hits harder because “[They] can’t really brag how they want to. People are going to look at you a little bit differently.” Joe speaks on the situation from a parent’s perspective, revealing that he hadn’t seen his son from age 3 to 9. “We had to get to know each other again,” he says. “I’m glad that we now have that open line of communication.”
9. Remy Ma reflects on her relationship with Lil’ Kim
Kimmy Blanco is back! That’s right, Lil’ Kim released her album 9, which is the first studio album she’s released in 14 years. Remy Ma reveals that she’s super proud that Kim is getting her flowers, and reveals that she’s proud of the strides they’ve made in their relationship. “Men automatically assume that women don’t congratulate each other or women are always catty,” she explains. “When you’re a real ass bitch, you have no problem telling somebody their hair looks nice, their music is good, their makeup is good... [when] you’re OK with that is when you’re content with yourself.”