‘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.’
Sadly, season two of “State Of The Culture” is coming to a close. During the season finale, our esteemed panel dives into some real topics that include the issues effecting the culture. We’re getting into the NYPD’s longstanding war against hip hop, Pharrell’s comments on masculinity and new music we’re patiently waiting on. We also learned some fun facts about a couple of our panelists, including why Remy Ma has chosen not to hire a manager and a random song Joe Budden is hoping Lauryn Hill will remix.
So sad to see you go, SOTC, but we hope you won’t stay gone for too long!
1. Rolling Loud gets rudely interrupted by the NYPD, but Remy Ma isn’t surprised
Just days before Rolling Loud touched down in NYC, the NYPD’s hip hop task force issued a letter demanding that the following rappers be pulled from the lineup: Pop Smoke, Casanova and Don Q, Sheff G and 22gz. Remy Ma not only feels this was premeditated despite the abrupt notice, she feels this task force is skewing their purpose to investigate individuals in rapper entourages they suspect are involved in criminal activity. Joe agrees, saying, “The police realize the rappers are storefronts for people really in it.”
2. The war on hip hop is real
Drilling into the Rolling Loud conversation a bit further, Joe brings up the interesting point that hip hop artists are often persecuted for their content. He brings up Pop Smoke as an example, as the rapper recently conducted an interview admitting one of his songs is about murder. Eboni, catching on to Joe’s point, calls out that the cops “might not know the distinction” between art and reality when it comes to rappers. Remy Ma adds to the pot, bringing up the paparazzi that often film her at court appearances. She says the media is part of the problem. “Media [and all the other stuff] adds to the idea that hip hop is bad.” She also thinks the solution is for event organizers to host events on private grounds to avoid interference from the city.
3. Hip Hop has a lot of growing to do with gender acceptance
Pharrell Williams recently appeared on the cover of GQ’s “Masculinity Issue” and spoke about the gender norms that make men feel unsafe expressing the depth of their true identity. The panel weighs in with Eboni pointing to sports as the one place where black men are criticize for bending fashion rules. “Cam Newton has been getting a lot of slack in the culture about his apparel,” she explains. “He is definitely playing with the lines of femininity and masculinity. For some reason, in sports, we don’t create a lot of space for that the way we do in music.” Jinx thinks historically, black men have been stripped of their masculinity in some social contexts and pushed into it with others. Remy Ma gives more historical context as to why black men’s masculinity is played with in American society. “[During slavery] black men were bought and sought based on how strong they looked,” she says. “We were called all different animals. It was praised when you were purchasing [us], but when it came to [white women], there was a fear of black men. I believe there was a plan to dampen the masculinity of the black men, starting with removing them from the household.”
4. Did we, the people, create the monster that is Tekashi 6ix9ine?
Hot 97 and “Ebro in the Morning” are in hot water for continuing to play Tekashi 6ix9ine’s music. When pressed on the issue, Ebro says he will play the disgraced rapper’s music because “the streets allowed this to happen,” and therefore, it’s what they deserve. Joe isn’t buying Ebro’s reasoning on that. “It’s a lie,” Joe says. “You’re playing it because you’ve been playing. It’s hot, the story is hot and anyone with fangs can bite into it. Be a man, stand on that ledge and just say it. I respect Ebro for standing on the ledge, but I don’t believe his reasoning.” Jinx supports Ebro’s stance on the public’s hand in making the rapper a star, saying, “Tekashi was a problem almost from the moment he popped up, and no one drew the line then.” Remy feels hip hop hasn’t really washed their hands of him. “If he dropped a record right now, everyone would run to stream and listen to it,” she says. Eboni feels hip hop has tolerated rapper offenses way worse than snitching, so Tekashi should be no exception.
5. The standards for becoming law enforcement are at an all time low
The sad news of Atatiana Jefferson, a Texas woman who was fatally shot by police in her home after neighbors reported that her front door was left open, calls into question just how much weaponry police officers should have. Jinx thinks the deeper issue is who exactly are becoming cops. “The barrier entry to be a police officer is so low,” he says. “If you have a tendency to be shook and not use your training, you should not be a police officer.” Remy Ma thinks the officer being convicted will not only bring about justice for the Jefferson family, but will also teach law enforcement an important lesson. “If they’re being penalized and taken away from their families, maybe the next time an officer draws their weapon, they’ll think about it,” she adds.
6. Would Trump be funny if he weren’t president?
Jinx calls out the fact that before Trump became the biggest problem in modern society, he might’ve been the most unintentionally funny guy in showbiz. “He’s close to being the anti-Christ, but his comedic timing is really good,” he states.
7. Remy Ma reveals the reason she doesn’t have a manager
Ari Lennox made a “tweet and delete” announcement that she is looking for new management. Remy Ma chimes in with her own experiences in that area, revealing that she’s done away with having a manager altogether. “It’s hard to trust people. They have ulterior motives. Most things I do, it’s with my husband who I know won’t rob me or steal from me, and isn’t going to put me in a situation that’s harmful to me or my brand. That’s what managers are supposed to do,” she says. The rapper goes on to say that the manager title is thrown around too loosely these days, and Joe adds that an act is only as good as their manager.
8. The SOTC panel is hype over Big Sean’s new album
With all these upcoming music releases, Big Sean’s awaited album is the one that’s got our hosts on the edge of their seats. For Jinx, it’s because “he’s been away for a while and the game don’t let everybody go away.” The game has also undergone a number of changes during Sean’s hiatus, so it’ll be interesting to see his new approach.
9. Joe Budden has a special request for Lauryn Hill
For the first time in years, we’ll be getting some new and fresh music from Lauryn Hill. The mysterious soul singer will drop an original song on the Queen & Slim soundtrack, which Remy hopes will be the precursor for a new Ms. Hill album. For some strange reason, Joe just really hopes she’ll remix “Always On Time” by Ja Rule and Ashanti. I wouldn’t hold my breath.