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” went on a little hiatus for Labor Day, but we’re back with a boatload of topics and a new co-host. Respected attorney and TV personality Eboni K. Williams is officially the fourth panelist on the show and she crushed her first day. Her addition to the series feels perfectly timed with this batch of hot topics, which includes Kevin Hart’s car accident, Netflix’s strategic rollout of “Rhythm & Flow” and Dave Chappelle’s spicy standup. The hosts don’t hold back, as they separated genuine art from smoke and mirrors.
All this and more in the nine gems dropped during this week’s “State Of The Culture.” Check them out below.
1. Kevin Hart’s car accident draws many questions
News broke last week that Kevin Hart sustained major back injuries after being involved in a car accident near his home. Thankfully, the comedian/actor is on the mend. However, eyebrows are raised regarding the details leading up to the crash. It was reported that Hart was in the car with another woman and a third party, and the 911 call from his wife that was released has folks wondering if Hart was up to something he shouldn’t have been on that day. “Four fractures and you go home? That’s just weird,” says Jinx. The conversation then turns to Hart being in “damage control” mode lately, and Eboni keeps it a buck by admitting that he has a pattern of ruffling feathers, including hers. Most recently, he did this in his conversation with Lil Nas X on “The Shop.” “Don’t act like it’s not a big deal for this young man to come out with a record-breaking, number one single in the country while being a homosexual,” she says. “I don’t really appreciate Kevin playing dumb... You know what the big deal is when this young man talks about his truth as being a young, gay country pop star.”
2. Lebron’s “Taco Tuesday” trademark attempt is likely to go bust
Today in odd sports-related news, Lebron James filed paperwork to trademark “Taco Tuesday.” According to Eboni, he’s not likely to succeed, saying, “If you don’t have uniqueness and specificity, and can’t prove your ownership of the phrase or words by itself, they’re going to deny you every time. We’ve had taco Tuesday since forever.”
3. Netflix breaks the mold with “Rhythm & Flow.” But, is it all smoke and mirrors?
Netflix is gearing up to release their new music competition show “Rhythm & Flow” featuring Cardi B, T.I., and Chance The Rapper as judges. The streaming service is breaking away from their usual binge-worthy model here, as the show will be a three-part series released weekly. The panel questions whether or not competition shows truly need the week to week suspense to maintain the hype. “With game shows specifically, I think the time elapsing does matter,” Jinx argues. He goes on to explain that, from an insider perspective, this is less about consumer expectations and more about Netflix trying to save their ass. “I think Netflix shot their load and spent way too much money on original content without seeing the ROI,” he says, “and I think the investors have had enough of it. This is a sad fucking excuse rather than saying what the fuck it is.” Well damn, tell us how you really feel, Joe!
4. JAY-Z is still feeling the heat from his NFL partnership
JAY-Z and Roc Nation have officially announced their partnership with the NFL, which includes entertainment consultation, curating the halftime show, and social justice initiatives. Fans are still feeling a way about Hov suggesting that “we’re past kneeling” and that it’s “time to take action.” What’s Jinx take on it? He feels that the NFL’s reputation is too tainted for Roc Nation to have a positive influence on it. The co-host says, “It’s like seven parts NFL, one part Roc Nation... If you thought the influence was gonna go that way, nah. That [NFL] stain is going to leak on you, and you’ll have to do triple, quadruple the work to put a drop in the bucket.” Remy disagrees stating that “[the NFL] may have done some things that [weren’t] for us as a people.” She continues, “Most of these companies feel the same things [like] the NFL. We just haven’t been on to it yet.” Eboni thinks it’s a slippery slope when it comes to not supporting certain organizations because of politics. “I don’t think it’s about demonizing the NFL in totality because as Remy pointed out, there are people and communities that are benefitting,” Eboni says. “The other truth is that Kap is still without a job and he has paid the ultimate price, one could argue, of disruption. Kap has also commercialized and benefitted as the face of Nike. Nike also gives to MAGA and Trump. So, we need to cut the bullshit and keep the same universal energy.”
5. Is Meek really free? Remy says don’t believe the hype
Meek Mill is finally off of probation after fighting the same charge for eleven years, while his high profile case is a central point to the intersection of Roc Nation and the NFL. But, Eboni questions whether or not it’s genuine. Remy explains that while this is undoubtedly a victory for Meek, he’s not totally out of the woods yet. “His case wasn’t thrown out. He had to cop out to a gun possession [charge],” Remy explains. “If he walks in the wrong spot, they’re going to try him because it’s what they do. I’m also happy to see it. I’d rather it [happen to Meek], not someone who appears to be squeaky clean that ain’t been through nothing.”
6. SOTC debates the bravery of Malik Yoba’s confession
Actor Malik Yoba recently admitted on social media that he is trans attracted. His confession sparked plenty of conversations about sexuality, LGBTQ acceptance in the black community, and beyond. Jinx says the reactions to this news varied among his friends, but he personally sees no issue with who Yoba, or anyone, chooses to love. Eboni suspects that there are tons of Malik Yobas out there who haven’t felt safe to share their experience, but isn’t applauding his timing. “Malik Yoba is approaching 60 years old,” she says. “When he was in the height of his career, he wasn’t saying this. To me, what is brave is what 20-year-old Lil’ Nas X is doing. [He] risked it all to live his truth.” Jinx thinks Yoba’s confession is brave simply by virtue of him admitting to a lifestyle that is “outside the norm.” While Remy agrees that everyone has a right to love who they want, she also feels political correctness culture has made it unacceptable for people to express their honest opinions. “They always put the word ‘phobia’ on the end of something,” she explains. “I’m not scared. I just disagree with that.”
7. Dave Chappelle is the latest to receive an internet indictment
Dave Chappelle told cancel culture to kiss his ass in the comedian’s latest Netflix standup “Sticks And Stones.” Although Chappelle admitted to trolling everyone equally, folks are still accusing him of being homophobic. Remy thinks it’s ridiculous that comedians can’t even tell a joke in peace anymore. Jinx not only calls Chappelle one of his idols, but argues that it’s not a comedian’s job to walk on eggshells. “I think of what a comedian is to me, and they’re not politicians, they’re not guys outside [of] the corner store bullying somebody,” he says. “I think they’re facilitators. It’s a very unique position in our society. [Comedy] is a meritocracy... [Dave Chappelle] is great.” Joe brings to light what cancel culture has done to the world of comedy, using Aziz Ansari as an example. “Aziz went through whatever he went through, and the next few specials that I saw from him were really safe and [politically correct],” he says. “So, to see someone go onstage and not give a fuck... I’m so attracted to it.”
8. Is Nicki Minaj’s impending retirement a family move or signs of a plateau?
Much to the dismay of her fans, Nicki Minaj tweeted that she’s retiring from rap to focus on making a family with her soon-to-be husband Kenneth Petty. Joe doesn’t think the retirement is set in stone based on conversations he’s been privy to. “I do believe Nicki Minaj will release music again,” he says. “I just spoke to her, and she said she has a whole bunch of music ready to come out. She just might not go in and make new music.” Jinx feels the retirement announcement might have been fueled by the “Megatron” rapper feeling a bit of stagnation, saying, “I think Nicki is not used to plateauing.”
9. Kanye West’s rumored gospel album might not be his saving grace
Kim Kardashian teased a photo alluding that Kanye West might be putting out a gospel album. Unfortunately, the panel isn’t really buying this project and overall rebranding strategy. “I’m sick of him and I don’t care what he’s putting out,” Joe says bluntly. Eboni sadly feels Kanye hasn’t been the same since his mother, Donda, passed away. “I haven’t liked any of the music... I think Kanye carried a lot of heaviness around his mother’s death. I imagine as her only child, and with his fame, [he] just [seems] unwell. I don’t feel like he’s ever been able to heal from it.”