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9 highlights from the “State of Labels” episode of “State of the Culture”

The SOTC panel discusses Spike Lee’s current tension with his favorite basketball team, Megan Thee Stallion’s record label woes, and the impact coronavirus is having on us all.

‘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” kicks off this week with bang, and with a few segments you’re going to love. We discuss Spike Lee’s current tension with his favorite basketball team, Megan Thee Stallion’s record label woes, and the impact coronavirus is having on us all. You’ll also see a fifth face added to the couch, as Young M.A stops by to clarify her controversial thoughts about R&B that had everyone up in arms. Trust, you’ll get a kick out of our new game called “WWRM” (What Would Remy Do) where Jinx, Joe and Eboni put on their best Remy Ma impressions. The jokes there are endless.

Read the nine best gems from the latest “State Of The Culture” episode below!

1. Spike Lee is no longer Knick’n it

Spike Lee, a lifelong and well-known New York Knicks fan, was recently snubbed by his favorite team when the Madison Square Garden security team recently banned him from using the employee entrance, which he’s been doing for years. While Jinx thinks Spike’s special perk should remain because of the millions of dollars he’s spent in ticket sales, Remy feels its an entitlement check. “Yes, you bought all these courtside tickets over the years, but does it say on your ticket that you get to use the employee entrance?” she questions. Joe brings up the interesting point that, sometimes, giving a celebrity special perks is good for business. “The damage it does treating Spike Lee a certain way sends shockwaves throughout the league,” he says. “When [Knicks owner James Dolan] starts shitting on people, the Kevin Durants are watching.”

2. Joe Budden gave the best Remy Ma impression

This week, “State Of The Culture” remixed things a little by playing a brand new game called “What Would Remy Do.” The objective is to read mini-topics from the week and respond just like Remy would. To no surprise, Joe gave the best impression of Remy when asked about a Texas man going to jail for licking an ice cream carton in Walmart and putting it back on the shelf. Priceless!

3. Young M.A. drops by to address the R&B backlash

Last week, SOTC discussed the conversation sparked by Young M.A about the state of R&B. “Music don’t feel the same because we barely have R&B,” read her controversial tweet. “R&B brung that balance to music... now everything is leanin’ one way smh so it gets played out quick! We need R&B for the balance no kap!” As Young M.A sits on the couch this week, she asserts that her opinion was reported out of context. “[Websites] were putting headlines [saying] I said R&B was dead. I never said those words. I said we don’t hear it as often on front street like we would years prior.” Though she’s a fan of both old school and new school R&B, she thinks the mainstream appetite for R&B currently is lacking.

4. 50 Cent to executive produce Pop Smoke’s posthumous album, but will it have the same sound?

Slain Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, who was poised to become New York’s next rising rap star, sadly will not be here to introduce his debut album. Young M.A had a friendly relationship with the late rapper, and recalls having personal conversations with him prior to his death. Though she’s glad 50 Cent, who Pop Smoke revered as his idol, has offered to executive produce his posthumous project, she admits, “I just wish he was here to present that.” Jinx adds, “I’d hate to hear the album and feel like it was something he wouldn’t do.”

5. Megan Thee Stallion’s label dispute reminds us of the age-old lesson: Read the fine print

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet recently, you have likely heard about Megan Thee Stallion’s current dispute with her label 1501 Entertainment. The Houston rapper claims her label blocked her from putting out new music after she asked to renegotiate her contract. Remy thinks the lesson here is plain as day. “Watch what you sign,” she warns. “I see a lot of people on this topic [saying] you’ve got to get a better lawyer. Even with my own lawyer, I read my own contract. I can read.” Joe says he’s learned to skate shady deals by asking for simply-worded contracts. “As simple as this agreement is, is as simple as [the contract] should be because the devil is in the details,” he says. Eboni’s legal expertise comes in handy as she informs us that the problem isn’t artists not reading their contracts or not wanting to pay for lawyers. It’s this perpetual idea that once your projects blow up, you’ll be able to rip up that contract and start anew. “That bullshit is in the ethos of our industry. There’s misinformation out there,” she said. Jinx says Megan’s situation is a cautionary tale for aspiring artists to beware of predatory deals that are being offered to them.

6. Coronavirus ain’t comin’ to the cookout

Worldwide panic has ensued over the spread of the dangerous coronavirus, a flu-like respiratory illness considered to be most dangerous to elderly people. Eboni isn’t shook like the rest of the world because as of now, “I’m looking at the map [of where its spread] and the brown, melanated people are fine. Africa and South America look OK.”

7. To no surprise, Joe’s got some wild conspiracy theories about coronavirus

Joe’s conspiracy-filled brain kicks into overdrive when it comes to coronavirus. “I feel like the U.S. government has a secret closet with mad diseases whenever they want to install fear in the public,” he says.

8. Toccara Jones and Melyssa Ford found out they were dating Drake at the same time

Since Drake is one of the most sought after bachelors in Hollywood, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, this scenario did spark an interesting conversation about dating between Joe and Eboni. From Eboni’s perspective, there’s nothing wrong with an eligible bachelor dating two women who know of each other simultaneously. “I think the chances of a man whose interested in me being interested in another woman of my caliber, who is also in my association, is high,” she says.

9. Nathaniel Woods’ execution was flat out murder, the panel says

One of the biggest news stories of this week surrounded the execution of death row inmate Nathaniel Woods, who was accused of murdering three Birmingham, Alabama officers. Even though Woods’ co-defendant admitted to pulling the trigger, the state still decided to move forward with the execution. SOTC unanimously agrees that his death was nothing but cold-blooded murder at the hands of the state.

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