Content king Joe Budden continues to expand his portfolio with new Revolt series, State of the Culture. Only in its second week, SOTC has already become the online and on-air series just as hot as the topics discussed by panelists Remy Ma, Scottie Beam and Jinx.
In his latest interview with EBONY, Budden shares why he handpicked this particular trio, talks being inspired by Revolt head-honcho Diddy, and discusses the biggest difference between his current network and previous stomping grounds, Complex.
Let’s talk a little bit about the panel for State of the Culture. You and Remy Ma have always had a great rapport and she’s clearly a stand-out voice on the show. What made you reach out to her for SOTC?
There are not very many people that are as straight-forward at all times as Remy. I think that’s a quality that I have as well, and it’s helped me in my media ascension. So, when I decided to put the group together, that’s where my mind was, but I was stuck because I never thought about that more aggressive voice on the panel coming from a woman.
Then Remy’s name popped up and I was like, ‘Why didn’t I think of her sooner?’ Once I spoke to her and everything was good as far as her being able to work through the pregnancy, I got really excited because I knew we were getting something great with her.
How about Scottie Beam?
Scottie is someone I’ve been trying to work with for years, before Complex and before she left Hot 97. I just think that the young, Black woman’s perspective is so important, and in New York, when I’m thinking of voices that would be able to share that perspective, Scottie Beam comes to mind first. She was a real obvious call for me.
And lastly Jinx, who is clearly the voice of reason on the show.
Once I was married to the idea of Scottie and myself, I needed someone with some sense [laughs]. We needed someone to make some sense out of all of this, and that’s where Jinx came into play. I was worried about his old situation (Jinx, like Budden, previously worked for Complex), but he told me that he was ready to move forward, so the timing of it all was just perfect for everybody.
How has your experience working with Revolt differed from your time at Complex?
Oh, it’s apples and oranges. At Revolt, everyone’s always open minded and always coming together for a solution. It didn’t really feel that way at my old employer. There, the people weren’t empowered to have voices or to speak, and I think that’s very important in a creative environment. If you can’t talk, you can’t really create. Revolt has just been a complete pleasure.
I know you’ve known Diddy for years, but now you’re business partners. Can you tell me about the progression of that relationship?
We have known each other for years, but God’s plan is God’s plan. Sometimes you know people and there’s no real reason for you guys to communicate. When this opportunity came up, him and I spoke constantly, and I mean constantly, hours and hours. I realized that this genius who always inspired me is just as obsessive and psycho as me! He’s married to the craft, he promotes Black excellence, he’s talking all the sh*t I need to hear!
Him and I have spent countless hours together, all leading up to our big debut. Puff has really been a complete inspiration not only to me, but to everybody working, and he’s very much invested and involved, which is more than I can say about some other places.
You have at least three jobs now, but all of them, essentially, deal in discussing hip hop culture. The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal is hip hop centered, State of the Culture analyzes hip hop culture and with Pull Up, you’re usually interviewing a guest from within hip hop culture. How do plan to keep the material feeling fresh when you’re discussing the same hot topics on different platforms.
In my brain, it’s simple: On the podcast, we’re really never serious about anything, ever. Anytime I try to be serious, I end up getting frustrated because my friends just don’t take sh*t seriously [laughs]. The only time we’re really ever serious is when it comes to social injustice, deaths and matters of the heart in general. State of the Culture is more mature content. We want to go as deep as we can on whatever the subject matter is, we’re not there to joke. Pull Up is a one-on-one interview with people I enjoy, of which there aren’t too many. On all the other platforms, I don’t really invite everybody to come talk. There’s a very specific reason for all of these shows to exist.
Watch the latest full episode of State of the Culture below.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.