In an Everyday Struggle episode on Complex News, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks and Nadeska Alexis sat down for a candid with rapper Vince Staples.
The hosts covered everything from the backlash over the recent Tupac biopic to paying their respects to the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep to discussing black culture appropriation in today's music industry.
The debate sparked in the studio when Vince Staples referred to the term "the culture" as a "pigeonhole," any process that attempts to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories, or in lament terms, to typecast or label.
"You not crackin' right now if you ain't got no black something," said the Long Beach native.
Staples used the examples of Taylor Swift's star being raised by Kanye West's iconic stunt at the 2009 VMA's, Katy Perry using Migos to "get hot" after a recent stint in her fame and Miley Cyrus using Mike Will Made-It to help shed her innocent Disney Channel image to support his argument that there is no such thing as "the culture," because all of popular culture has its roots in black cultural products.
To use the term "the culture" is "limiting because everybody want to be this," Staples said. "Migos ain't never gonna call Katy Perry for nothing."
Staples further delved into the vapidness of the term by asking his hosts about white artists that appropriate black culture: when white artists embrace a black persona (like Miley Cyrus) and then decide that they "want to be white again in two years," are they part of "the culture?"
When the Everyday Struggle hosts struggled to answer him, Staples finally declared, "That culture shit is out … What's the hot shit that ain't got nothing to do with being black?"
Thinking about Staples' words, DJ Akademiks ruefully joked that Staples "might be smarter [than the hosts]."
The full interview can be seen via YouTube below: