About the author: Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago, who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. For self-publishers, authors and other writers and Creatives, Jermaine provides proofreading on Fivver. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.
On playgrounds across America, before the pandemic, one child with their hands extended would stand between two other kids and say, “If you’re bad, hit my hand.” The purpose of this is to instigate a fight that the two combatants are not that enthused about initiating. Interestingly enough, the instigator usually doesn’t have to worry about being punched in the face. This instigator is like Vlad who uses hip-hop radio and vlogging to single-handedly send more Black men to fight petty wars between each other than white slave holders. It is time to cancel Vlad for good.
Vlad Lyubovny, known professionally as DJ Vlad has made a name for himself instigating rap beef between artists. One would think Vlad would be covering timely issues, but he has managed to keep up conflict that should have evaporated into thin air decades ago.
For instance, Vlad had rapper Young Buck on his show in December 2020. During the interview, Buck mentioned that rapper Juvenile and others from Cash Money Records had left him stranded in California. Recently, Vlad had Juvenile on his show and mentioned Buck’s interview. Juvenile called Buck several derogatory names during the interview with Vlad and this caused a bigger stir between the two rappers.
While the world was waiting for Young Buck to respond, Detroit rapper Royce Da 5’9 took to Twitter to accuse Vlad of stoking the fire between Buck and Juvenile. Royce went on to say how Vlad is poisoning relationships in hip-hop by using his platform to create tension amongst rappers. This is a true assessment of Vlad, because, other than causing conflict, Vlad’s show has no purpose or substance. It’s trash journalism/vloggism at best, the video equivalent of the National Enquirer tabloid.
Once upon a time, comedian/entertainer Nick Cannon expressed some stressing sentiments on Vlad’s show. Nick’s contention was that Vlad was corrupting rap music by creating a space where rappers are invited to incite confrontations and incriminate themselves. Vlad’s argument, as his supporters’ is, is that these rappers appear on his show without duress. This does not address Dj Vlad’s instigating.
Rappers are not forced to appear on Vlad’s show, but that does not mean Vlad has no responsibility in the drama he perpetuates. In the law, any person who creates an environment where bad things happen are responsible for that. As an example, if an adult throws a party where there’s underage drinking, the adult is responsible.
DJ Vlad is a culture vulture who means rappers no good. Due to contracts and wanting to promote their music, rapper sometimes use Vlad’s platform as an outlet. However, he preys on them and coaxes them into violent situations or snitching on themselves. He does not care that things may turn deadly from his instigating.
Moreover, Vlad has no moral compass beyond dollar signs. The more beef he starts, the more clicks he gets. His show is nothing more than a pre-fight club. It is where rappers go to ruin their careers and be made a puppet of for Vlad’s gain. He is untrustworthy, greedy and selfish.
Also, “hate” is a strong word, but does “love” describe what Vlad has for hip-hop culture? Black culture? People will say, “Vlad didn’t force those rappers to say what they said.” Some will go a step further and say, “Rappers talk about killing each, sex drugs and money all the time. How is what Vlad doing any different?”
To begin with, rap music is art. As white multi-platinum rapper Eminem who threatened to kill then-Vice President Mike Pence on record said, “A lot of people think that what I say on record…I actually believe. Well, if you believe that, I’ll kill you.”
Sometimes, when kids who are not POC draw guns or non-POC men paint a nude woman or a non-POC woman makes a sex toy, it’s considered art. It should be marveled at; it should not be picked apart, some in America say. And if a non-POC rapper “threatens” to “kill” the Vice President, it’s art but not a threat.
However, Black people’s art has rarely been appreciated by America; it has never been understood. It is why the 1619 Project by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones caused such a stir and Black rappers who have not threatened the lives of sitting authorities are portrayed as a threat. Hip-hop is rooted in storytelling, grand pseudo-luxury realities and pessimistic hope. It is about struggle and overcoming it, about being someone other than who the rapper truly is. Rap is an expression of everything good and bad the rapper has experienced. Hip-hop/rap is art.
Black America was told not to run numbers, not to smoke cannabis, not to use “Ebonics”, correctly known as African American Vernacular English. Then, America became rich off the lottery, richer off African American Vernacular English by using it in their promotions and became legal billionaires with the same marijuana that sent Black men to jail for decades. Vlad is an embodiment of the social leech that has always been on the groin of Black America, and it is time to cancel him and the bloodsucking, culture vulture part of the world he so adequately represents.
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