Anybody who follows Royce Da 5’9″ on Instagram is well aware that the Detroit legend is about as outspoken as they come. A respectable quality to be sure, though people who hold opposing views often find themselves arguing with Nickle in the comment section. It’s unlikely that Royce is fazed by the naysayers, however, and continues to act as a spokesman for hip-hop and Black culture. Last night, Royce came through to share a lengthy message to DJ Vlad, one of hip-hop media’s prominent personalities, after the host misquoted Minister Louis Farrakhan during an interview with DL Hughley.

Prefacing that he has always had a decent relationship with Vlad, despite the host previously poking fun at his friend Eminem, Royce explained why he stepped with a video response. “The reason I’m doing this video, and please don’t misinterpret this as anger, cause I’m not angry,” he states. “But I do feel fed up, so I’m not going to place the whole burden of my frustration on one individual. But I do want to address DJ Vlad.” 

Royce Da 5'9"

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Acknowledging that Vlad’s platform can be harmful to the culture in his estimation, Royce reiterates that there is a responsibility there. “You understand the value of the platform, you understand the value of the culture to your platform,” he states. “I know you also understand where it is you sit in the culture. You yourself have gone out of your way to let everybody know that my good friend, Marshall, is a guest here. You even used yourself as an example — you said you’re proud to call yourself a guest.”

“I think you need to understand, that as an associate of yours, when you misquoted Minister Farrakhan, that is highly offensive to me,” says Royce. “It’s reparable to me, between me and you. But nothing like this can ever happen again. It’s making my brain go somewhere else. I’m starting to get that abused feeling again. People are coming in here, you’re going a little crazy now. We’re being nice. We’re a kind forgiving people. Minister Farrakhan is a very regal, deep, intellectual, cerebral, great man. My respect love and admiration for him will never waver, ever…So you can’t have a relationship with me, if you don’t respect the Minister.” At this moment, Vlad has yet to respond to Royce’s video. 

It must be acknowledged that the media’s relationship with hip-hop personalities has always been an interesting one, with boundaries occasionally going unrespected in the name of coverage. Though idioms like “all publicity is good publicity” can hold true on a strictly numerical level, the ramifications some stories can have on an artist’s mental health are seldom factored into the equation. As journalists, there is an unspoken responsibility to report with integrity, driven by genuine respect and appreciation for the culture. If driven purely by sensationalism, it’s likely that contentious bonds between journalist, artist, and reader will continue to develop. Messages like Royce’s latest are a reminder of the give and take that exists between artist and platform, as well as the lines in the sand that exist beneath those who walk the beaches of hip-hop journalism.

Check out Royce’s message to DJ Vlad for yourself below.  

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