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DJ Akademiks has built his social media platform off of trying to be friends with certain artists and dissing others. He often spews unpopular hot takes that have landed him in hot water, whether it be in person with guests back when he hosted Everyday Struggle on Complex, or through the internet. Recently, the music critic, for lack of a better word, drew the ire of many when he made disparaging comments about hip-hop’s pioneers. One person in particular who deemed it necessary to respond was actor and hip-hop legend LL Cool J.

In what appears to be one of his live streams this week, the New Jersey personality asked his viewers “Have you ever seen any of those old rappers who they be like ‘Oh, they’re the foundation of hip-hop’ really living good? Them n****s be looking really dusty, I kid you not,” and later said “Every time there be an old old n**** talking about hip-hop, you be like ‘Yo bro, are you sure you invented this? Cause everybody is living better than you.’”

As the clip made its rounds on social media, evidently LL Cool J was inspired to speak up on his peers’ behalf yesterday (September 21). In the video below, LL first acknowledged that he hadn’t gone live on Instagram since the pandemic began before responding to Akademiks’s comments.

“Let me explain something to you: don’t think just because somebody knows how to get money — or fails to get money — that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture. No one discusses Miles Davis’s bank account. We don’t talk about John Coltrane’s bank account. A lot of even rock musicians, a lot of great country artists, we don’t talk about their bank accounts.”

The “Luv U Better” artist added, “This idea that you have to have money or else you don’t have any value is a bad idea and it’s a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture.” He continued on by saying that today’s artists, whom he loves, benefitted from the work that the rappers who came before them put in. He pointed out how managers, accountants, and teams focused on an artist’s success weren’t a thing early on.

“So just because [these pioneers] didn’t get rich, just because they weren’t able to pile up millions or billions of dollars, does not mean that they didn’t make a contribution to this culture. They created an industry that we all ate off of! They created an industry that you eat off of!” LL Cool J’s response received love from other rappers such as Busta Rhymes, Royce Da 5’9″, Lloyd Banks, and more.

Of course, DJ Akademiks could not learn his lesson and go quietly. He fired back at LL Cool J passionately today (September 22) in the clip above, saying “A lot of n****s grew up watching you and they all signed the same f*cked up deal 10, 15 years old after you did. What the f*ck did you do, my n****? It’s not that I don’t respect older artists, it’s that I know that when it comes to business, y’all didn’t do nothing.”

It seems DJ Akademiks has no interest in backing down and blames the flaws of the industry today on those who were there in its inception as it pertains to hip-hop. LL Cool J’s words may have fallen on deaf ears when it comes to Ak, but the hip-hop community is thankful for his thoughtful reply.

Check out the back and forth above.

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