Another day, another struggle.
Unless you’ve been living under a warm rock, you know by now that rap trio, Migos, has been trending since Sunday’s BET Awards after engaging in a brief “altercation” with Joe Budden, co-star of Complex’s Everyday Struggle, alongside DJ Akademiks.
Okay, so if you haven’t watched Monday’s episode of Everyday Struggle, stop what you’re doing and take care of that… I’ll wait… (clip starts at 1:16:43, you’re welcome).
This show has easily been one of the greatest things to happen to Complex, whose motto is to “Make Pop Culture Pop,” and my, my, my have things been popping off.
Ever since the show’s conception, strategically edited clips, meme wars of #AngryJoe, and attacks on DJ Akademiks made by outspoken rappers, have been everything anyone has to talk about. From the Breakfast Club’s Rumor Report with Angela Yee, TMZ, and pretty much any hip-hop/pop culture based site there is, Complex has its OWN competition writing think pieces ABOUT THEM!
Complex’s strategy is truly genius, but in a kind of dark, twisted way.
You take DJ Akademiks, a self-proclaimed satirist, who’s built an impressively large following of over 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube from his work in covering hip-hop news, artist beefs, and “the War in Chiraq,” and rip him from behind his computer. You place him on a new show by a competing platform, make him your talent, and use his influence to leverage your own. And if there is one thing that DJ Akademiks has, it’s influence and trusting followers/artists who hang onto his every word.
But he needs a co-host.
So you take a somewhat jaded, extremely opinionated industry “old-head” to play as the antagonist on the show and bomb, Joe Budden it is.
When I first got into keeping up with everything Complex/Complex News related many years ago, it became the air that my media lungs breathed. It instantly grew into my go-to news source for everything pop culture related; and still is. But as time passed, I’ve watched Complex make a shift, one that’s not for the worst, but definitely for the satisfaction of its click-bait needs; I would even argue, gluttonously so. And after watching all 86.11 minutes of Monday’s episode of Everyday Struggle, I am even more convinced of the latter. Here’s why:
Reason 1: Joe, I know you have the whole “hot-head” persona, but this was not the place. You mentioned before the show began how you weren’t, “used to being on the press side. I don’t take well to sass just cause you’re on the carpet.” That’s fair enough, but you have a job to do here: cover the event and interview the artists. I’ve studied enough interviews and talent to know that not every one of your subjects is going to be the perfect conversationalist, but find an angle. Heck, whether intentionally or not, I guess you did. Still, you can’t just have a hissy-fit mid-interview and walk away just because you don’t favor that particular artist. Journalist or not, you’re a whole-grown 36 year old man, that’s just not what you do.
Reason 2: Migos are notorious for being terrible interview subjects. Heck, even the radio legend, Angie Martinez had trouble conducting an eloquent interview from them! Watch any interview with these three and it’s either mumble-jumble repeats of “Dat Way” and “Ya Dig“ or Quavo is taking the lead. In fact, Nadeska should know, just take a look at the below clip from her SXSW interview with the trio. Their music is legendary, but their interviews are all cringe-worthy at best. In my eyes, what was interpreted as “sass,” by Joe, was just the Migos, being their regular unmedia-trained selves.
Reason 3: I was absolutely appalled at everyone on set for leaving Nadeska in the eye of this crossfire. I look up to Nadeska. She’s composed, smart, and one of the best talents Complex has (hey, Jinx). For Joe to drop the mic and walk away, DJ Akademiks to move his way behind Nadeska, and for there to be no security to shield her from the chaos is completely unacceptable. When it comes to young Black journalists, we must #ProtectNadeska at all cost.
Now, to be fair, on Tuesday’s episode, the crew spent some time explaining the situation and in Joe’s defense he did vote against interviewing Migos because of their infamously bland interview history. And there were a lot of missing pieces and moving parts from the story that were either edited out or took place before hitting the carpet all together.
Everyday Struggle is new for all of us; Joe, DJ Akademiks and us, the loyal viewers. Because of this, there’s bound to be growing pains. Still, I would hate to see this show contribute to the dampening of hip-hop/music journalism for the sake of capturing the next viral clip.
But imma still watch tho.
Before you go: Let me know your thoughts on the whole Migos/Joe Budden fiasco. Who’s side were you on? Would you have dropped the mic too? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, I want to know!
Peace, peace, peace,