The fallout continues from Trinidad Jame$’ comments about New York City last month, where he claimed at a show in Brooklyn that the South, and his hometown of Atlanta in particular, runs New York hip-hop.
“I remember when New York rap was the shit, and us in the South was like, ‘What the fuck,’ and we did our own thing,” Jame$ said on stage, prompting some boos and reactions from the crowd. “But now we run y’all, musically. That’s crazy… I’m not tryin’ to start somethin’, but if you want somethin’ we can do somethin’, I’m just bein’ honest with you. I looked up to New York music, and now every nigga that’s really poppin’ out of New York, he might as well tell you he’s from Atlanta.”
Jame$ had begun his monologue by commenting on Kendrick Lamar’s claim as “King of New York” on his verse on Big Sean’s “Control” from earlier this year, but he touched a nerve that many New York artists had been feeling lately; namely, that New York artists were being overrun by Southern sounds in their own city, and that radio DJs in NYC were not supporting local artists. Unsurprisingly, a number of rappers were less than happy with Jame$’ comments, and responses flew in from Maino, Action Bronson, Smoke DZA, Papoose, N.O.R.E., Hell Rell and even Hopsin. Trinidad refused to back down (even releasing a track, “L.I.A.A.R.S.,” to back up his claim), and now Mysonne has stepped into the ring.
“I expected somebody to start throwing chairs on stage or something,” said the Bronx-based rapper in a phone call with XXL, who was signed to Violator in the late 1990s before catching a 7-year sentence for armed robbery—which he contests to this day—before he could drop his debut album. “But then I thought about it, and I thought, ‘This is our fault.’ We’ve made it so people can come through, say whatever they want and do whatever they want in New York. The radio doesn’t really support New York artists. So he felt comfortable: ‘Why should I really respect New York when nobody else does? They don’t even respect themselves, so why should I?’”
Mysonne made waves last week when a photo was snapped (above) that showed him confronting Jame$ in New York City; reports on some gossip sites said a fight may have broken out while others maintained that Mysonne slapped Jame$, but Mys described the interaction as “a conversation.” “He just kept reiterating that it wasn’t his intention to insult anybody, and that he was speaking his truth,” he said, also adding that Jame$’ comments were different than Kendrick Lamar’s King of New York claim because K.Dot issued it in a track. “I just kept reiterating to him that that wasn’t his truth to speak in New York. It’s like you walk in somebody’s home and the couple is fighting, and you’re taking somebody’s side. That’s not your business. You don’t get involved in what goes on in someone’s household, even if you do have an opinion, even if your opinion is factual. It’s not for you to give that opinion.”
But Mysonne—like others, such as Maino, have stated—said that while Jame$ disrespected New York with his comments, the City needs to look inwardly if it is to stop incidents like these from happening again. “I’m hoping that Kendrick’s statement and the Trinidad Jame$ statement have awakened radio here and the people here, us as artists and as fans, everything, to know that we’re diminishing our place and our value in hip-hop,” he said. “I hope that they start waking up and saying, ‘Wow. We don’t even dictate a sound.’ When you go to any other country or city, you hear the sound of their town on their radio. You hear the people that live there. You might not like it, but you’re damn sure gonna hear in here the people who represent the culture of that city. And that’s what New York has to get back to.” —Dan Rys (@danrys)