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Has DJ Khaled’s “They” Been a Reference to Birdman the Whole Time?

DJ Khaled Special Announcement Press Conference
Jerritt Clark, Getty Images

Rick Ross has the rap world talking thanks to his Birdman diss track “Idols Become Rivals.” The track, which features Ross talking about Birdman doing DJ Khaled wrong, has led to some interesting speculation. Fans are connecting the dots and assuming that Khaled’s “they” catchphrase for the people holding him down is actually a reference to Birdman.

Most of Ross’ criticism was delivered through his rhymes, but he saved his thoughts about Khaled for the song’s outro.

“What hurt me the most, nigga, is how you did my brother Khaled, nigga,” Ross says. “Khaled was loyal to you, nigga. The pain I seen in my brother eyes, nigga, FaceTiming, my nigga. Nigga, he took that to the chin. That’s why my nigga blessed! That’s why my nigga Khaled blessed! You put my nigga in the hole, homie. I don’t feel you for that, my nigga.

The diss track is full of biting criticism with Ross attacking Birdman for shady business practices and a lack of loyalty. The final verse on “Idols Become Rivals” is particularly damning.

“Knew that you would never visit B.G./Turk came home, take that boy a three piece/Shooting dope, using coke, moving like you the folks/Sacrificing half our life for your new music cult/You would give us self-esteem and motivate our drive/But was in our pockets by the time we count to five/I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne/His entire life he gave you what there was to gain/I watched this whole debacle, so I’m part to blame/Last request, can all producers please get paid,” Ross raps.

Birdman responded to the diss on Friday (March 17). The New Orleans native completely blew off the accusations.

“I don’t get caught up in hoe shit, man,” he told Billboard. “I just keep doing what I’m doing and keep pushing. I don’t get caught up in that, I don’t play like that. I’m a man and I stand my ground and I do my thing. Numbers don’t lie, and that’s all I give a fuck about: numbers, and puttin’ them up.”

Birdman might be ignoring Ross’ barbs, but Lil Wayne is embracing them. The veteran MC expressed his gratitude to Ross in an Instagram post.

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