One of Earth’s oldest arguments and questions is, “Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?” Or in terms of hip-hop, “Who came first, the dj or the rapper?” Or more importantly, “Who put on who? The DJ or the rapper?” These broad questions have sparked debates in lunch-rooms, offices, or more often now during quarantine at the world’s biggest water-cooler, Twitter. Recently in the DMV, these definitively unanswered questions have resulted in trending topics, side-debates, and today an argument between multiple important artists to DMV culture. So where does this all begin? Let’s trackback to see.
A tweet posted in late February gained some traction last week that made a statement that in summary claimed DMV DJs had no part in helping any DMV artist become successful.
When originally tweeted, it seemingly received little traction, however, weeks later, local users started to chime in with examples of how this notion may be incorrect. The tweets and replies ultimately made it’s way all the way up to WKYS Alum and local legend, DJ Alizay, and arguably one of the most successful artists currently out of the DMV Wale, who both jokingly questioned the validity of the statement.
With one of the highest-ranking figures in DMV music questioning the validity of the statement, that argument was quelled and the DMV music scene went back to the perfect harmony…for about 5 days. The coast is almost never clear with debates on music in the area, and when DMV artist, Ant Glizzy, posted a DM conversation between himself and Wale, a new set of questions and arguments began again.
The controversial post received a swift response from Wale, not arguing the point of Glizzy, but instead questioning the intention and thought process behind the conversation in the first place. This post by Glizzy, which he posted timely at 1:00 am on the dot, sparked tons of conversations and debates throughout the day about Wale, who put who on, whose responsibility it is to put as well as a number of other artists. Even Lizzle felt strongly enough about the argument to chime in Glizzy’s defense.
Now of course historically, it should be noted first and foremost, Wale has put artists on. Whether it was bringing Fat Trel to MMG, helping to springboard the careers of artists like Adé, Chaz French, and helping to bring Go-go bands like UCB, Backyard, and TCB to an international level by sampling their records the early part of his career, Wale has done more than enough to put on for the area. There were even multiple DMV artists that stepped in to defend this fact.
So where do the animosity and debate stem from despite the facts? It is truly unclear. Artists like Ant Glizzy and Lizzle are titled to their opinions and may have their own personal accounts as to why they feel so strongly, however, there are numerous accounts of him doing the exact thing that they claim he has not done. If Wale did or did not put artists on, one thing that rings certainly true and is imperative, is for artists, DJ’s, and the surrounding community of media and influencers to have open dialogue and conversations along the process and rise of an artists career arc, so that debates like this can be avoided. Who puts who on is the least important factor when it comes to the overall success of each artist and the area as a whole. Hopefully, the arguments started on Twitter bring us closer together, than push us farther apart.