The mild drama began during an episode of the Rappers Ballers Podcast with special guest Van Lathan. At one point during the conversation, hosts Fredro and Jonny Vulgar began discussing what they considered to be “nerd” rap. Fredro began naming artists who he believes fit in that category—and Royce was one of the names.
“That’s my man. Look, I was on tour with Royce Da 5’9,” Fredro said. “That’s my n***a. We was on the Nelly tour together … But I was tryna say that he would be in the nerd part of rap. That don’t mean you not a street n***a, though.”
Fredro then went on to explain the kind of artist who he considers to be nerd rappers.
“N***as that read books, n****as that you know, the nerdy n***as,” he said, before lightly mocking the name of Royce’s last album. “What’s the name of this n***a’s last album? Royce Da 5’9? … It was like some ill word.”
“The Allegory,” Lathan responded.
“I’ve never heard of that word until I heard him say it,” Fredro said.
Royce caught wind of the conversation and shared clips of it on his Instagram account, before issuing a stern warning to Fredro.
Royce filmed a video saying he admired Fredro’s legacy and contributions to the culture. He also said he had no problems being called a “nerd rapper” or “backpacker,” but would not tolerate any games. Royce’s response suggested his issue wasn’t with Fredro’s labels, but more so with his mocking tone.
“If you follow me then you know, you never seen me play with n***as and you never seen n***as play with me. I don’t let n***as play with me,” Royce said. “… What I don’t like to do is I don’t like to play games, there’s too much going on in the world right now. Like it’s a very serious time.”
He continued saying it was an honor to tour with Fredro back in the day, but made it clear he is not his friend.
“I appreciate you calling me your man, but I would be remised to not be completely transparent with you right now, legend, and let you know I am not your man,” he said. “I have no desire whatsoever to build any sort of relationship with you moving forward, just so we clear. So there’s no reason for you to ever fucking play with me again … Save that playing shit for a n***a that you playing with that’s playing with you back. And I won’t come fuck over you.”
“And I’m not gonna say it again, Fredro Starr. You keep being a legend, and I’ma keep doing what the fuck I do. Next time you mention me, you mention me and you give me the compliments or whatever you wanna give me, and you leave all that extra shit out of it, because it’s something that come with that. Bless that.”
You can listen to Royce’s full statement below.