A pair of emerging rappers found themselves embroiled in violence.
Instagram has had a profound effect on the rap game, influencing the dynamics of social interaction in a fascinating way. While it does allow artists a platform for fan interaction, it makes for a tempting conduit for impulsivity, leads to moments of rage immortalized in the digital ether. It's very telling that both NLE Choppa (aged 16) and Quando Rondo (aged 20), rising stars in their own right, sought the comforts of Instagram after reportedly engaging in a heated confrontation. While visuals of the fight itself weren't captured, Akademiks grabbed the follow-up posts, of which there were many.
The narrative begins with Quando Rondo, no stranger to violent escalation, seemingly checking in moments after the altercation. "I just cracked NLE Choppa homeboy in his shit," he taunts, visibly agitated. "Running up on me! Cracked n***a ass in this shit! Fuck NLE Choppa! And I got that fire on me! And I'm riding round Houston! Pussy-ass n***a! N***as know what the fuck goin' on with me!" He elaborates that he "cracked" NLE's partner over the head with a Hennessy bottle, leaving "his face all open, blood everywhere."
After the fact, Choppa took to Instagram Live to provide his side of the story. "Everybody go to Quando Rondo's Instagram story right now, and see how he was hiding behind security," says Choppa. "All I gotta say." It didn't take long for Quando himself to pop into the session, imploring Choppa to "post his homeboy head." Choppa notices the comment and scoffs in response. "You threw a bottle, fool. You was behind security and threw a bottle, how is you tough?"
Quando, not to be outdone in steering the IG discourse, hopped on Live with his own take. "I'ma let ya'll know that he ain't no iron slinger," says Quando. "One thing bout me and my n***as, if you had the pole in your hand, the banger, the gun, whatever you call it, if you had that shit in your motherfuckin hand n***a why you ain't spray that shit? Anybody get hit. The fuckin party security be coming' out the door! If you was bout it, that couldn't have been me outside with the thing in my hand, n***a. Cause I'd be going to jail. I be throwing my whole life away. I was kissing my mama and daddy goodbye. I wouldn't be able to see my child.
Following that, young Choppa took to Instagram Live to call out his Memphis fanbase, questioning their loyalty to a local boy. "If ya'll from Memphis, I'm from Memphis," he says. "Why the fuck is ya'll motherfuckers taking another motherfucker's side that ain't even from Memphis? And was hiding behind five -no, seven- big buff-ass security guards. That was all licensed to carry a strap. But ya'll took that man's side.
Given that both rappers are putting in work in the studio, enjoying a steady rise as some of the game's exciting new voices, it's sad to see them flirting with such a violent path. Quando's words, in which he claims he's willing to risk it all over pride and reputation, ring especially troubling. There's too much money to be made for squabbles to derail the mission. We sincerely hope that both young men can hash out their differences before circumstances escalate into further violence.