Players: Lil Wayne, an outspoken rapper with a vendetta against New York City; Malcolm Smith an outspoken state senator with a duty to defend New York City.
The Opening Serve: "I don't like New York," Lil Wayne told MTV News on Monday. Those four little words are basically sacrilege to New Yorkers, and they drew the ire of State Senator Malcolm A. Smith who called a news conference on Wednesday to discuss the diss.
The Return Volley: "I take strong exception to the words I don’t like New York,'" Smith said during his conference yesterday. "If you don’t like New York ... you don’t have to come to New York. You don’t have to sell your products here. And perhaps we won’t come to your concerts," added Smith. While Weezy hasn't issued a statement about Smith's comments, his adoptive father (and founder of Cash Money Records), Birdman backed his son's comments. "To me, personally, I feel whatever my son says I'm gonna ride with. So if he say he don't like it, then that's just what it is," Birdman told Fuse TV. "If he don't like it, we don't like it. I don't like it if he don't like it. That's law." But not all hope is lost. "New Yorkers are forgiving people," Smith said at the press conference. "We’re prepared to forgive Lil Wayne if in fact he makes a sincere apology."
What They Say They're Fighting About: Hip-hop and New York City. It's hard to imagine this feud garnering as much attention if it were about say, Topeka. New York City, its history in rap/hip-hop, and Lil Wayne, all amp up the volume of this beef. And the city's deep roots in rap and hip-hop culture is partly why Smith is fighting so hard.
What They're Really Fighting About: New York City and Lil Wayne's past. As The New York Times' James Barron points out, Wayne has had a tough time in the Big Apple: He was arrested in 2007 and spent eight months on Rikers Island. Smith probably wants him to clarify that that's the reason why he "doesn't like New York City."
Who's Winning Now: Wayne. If this is about city pride, Smith's weak plea for an apology and possible forgiveness, isn't very convincing. A real New Yorker would probably have told Wayne to take his act and shove it and not leave a possibility of an apology out there. But then again, that probably wasn't Smith's intention.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.