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Desus and KID Mero

Source: Team Epiphany/VICE /

With the recent internet uproar caused by Joe Budden suddenly leaving his beloved role on Complex’s Everyday Struggle, information has been surfacing that details just how unfairly the outside talent brought in for these Youtube shows seem to be treated. Though many made bets at the start of the hip-hop debate program that Budden wouldn’t last more than a couple months, a huge audience warmed up to the format and became eager to watch him and DJ Akademiks opposite one another almost every day of the week. The show premiered on April 10th and now, 8 months later, Joe has made his exit (which will probably result in the cancellation of the show as a whole). Talk of Complex’s talent allegedly being underpaid and under appreciated in this scenario brought up memories from another program the network snubbed: Desus VS. Mero. Complex gave the now-TV stars their first podcast 4 years ago, and after their annual contract was up, ended up not meeting their demands or renewing their contracts–so essentially, the same exact thing that just happened with Joe Budden.

When Akademiks was discussing the Budden/Complex fallout on one of his Twitch live streams, a fan brought up the fact that this situation sounds similar to how the network with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. Ak responded to this not by addressing anything having to do with the actual cancellation of Desus VS. Mero, but saying that the two weren’t popping, brushing them off, and saying that media personalities are always coming at him without himself being any part of it.

The Viceland late night hosts caught wind of these jabs and of course, came right back at Akademiks on their show Desus and Mero the next night. In the clip below, they obliterate the Youtube star and list multiple reasons why they’re genuinely more popping than him. They also show a clip of when Vic Mensa–who also has beef with DJ Akademiks was on the show–and then realize that he might actually have a reason to not like them after all.

Now, following the Bodega Boys’ comeback, DJ Akademiks once again addressed the situation on his live stream, and stars crying when talking about how these other people in the media treat him. Even though he unquestionably came at Desus and Mero this time and started the entire situation, he’s visibly saddened by the idea that all of these people are always hating on him when in his mind, he didn’t do anything to deserve it.


At the end of the day, it’s really a battle of the brands. The two both focus on and produce different content and generally cater to a different audience–so it’s hard to definitively say if one or the other is more popping, or more justified in their braggadocio toward the other. Though Akademiks gets millions of views on his personal Youtube channel, Desus and Mero have a brand consisting of a television show, a podcast, a Netflix show, and an upcoming book. We’ll just have to wait and see if this beef develops any further in the future.

Battle Of The Brands: Why Are Desus & Mero And DJ Akademiks Beefing In The First Place?  was originally published on