The controversial media personality hosted an episode of his Off the Record podcast at The Roots’ annual Philadelphia festival on Saturday night (June 3), where he interviewed rising Florida rapper Lil Boom.
Viral footage from the taping showed a smattering of people stood by the Podcast Stage as the interview went down, with various tweets claiming “only eight people” were in attendance.
Gangsta Gibbs, who has routinely sparred with Akademiks on social media in recent years, appeared to revel in his rivals’ apparent misfortune by sharing a clip of his alleged crowd struggles on Twitter while writing: “Damn.”
The Gary, Indiana rapper was far from the only one who found Ak’s turnout amusing. “More people bought Coi Leray’s album than showed up to see @Akademiks at the @rootspicnic,” one fan quipped, while someone else satirized his Instagram captions by writing: “Dj Akademiks on pace to sell 12 tickets on his show! W or L brehs?”
The popular Twitter page Hip Hop By The Numbers also joined in on the fun by joking: “12.5% of the people at the DJ Akademiks show is DJ Akademiks himself.”
— Big 🐰 (@FreddieGibbs) June 4, 2023
Popular media personality DJ Akademiks did a live podcast with Lil Boom and the crowd is nearly empty 😳 pic.twitter.com/BW2Q09yT9S
— Rap Daily (@RapDailyNews) June 4, 2023
Akademiks later addressed the commotion during a Twitch live stream, during which he disputed the reported figures of his crowd and hit back at those clowning him online.
The media personality claimed he was paid $30,000 to appear at the festival and pointed out that his 8:00 p.m. set clashed with Lil Uzi Vert and Lauryn Hill’s performances at 7:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., respectively, putting him at a disadvantage.
“Essentially, I’m competing with Uzi, and if I took the L to Uzi, I’m down to take that. I would have went to watch Uzi’s shit!” he admitted. “In reality, the whole thing about eight [people] sounds great. If you ask me, I think it was about — I’m talking about peak — maybe 200 to 250 people were there.”
Ak also claimed that the narrative that less than a dozen people attended his show was being peddled by disgruntled fans of NBA YoungBoy, who recently took aim at the podcaster for claiming that his beef with Lil Durk had been squashed.
Akademiks’ public Ls have been fodder for Freddie Gibbs in their ongoing feud. When a video of the podcaster getting into an argument with his girlfriend surfaced last year, Gibbs went so far as to record himself reacting to the clip, laughing hysterically when Ak yelled in his girl’s face: “I’m the fucking prize!”
Despite their repeated back-and-forths, Gibbs actually extended an olive branch to Akademiks last September, saying he wanted a “sit-down” with him and that they would “probably be cool” if they simply got to know each other.
“I love Akademiks,” Gibbs said during an interview with Hot 97’s Funk Flex. “We gonna have a sit-down, but you had to get that shit for all that shit you’ve been kicking. You had to get that.”
He added: “I think if we were to have a conversation, we’d probably be cool. I take it, too. I’ll take everything he say and I love it. But you gotta take it when I give back.”