Brooklyn-bred lyricist Kota The Friend was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman on Twitter in 2021 but denied all accusations of abuse. Up until recently, he was relatively quiet on the subject. He then released Lyrics To Go Vol. 3 in January, which features a few tracks that discussed the accusations.

Kota has since spent much of April speaking on his Flight Night Festival performances but sat down with HipHopDX for an extensive interview to talk about his new album, 2021’s allegations and his plans for his future. He noted the allegations were part of a larger systemic issue happening within cancel culture as a whole.

“We live in a toxic culture,” Kota told DX. “We live in a social media culture where nothing has to be a fact or real. Somebody just has to say something and then people hop on the bandwagon, and whatever way the tide is turning, that’s the wave that everyone hops on.”

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After the allegations, Kota experienced cancel culture in full force. He lost followers and fans and experienced hateful texts and messages online, with many trolls telling him to commit suicide. In his FREE NOT WOKEpodcast, Kota said it was “a struggle every day to get up out of bed,” and that the allegations turned his “life upside down.” He’s since said she was the abusive one in their relationship and claimed the allegations only started after he ended things with her.

“It was just somebody saying something on the internet, it wasn’t like there was a court or criminal situation,” he said. “That’s something that we’re having a hard time wrapping our minds around too. Is that what we’ve come to? The point where you don’t really have to do anything? Nothing has to be a proven fact for you to be canceled from the culture?”

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When asked about how he’s been handling the blowback, he said it made him realize he needs to focus on what matters. He did admit that the current state of the culture was discouraging though.

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“In all honesty, it just made me realize my house has to be stronger and we have to move differently,” he said. “Ever since the beginning of my career, I realized I can’t rely on blogs. I can’t rely on people to like me. I have to just go straight to the people that love my music, and I’m readopting that mentality. It’s about me and my fans and everybody else, they don’t matter.”

Kota The Friend recently dropped off his latest single “Good Friday” and will take his Flight Night Festival to Metro Chicago on April 29. Tickets can be purchased here.