Avery Marcel Joshua Jones, known by his stage name Kota the Friend, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Following a woman’s complaint of sexual misconduct on Twitter in 2021, the Brooklyn-bred songwriter rejected any allegations of abuse and remained largely silent on the matter until 2022. In January, he published Lyrics To Go Vol. 3, which included a few tunes that addressed the allegations.

Kota has spent much of April promoting his Flight Night festival appearances, but he got down with HipHopDX for an in-depth conversation to discuss his new album, the claims against 2021, and his future plans. The charges, he said, were part of a wider systemic problem in cancel culture as a whole.

We live in a toxic culture. 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.

Following the claims, Kota was subjected to full-fledged cancel culture. He lost fans and following, as well as receiving abusive texts and messages online, with many trolls urging him to commit suicide. Kota claimed in his FREE NOT WOKE podcast that getting out of bed was a hardship every day, and that the claims had flipped his life upside down. He’s subsequently claimed that she was the one who was abusive in their relationship, and that the charges began after he broke up with her.

It was just somebody saying something on the internet, it wasn’t like there was a court or criminal situation. 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?

When asked how he’s dealing with the backlash, he said it’s made him understand he needs to focus on the important things. He did admit, though, that the current status of the culture was depressing. Kota has released his new track “Good Friday,” and his Flight Night festival will be held in Metro Chicago on April 29. Check out the video below.

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Gunjan Nath

In search of simplicity and inner peace, Gunjan is basically a guy soldiering through his paranoia. You could say Art, Witty/Dark Humor, Movies, Anime, Post-rock/Black Metal/Hip-Hop/Shoegaze Music, Football, Creative Writing, Photography, Videography are his forte. A Jack of All Trades and a Master of Many.

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