DJ Vlad’s Biggest Controversies

DJ Vlad is better known as the founder of VladTV. To many, he has established himself as a prominent figure in Hip Hop media. However, this sentiment isn’t unanimously shared. After all, DJ Vlad has had his fair share of controversial moments, led by his interviews, which many have found to be exploitative in nature.  Most recently, he’s been under intense fire for trying to get a Black Professor fired from Princeton, which many have attributed to white fragility. But a couple more controversies have surrounded DJ Vlad over the years. 

His Interview Style

One of the primary criticisms directed at DJ Vlad revolves around his interview techniques. Numerous Hip Hop artists have publicly criticized DJ Vlad for his interview style, particularly his choice of questions. Some feel he crosses boundaries and exploits sensitive topics for clicks and views. Many of his questions are provocative, taking aim at crime, violence, and legal issues among predominantly Black artists. This approach has led to accusations that he sensationalizes serious issues for entertainment value.

Further, DJ Vlad employs a distinctive style of interview that many view as interrogative. For example, the New Jersey rapper Tsu Surf called him out on this, saying, “Realistically, there is such a thing as bait. You’re a baiter. Of course, you wouldn’t say, ‘I got anybody indicted,’ but you fish. You feel me? And some of my peers, some of the people that sat in this seat aren’t smart or witty enough to know when there is bait being swung their way, or when they are supposed to dip the bait.”

Suspected Involvement With Law Enforcement


Another contentious aspect of DJ Vlad’s career is suspicion about his cooperation with law enforcement. Several interviewees have raised concerns about statements made during interviews being used against them in legal proceedings. And if we’re being honest, his interview style doesn’t help his case. During discussions, guests sit in front of the camera. At the same time, Vlad, reportedly at another location, asks probing questions that can come across as highly incriminating and potentially suggestive of a setup.

This has given the platform a reputation for having a curse—the “Vlad Curse.” People have alleged that whoever Vlad interviews gets arrested. Some examples of artists include Keefe D, who was arrested for the murder of Tupac Shakur, and Ralo, who was apprehended and accused of running a cross-country drug operation. Speaking to RevoltTV about the curse, Vlad said he didn’t believe it to be true. “I mean, apart from the Keffe D situation, I’ve never heard of that actually happening,” he said. “Just to keep it 100. Like, I’ve never heard of our stuff actually being used, an interview being used against someone in a case that they actually talked about. In my rationale, for the Keefe D situation, he wrote a f*cking book.” 

Weaponizing Whiteness

Most recently, DJ Vlad shared his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar‘s new Drake diss track, “Not Like Us,” via X. He commented on the mix, suggesting potential improvements. In response, Morgan Jerkins, an author, editor, Princeton University professor, and famed producer Darkchild’s niece, advised against involvement in the viral conversation. She wrote: “You are WHITE. This is a BLACK FOLK AFFAIR.”

Vlad responded swiftly and firmly to the remark. He even went as far as tagging Princeton directly in his reply, which many have remarked was in extremely poor taste: “Wait, so a professor at @Princeton is telling me that a white person shouldn’t be allowed to voice their opinion about Hip Hop? Is that how you interact with your students?”

The exchange continued as Vlad threatened to contact Princeton, again tagging the university. He then insinuated that she might lose her job at Princeton if he followed this action. Although Vlad tried to backtrack on his tweets the next day, saying he was only defending himself, Jerkins pointed out that he had already contacted the university by tagging them. Even the author Marc Lamont Hill tried to call Vlad out for weaponizing his whiteness, but Vlad instead made scalding comments about Lamont losing his job. Altogether, this entire exchange felt like something out of a Karen playbook, as DJ Vlad allegedly weaponized his white fragility in an attempt to get a Black woman fired.  

Employing The Use Of Click Bait Headlines

VladTV is also known for giving his videos certain titles that are sure to stir up trouble. In 2021, he titled an episode of his show, “Kal Dawson was in the car when 50 Cent Got Shot 9 Times, Kal Got Shot Also.” According to The Source, the video was focused on the harrowing incident where 50 Cent was shot multiple times. 50 Cent subsequently posted a screenshot of the video with the word “FRAUDULENT” put over the video. He also asked for the video to be taken down. “I want this video taken down now!” he said. 

Accusations Of Being A Culture Vulture

Charlamagne Tha God's Birthday Celebration

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 26: (L-R) Avi ‘The Real Avi’ Aranbayev, Charlamagne Tha God. Chinx Drugz and DJ Vlad attend Charlamagne Tha God’s birthday celebration at Stage. 48 on June 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

DJ Vlad’s real name is Vladislav Lyubovny, and he is a white Ukrainian man. Therefore, his work in primarily Black culture has worked both for him and against him. As a result, Vlad has also been tagged as a “culture vulture.” Folks have accused him of preying on Black culture. Moreover, he mostly focuses on the negative side of Black artistry and communities. 

Marvin Shadi Powers, the uncle of the late rapper Bankroll Fresh, was one of the first to label DJ Vlad a “culture vulture.” VladTV debuted an interview with No Plug, the individual accused of Bankroll’s murder, during which No Plug claimed the shooting was an act of self-defense. Soon after, Powers sent a passionate letter to Vlad, calling him out on his bias. 

“You disrespectful culture vulture,” he began. “When I asked you to interview Bankroll PJ and how he was continuing the legacy, you had a subordinate call me to tell me you’re passing on PJ. He had just released a new single out, plus he’s starring in a new FX TV show (Atlanta) this fall with Childish Gambino, but no that was too positive, huh? Not enough Black-on-Black crime?”