Mickey Factz Joins The Royce & Lupe Battle With The Best Diss Record Yet
Hip-Hop is witnessing its most exciting battle in more than a year, and it is playing out with more than just two opposing MCs.
In 2020, two Midwest giants, Lupe Fiasco and Royce 5’9, partnered in a podcast. The two veterans joined forces to create 45 episodes of The Lupe And Royce Show (along with their co-host Tom Frank), featuring guests from sports and comedy, along with the three hosts addressing current events. However, in recent weeks, there have been public tensions between Nickel and Lu’, including fiery debates, raised voices, name-calling—and most recently, respective songs that diss one another. According to Lupe, he has removed himself from the podcast in the aftermath.
Lupe Fiasco & Royce 5’9 Trade Savage Diss Records
On the latest episode, #55, of the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded in audio and video below), the Ambrosia For Heads team breaks down the timeline of events that led to Royce and Lupe’s diss records—and reacts to the songs. Although fans may have seen things get heated recently, the genesis of the issue may be Royce’s rapping on Lupe’s “Mural” instrumental back on 2017’s Bar Exam 4 mixtape, on his track “C. Delores Tucker.” In late June, Royce admitted that his impetus at the time was to “put the fear of God” in Lupe, Ab-Soul, King Los, and CyHi The Prynce, adding, “Y’all were too damn good and talked too damn much.” That spirit of competition has developed into recent differences of opinion on what makes a great MC, heated discussions, freestyle responses, and questions of their friendship—all before Royce dropped the jabbing “Silence Of The Lamdas.” Lupe responded with the scathing “Steve Jobs: SLR 3 1/2.”
(Timestamps for the podcast can be found in the embeds or below)
However, the battle centers around more than just Lupe and Royce. The summer of 2021 also saw Royce challenge Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MC RJ Payne claims that “nobody is rapping better” than he and New Jersey’s Ransom. Ransom recently collaborated with Royce on “Greed” while Payne has rapped about Royce’s support in his lyrics.
Lupe Fiasco Wants To Be The Next Member Of Slaughterhouse
Amid these challenges, nobody has been closer to Royce and Lupe’s action than Mickey Factz. The Bronx, New York veteran was championed by Lupe Fiasco all along as a prime example of a top MC. Factz was active in the comments during Nickel and Lu’s initial war of words, and staked a $10,000 wager that Lupe would best Royce in a battle. Last week, after the tensions resulted in diss records, Factz was caught in a lengthy public conversation with Royce. Despite their past work together (including 2018’s “The Sermon (Remix),” which premiered at AFH), the PRhyme MC questioned Factz’ abilities, repeatedly suggesting that Mickey does not “check all the boxes.” Royce also told Mickey Factz that while he was not the target of some bars in question from “Silence Of The Lamdas” initially, he should now assume that they are about him. Royce’s band-mate Joe Budden eventually joined the Instagram Live moderated by ThreeLetterman. Royce and Joe—who Factz previously dissed in 2016—each reminded Factz that there are “levels” to Hip-Hop, presumably to suggest that Mickey may be out of his league.
Encouraged to respond, Mickey Factz has done just that. On Monday night (July 26), he released “WRAiTH.” Combining “wrath” with the Rolls Royce model (and using a burned out luxury car in his artwork), the New York City veteran released the most exciting diss of the three records to come out thus far.
Royce 5’9 Explains Why He’s A GOAT Rapper (Video)
In his opening stanza, Mickey shifts his tone from respect to attack-mode: “All this chatting for hours is really silly, ni**a / With no rapping, I swear you gotta be backwards / No matter how many flowers you try to give a ni**a, it’s like they only want them on top of their casket.” Mickey then reminds Royce that he fired first. “You sent the shot, so I flashed back like it’s ’80s Night / Playing Big will put you in a box, that was Gravy’s plight / Thought I was hijacking that Live, Now I’m taking flight / Your girl in the Ghost n’ gobblin’ d*ck, say goodnight / You know how it rolls, Royce, chess move / You see Ryan, Reynolds wrapped in a lagoon, that’s a dead pool / Lupe freestyled and got you outta here / You cried alone from playing yourself, shed a solid tear / All that syllable Biblical blblbl is kinda weird / It dresses you up from being direct, cause you probably scared.” Along with mentioning Nickel’s lady, Mickey uses his first name (and later his last name) in an onslaught of bars that reference Deadpool, The Notorious B.I.G., and champion Lupe for freestyling on IG Live while Royce waited to respond in rap.
After Royce questioned Mickey’s abilities, he does the same in response: “Your songs ain’t no anthems / Your bar placement random / And you still ain’t bring that energy to RJ and Ransom.” Throughout, Mickey switches flows. He involves Eminem, Slaughterhouse, and others in references and name-checks. At the bridges, Mickey talks, insisting that Lupe Fiasco embarrassed Royce, while the Detroit, Michigan vet has yet to back up his claims that he’s better to RJ or Ransom. Notably, Mickey spoke with Fiasco moments before releasing “WRAiTH.”
Lupe Fiasco Paints A Colorful Mural With Words In An A Capella Verse (Video)
At the third verse, Mickey lays into Royce even more directly. “Ryan Montgomery / Hiding behind every rhymer he defining as brotherly / I’ve decided he’s grumpily / By my discovery / 5’9″ is trying to be somebody / The upper echelon recognizes by his redundancy / Hov took you off ‘Renegade’ like it was custody / Your dad ain’t even push back, surprising you suddenly / On the sideline, crying uncomfortably / I am abundantly tired and hungrily / I am the gluttony, why am I suddenly / Mocked for loyalty that I’m giving publicly / Lupe is my brother and I’ma ride with him stubbornly / Defending the best and nevertheless / Adrenaline been in my chest / He getting regrets for ever discrediting vets / While living off Eminem’s mess / He got a song with ‘Kiss and Fab / Read it out the Book Of Ryan but I would be lying / If I ever said that sh*t is trash / All this talk about the pen and pad / You good at writing it’s ironic / You won with F-A-B but lost to Mistah F.A.B.” The series of bars give Royce props for his 2018 album and credit him as great songwriter, but not an off-the-top great. He uses a a 2007 battle with Mistah F.A.B. as support to this opinion. Notably, Mickey has juggled a recording career with a tenure in professional battle rap—something Royce chided him about during their IG Live conversation, asking him to list his losses. An audio version of the song includes a punch-in of the “Renegade” instrumental that Mickey references:
Factz then attacks Royce’s claim that he does not check the boxes. He insists he does, while mocking Nickel’s style. “Playing Mufasa got you some battle scars / If you woulda checked the box, you probably on Amazon / Instead of dying in the jungle, Jordan meme, Avatar / I’m Jeff Bezos, out of space with galactic bars / Wait, that’s something that Royce’d do / He’ll take something from pop culture and exploit it through a point or two / Like, Sha’Cari Richardson, Bill Cosby, common sh*t / Current event bars ain’t skill, it’s kinda obvious, you gotta quit / Do an entendre without comic wit / I don’t subscribe to it, I’m the definition of opposite / Chain punching, you do Tetris, I do Columns sh*t / Get stoned with a great structure until you’re monolith / Obelisk, look what I’m amounting to, it’s steep yes / At my peak next, no TV when Ryan seek rest / Top of the hill, here’s the cliffhanger like Cosby closet / Eating pork, claiming Muslim, hogwash, Ryan wildin’ / Stop it novice / Listen what I’m giving you / Yeah I check boxes, that’s what morticians do.” Mickey Factz is insistent that he’s sending Royce’s career to an early grave with this offensive.
Mickey Factz & Royce 5’9 Serve Lyrics That Make Other MCs Say Their Prayers (Audio Premiere)
His closing lines show allegiance to Lupe Fiasco and remind Royce that he approached him on the humble. “On IG, the way that I handled it shows humility / But this ni**a bathing in arrogance, insecurity / Disparaging words ’bout Lupe making ‘Mural’ / You tried to do it and failed, you shoulda called it ‘Plural.‘” Within the song, Mickey showcases multiple deliveries and flows—including those specifically modeled after RJ Payne and Ransom.
In the outro, Mickey reminds Royce that he’s ready and able to keep this conflict going. “And watch he don’t respond to this sh*t. Any money bet the ni**a don’t say nothing. And Royce: you know how I give it up. We gon’ do this until 2022, ni**a.” Mickey Factz wants his reply.
Page Kennedy, Elzhi, Kxng Crooked, Cassidy, King Los & Mickey Factz vs. EVERYBODY (Audio)
Time will tell if Royce claps back. An Instagram post suggests as much. “Nerd wanna gang up on GOAT? Nerd wanna gang up on GOAT? Nerd know GOAT got rapper friend too,” he says:
View this post on Instagram
Notably, Mickey Factz has partnered with Blu for August 20’s The Narrative. It is an EP produced by Nottz that features Asher Roth (on lead single “Reign”), as well as Kota The Friend, Oswin Benjamin, Fashawn, Sy Ari Da Kid, and others.
The timestamps for the What’s The Headline are as follows:
0:58 Kanye West faked us out again by not releasing his Donda album
1:50 Hip-Hop has its first major beef since 2019
3:46 Is the disagreement between Royce 5’9 and Lupe Fiasco real or staged?
7:25 How did Royce and Lupe go from hosting a podcast together to dissing each other on records
10:20 A detailed timeline of how fun and games between Lupe and Royce turned into personal insults
10:28 June 25 – Royce posts about Lupe on his IG and the two have a testy debate on IG Live
15:30 Lupe starts to clean his gun during their discussion
19:05 July 15 – Royce and Lupe escalate during a conversation with Young Guru & Mickey Factz
21:06 Royce calls Lupe a b…..
22:40 July 15 – Lupe does a 15+ minute freestyle on IG live about Royce
26:39 July 15 – Royce goes back on IG and says Lupe may be “taking advantage of their friendship”
28:50 July 16 – Lupe says he and Royce have had tension for months
32:20 July 21 – Royce releases “Silence Of The Lambda” dissing Lupe; less than 24 hours later, Lupe releases “Steve Jobs: SLR 3 1/2” in response
32:50 Breaking down the 2 diss records; 1 got really personal
42:20 July 22 – Royce tweets he will not attack Lupe personally
42:50 July 22 – Royce and Mickey Factz verbally spar for more than an hour; Joe Budden joins
51:10 Will Mickey Factz release a record dissing Royce?
58:25 July 23 – Lupe says his podcast with Royce is over
1:00:00 Will this battle continue?
1:01:50 Was it appropriate for either Royce or Lupe to mention Biz Markie on their diss records
1:04:50 More on Kanye’s delay, The LOX Verzuz Dipset, and new music by Page Kennedy and Rasheed Chappell
Ambrosia For Heads readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. Additionally, What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available wherever you stream your pods.