Complex ended 2017 on a downer note with talented co-host Joe Budden choosing to defect from the program over issues related to compensation. Today the platform kicked off season two with the news it’s tapped legendary New York radio host Star aka Troi “Star” Torain to replace Budden.
“My first meeting with two very nice and intelligent people,” wrote Star on his Instagram account referencing co-hosts Akademiks aka Livingston Allen and Nadeska Alexis.
Star is older than Budden (53 versus 37) though they both came up through the New York hip hop music scene and share a reputation for unique analysis and willingness to put forth controversial opinions. Case in point, Star was fired in 2006 from Power 105 for statements he made about rival host DJ Envy’s child and no one familiar with him would be surprised if he said something leading to him being fired from “Everyday Struggle.”
Star lacks some of Budden’s warmth, and given that Akademiks was the host fans love to hate, the show off the bat will be less likable, but given time they may find ways to create their own unique appeal.
Star may not have been a prominent name on the hip hop scene over the last few years, but he came to the episode fully prepared for the topics and stocked with opinions.
In episode one, the duo discussed Drake, Kodak Black, Akademiks’s three-hour interview with XXXTentacion in which he claimed he was a better artist than Tupac, Lil Pump’s contract issues and 50 Cent versus Ja Rule.
Near the end of the episode, in typical Star fashion, he lit into Akademicks for expressing sympathy over the death of Chicago rapper Fredo Santana, saying he sounded insincere given his reputation for sensationalist coverage of Chicago shooting deaths.
Check out the exchange below.