Dot Da Genius has defended his longtime collaborator Kid Cudi after Rich Paul and Jake Paul questioned the Cleveland rapper’s standing in his hometown.

LeBron James’ agent and the YouTuber-turned-boxer, who also both hail from the 216, made the controversial comments on a recent episode of the BS w/ Jake Paul podcast.

“Do I think how Cudi treats Cleveland is weird? No, because I don’t think Cleveland ever embraced Cudi, unfortunately,” Rich Paul said. “Because you can’t expect somebody to treat a situation any different to how they were treated.”

Jake Paul went one step further by claiming that Cudi has “switched up” on the city since rising to fame and “acts like he’s not from there.”

He also accused the “Day ‘N’ Nite” hitmaker of slighting him by quoting an “astronomical fee” to perform at his fight against Tyrone Woodley in 2021, which was held in Cleveland.

Speaking to HipHopDX on the heels of signing a new publishing partnership with OTM Music, Dot Da Genius refuted the suggestion that Kid Cudi doesn’t get love in his hometown, saying he’s “as Cleveland as it gets.”

Dot Da Genius Kid Cudi

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“That statement just sounds ridiculous,” he said. “I’m not from Cleveland, I’m from Brooklyn, but when I met Cudi, that’s as Cleveland as it gets, you know what I’m saying? And since having actually been to the city, I think it’s a ridiculous statement.

“His signature C’s hat, he wore that for a big part of his career. We have a song that’s important in the city, ‘Cleveland Is the Reason.’ He talks about Cleveland all the time. Most of the stuff I know about Cleveland came from my relationship with Cudi.”

He added: “As someone that’s not from Cleveland, the love that I get from people from Cleveland because of the music that we’ve made, so I think that statement is inaccurate.

“I don’t know Jake Paul, but I don’t look at him and think, Cleveland [laughs]. I don’t look at Rich Paul and think, Cleveland […] But when I look at Cudi, I think, Cleveland.”

Kid Cudi also responded to Rich Paul and Jake Paul’s comments himself earlier this week, issuing a lengthy rebuttal on X (formerly Twitter) detailing some of the many ways in which he has put on for his city — and been embraced in return.

“Rich Paul doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know my life,” he began. “My mom lives in Cleveland and I’ve been goin there on holidays and summer breaks for years. Mostly when I’m in Cleveland, it’s family time. I’m not throwin events in the city cuz it’s already too hot for me in the city.

Kid Cudi & Eminem 'Moon Man & Slim Shady' Origins Revealed By Producer Dot Da Genius

Kid Cudi & Eminem ‘Moon Man & Slim Shady’ Origins Revealed By Producer Dot Da Genius

“When I’m there I like the chill. I’m not hangin at Cleveland clubs or in the streets or whatever the fuck else u expect me to do. Oh I get it, was I suppose to catch a couple Browns or Cavs games? I’m the most lowkey guy around. You ain’t suppose to see me brother.”

He continued: “I will say the city of Cleveland has embraced me over the years. So I disagree. Radio in Cleveland might not play my shit, but I had 20k people at Moon Man’s Landing in Cleveland last year. A success. And we’re doin it again too.

“Not only does the city embrace me, I make most people in that city and the state of Ohio proud. Everytime I record a record I mention the city. That’s all day. Everybody that listens to my music knows I’m proud of where I’m from.”

Addressing Jake Paul’s performance fee complaint, he said: “Listen chief, I’m an artist. A real one. I make art for a living. I’m not some guy that comes out to perform at boxing matches. I entertained it tho cuz it was u, and tho it went against what I stand for I submitted a fee. My fee is my fee. Especially for some shit that’s not my style.

“If I’m gonna do it it’s gonna be worth it for my pockets and time. This is business baby. I’m not these other rappin ass n-ggas that will show up for a lil check. U came to me u shoulda knew what time it was young man. U dont know me either to say I’m anything broski.”

As for Dot Da Genius, the veteran producer, engineer and composer opened a new chapter in his 15-year career in October by signing a deal with OTM Music, the boutique publisher behind multiple placements with Apple, Netflix and EA.

The worldwide exclusive publishing partnership includes the entirety of Dot’s decorated discography, which boasts Kid Cudi hits like “Day ‘N’ Nite,” “Reborn” and “The Scotts,” as well as tracks for Lil Nas X, Denzel Curry and 6LACK. It also includes future releases which he promises will be the same “high-level” quality that fans are accustomed to.

“Now, at this stage in my career, it’s important for me to work very closely with the people that are representing my music,” Dot told DX of the deal. “OTM Music gives me a very unique opportunity to do that. They’re new on the scene and I believe that they will be able to usher in the new era of music that’s coming.”

“Dot Da Genius sets the gold standard for a modern day artist/producer. Throughout his 15+ year career, he has created a universe that is built around quality & excellence in executive producing, songwriting, engineering, and film/TV scoring,” added Melissa Woods-Maskan, SVP of Creative at OTM Music, in a press release.

“It is an honor for One Two Many to partner with such an icon like Dot Da Genius. Our shared goal is to continue the pursuit of excellence by embarking on this partnership that pushes boundaries and sets new standards for musical creativity.”

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