Popular YouTuber Tim Pool and New York-based rapper RA The Rugged man got into a heated exchange on a now-viral video. The room was filled with so much anger that a fight could have broken out. To be fair, the short clip floating around the internet is from a nearly three-hour podcast available on Tim Pool’s members-only website. Most people have not seen the full podcast to make a proper judgment. Tim Pool and RA have both apologized since then and there is no ongoing conflict between the two. However, there is enough content in the clip to make general points about the ideas of professionalism, conflict prevention, and conflict resolution.
Tim Pool and his guest were clearly from two different schools of thought. Ra The Rugged man is a New York City rapper who is probably in his mid to late 40s. He may not necessarily be an inner-city native, but he has worked with plenty of artists who come from those areas. In order to survive in studio environments or on tour with people who have high levels of aggression, there is a certain way in which he has to carry himself. Tim Pool is from the Southside of Chicago but there isn’t anything that says he was part of the so-called “streets”. He probably hasn’t had much experience with those types of people either, unlike Ra The Rugged Man.
On paper, the mashup between Pool and R.A. looked great. Two intelligent men coming together on a podcast to speak about their differences in an intelligent way. And for the most part, the podcast was just that. Although RA may have ruffled Tim Pool’s feathers by being dismissive of his upbringing at different points throughout, everything was all good. The problem started when obvious cultural differences and a lack of boundaries began to pop up. RA apparently called Tim Pool “b****” at certain times of the show. If Tim Pool didn’t immediately call this behavior out and end it respectfully, then that’s his fault for not establishing boundaries. At the same time, RA has to know how to be respectful. Tim, as the host, ultimately dropped the ball by becoming so frustrated at RA’s “antics” that he started to curse and scream at RA. This crossed a boundary that RA verbally set a few times during the podcast.
The lesson to be learned here is that respect is necessary for interactions between humans. This is especially true when two men are having a conversation where they know they will disagree. If the respect level is established from the beginning by observing each other’s boundaries, then no debate or disagreement will destroy the respect. Screaming, cursing, and any other “fight posturing” language (verbal or non-verbal) should be a boundary held universally. If not, then human nature says fights may happen. This is not to say that fighting is an appropriate response to “disrespect” or violating the boundaries of a conversation. But human nature has been with us since the dawn of man and not much has changed since then.