There’s definitely a disconnect between the older and newer generations of hip hop music and it’s been like that for the past few era’s of music going all the way back to blues, jazz, rock, funk, fusion, r&b, rap, etc. It seems like there’s always a sense of rebelliousness in the newer generations and a perception of jealousy or resentment coming from the waning generations. But there persists a common sense of misunderstanding or just a refusal to accept change or growth.
In this interview, there were a lot of points that resonated with me coming from both Joe Budden and Lil Yachty. A few points that stuck out the most was Lil Yachty’s confidence and ability to articulate his arguments defending where he’s coming from artistically and business-wise. He’s proud of his brand and business-acumen, yet he didn’t know if he was in a 360 deal or not. I think he may have heard about those, but apparently he has a great lawyer. I’m not an artist but I’m familiar with the 360’s and the things that come along with it. I don’t even want to get that deep into that part of it but that alone was cause enough for concern.
I’m one of those “old heads” who swears by the music that came from MY era (but I still respect/revere the artists/music that came before it probably as much if not more than my era). I find myself struggling to accept the new mumble rappers, trap rappers and weirdos, even though in the grand scheme of things, the content and delivery was really not ‘that’ different. We had our fair share of Bone Thugs and Tupac’s and Old Dirty Bastards. A question was asked by Joe Budden about what Lil Yachty wanted or expected to receive or contribute to Hip Hop culture to which he responded, I don’t know man, I’m just having fun (or words to that effect). DJ Akademics came to his defense saying that he was just 19, what does he expect from him? What do you expect a 19 year old to “expect from hip hop.” While that is somewhat true, I also remember wanting to be a rapper when I was a jit, but it wasn’t just about money, it was more so just being the best rapper, with the best bars with the most unique style/flow (fashion and flashiness was an afterthought, or better yet, a consequence). Hip hop of old was ACTUALLY about the culture. Battle rapping was about bars, being an MC was about the craft. Being a rapper was about being unique, ‘biting’ was frowned upon. These issues were actually a thing. Now, battle rapping is corny. Having bars made you cool, now if you’re cool enough, you don’t really need bars. This is what I think ‘old heads’ are afraid of and what ‘Young’uns’ don’t understand. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect more from the Lil Yachty’s (who are the ‘prodigal’ descendants of the old heads), or to expect more from those around him who are profiting off of him and his inability to determine what type of business deal he’s signed to. And how that affects the quality of music and the consciousness of the consumers. One day, young Lil Yachty gonna be an “old head” and he might find himself in a situation where he’s trying to drop some Jewels onto the next Lil (insert the next hot young’un to come along that his son/daughter will be listening to) and there’s likely going to be an arrogant sense of disconnect that he’ll probably remember and understand yet hopefully struggle to break through.
Throughout the interview I found myself connecting with both sides as they articulated their stances but in the end, I’m thinking damn, I might be an “old head.”