Lil Yachty has gotten criticism for his recent interview with Billboard, where he admitted that he couldn’t name five songs from 2Pac or The Notorious B.I.G. He added, "if I'm doing this my way and making all this money, why should I do it how everybody says it's supposed to be done?"
Fair enough. But not all artists necessarily agree with his perspective on hip-hop. Anderson .Paak, a multi-talented artist who has been shutting down festivals this year with his band The Free Nationals, tweeted some words for younger artists. Although he didn’t specifically mentioned Yachty in his tweet, many could assume it was directed at him. “Don't be cocky in the fact that you don't know anything about hip hop history. Real artists are students of the game first,” he wrote.
Don't be cocky in the fact that you don't know anything about hip hop history. Real artists are students of the game first— Andy $ide$tick (@AndersonPaak) August 27, 2016
Yachty felt the tweet was a bit suspect. He expanded on his initials thoughts about not copying what everyone else is doing and blazing your own trail.
Ya know what...— lil boat (@lilyachty) August 28, 2016
I think it's funny how people feel like you HAVE to like something just cause everybody else does— lil boat (@lilyachty) August 28, 2016
Or like I HAVE to know something.— lil boat (@lilyachty) August 28, 2016
In where in the handbook of hip hop does it say u must know this list of songs to make music. Lmao— lil boat (@lilyachty) August 28, 2016
Tbh, he’s not wrong. Even though Yachty just turned 19, he isn’t obligated to study up on hip-hop’s past if he’s making music that arguably rewrites history. Yachty's Summer Songs 2 is proof that he's experimenting more with his sound than following hip-hop's traditions. His latest single "All In," which features the Sailing Team, supports everything he's talking about: it's new, different, and relatable to younger fans.
The King of the Youth will probably have a change of heart once he gets older, but for now, he’s sticking to viewing hip-hop as a young man’s sport.
Want to experience Complex IRL? Check out ComplexCon, a festival and exhibition on Nov. 5-6, 2016 in Long Beach, Calif., featuring performances, panels, and more. For ticket info, click here.