Five years after claiming that 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. were overrated, Lil Yachty is sharing what he learned from the experience.

During a recent interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Yachty admitted he never meant to disrespect the pair of hip-hop legends. 

“I never meant to disrespect. I was just being honest,” the 23-year-old rapper told Lowe. “I didn’t have no media training, right? All I knew was to be an honest person. So someone asked me about whether it’s a hip-hop lesson guide. My cousin would be honest. I’m going to tell the truth. I’m not like Biggie, Tupac, you’re going to say this every time, I didn’t listen to them but I didn’t say they were trash.”

In August 2016, the rising Atlanta rapper got in hot water after saying he “couldn’t name five songs” by 2Pac or Biggie. Yachty didn’t back down from his controversial comments. A few months later, during an appearance on Pitchfork.tv’s “Over/Under,” Lil Boat declared Biggie was in fact “overrated.” 

“I was like 19, 18, 19,” Yachty, discussing the backlash he received, explained to Lowe. “I had never in my life, I had never been hated like that. People hated me after that, like death threats, just a lot. You know what I’m saying? I think that’s what really started that hate for me. I, with so many people just automatically trying to dump me like he’s whack, he’s corny, or whatever the case may be, you know what I’m saying? But it taught me a lot. It built my character up and made me so strong.”

The interview with Lowe arrived hours after Yachty released his latest project, Michigan Boat Boy. His first mixtape since 2016’s Summer Songs 2, and the follow-up to his 2020 album Lil Boat 3Michigan Boy Boat sees Yachty team up with some of Michigan’s best, including the likes of Sada Baby, Tee Grizzley, Babyface Ray, Vezzo, and Rio Da Yung OG. 

Check out Yachty’s full interview with Zane Lowe over at Apple Music, stream Michigan Boat Boy now on all major platforms, and read Complex’s new conversation with Lil Boat right here.