I always get asked what's my top 5. Being such a huge fan of hip-hop how could I narrow a list down to just 5 artists? Mine would probably look like
- DJ Quik
- Andre 3000
- Will Smith
A lot of people would think my list wack but it can't be because music is subjective. There's no right or wrong. These are my top 5 artists because they've had such an influence on my upbringing. I can name plenty of rappers that could rap better than those artists but these are artists that I admired and still do admire.
I can't put Rakim in my Top 5. Not because he's not good enough. He's probably one of the greatest lyricist I've ever heard but I wasn't raised on Rakim. He did write "Summertime" for Will Smith but I seen Will perform it. Not Rakim.
Same with the Kool G Rap's, KRS-One's, Run Dmc's. That was the generation before me. The Golden Era as they call it. I've never heard a KRS-One, Run DMC, Rakim, or Kool G Rap album in my life. A person raised on that music would think that's crazy but it's not. The only artists from that era that were introduced to me were LL Cool J, The D.O.C, and N.W.A.
I listen to shit before way before my time like Pink Floyd, Donny Hathaway, Jimi Hendrix but what influenced me to go back and listen to them are my favorite artists recommending me to go back and listen. Not demanding me to.
I can remember when and where I first heard DJ Quik and how old I was. I can't do that with Kool G Rap. It's not about skill level it's about emotional attachment. It's what makes a fan a fan. As a kid I looked up to hood niggas and athletes. DJ Quik was a cool hood nigga that rapped about drinking brews and getting girls so I idolized him and wanted to be like him. It's deeper than music.
Which brings me to now. Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert. Hip-Hop present day Rockstars.
When I heard "Minnesota" for the first time I actually liked it. I wasn't paying attention to the lyrics. I was more obsessed with the sound. It was such a simple beat. It sounds like a jingle. It's easy to make things complex in my opinion. It's harder to create things simply and that's why "Minnesota" is so amazing to me.
I actually listen to Lil Uzi Vert all the time while I'm in the gym working out. The music he makes is very energetic and I need energy in the gym. First song I ever heard from him was "7am" and I've fucked with him ever since.
I like their music especially when I'm at a function. No disrespect I'm not trying to hear Talib Kweli when I'm at a party. I need some shit that will have me turnt.
They opened up a new lane with their sound and that's what makes hip-hop and music in general great. I'm open to new things that's different from what I was raised on and I believe that the people that are giving Yachty and Uzi such a hard time should be open too.
When Nirvana hit the rock scene their music was frowned upon like how Yachty and Uzi's music is now. The Grunge era was frowned upon but their music spoke to the youth and the youth listening to Nirvana didn't give a fuck about music before their time. Nirvana is what they related to.
Just like how they hated how kids in the grunge era dressed they hate how Yachty, Uzi, and these kids dress today. It's no different. Q-Tip said it best. "Don't you know that things go in cycles?"
I don't even think Yachty or Uzi's music bothers these older people. I think it's their image they have a problem with but just won't admit it. They not mean mugging in all their pictures. They not trying to be super gangsters. They're always smiling. They not always serious. They're just having fun. I think that's why these older guys resent them so much.
Do I agree about what Yachty thinks about The Notorious B.I.G? No. Biggie is one of my favorites ever and I grew up on his music so of course I'll feel differently than Yachty but I don't hate him for his opinion. He has a right to his opinion and I won't lose sleep over it.
He was born after Biggie died so of course I wouldn't expect him to have any attachment to Biggie's music at all. He also said he never heard a Tupac song. I'm sure he has but he just didn't care.
He has no attachment to Tupac's music so how could he be a fan? He can't just like him cause everybody else says he should that would be fake if he did that. He'd be posing. I respect his honesty on not knowing their music. He doesn't have to listen to them.
Kids his age grew up on Kanye, 50, Wayne, Dipset, Drake, Cudi. Not Pac and Biggie.
Do I agree with Uzi's choice not to rap over a DJ Premier beat. Yes I do. He's not into that type of production so of course he's not about to be super motivated to rap over it. I never want to hear Uzi over a DJ Premier beat unless it's authentic. Not forced. I want to Uzi rap over things that make him Uzi.
I respect Uzi for speaking up and saying he doesn't want that beat. Like I mentioned earlier I respect the honesty.
If you don't Yachty or Uzi music that's okay. It won't stop you from listening to what you like. Get off those young niggas backs. It's these same kinds of people that are constantly complaining. Niggas stuck in the past. I'm just sick of grown men moaning and bitching about young people music. It's not made for you.
The funny thing is that if these older niggas were able to profit off Yachty and Uzi you wouldn't hear one complaint from them at all. They make music for their age demographic. Not you. They don't do music to impress older guys like me. They create music for themselves and the people who fuck with it.
We have media covering hip hop music but are giving these new artists a tough time all because it's not their taste and that's why these new artists don't ever want to do interviews. They know the person asking the questions don't like them or their music so why even bother with a interview?
"Minnesota" is no different from "Humpty Dance" in the early 90's. Digital Underground weren't super lyrical and no one called them retarded or trash. I mean Shock G wore a fake plastic nose and no one called him a clown. It's very hypocritical to hear older people talk shit about Uzi or Yachty music but rush to the dance floor when "Humpty Dance" gets played at a party.
It's so many niggas in the 90's that weren't super lyrical and dressed weird but they all get a pass but these new young artists don't. It's unfair. Seriously the rhymes were just as basic back in the beginning of hip hop. Late 70's, 80,s, early 90's you name it (Shirley Caesar voice) the shit was damn near nursery rhymes too. Go listen to party records like "It Takes Two" or "Walk This Way." Simple rhymes. Nothing super duper lyrical.
Artists like Yachty and Uzi are changing the game in all aspects. Not just musically but in fashion and marketing also. The concerts are more lively. They're healthy for the game and not the villains these old ass niggas make them out to be.
They're not disrespecting hip hop. If they didn't respect hip-hop music I don't think they would create music at all. A part of them love something about the genre I'm sure. The older era had their time. It's these guys time now.
Hip-Hop needs Yachty and Uzi because they're showing us that this genre doesn't have to be just black and white. They bring color into the genre. There are no rules. on how to do things or create and that's how it should be. It's actually a great message to our youth. If I had kids I'd let them listen to Yachty and Uzi.