Lil’ Yachty. Not much more can be said about the 19-year-old upstart and his penchant for doing things his way. Or at least that’s what you thought. Today, the young cat decided to get the internets collective panties in a bunch by admitting he’s can’t name five songs by two hip-hop legends. Not just any legends mind you, but the the legends: Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.
“My whole vibe is different from other rappers,” said Lil Yachty to Billboard, in what might be the understatement of the century.
He then goes on to say that he “honestly couldn’t name five songs” from Tupac or B.I.G. surprising no one with a pulse. He has no desire to hear one, let alone the nine more it would take to change that initial statement. He should though. It’s good knowledge to have, it’s good for the soul, and it’s just plain good.
“But 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?”
Quite the rebuttal, sir.
Look, I’m not here to rain on his parade and he has every right in the world to listen to whatever the hell he wants to. However, this flies in the face of Questlove’s argument that the younger generation isn’t up on music before their time because of a neglectful older generation. If an artist has a desire to know what came before them, they can do that easily but the want has to exist, first and foremost. Clearly, Yachty doesn’t have that curiosity. Or maybe he does.
It would be silly to assume anyone under a certain age can name just one Pac or Biggie song. Yachty was born in August ’97, five months after B.I.G. passed and almost a year after Pac passed. With that said, proclaiming his lack of knowledge on these two fits his persona perfectly.
He wants to be different from other rappers, he wants you to think he’s a rebel, and he wants people like me to write 300 words or more about him being all of the above. Whether it’s 1996 or 2016, controversy sells and doesn’t that sound similar to the playbook those two greats followed?
He may not “know” their music, but he knows their blueprint really well.