The “generation gap” conversation has been raging in hip-hop for a good long while now, but legendary Golden Era producer Pete Rock may have just escalated it to another level with a vicious salvo of insults against the younger generation of hip-hop heads and artists. Posting a photo of popular trap rap pioneer Waka Flocka Flame, who’s taken heat from older rappers before for his comments about lyricism but appears to reverse course in his guest verse on Talib Kweli’s latest album, Pete launched into a tirade against the modern culture of hip-hop.
“I’m gonna defend my older heads,” he starts out, before lashing out against the perceived abuse of opiates in modern rap music. “Our generation didn’t experiment with pills or syrup or anything synthetic.” He also challenges the younger generation to acknowledge the history he and other artists made in forming the foundations of rap music and helping to promote it to its current level of popularity, writing, “It’s already written in history. Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, hip-hop hall of fame and museums. Where are you at in any of that? The problem is y’all never had respect from the jump. WE ARE THE REASON YOUR WHO YOU ARE AND DO WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE DOING!”
Finally, he levels criticism that the music younger rap artists are making is only of the moment, as opposed to honing the skills that he says were once valued in hip-hop,” “Problem is also yall want us to accept music that don’t move nothing but the young’ when you making music, it’s to inspire everyone not just your era… Let’s see how long you can last in this business doing what you doing… Just make better music and spit like an MC. Yeah yall different but nothing of what Nas, KRS, Kane, Jay-Z, or any official rapper has ever taught you. We saying something about your generation cuz you’re simply not making heart & soul-felt music, young nicca!”
Waka Flocka responded a few hours later, saying, “Damn P this post was lame and uncalled for. I should slap the shit outta you.” Hopefully, the two have a chance to talk it out and Pete can explain just why he decided to make Waka the face of such a public post.
Clearly, Pete is not a tremendous fan of a lot of modern rap, but it seems like he’s painting with a broad brush here. Even so, his lashing out might not be exactly the best way to endear himself to up-and-coming rappers or get them to start rapping the way he wants.