Hip-Hop’s inter-generational divide has been at a fever pitch lately, and largely defined by muckraking on both sides. Whether it’s older artists like Pete Rock condemning young rappers, or younger artists calling Tupac “boring” or a “bitch ass n—-” like 03 Greedo did, there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground right now. The always diplomatic T.I. may be the best hope yet at trying to bridge the gap between veteran acts and upstarts. Though he co-signed Waka’s “ban” of Xan from hip-hop, he stepped back that action and gave some insight on why Xan is in the wrong.
“The younger generation wants to be respected, and they feel that that respect comes from the disrespect of the former generation,” he surmised in a promotional video for his upcoming episode in the Rapture docuseries. He continued saying that “Lil Xan, he’s not aware of how much work actually went into making it where Pac and Big made it.” He made a cogent observation of the parallels between accomplished new school basketball stars like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant and older legends like Michael Jordan or “Dr. J” Julius Erving – with the implication that a Lonzo Ball or Donovan Mitchell has a ways to go before they can credibly critique their predecessors. T.I. made a fair point, though he doesn’t necessarily address Xan’s right as a music listener to admit what he thinks is boring – and expose his questionable music taste in the process.