There’s a common refrain in rap that comes from an age-old idiom: “People never get their flowers while they can still smell them.” While rappers often compete with one another for chart positions and the subjective crowns of hip-hop’s various hotspot regions, it’s been rarer to see and hear them paying homage to their inspirations and peers until very recently. As the attitude has begun to shift from “making friends with Mike but AI him for your survival,” more rappers have openly praised their contemporaries, but recently Tyga took it one step further, dedicating an entire song to his mentor Lil Wayne on his new album Legendary — a gesture that did not go unnoticed by Wayne, who described himself as “lost for words” in an appreciative social media post.
“That’s too dope bro,” he wrote, posting a clip from the video with a gracious, awestruck caption. “I’m at a lost [sic] for words after watching & listening to that! It feels gratifying to be honored in such a way! It feels uber better when it’s from ya broski!! Love @tyga – Light Skinned Tunechi!” Lil Wayne was, of course, one of Tyga’s early supporters, signing him to Young Money Entertainment after the early success of his debut single “Coconut Juice.” When Tyga parted ways with the label in 2014, Wayne was reportedly unhappy about the development, but it appears that the two remained in touch, with Wayne making an appearance on Legendary.
Hip-hop has certainly come a long way since J. Cole was ridiculed for letting Nas down. Now, J. Cole and Schoolboy Q can shout-out Drake and Tyga can do songs referring to himself as the “Lightskin Lil Wayne,” showing appreciation for not just pioneers but also their peers.