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The Blue & Gray Press | August 23, 2019

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Oldheads against the New Wave, a hip-hop battle

Oldheads against the New Wave, a hip-hop battle


Lil Yachty, Kodak Black, Imran Ahmed, 21 Savage. All these names ring a bell when brought to the attention of Millennials. While these artists are in the limelight at the moment, there has been conflict between these new acts and the people who helped establish the genre.

Negatively known as mumble rappers, these juvenile rappers have been catching shade from multiple, more established artists in the game. Pete Rock, of Pete Rock & CL Smooth recently took to Instagram to call out Young Dolph and Lil Yachty.

Rock argued that Dolph’s lyrics about cocaine usage was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, when pressed, called Dolph ‘hot garbage,’ citing a lack of skill and corny raps. More recently, Rock went after the rapper, Lil Yachty, for his freestyling ability.

Yachty stopped by the infamous Hot 97 radio show. The interview was going well and little to no conflict arose. The real issue came when the show’s host, Ebro, asked Yachty to rap. Yachty stumbled over a painful seven-minute freestyle, which led to him receiving flack from miscellaneous social media sites.

Rock posted one of the memes on his Instagram, writing “I’m a lil tired of people taking this culture for a joke.” He went on, I’m obviously passionate about good music and good lyrics.

Can’t understand the mumble rap shit da hell is that?”

Yachty responded with a few tweets, however one sticks out. “At the end of the day what we doin over here not gone stop growing because a old head don’t like it.”

Rock feels that the mumble rappers message deviates from the core hip-hop values, while Yachty feels the oldheads music is obsolete. These instances bring to light the divide between the new and older acts of the genre.

Not many people have the privilege of founding a genre or helping to innovate through music. Oldheads have an advantage when it comes to critiquing new content because they have created music that was popular and gained them their current fame.

In contrast, older artists may lose touch with what people are currently looking for from new music. Snoop Dogg is a notable artist who has made jabs at new trap artists by saying that they are all coming out with music that sounds the same.

On the other side, new artists are constantly charting with music that sounds like nothing the hip-hop community has heard before. These new artists have millions of plays to show that the world is taking any music they give them, and loving it.

A focus on minimalism, diverse sounds and a heavy emphasis on diverging from what an archetypical hip-hop song sounds like, new age rappers are topping the charts; proving their prominence in the rap community.

“Broccoli” by Virginia born artist D.R.A.M, currently tops the Billboard Hot Rap chart, and is No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Listeners love the new wave, yet are still listening to oldies. Currently, 2Pac’s Greatest Hits album, a 1998 release, ranks at 100 of the Billboard Top 200. Despite what artists have been saying to one another over social media, the true test comes down to the listener and their preferences.