When we talk about the greatest lyricists of all-time, the artists who painstakingly poured over every syllable of their rhymes, the ones who devoted themselves to mastering the craft of combining words, we have to talk about Andre 3000.
So it may be surprising to hear 3 Stacks say that he completely respects new artists who freestyle almost all of their rhymes and wouldn't even dream of putting pen to paper.
He doesn't mention Future, Young Thug and their ilk by name, but it's safe to assume that's exactly who he's referring to. After all, Young Thug's been known to draw a picture and then rap about it instead of writing and Andre's expressed his love for Thug before.
"It's an overthinking thing, you gotta let your mind free. That's the greatest asset to rappers now, they actually freestyle most of those verses we hear. They don't write. They laugh at us when we write. They do. But then you have a barrier [if you write lyrics]. They just goin', first thing that comes to mind. If it's about drinkin', smokin' and girls - it's pure though."
The last thing I want to do is get dragged into another "elitism" discussion, we already know how that conversation goes, and it's more played out than Ed Hardy clothes. But hearing Andre express some appreciation for new rappers should serve as a good reminder of just how many forms art can take. DaVinci spent months painstakingly painting portraits, Jackson Pollock threw paint at a canvas and they're both in museums. I love the intricacy of Chris Adrian as a novelist, but I also love Jack Kerouac, who literally wrote his classic On the Road in a two day, stream of consciousness, drug-fueled binge.
There are a lot of different ways to get to the same destination. In the end, all that really matters is whether or not someone's music provokes real emotion in you. If not, it's destined to eventually be clicked and dragged into history's recycle bin. And if so, you're making art, regardless of if your name is 3 Stacks or Thugger.