In an interview with Billboard last week, Lil Yachty admitted that he "honestly couldn't name five songs" from rap legends 2pac and Biggie. Of course, the internet lost its shit.
On the heels of Rich Homie Quan's admission earlier this summer, that since he didn't grow up listening to the work of Christopher Wallace he shouldn't be expected to know the man's lyrics as well as his own or the artists of his youth, the perceived disrespect for hip-hop's foremost icons isn't sitting well with rap fans.
Without calling him out directly or tagging his handle, the incredibly-talented Anderson .Paak, a rap fan himself and a musician in every sense of the word, gave Lil Boat a piece of his mind Saturday evening.
Since granting Billboard the interview Yachty has already marginally backtracked on his original quote, but the damage his comments caused cannot be undone.
It's not so much what the 19-year-old "rapper" said in the interview, but the way he said it. Given that Yachty was born in August of 1997, less than a year after both 2pac and Biggie were murdered, it's not completely unreasonable for him to not be familiar with the catalog of either of the two greats. As Paak pointed out in this tweet, however, Yachty's proclamation came with an air of self-righteousness.
Recent history tells us Lil Yachty will continue to make questionable, borderline asinine comments, which is a product of being both young and dumb and having little to no media training. On the flip side, both fans and media members alike hate artists who offer nothing more than PR-speak drivel during interviews and on social media, so it's somewhat unfair to lob military-grade criticism on Yachty for being his completely transparent and naive self.
The truth ultimately lies in the second line of Paak's tweet - real artists are students of "the game." If you want to survive in this dog eat dog music business, earning more than a quick 15 minutes of fame and a large Twitter following, you need to do your homework. Yachty should start now.
Update: Lil Yachty has responded in the most Lil Yachty way possible.
By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.