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Lil Uzi Vert Tries to Uplift Young Rappers By Reminding Them Old Rappers "Must Die"

Can we please stop furthering this old v. young mentality?

Just last week, I wrote about how Philly buzzmaker Lil Uzi Vert managed to turn himself into a somewhat sympathetic figure in his FADER profile.

"You wanna know what the curse is? I gotta take care of my family," Uzi told writer Felipe Delerme. "That’s the curse right there. I gotta take care of my whole family. That’s why I can’t stop."

When Uzi offered up that explanation for why he hates "this rap shit," it all made sense. Instead of being able to fully enjoy his growing fortunate and fame, Uzi's wrapped up in the pressure of working to provide for his family. Sure, being a rapper might seem like a walk in the park, but the burden that comes with having increased responsibility for the well-being of others can make even the most enjoyable of occupations feel like nothing more than a crappy 9-to-5.

Unfortunately, some of that good will Uzi built up in my mind over the past week evaporated on Monday (February 20), when he said the following in a now-deleted tweet:

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Uzi Vert is right when he says that fellow young artists need more credit—in a series of tweets he shouts out Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, Kodie Shane, Ugly God and others—but they don't need to wait for the "old" to die off to receive that credit. 

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Yes, 30 minutes after it was originally posted, that tweet was expunged from his account—either Uzi thought better of it or someone in his camp sent him a DM and told him to take it down—but its removal only showcases the stupidity of the sentiment. 

The foundation of Uzi's messaging is in the right place—like, "Hey, I know we’re all taking a lot of criticism but remember it will just be us at some point."—but his poor phrasing, indicative of ageism, unfortunately, dilutes his main point.

Instead of creating further division between the new school and the older school by making outrageous statements on social media, young artists like Uzi Vert should try to connect with older artists, seek out their advice and veteran perspective and inquire how they can work together or improve on their own.

There's a cliché saying in sports that, "Father Time is undefeated." The idea behind this famous adage is that, as a player gets older, eventually he or she won't be able to perform at an elite level. Sports aren't music, though. Every living member of A Tribe Called Quest is in their mid-to-late 40s and they just released the best hip-hop album of 2016, Nas is getting ready to release his 11th studio album at age 43, and, outside hip-hop, The Rolling Stones, who are in their late '60s and early '70s, are still touring all across the world and sound amazing.

If anything needs to die here, it's the notion that for Uzi and his peers to be properly validated and receive the credit they deserve, rap's forefathers must first perish.

Let's bury it, shall we?


By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.



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