During a free show this past Saturday evening on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, Vic Mensa took a shot at everyone's favorite red-braided rapper, spitting "Then I signed to the 'Roc now they say I'm Illuminati / Bitch, I'm a tsunami, what the fuck is a Lil Yachty?"
While Mensa's inflammatory bar drew an audible response from concertgoers, the response online has been quite tepid. This could be because Vic Mensa, despite being signed to Roc Nation and affiliated with Kanye West, doesn't hold much weight on a mainstream level, but it's far more likely rap fans are just sick and tired seeing a new iteration of the same headline that quotes a veteran or more established member of the music community speaking ill of or dissing the Lil Boat that could.
Lil Yachty might have a brief history of saying stupid shit in interviews, and much of the criticism lobbed his way over the past year has been a result of his own ignorance, but no matter how often the cover is changed, fans can only read the same book so many times.
For example, in just the past year, readers have been treated to:
- Anderson .Paak Drops Truth Bomb on Lil Yachty: “Real Artists Are Students of the Game”
- Pete Rock Doesn’t Want To Cosign Lil Yachty & That’s Fine
- Soulja Boy vs Lil Yachty is Officially the Worst Rap Beef of All Time
- Shia LaBeouf Claps Back at Lil Yachty & Peter Rosenberg In Strangely Amusing New Freestyle
Along with the countless thinkpieces and a super annoying Target commercial, it's no wonder social media, by and large, has largely glossed over this non-story. Just reading Yachty's name in a headline might trigger rap PSTD.
DJBooth has always been selective in our coverage of Lil Yachty, forever trying to find a balance between covering the man and his music, but what Vic Mensa's diss and the subsequent non-reaction tell me is that rap fans have accepted this behavioral cycle as the norm. In less than 12 months, it has become so commonplace for fellow artists and the media to throw the boat under the bus, that scrolling through Twitter and seeing a Yachty-based headline now feels like a bad case of déjà vu.
Though Yachty has matured quite a bit over the past four months, he's still only 19—he remains a guppy swimming in an ocean full of sharks. He will undoubtedly continue to put his foot in his mouth and make music that rubs rap's old guard the wrong way, but that once-shiny new toy has already started to become a ragged, old hand-me-down.