The year: 2018. The content: Tory Lanez telling Royce da 5’9’’ to go "suck his dick." Anything can happen on Twitter. Yet, one phone call later, there was no great beef or string of diss tracks to go along with this sudden outcry from Tory. Instead, we got two men resolving their issues, with an added bonus: Royce also released a statement on hip-hop’s damning age divide.
“This whole narrative that we have in hip-hop: the old guys versus the new guys,” Royce began. “I don't know who started that slave-mentality shit, but we gotta get past that. It's ridiculous. It's the most ridiculous thing in the world. I think everybody needs to get over themselves. Fans, older artists, you need to stop thinking just because you don't like something, that it's not good. Get over yourself. Go tell your fucking opinion to your mother.
“Now, you younger artists, you gotta stop thinking that everything you do, everybody's gon' like. You gotta stop thinking that you're above criticism. This is art, once you give it to the fans, it belongs to them. It's no longer yours. Everybody get over themselves. Everybody love each other, man.”
Coming from an OG, this statement is more than commendable, it reads as scripture-like. Royce is absolutely correct, both sides of this divide are culpable and have some growing to do. Yes, just because something is new and different, that does not make it "trash." Also true: no one is above critique, and that goes for the OG artists and the newest generation of rappers. If more artists, young and old, adopted this mentality, hip-hop would be a far more welcome place.
Hip-hop will continue growing and staying true to its roots as it has this year with releases from Phonte, 39, and Saba, 24, topping year-end lists. It’s better to get behind that dual growth than to lambast one side or the other. For the love of rap, of course.