While the internet is still buzzing about Joe Budden's recent antics in the interview with Lil Yachty, quite a bit of the conversation has gotten lost.
The one thing that is clear about verbal sparring is that Budden has a chip on his shoulder. For most classical hip-hop enthusiasts, who can border the line of elitist, the new generation of "pop"-rappers seem to rub them the wrong way. This could not have been more obvious than it was on Everyday Struggle. Nonetheless, it's important to take an objective look at the perspectives and points made and address them.
One of the most problematic issues with Joe Budden's approach to the interview was that his emotional tripe buried every teachable moment under his raging disdain for Yachty's era. It was obvious that Budden craved the opportunity to belittle an artist that he feels is hijacking a culture and selling it for cheap. The plot twist was Joe didn't anticipate running into a well-spoken and versed young man who despite appearances has a fair understanding of how he views himself and his position in the industry. Budden did his best to agitate Yachty's perspective in a hopes to get a divisive and competitive fire out of Yachty that seemed to just not exist. At this point, instead of Joe recognizing that his concept of a bloodthirsty and gritty game being standard actually turning out to be perspective, Joe accused Yachty of being well-trained in media. Now, media training for artists is not a new concept and speaking is not a strong suit for the average individual. In all fairness, there is no doubt that Yachty has been groomed in how to express himself and learned from his mistakes but while Joe implied that to be a condescending thing the rest of the world might see that as education. Growth. All in all, there's still some points of concern that Joe did raise that should be career shifting moments for Yachty.
- It is imperative that Yachty knows who is in control of his business, how much they are taking, why they are taking that much, and how many people are touching his money. Where Joe is accurate is labels have a history of taking a young uninformed artist and cashing out on them allowing them to feel and appear rich while robbing them slowly. Then within a few years, after the trend is over, they dispose of these artist leaving them broke and in debt. What was unfortunately exposed was that Yachty has a deep trust in his lawyers and managers to represent his best interest without keeping a checks and balance system to ensure he is protected even from them. The fact that no one around him explained what a 360 deal was before he signed shows a potential level of advantage being taken already.
- What does Yachty want out of hip-hop? This is a very necessary question but let's view it in the vein of Yachty's age. As a 19-year old, in any walk of life, it's a rarity to know fully who you are and where you're going. LilYachty's peers in college often switch majors and even choose undecided while taking prerequisite courses until they find their direction. On a general scale, we understand this to be normal. The issue becomes in an industry driven by popularity and influence before the fame wave settles back into the sands you must decide how you want to impact. If the wave leaves you before you have pivoted you drown in the abyss of artists who "used to be." Partially, Joe Budden falls into this category and his anger is a blurred mix of jealousy and wisdom.
On the flip side of things, the biggest issue with the generational gap is that the older crowd tends to be more dismissive than they are attentive. Personally, most people of the pre-internet generation are not fans of Lil Yachty's music, and they are not his market. He serves a youth culture that is misunderstood and slightly unguided. The error in the narrative is many people do not know how to distinguish the duality of things. It is possible to hear Yachty out and respect the way he speaks, carries himself, and thinks without endorsing his music. At times, it felt as if Joe Budden wanted to not be forgotten while artists like Yachty are swiftly excelling beyond Joe's musical success.
As well, there is a sector of hip-hop connoisseurs who feel as you allow a free-for-all entry into the genre the standard and potency of its origins becomes diluted. The need to find a balance between quality and quantity is an ongoing battle. There are countless pioneers who created music for the fun of the sport, example Biz Markie. There is often a double standard when weighing artists. Nonetheless, let's applaud Lil Yachty for facing the criticisms and downright attack of people like Joe Budden with a sense of grounding.
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