Busta Rhymes latest feature with Daily Beast has people buzzin'. In the interview with Stereo Williams, Busta talks new school versus old school rap, mentorship (or lack thereof), Grammy snubs, and hip-hop's social responsibility.
In an age where hip-hop's underground trap-scene is emerging and clashing with today's "greats," Busta is disappointed to find a lack of mentorship taking place between the two parties.
“I come from a time where it was extremely important to garner the respect of the elder statesmen,” he says, dumping a majority of fault on hip-hop's freshman class before also firing shots at rap veterans. "A lot of motherf**kers running around complaining, talking shit about what these new dudes is doin’, but the question really is what is you older dudes doing to help the new dudes? Outside of popping and shit and being mad at them all the time for what they not doing that you feel they need to do?”
Ultimately, Busta holds the media at fault, claiming that it magnifies the divide between the old and the new. A quote on one end is likely to get disproportionately blown up to create a false narrative that misrepresents an entire generation. That's why certain artists (and the genre as a whole) is getting snubbed from proper recognition, he says.
According to the "Break Ya Neck" rapper, only a handful of hip-hop's current wave is acknowledging their responsibility to the game including Meek Mill, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Childish Gambino.
“To be able to see Meek Mill finally embracing what his role and responsibility [is]—what is preordained. What he’s doing now, I think he just needed some time to come into [the] understanding that this gift that has been bestowed upon him is greater than him. He got a whole other purpose that he needs to shift the climate with out here,” says Busta, presumably referring to Meek's politically-charged single "Stay Woke."
“J. Cole is doing his job. Kendrick doing his job. Chance the Rapper doing his job. Childish Gambino is doing his job," he continues, showing admiration and respect for the artists "making those [socially woke] messages speak volumes."
"They’re having super success with it" he adds. "Kendrick ain’t got no records in the club—he taking all the Grammys home. You might hear Future in the club. You might hear Drake in the club. But Kendrick took all the Grammys home. Chance the Rapper taking all the Grammys home. Childish Gambino. At the end of the day, people respect substance.”
Though the impact Meek, Cole, Kendrick, Chance, and Gambino have made through their music is undeniably applaudable, does the OG rapper have his theory wrong?
Busta's allegations deserve some consideration, but how much truth do they really hold? While we've seen instances of the feud between hip-hop's alumni and up-and-coming rappers, we've also impressively witnessed that same beef being squashed via real, adult conversations. Shout-out to Cole.