Is Ignorance Bliss in Music?

Like most 19 year olds, Lil Yachty has had an up and down last couple of weeks.  On one hand, ‘Broccoli’, a song by D.R.A.M. with Yachty as a feature, has been unapologetically soaring up the charts.  On the other hand, Yachty has been unapologetically defending his controversial comments on Hip Hop legends Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.  He said that he “honestly couldn’t name five songs”, and frankly, he didn’t really care.

Wait, what?

Disrespecting the Hip Hop golden age like this is unacceptable to a Hip Hop purist.  What gives this guy the right to talk trash on the greatest rappers of all time who rapped during the greatest era of Hip Hop ever?

Even the newly famous 30 year old rapper Anderson .Paak, chimed in on the subject, attempting to educate his contemporary:

Lil Yachty noticed:

There is clearly a disconnect between the older and younger generation here.  Realistically, both sides have valid points.  The old heads are worried about lyricism.  The sound of old school hip hop is a simple beat and straight words.  Old school hip hop could even be considered more of poetry to a beat than music.

This new, new school could be considered more of pop music than rap.  Simpler lyrics are “rapped” over more complex, viby production.  It’s sound good, feel good music, and it takes a lot less active listening than old school Hip Hop.  Trap R&B or TR&B fits today’s low attention span society.

As I consider it TR&B, Lil Yachty has described his music as “Bubble Gum Trap.”  As ridiculous as this title is, it makes much more sense than calling guys like Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, and Fetty Wap rappers.  Even R&B artists like Jeremih and Bryson Tiller have taken up this new style of music.

So, if Lil Yachty lacks musical similarities with likes of Tupac and Biggie, why should he be informed on Hip Hop history?

Although this new TR&B genre has picked up players from both teams (Hip Hop and R&B), it is absolutely a branch of Hip Hop.  Yes, it is in a gray area but it is important to understand one’s origins.  The apple fell pretty far from the tree, but the tree is its parent.

Being knowledgeable about relevant history is important, not only in music, but in all facets of life.  In order to understand what is going on in today’s society and what is going to happen in the future, it is important to understand the past.

Lil Yachty has the right to do whatever he wants, but if he wants his career to keep rolling at the same pace, he must educate himself on Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, and any other genres that might be able to positively influence his music.

Learn from the past.  Be a student of the game, Yachty.