By Scott T. Sterling
The generation divide in hip-hop continues to rage, with traditional purists of the genre locked in perpetual battle with a new school of rap, currently represented by the wave of “mumble” rappers including Lil Yachty, Future, 21 Savage, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert.
Kendrick Lamar has shared his thoughts on the mumble rap phenomenon during a new interview with Forbes as part of their annual “30 Under 30” issue.
“The responsibility … this is how I think is how you stay sane and stay focused in the essence of music, is to never forget the root where I come from, as far as hip-hop, and knowing my forefathers and the people that laid the groundwork for me to be here,” Lamar said when asked about what comes with the mantle of being among (if not) the best rapper alive. “I always keep that in the back of my mind. Never take it for advantage, and misuse it.
“But also, at the same time I want to evolve. You know? I want hip-hop to continue to evolve,” Lamar continued. “That’s why I can’t shun a lot of the artists that may not be a Kendrick Lamar. But this is what I tell them every time I see them … be yourself and do what you do but also know who laid down the groundwork. Don’t go on your interviews and dis them and say you don’t like them and you don’t care for them. That’s your opinion, that’s cool but you have to respect them. So talking down on the folks that inspired us to do this, it’d never be right. You dig what I’m saying? So at the end of the day as long as you be who you are but respect what got us here, that’s how you continue to evolve.”