Even elder statesmen of hip-hop recognize when the younger generation is doing something good for the culture.
Rakim sat down with Montreality to speak on a variety of different things—an upcoming album hopefully releasing this year was a big highlight—but he also broke down why he respects the new breed of MCs like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. While rap fans can’t get enough of K. Dot’s To Pimp a Butterfly, the God MC says “he’s a conscious new fuel and he’s not just doing what’s hot for today.”
“He has substance and he ain’t scared to make a statement neither. And he’s nice. Big up to the young artists that’s coming up,” Ra added.
In regards to love for the new generation in general, the 47-year-old rapper spoke of his early days in the game and how things have progressed since then. “I came from the old school where underground was successful hip-hop at that time. And now, it’s a bigger market,” he recalls. “I just like the way that so many young cats are taking the torch and keeping it lit. I look at hip-hop now and it is lucrative. Of course, we have to shape some things up and you gotta get some things in order so the outside world can respect us as a genre. But hip-hop as a whole is still alive.”
You can watch the rest of Rakim’s interview here where he speaks on his message to the youth and more.
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(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)