It’s a storyline that has continued to crop up now and again over the past couple of years, with a new era of defiantly brash Soundcloud rappers like Kodak Black, XXXTentacion and Lil Pump breaking into the mainstream: that this up-and-coming generation of emcees have no respect for the forefathers of the genre that came before them. Granted, that doesn’t represent all rappers under the age of, say, 35, but there’s a clear gap between how much the OG’s of rap were outwardly respected a decade ago versus now.
Clearly, the issue is topical enough that, during a video interview for a French media outlet, Eminem was asked if he feels the new generation “pays homage” to the ones that came before. While he admitted that some of them do mine hip-hop’s past and will pay tribute to great artists of the past, he also says that some “don’t really care.”
“My heroes will always stay my heroes,” he added. “And the people who, especially like, paved the road for someone like me, you know, I always pay homage to the ones who came before me because they made hip-hop what it is today. They are responsible.” Further to that, he advised those emcees out there who don’t pay proper homage to the genre’s history to go back and check out influencers like Rakim, Naughty By Nature, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap; in his mind, they might be able to learn a thing or two.
Do you think Eminem is right? Do some younger rappers need to go back and educate themselves on hip-hop’s past? Let us know in the comments.