In response to 21 Savage’s sharp analysis on the judgments being passed on new generation rappers from hip-hop’s older generation, Atlanta OG T.I. chimed in on Instagram with a strong sense of humility.
Yes, it’s true that, by and large, the new wave of rap artists often bears a stark contrast to the founding and golden eras of hip-hop, but shouldn’t that be a good thing?
“The elders gotta understand they’re SUCCESS JUSTIFIES the CHANGE.”
Unlike many (cough, Pete Rock, cough), T.I. appears willing to stand back, giving new artists their moment to shine and carve out their lanes, so long as those same artists understand that it might take some time for the older heads to catch on. “Just bare [sic] with us,” T.I. appeals on behalf of his generation.
As younger artists continue to storm the charts and popular on-demand service playlists and as hip-hop evolves, it would behoove hip-hop’s old guard to consider their success from a positive perspective. The genre is still alive and thriving, and now more than ever, there’s a particular style of hip-hop for every listener. As Talib Kweli raps on his latest album Radio Silence, “Hip-hop will flourish with nourishment and proper care.”
Hip-hop’s steady evolution, above all else, should be seen as nothing short of exciting. It sounds like T.I. agrees.