There’s always an issue of ego between the old cats who had it and the new class that is now in charge. We’ve seen the hilarious exchange between Ice-T and Soulja Boy or the countless faceless Youtube commentators who love to have Lil Wayne’s name in their mouth saying that such and such from the 90s was “Real Hip-Hop” and would “kill” the Young Money President and others of his time lyrically. For the record, that backwards thinking does nothing but create a deepening Marinas Trench sized divide within Hip-Hop. I can enjoy Royal Flush and Kid Ink equally without compromising my sense of knowing what “real” music is. There’s enough to go around for us all to enjoy without throwing darts at someone else for their listening preferences but I will judge you for liking that O.T. Genasis “Coco” shit… YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN MY APARTMENT.
The disconnect between artists and fans of the old and new eras grows as technology evolves. I know of artists that have tried to claim and reclaim relevancy in the digital age and fail miserably. Many of them just don’t understand or refuse to educate themselves to the #newrules of self promotion/marketing. They aren’t tech savvy and are lazy as hell which is where the new kids on the block (word to Donnie Wahlberg) have the unbeatable advantage. These new artists ARE the internet. Blogs, Videos, Photography, etc are all in house and they are sharing and updating content at WILL. Take a look at how Odd Future climbed the ranks and how ASAP Mob went from being neighborhood regulars to widely known stars. See its not as difficult as some of these outdated guys think it is, consistency plus innovation is all it takes.
I look at older artists who were once running the game in the late 90s early 2000s and I see them now uselessly FIGHTING against the golem of the Fall off and it’s sad to see. Some people can’t let go and move on to the next phase while others like Hov, Nas, various members of the Wu Collective, Run The Jewels, etc., have found ways to stay afloat by embracing change. I think that many of the older artists can learn tons from the new generation and vice versa. There are a legion of fans out there that think that the Nirvana Nevermind album cover is just a random design on an Urban Outfitters T-Shirt and the the band Chicago is synonymous with the broadway musical of the same name. There needs to be a music education spread amongst the masses so that everyone can see where current genres of music comes from and it doesn’t have to be perceived as a drudging task. You can’t know the tree if you’ve never known its roots.