Some call it hip hop’s family feud—old school vs. new school. But is the divide real or fake? I spoke exclusively to one of hip hop’s most powerful people: Funk Flex. At the Hot 97 studios, Flex said that hip hop is evolving—no question.
“The minute it all starts sounding the same—it’s not going to be cherished, it’s not going to be respected,” Flex said. “Are artists’ styles like Nas and Snoop and Biggie and Jay going to come back in style? Probably not.”
The so-called clone zone factor is a concern for Diddy.
“I’m not knocking anybody’s dream,” he said in an Instagram video. “I just don’t want the culture to get diluted, you know, where it gets so mass produced it doesn’t mean anything.”
Lil Xan ignited a controversy when he went on RevolTV and rated Tupac a “2” on a scale of 1 to 9 and called him “boring.” Waka Flocka went on Twitter to say he should be banned from hip hop.
“I may say a lot of things about Pac—boring is not one of them,” Flex said.
Lil Yachty set off another “new school¬–old school” controversy when he called Biggie “overrated” and then apologized.
Flex said that riled up the young kids and the old guys, too. He admitted he went hard on Yachty, but they started talking. Lil Yachty recently did a freestyle for him, and they turned a corner.
“That means you are studying the craft, ’cause you’re going home and trying to figure it out,” Flex said.
Flex said too many of today’s rappers are using social media gimmicks to get followers and mistaking that for a real career.
“If you’re doing all of that and you have no talent, there’s an expiration date for you, already written in stone,” Flex said.
Flex does has many favorites among new rappers. He said the argument has been that new artists don’t pay respect to the greats of the past. But he doesn’t let the old school off the hook, either.
“The veterans of the music business need to share more information with the up-and-coming young talent,” Flex said.