(EXCLUSIVE) David Banner Talks the Hip-Hop Generation Gap After Waka Flocka and Pete Rock Beef

pete rock waka flocka beef
David Banner (Instagram)

Pete Rock and Waka Flocka Flame are the latest to confirm that the generation gap between older and younger rappers is wider than ever. 

In a recent interview with ThisIs50, Waka blamed the older generation of rap artists for not taking better care of hip-hop and teaching the younger ones to have strong careers.

“That’s not our generation fault. That’s the older generation for not informing us, keeping us up to date,” said Waka. “So it’s a lot of sh– I be seeing with the older generation saying ‘Ya’ll n—– be killing hip-hop.’ Ya’ll n—– ain’t save it. Ya’ll was supposed to save it.”

Then the 31-year-old specified just who he was talking to.

“All these old n—– that’s poppin’ like they legends,” stated Waka. “F— it. I’m going to go right at your jugular, ‘cause ya’ll at my generation. I feel like I’m the Jay, Nas of my generation. I can’t rap better than them, but my credibility in my generation is just as good as [yours] was in your generation … It’s ya’ll job to teach us. If we getting f—– by labels, ya’ll let us get f—– because you was doing it before us. So just like we drinking Henny and putting money in our ears, ya’ll was doing that … It’s ya’ll fault for not holding them labels down and signing us and keeping the Black community happy.”

Afterwards, Pete Rock responded with a lengthy Instagram post and blasted the entire younger generation of rappers and their fans. He also criticized the popularity of synthetic drugs among that crowd and said they have to do a better job of respecting the legends.

“I’m gonna defend my older heads and tell you you’re not equal,” wrote Pete. “Be as disrespectful as you want. You’re not doing what we did, haven’t accomplished what we accomplished. Our generation didn’t experiment with pills or syrup or anything synthetic. It’s already written in history. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and museums. Where are you at in any of that?”

“The problem is, y’all never had respect from the jump,” added the legendary producer. “We are the reason you’re who you are and do whatever it is you’re doing. Pay homage to who was before you. Problem is also, ya’ll want us to accept music that don’t move nothing but the young. When you making music it’s to inspire everyone not just your era.”

It hasn’t been the first time Pete called out the current generation of rappers and criticized their music. Some time ago, he got into it with Lil Yachty and the Memphis rapper Young Dolph.

In fact, the conversation between older and newer rappers has been going on for years now. It’s been such a popular debate, Chance The Rapper parodied it on the latest episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

For the most part, people have accused the younger MCs of disrespecting the artists of yesteryear, which has been true in some cases. While the older ones have been accused of speaking down to the up and comers, which some might say is also accurate.

Joe Budden was accused of talking down to the younger rappers when he slammed Lil Yachty and said he was ruining hip-hop culture. It was something that Budden said after he saw the cover for Yachty’s “Teenage Emotions” album earlier this year.

“I don’t think that Yachty is hip-hop,” said the 37-year-old rapper and podcast host. “I don’t think that Yachty’s label is hip-hop. When you’re not hip-hop and you’re trying to just troll or exploit, you get things like this.”

After that, the two had a heated back-and-forth, and they still haven’t settled things.

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Kendrick Lamar talked about the generation gap among rappers. He said too many young artists disrespect the legends.

“I want hip-hop to continue to evolve. That’s why I can’t shun a lot of the artists that may not be a Kendrick Lamar,” he told Forbes. “But this is what I tell them every time I see them … Be yourself and do what you do but also know who laid down the groundwork. Don’t go on your interviews and diss them and say you don’t like them and you don’t care for them. That’s your opinion. That’s cool but you have to respect them. So talking down on the folks that inspired us to do this, it’d never be right … So at the end of the day, as long as you be who you are but respect what got us here, that’s how you continue to evolve.”

As far as the current generation of rappers disrespecting the previous one, many were angered after Yachty said The Notorious B.I.G. is overrated. Folks also blew up social media when the West Coast artist Vince Staples said that all of ‘90s hip-hop’ is overrated.

To get some perspective on the constant war between the rap generations we spoke with David Banner, whose latest album “The God Box” can be purchased on his website DavidBanner.com

What can the older and younger generation of rappers do better to bridge the gap?

Banner: I think it’s all on the older rappers -to be honest with you. I think they’re bitter and can’t find their place. The kids look up to them when you talk about them like ‘sh– and you always criticize them.’ You don’t give them credit for anything. Like these older motherf—— will take the Migos style but then don’t want to give them credit and awards for changing culture. Whether they changed it for good or bad, that’s not the question. But nobody has affected music since Kanye the way that the Migos did … Them kids should be angry.

The problem is this: The kids won’t’ listen and the old folks are bitter. And the crazy thing is white folks don’t do that sh–.  Stop complaining and do work. Put some jammin’-ass music out. JAY-Z not complaining and if he is, he ain’t got no reason to. He’s out here f—— working.”

In a recent interview, Kendrick Lamar said the younger generation of rappers should be themselves but shouldn’t disrespect those who’ve paved the way for them. What do you think about that statement?

Banner: No one should do that, old or young. I feel the same way. I feel they shouldn’t do it, but I also feel if an old person disrespects me, I’m gonna knock his ass out. Don’t use your youth as a reason to be disrespectful and don’t use you being old as an excuse [to be disrespectful either.] That’s the problem. We want kids to respect us, but we don’t show them any respect. And what’s so dumb, our parents did us the same way … Them same hip-hop motherf—— did me the same way when ‘Like a Pimp’ came out. They treated the South the same way. I ain’t forget that sh–.

What are some of the other things that have contributed to rap’s generation gap?

Banner: I don’t like the way they treat these f—— children. It’s not fair. You wouldn’t let them in the game, then they found a backdoor. The same way you wouldn’t let the South in, and then the South found a way … Why can’t it just be Black music? Why you got to find a section to put it in, so you can talk about it?

I think Black folks are so — especially Black men — are so frustrated because they don’t have power, because they’ve been so emasculated. Not just by white folks, not just by women, it just seems like a strong Black man in America, the whole entire world is after you. So since we don’t have any outward power, and because we don’t get together, we find the weakest link in any of those chains and we attack that.”

Im gonna defend my older heads and tell you your not equal. Be as disrespectful as you want. Your not doing what we did,havent accomplished what we accomplished. Our generation didnt experiment with pills or syrup or anything synthetic. Its already written in history. Rock n Roll hall of fame,hip hop hall of fame and museums. Where are you at in any of that? The problem is yall never had respect from the jump. WE ARE THE REASON YOUR WHO YOU ARE AND DO WHATEVER IT IS YOUR DOING! Pay homage to who was before you. Problem is also yall want us to accept music that dont move nothing but the young,when you making music its to inspire everyone not just your era. Only time my pockets on pause is when im streaming yall album. I listen to it and made a decision not to buy yo shit cuz in my opinion being a music maker,there is no substance to the music or lyrics so dont get mad cuz you not cut from the cloth of hip hop pioneers. Lets see how long you can last in this business doing what you doing. You been quiet until you startED running your mouth about old school niccas. Thats corny bro. Just make better music and spit like an MC. Yeah yall different but nothing of what nas krs kane jay z or any official rapper has ever taught you. We saying something about your generation cuz your simply not making heart & soul felt music young nicca! The old head rant is corny. Old heads are special 😎 and i just think yall cant do what we did. 🤷🏾‍♂️ Salute! @wakaflocka

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Waka’s response.

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