(AllHipHop News) Back in 2016, Lil Uzi Vert experienced backlash from some Hip Hop purists when the newcomer refused to rap over a DJ Premier beat while on Hot 97. The moment was one of the most widely known examples of the so-called “generational gap” in Hip Hop culture.
Rap veteran N.O.R.E. addressed the old school/new school divide during an interview with Montreality. The Drink Champs and On The Road Eatin’ host referred back to Uzi’s deflection at the New York City radio station.
“Me and DJ Drama had a conversation. He said, ‘Lil Uzi Vert didn’t know who DJ Premier was, but he’s only 20 years old. That’s not his fault.’ You know what I told him? ‘You’re right, it’s your fault. That’s your artist,” recalled N.O.R.E.
He continued, “I’m not saying it’s going to make him better, but it would make him a better person. It’s going to make him appreciate the arts. Because guess what happens? One day you’ll get old. And one day, there’s going to be a kid who don’t know who you are and rhyming on your beat. And they’re gonna say the same exact thing you said about [DJ Premier] and you’re going to say, ‘Maybe he should have did his history lesson. We do not stay 21 forever, I tried.”
Following the Hot 97 controversy, Premier tweeted that Uzi reached out to him and things were “all good” between the two. Lil Uzi also later told AllHipHop, “I’m from up North so I have no choice but to know real rap.”
N.O.R.E. shared his belief that being aware of the culture’s past generations is important. The C-N-N member gave his own brief class on melodic Hip Hop artists.
“Doing a history lesson on rappers is actually fun as f-ck. If you’re a Future fan, you gotta go study Nate Dogg. You know who was the first singer-rapper? His name was TJ Swan from the Juice Crew,” said the Queens native. “And before you go to Future, you gotta go to T-Pain. They all paved the way for each other. So if you know about just one, you’re limiting your mind.”