Over the course of the lifetime of rap, there has always been the new generation pushing boundaries and the old heads clamoring about how things have changed.
Playboy isn’t really known for the insightful rap takes, but they got an insightful conversation from Travis Scott and Nas. The two talked about politics, how it was coming for each, how the Internet has changed things and what they felt like hearing each other’s music for the first time.
TRAVIS SCOTT: I’m guessing hip-hop used to be about bars and just a unique flow over beats. It was like straight soul, and man, you’re telling your story; it was just bar to bar, killing it, and not really about anything being catchy. It was just really raw.
Nowadays, people might not see it that way, but it’s the same thing. It’s just as raw. But technology, man. We came up on iPhones, you know what I mean? We’re at a point now where we don’t even write our raps down. We’re just going straight off the dome in the booth. I know from people I work with, like Young Thug and Quavo, most everyone likes going in and just laying down whatever’s on their minds.
The past generation knocked down so many doors where, you know, they were spitting a lot of pain, man. They was dealing with a lot of police stuff. We’re still dealing with that now, but it wasn’t so free. Now we got more of a voice at the label. We can kind of put out our own music whenever. You and I could do a song during this interview and upload it right now if we wanted to.
NAS: That’s right. Being an MC or a rapper, you got to change with the times. I can stay me, sure, but the challenge is to stay with what’s going on. If you look at the great ones from back then, a lot of them have four albums; they had short careers. That’s changed now. All the restrictions are gone. You can be free to make your music.
When hip-hop started out, you only had a top five. You had a short list of dope rappers, from Ice Cube to Slick Rick. You could count them on your fingers. Hip-hop is such a big thing now that everybody’s jumping in on it. There are so many different styles that by the time you do the thing that you do, this dude over here done started a whole new way. You got to stay on top of what’s going on just for the love of music.
You said it was once about writing down the pain and all of that. Nowadays the pain has changed. We’re after different things. We broke past the barriers. We understand what we need to do and we’re in control of what we’re doing, and no one can stop it now. No one can tell us what to do, what we can’t do. Rap music can’t be stopped now.
You can read their full interview HERE.