What’s up everybody! Welcome to the Nico Blitz Show and today I wanna talk about a rapper who surprised the fuck out of me. First and foremost, we finally got a really good response to J. Cole’s “1985”. YBN Cordae, one-third of the YBN collective of himself, YBN Nahmir, and YBN Almighty Jay, responds to the Dreamville founder on “Old” well — I can’t say the rest.
instead of the braggadocios responses from Lil Pump or Smokepurrp, Cordae actually breaks down his thoughts on Cole’s criticism towards the young generation, and responds with criticism towards Cole’s generation.
In addition to his remix to Eminem’s “My Name Is”, Cordae’s latest record proves that he has bars far beyond those of his class. Not that I’m against mumble rap, but Cordae is hella articulate and exemplifies why Millennial rappers put themselves in their positions.
Between the generational gap, there’s not much a difference between Cole and Cordae’s experiences — other than the particulars of course. But feeding their families, staying away from the streets, and using rap as the primary outlet for all of that is what Cole and Cordae can both agree on.
Cole argues that the younger generation will need to eventually stop rapping out drugs and turning up because it simply gets old just as the fans do.
But what Cordae seeks is proof — proof that what the older generation is doing is impactful and meaningful in the world.
And what’s the older generation have to show for? Bill Cosby, R. Kelly and Kanye West have been the hot names as of recent weeks for sexual and vocal misconduct — and if we look into people who could also fall under Spotify’s new policies — Cordae could refer to artists like Nas and Chris Brown.
His point is that, how can Millennials look to the older guys as role models if their lives are just as messed up?
It’s a practice what you preach type deal, but none of this really has to do with J. Cole. Not really.
The guy is one of the most introverted people in the game and enjoys privacy and meditation — but it makes sense for Cordae to generalize his critique on Cole’s entire generation just as Cole did his — it’s a reflection of Cole’s “if the shoe fits” comment.
What I didn’t really understand though was why YBN Cordae, amongst all people, decided to respond? Cole said that a someone gave him props for throwing shade to mumble rappers and quickly explained he wasn’t referring to mumble rappers in particular, in his interview with Angie Martinez.
But if that misconception stands, why did Cordae’s foot fit the Gucci flip flops?
The kid has bars, and he’s articulate. He’s knowledgeable enough to recognize hip hop’s past, present and future and emanates self and social awareness when he raps — something that majority of his class has the time to catch up with.
So there’s a couple reasons why I think Cordae made this record:
One. He sees himself as a GOAT in training. J. Cole is considered to be in that rap god tier alongside Kendrick, so for Cordae to put up a fight against Cole and do really well in his argument means that he knows he can break through the ranks just as easily as Cole did.
Two. No one else was gonna do it. You think anyone who drops a verse after this response is going to be much better? Cordae is the first to put up a reasonable argument, and everyone who decides to drop a verse now will essentially be playing follow the leader.
I can see Cordae as that leader for the new generation, who proves to Cole that not every rapper in their early-20s and younger is who he thinks they are.
And three. It could be a marketing tactic. His affiliates YBN Nahmir and YBN Almighty Jay are already popular, ever growing artists, and Cordae needed a boost. And since I believe Cordae doesn’t necessarily fit the picture of who Cole was targeting, it only makes sense to boost your numbers with a good, clear response.
Personally, I think it’s a mixture of the three. I think Cordae has longevity in this game, and that sets him apart from a majority of the new age rappers. No one else was gonna do a response like this because it probably wouldn’t do as good. And since he made sense with every lyric an broke the rap world for the day, he’s likely going to be on everyone’s radar, thus adding to his credibility as a young GOAT.
But why do you think YBN Cordae made this record? Do you think he can be one of hip hop’s greats? And just for fucks sake, who do you think could win in a rap battle? Cordae or Cole?
Let me know in the comments below!
This is the Nico Blitz Show and don’t forget to subscribe to The Lunch Table for more food for thought.