New York rapper Joell Ortiz recently offered his opinion on where he stands with hip-hop newcomers and why people should start respecting his Slaughterhouse crew as rap’s Dream Team.
Asked for his take on getting older, Mr. Yaowa said he does not feel pressured by the youngsters.
“Nope. Never. Music is what it sounds like to you. You can’t put an age, a year, or a number on talent and artistry. Never do we say, “Aw man, these young n*ggas are…” We might say, “These new n*ggas.” But never these young n*ggas. Listen, we the Dream Team. I hate to sound that cocky, but we the Dream Team. That’s just that. We are not worried about anyone or anybody. Old n*gga, new n*gga. It doesn’t even matter. That’s why you ask these competitive questions, because we’re competing with the best amongst each other. That’s how all of us feel. We try to not be those guys that are like, “No one’s better.” But when you’re trying to be blunt, I don’t think there’s a better cast then the Slaughterhouse four.” (Complex)
Recently, fellow New Yorker N.O.R.E. talked to SOHH about staying humble and earning the respect of both newcomers and hip-hop veterans.
“I just think I have my [hip-hop connects] from me being humble. Once upon a time I was one of the hottest dudes in the game and I’ve remained the same up to who I am right now. It doesn’t matter if I’m the hottest or the coldest or if I’m the mediumest. As long as I maintain my humbleness and I can show people I can relate to them and they can relate to me, I am the everyday man.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Last year, rap veteran Rakim promised he would not change his style to cater toward what’s hot in the streets.
“You care about it, but you don’t let it do nothing to you,” he explained in an interview. “It’s rap, it’s an album, some people will like it, some people won’t. Hip-hop is so diverse and mixed right now, you have a lot of fans who like radio-friendly hip-hop. I don’t do that. You have a lot of fans who like pop hip-hop. I don’t do that. You got a lot of fans that like different styles — I’m from my era, I’m known for doing a certain kind of music. I don’t want to switch off and do what Lil Wayne is doing. That ain’t Rakim. I can’t switch off and do what Wiz Khalifa‘s doing. That’s not Rakim. It’s hard trying to keep up with what’s going on and still keep your integrity and keep your logo and your brand of who you are with these times. I made a statement. [I] definitely wanted to bring about that awareness with a conscious album.” (Splash-Mag)
In fall 2011, Young Money boss Lil Wayne gave his opinion on the state of hip-hop and dished out advice to rap rookies.
“All I can say is make sure that you’re not rhyming because you figured you could sound like Drake. Make sure those aren’t the reasons that you’re picking up a pad and pen,” Wayne explained. “Make sure that you’re doing it for a real reason. I did this when I was 8 years old. I started writing raps for a reason, and that reason was because I loved to make words rhyme. That was my reason for making music. So make sure you have a real reason that you want to rhyme. Don’t make that reason be ‘I’m tryna make it out the ‘hood” or ‘I’m tryna feed my family,’ because this sh*t ain’t guaranteed to do none of those things. … If you want to be where I’m at with it-I been in this 18 years. If you ain’t got that kind of dedication, then just leave it alone and do something that can actually benefit your future for the long run.” (VIBE)
Check out a recent Joell Ortiz interview below: