Dilated Peoples lyricist Rakaa offered praise to fellow West Coast artists Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and others in Black Hippy, during a recent interview with Sway Calloway of Sway’s Universe. He applauded those in Black Hippy for creating music with a message when dumbing down their music would have been the easier option.
The Dilated Peoples rapper also went on to criticize artists who have skills, but instead decide to “make the lowest common denominator music.”
“I think it’s good to see people that have skills that actually can spit or make beats or do what they do and have that still be represented in the music,” Rakaa said. “There’s a lot of cats that are talented, but when they get a chance to make a record they wanna make the lowest common denominator music. It’s easy or they get encouraged to do that or whatever. So, when someone like Kendrick or whoever it is, Ab-Soul any of those guys, Jay Rock, any of them come out and actually give cats bars. Like really do it and show songwriting and show there’s messages, there’s—Whatever the message is they’re actually tryna express something. I think that’s dope. Cause they’re at the top of the game. They’re the people the spotlight is on right now. And they could definitely take the easier way.”
Rakaa later called out those who are guilty of biting other artists, an offense he says is “damn near death penalty”-worthy.
“Wackness needs to be called out,” he said. “Biting needs to be called out especially. That’s damn near death penalty right there. I think there’s definitely people that are doing their thing. And it’s good to see new evolution, new styles, new approaches. But I think that there’s a disconnect between the music and the culture that at least from my generation was a very serious thing.”
In a separate interview with 247HH, Dilated Peoples producer/deejay DJ Babu recalled a particular moment he witnessed while the group was on tour with Gang Starr and Rage Against The Machine. He spoke on an incident that involved DJ Premier being punched by a drugged out fan who was later dragged off the stage by the Gang Starr Foundation.
“One of the craziest things I seen on tour was being on tour with Gang Starr and Rage Against The Machine,” DJ Babu said in a video posted on 2DopeBoyz. “And I think we were in Utah. Gang Starr would go on after us and before Rage Against The Machine. And Premo would get on stage and he’d—While he set up his gear he would put on like a mask. So, you couldn’t tell who he was. And he wouldn’t take off the mask until the show started. But I was on the side of the stage watching this. But literally seconds before they were about to go on this cuckoo kid just runs past security, up the ramp, on the stage, and socks Premo. And then before you know it he and Premo are boxing and then the whole Gang Starr Foundation comes out. And they all just grab this kid up and take him backstage and I don’t know what kind of shit they did to him. But it was—Come to find out later, the kid was on some heavy drugs…At the moment I don’t think he really even understood what was happening. But I still remember the Gang Starr Foundation coming out of the back like superheroes. They made him look so small…I thought they were really gonna literally tear him apart the way they dragged him backstage. It was quite an experience.”
The release of both Dilated Peoples interviews comes shortly after the group released their fifth studio album, Directors Of Photography.