When Jacquees claimed to be the King of R&B earlier this month, he probably had no idea the kind of conversation he would spark across social media. Dave Chappelle reluctantly handed the title to R. Kelly, while Bobby Brown said either Usher or Chris Brown would have to steal it from him.
The debate clearly stirred up some emotions in Layzie Bone who recently came after Migos for declaring they were the “biggest rap group ever.” In fact, Layzie challenged Migos to a skills challenge on Tuesday (December 18) after Offset suggested a “bankroll challenge.”
“naw nigga, that’s what’s wrong with y’all niggaz,” Layzie wrote. “that’s what’s wrong with y’all niggaz. y’all think money equal respect IT DOESNT this is a SKILLS CHALLENGE me against you and my group against yours. Best group ever challenge. get yow bars up youngin. You gone need that bread for early retirement Boy.”
While his fellow Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Krayzie Bone doesn’t agree with Migos’ self-appointed title, he understands where the lack of respect for the genre’s pioneering artists originates.
“I don’t believe it’s totally their fault,” he tells HipHopDX. “These new rising artists stars come from the instant/microwave era where everything is expected to happen fast. When the content of today is good, it spreads fast and the next thing you know, an artist is on tour earning money and fame.
“This process is responsible for the lack of understanding of what happened with respects to the building blocks of Hip Hop and R&B artists who paved the way. The phenomena occurred many, many years ago and this era is a recipient of the accomplishments of the forefathers of these elite genres.”
The Cleveland-bred legend continues by comparing Hip Hop to professional sports.
“This doesn’t happen in the pro-basketball and football world because there is protocol and a system in place to become a pro athlete,” he explains. “It’s called high school and college. It is there where the young talents are taught the game and its history.
“It is mandatory that these athletes watch film of how the game was played and how it’s evolved and should be played now. There is a native set of rules that occurs within these organized team sports. Unity, education, discipline and integrity to a large degree are still instilled within those sports leagues.”
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Bone Thugs N Harmony is the best group ever!!!! This game ain’t the same without us…. @migos y’all gotta back that shit up for 2019 #WE THE ONES FUCK THE TWO’s Three’s and the rest. As a matter of fact name one rapper out here that ain’t step there flow up because we should them how. I’ll wait @tmz_tv @theshaderoom @xxl #teambone
But time and time again, examples of seemingly blatant disrespect litter the internet. One minute, Lil Yachty can’t name a single Biggie or Tupac song and the next, Lil Uzi Vert refuses to rap over a DJ Premier beat and Young Dolph is going at Pete Rock. Now, Offset is clowning Layzie.
Krayzie believes it’s the lack of actual musical curation that ultimately hurts the entire industry.
“The music industry is a completely different system,” he says. “There is no set pay structure or levels of preparation and growth, therefore an artist with a social media account and the desire to be famous can skip steps, break all rules and have no consequence or true standards in place to follow.
“It’s a wild, heartless culture and in the end the artists suffer. There is an epidemic of wanting to be famous rappers and artists for the wrong reasons. It’s not about the culture any longer. It’s all about the novelty of flash, hype, sex, drugs, etc. Ignorance and lack of empathy is now at an all time high.”
However, Krayzie does offer a solution.
“When the powers at be truly see the watering down of the culture and lack of true passion in the music, they will do something about it and set up a system like the NCAA, NBA and NFL do,” he says. “[It will] create better artists overall and, most importantly, career artists who can actually mean something to the world.”
While it’s easy to get dragged into the vitriol that permeates social media, Krayzie not only takes the high road, but he also has an unshakeable confidence in the contributions Bone Thugs-n-Harmony has made to the culture.
“I’m not caught up in who is saying anything negative,” he says. “I simply pray for them knowing that we created the category for what we do. We are the first, and the first in any category is always the best — period.”