Lil Yachty has taken a lot of heat for calling Notorious B.I.G. "overrated" and not being able to name five Biggie or Tupac songs. Sitting down with Ebro on Beats 1, he echoed his father's explanation that those rappers came before his time and he didn't grow up on their music—but added that he liked what he heard from Biggie once he finally listened.
"To this day, I feel like I was wrong for speaking about something like that without taking a second to listen," he said. "Before I said that I was in the blind. I feel like I owe an apology. I didn't think before I spoke on that topic. I know now how important and just how serious it is to some people. I didn't want people thinking that I was disrespecting him because it wasn't a disrespect thing. That's just my personal opinion. My dad did not play Biggie or Tupac so I had never heard it."
He still hasn't gone back to listen to Tupac's music (although "Changes" made him cry when he was little), but Yachty says he finally took the time to dive into Biggie's catalog for himself two or three weeks ago. "I'm not going to sit here and lie and say I just bump him. But I know for a fact he was spittin," Yachty said, before reciting one of his favorite Biggie lyrics. "That's a bar, bro. He snapped. I can't lie. I was listening to it and I liked how he do the role play."
Speaking on his role in hip-hop, Yachty continued, "It took me a long time to even accept and call my music hip-hop. I didn't feel like it was and I always got told it wasn't," before accepting that he does belong in the genre once his manager (and industry veteran) Coach K reassured him that he is.
"It's a new sound. It doesn't have a title yet," he explained. "I hate that mumble rap title [...] I just feel like I'm not a part of it. I don't mumble."
"This year has been so fast for me," Yachty continued. "I'm just trying to find some time to really become a hip-hop artist. I feel like I jumped in this game so fast and elevated past everybody, I didn't have time to do anything. I went from sitting in high school, laying on the couch, sitting in the college dorm for a couple days, and then penthouse, flashing lights, red carpet, big Benzes, fans [...] I didn't have any time to listen to Biggie because I didn't come up with it. And I was raised on telling the truth, so when it came time to talk about Biggie and Tupac, I only talked about what I knew."
Watch the rest of the interview, in which he also talks about pushing positivity and wanting to mature, try acting, speak at colleges, and grow as an artist. He also premiered a new song called "Judgement Free," which you can hear below.