Lonzo Ball and Trash Ass Hip Hop Purity

Lonzo Ball pissed y’all off over the past few days, and I find it funny.

Lonzo Ball had some interesting commentary on what was, and wasn’t hip hop. In his world, Nas is “outdated” and “nobody listens to” him anymore. In Lonzo’s world, Migos and Future reign supreme. The easily-judged-and-typically-successful music that Lonzo listens to isn’t Nas for sure. However, it has had its form of success. So, Lonzo Ball gave the opinion that was realistic as anyone his age would.

To be fair, the cameramen and directors referred to Nas as “real hip hop” that they wanted Lonzo to listen to.

Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Lonzo Ball listens to Magic Johnson during a news conference, Friday, June 23, 2017, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

As predicted through a magic 8-Ball of distinct circumstance, there has been a whirlwind of response. T.I. wasn’t thrilled by Lonzo Ball’s commentary and suggested he needed a “piss test”. Meanwhile, Nas’s manager noted that Nas doesn’t know who the “oatmeal faced” kid is. And how can we forget the roasting that Michael Rapaport gave him? All of this over some sideways commentary that should have been expected.

Then again, this brings up two issues I have: old people caring about youthful ignorance and that “real hip hop” purity crap.

Lonzo Ball is Young and Dumb

Lonzo Ball is a nineteen-year-old kid from Chino Hills, California. His ideas on hip hop are going to be lacking at best and incredibly goofy at worst. And you heard him express the worst: making it seem like Nas lost relevance. At this point, Nas is an elder statesman that has released more classic albums/tracks than Lonzo Ball has won games for the Lakers. His preferences in music are null and void unless you are in his age bracket of understanding. Therefore, what is the purpose of giving credit to those that don’t have a Mastercard of understanding?

Lonzo Ball and Hip Hop Purity

But that isn’t the biggest of the issues for me. Forget about Lonzo Ball’s commentary. Let us remember how it was all framed: the guys behind the camera wanted him to listen to some real hip hop.

And that right there begs the question: what the fuck is real hip hop?

Is Migos not real hip hop because they use rapid fire flows and flexes over autotune? Is Future not real hip hop because he has a chorus about Percocet and Molly? Is Lonzo Ball supposed to care about music that he has no connection to? Is he expected to listen to boom-bap and like it/love it? Is he lost because he enjoys 2Pac over The Notorious B.I.G.?

I’m asking all of this to help gain a bigger understanding. And the understanding is this: the only thing that matters is if the music is “good” or “bad”. All of that “real hip hop” and “fake hip hop” is for the birds. Rapping about topics that hold humanitarian values or no value at all is null and void to liking the music. And loving the music, whether the beats and lyrics are amazing or extremely necessary, is all that matters.

Lonzo Ball Is Not A Hip Hop Shot Caller

At the end of the day, Lonzo Ball doesn’t call any hip hop shots. So, let that man do and think whatever he wants. And no, I’m not telling anyone not to roast him. But, please be aware of the context of how things were presented AND who he is. Lonzo Ball likes what he likes and listens to what he listens to. His playlist isn’t going to matter if he can’t put up assists and points in the stats columns every night. Let Lonzo Ball do just that: ball.

Hopefully, he will gain more reverence for artists of the past. We still shouldn’t give a damn either way.