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Lil Yachty’s Dad Addresses “Old Head” Criticism, Says His Music Is For The Kids

The interview covers Lil Boat’s early influences and hip-hop’s generational divide.

October 05, 2016

In a video interview with HIpHopWired, Lil Yachty's dad—a.k.a. Atlanta-based music photographer Shannon McCollum—got a chance to speak a bit about his son's music and about the generational divide responsible for turning the 19-year-old into a lightning rod for arguments about the contemporary rap landscape.

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The clip's host, Maurice Garland introduces Yachty as the "most controversial, most polarizing" figure in rap, and the interview focuses pretty heavily off the controversy surrounding Yachty's Breakfast Club appearance and subsequent admission that he's not particularly familiar with the music of either Biggie or 2Pac.

McCollum—a photographer whose career includes portrait and documentary work for Outkast, Dead Prez, Too $hort and others—takes the opportunity to explain that Big and Pac aren't a big part of Yachty's musical vocabulary mostly because they weren't played around the house during his childhood.

Instead, he explains that a broad range of other artists, from Tribe to Bilal to Coltrane to Coldplay, was in heavy rotation. He also reveals that Yachty, born Miles McCollum, is in fact named after Miles Davis: "By the time he got to be five or six, I really was playing Miles Davis...and that's where his name comes from. That's what he first heard."

Addressing the criticism from older listeners, McCollum notes that he felt his son had been singled out, despite the fact that most listeners in his generation aren't necessarily big fans of older hip-hop. Similarly, he argues, Yachty's music isn't necessarily geared to appeal to hip-hop listeners from older generations: "It's not for you, says McCollium, "It's for your kids. Let your kids rock with it."

Lil Yachty’s Dad Addresses “Old Head” Criticism, Says His Music Is For The Kids