The artist T.I. named the most “revolutionary rapper alive”
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The artist T.I. named the most "revolutionary rapper alive"

T.I. has been a massive force in hip-hop over the years and has done a lot concerning Southern rap. Alongside the likes of Lil Wayne and Lil Jon, T.I. helped popularise the South and helped it become mainstream.

The Atlanta rhymer (real name Clifford Harris) is always looking at the new generation of hip-hop rappers and has unveiled that there is a lot of talent. Although he believes the culture is overcrowded and contains many low-quality MCs, he thinks one lyricist is the most “revolutionary rapper alive”.

In a sit-down, in-depth interview with HOT 97.0’s Ebro Darden on his Apple Music radio show, Harris spoke about a playlist he compiled for Apple entitled The Message, curated to celebrate Black love. 

One of the artists T.I. included on the tracklist was Kendrick Lamar. The two had previously collaborated, most visibly on the 2012 track ‘Memories Back Then’, featuring B.o.B. The track was recorded for Harris’ eighth album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, but ultimately never made it onto the project.  

While speaking with Darden, the host asked, “What [does] Kendrick mean to you as a fan of rap?” Harris responded, singing Lamr’s praises as one of the best new artists in the genre.

During an appearance on Apple Music’s The Ebro Show, Tip discussed some of the songs and artists he included on “The Message,” a 25-track playlist that aimed to celebrate Black love. Kendrick, who previously collaborated with T.I., was featured multiple times on the list, which prompted Ebro to ask: “What [does] Kendrick mean to you as a fan of rap?”

Opening up about his opinion of Lamar, T.I. stated, “Present day, I think he’s probably the most successful revolutionary rapper alive, you dig? It’s hard to sell. It’s hard to do good business in the revolutionary category, you know what I mean? It’s not easy!”

Speaking about how conscious, politically aware MCs usually have to trade off substance for success, Harris continued, “Artists like KRS-One, even Common, Mos Def, the Roots, they usually have to trade commercial success for speaking truth in the revolution, and Kendrick has been the one who has been able to simultaneously achieve both. That’s extremely special. That’s an art within itself.”

Kendrick Lamar is often considered the saviour of the new school. Among a generation of mumble rappers, Lamar has been consistent in releasing seriously good quality hip-hop, and this is undoubtedly why T.I. has so much respect for him.