DJ Funk Flex still adheres to the unwritten rules of hip hop — and sometimes, that means calling someone out. Last July, Flex revealed on his Hot 97 radio show that Drake committed one of the cardinal sins of Hip Hop: taking rhymes from another rapper and passing them off as your own. Flex played three songs of previously unknown artist Quentin Miller rapping lyrics Drake would later rap himself on last year’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
It was a public flaying of the most successful rapper of this decade not named Eminem. “If you don’t write, you don’t have that crown!” Flex aggressively shouted throughout the segment.
Let me be so fucking clear… I am a student of this thing we call hip hop!
— Funk Flex !!!!! (@funkflex) July 25, 2015
In our interview, Flex explains he was “disappointed” in Drake using lyrics from other artists, because he placed the 29-year-old MC on his list of top five best lyricists, but now accepts the Canadian-bred sensation may just be a different type of rapper. “A Kendrick Lamar and a Drake to me, are two different artists to me, but that’s always existed,” Flex said. To Flex, Kendrick Lamar represents pure lyricism and Drake represents pure entertainment. “There’s a Rakim, and there’s a [MC] Hammer.”
Flex also expressed his feelings on the new era of DJ’s abandoning vinyl all together in favor of software apps, like the exceedingly popular Serato, used by Skrillex and others. Part of Flex respects those DJs, but a larger part believes they are not on his level. “When you’re at the controller like this,” Flex says while imitating twisting nobs, “My arms are extended and I’m screaming. That’s why you get paid what you get paid and I get paid what I get paid, because there’s obviously a difference in what’s cracking out here.”
Check out the video to hear more about why Flex does not use DJ software, why there should be a separate category for rappers like Drake, and more.