Black Eyed Peas frontman and super-producer, Will I Am, had some pretty straightforward thoughts about the state of hip-hop music today and even what he sees for the future of the genre in a recent interview with #RollingStone. The group, who released their first album in 8 years earlier this year, has changed its members (minus Fergie) and its sound, going in a more political direction these days…so Will is not really here for the #mumblerap era.
Will.i.Am said, “What’s the number-one sport on the planet? Soccer, because anyone can play it,” Will responded when asked why hip-hop is the most popular genre right now. “The problem with hip-hop is everybody could do it. It doesn’t take much f**king skill right now to make hip-hop. It’s become the lowest-hanging fruit. It’s no longer about #Rakim-level, #Nas-level, not the deep, metaphorical simile sh*t. Out of respect for the Nas’ of the world, let’s not call it hip-hop. Let’s say that’s rap. But instrumental music is going to be the next biggest sh*t.”
He continued by stating fans still want to hear more complex and thought-provoking material, with actual skill, moving into the future. “That’s the only way to prove intelligence or taste: demonstrating your artistry. Right now we’re competing human on human, and eventually, we’ll be competing human on machine – the moment there’s a f**king A1 mumble rapper…it’s inevitable, bro!”
Not too long ago, one of those rappers Tekashi69 spoke openly about how effortless it is to become a hip-hop star and sell records and admitted to not putting forth true effort in his own music. Seems like Will.i.Am really has a point. Has hip-hop music become an “open to the public” club? Is talent still a part of the criteria in the music industry? What do you think?