Rock Stars Who Said Tragically Stupid Things About Hip-Hop
When you talk about the music of rebellion in the U.S., two genres immediately come to mind — hip-hop and rock. Both art forms were embraced by young people longing to buck the system and connect with something anti-authority.
The two genres have been connected as far back as the earliest hip-hop block parties of the '80s, when DJs spun Aerosmith and AC/DC into their break beats, and reached the mainstream when Run DMC and Aerosmith told folks to "Walk This Way" in 1986.
So why is there drama between the two? Like most things in America, a lot of the disconnect can probably be traced back to race. Both genres are derived from black music — in particular, the blues — though you'd be hard pressed to see that visually represented in the biggest rock acts of the past 50 years; for the most part, it's the white kids who absorb black culture and plug it into amplifiers for arena audiences. And get paid for it.
And while rock and rap are both embraced by youth culture, hip-hop's mainstream rebellion is painted as more than just "wayward kids bucking the system." Black rebellion has historically been viewed as frightening and dangerous, and in the case of rap music, the most destructive stereotypes about black people come to life over a four-bar loop, sometimes blasting out of a white kid's bedroom.
Even when the two genres inevitably intersect, going as far as to branch off into an entire sub-genre (the one that gave us Limp Bizkit on the one hand, and Jay-Z collaborators Linkin Park on the other), the disconnect is often still there. And so we hear and read of some substantially famous figures in rock — most of them older, but some not — who aim to denigrate or belittle hip-hop with their words. Sometimes what comes out is so foolish, it scans as unintentionally funny, if not somewhat tragic all the same.
To that end, let's take a look at this list of stupid (and in some cases, offensive) things some rockers have said about rap music over the years. Fair warning: Ted Nugent is on the list … but there's a little rap in his family tree.