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Rap is for the ‘tone-deaf,’ Keith Richards says

rap is for tone deaf people says keith richards
Keith Richards, rap JStone /

Keith Richards is still releasing new records, but he’s clearly not a fan of his competition.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, the Rolling Stones guitarist called most modern rock “a dull thud,” named heavy-metal legends Metallica “great jokes,” and said rap was for “tone-deaf people.” At least he’s consistent — and the reporter did said he “follows every put-down with a wink.”

The 71 year-old’s strongest hatred is for rap music. “Rap — so many words, so little said,” Richards told the Daily News. “What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there. All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.”

As for his disgust with rock, Richards explained that most bands lack syncopation and have self-centered guitarists.

“Why don’t you just shut up and let the f-cking thing groove,” he said. “That’s the problem with most guitar players. They can’t shut up. They’re playing fantastic stuff but if you don’t give it some room, you’re not going to appreciate it. It becomes a ‘me-me’ ego.” (He recently made headlines for bashing The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, so he’s probably not just talking about current rock bands.)

The longtime guitarist will release his first solo record in 23 years, Crosseyed Heart, on September 18. He made the record with the X-Pensive Winos (guitarist Waddy Wachtel, keyboardist Ivan Neville, and bassist Charlie Drayton), the same group he worked with on his two previous solo projects.

“We all gravitated together,” Richards said, “and I realized I had the potential for the other ‘best rock ‘n roll band in the world.”

Chris Leo Palermino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chris Leo Palermino is a music, tech, business, and culture journalist based between New York and Boston. He also contributes…
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