Is hip-hop regressing?
Will.i.am recently spoke to Rolling Stone about what he believes has lowered the bar in hip-hop, while speaking to technology’s impact on the music industry and artificial intelligence overtaking human production.
When asked if hip-hop can maintain its dominance, the Black Eyed Peas frontman likened it to a soccer, which he said is the world’s top sport because “anyone can play it.”
“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,” explained the Grammy winner. “It’s no longer about Rakim-level, Nas-level, not the deep, metaphorical simile s**t. Out of respect for the Nases 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 s**t.”
Will.i.am is hardly the first recording artist to take on the “mumble rap” debate, and he won’t be the last.
The Los Angeles native added that “musicianship” is the only way to prove “intelligence or taste” when “demonstrating artistry.” He also joked about the “inevitable” debut of an “AI mumble rapper.”