Rock legend Keith Richards’ scathing views on music genres revisited
In a 2015 interview, Keith Richards boldly critiqued various music genres, calling rap 'for tone-deaf people' and labeling The Beatles' work as 'rubbish.'
Keith Richards (Source: People)
Reflecting on a 2015 interview, it’s intriguing to revisit the moment when Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards unabashedly shared his controversial views on various music genres, from rap to rock and roll, and even The Beatles. Richards, known for his straightforwardness, expressed his thoughts on rap music with a blunt critique. "Rap — so many words, so little said,” he said, adding, "What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there...There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” These words, provocative yet delivered with a 'wink', highlighted his perception of the genre's lack of musical depth.
Heavy metal, another popular genre, did not escape Richards' sharp tongue either. He humorously dismissed the likes of Metallica and Black Sabbath, saying, "I just thought they were great jokes." This statement stirred a mix of amusement and shock among fans and critics alike.
Rock, roll, and The Beatles: No stone unturned
Even the essence of rock and roll, the genre that defines The Rolling Stones, was subject to Richards' critical eye. "It sounds like a dull thud to me...It’s endless thudding away, with no bounce, no lift, no syncopation,” he remarked, pointing towards a lack of rhythmic complexity in modern rock music. Richards’ views extended to The Beatles, the Stones' longtime rivals. He labeled their iconic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as "a mishmash of rubbish" and criticized their 1965 Shea Stadium concert, saying, "As a band, they weren’t in sync with each other." These comments reflect a profound perspective on the musical differences that distinguished these legendary bands.
The man behind the music
Despite his critical outlook, Richards remained charismatic and engaging. His love for music shone through, especially when discussing his solo LP, Crosseyed Heart. He emphasized the importance of letting music 'groove', saying, "Why don’t you just shut up and let the fucking thing groove...They’re playing fantastic stuff but if you don’t give it some room, you’re not going to appreciate it."
In an industry often marked by cautious diplomacy, Richards' frankness was refreshing. His interview remains a testament to his enduring influence and unapologetic attitude in the music world.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)