R&B Legend Gladys Knight doesn’t like rap music. While promoting her role in the new Tyler Perry film ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ the ‘Heard it Through the Grapevine’ singer took the time to voice her disdain for rap, claiming that the music has negatively impacted the black community due to its vulgar and disrespectful vocabulary.
“It’s been bad, in my opinion, as far as the quality of the music and the stories that they tell. It’s one thing to be raw about your history, but they took it to another level and it became vulgar,” Knight said.
In addition to finding rap generally distasteful due to its lyrical content, Knight also criticized the quality of the musicianship, contending that hip hop has never “elevated our industry musically.”
Her main concern, however, is the effect of the music on the black community. “It definitely has not elevated us as African-Americans, because we show disrespect for our partners, men and women,” Knight explained. “I believe we have lowered our self-esteem with these performances and presentations.”
The legendary vocalist has been sampled by Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane, and is currently prepping a European tour in October.
It’s unfortunate that such an influential artist has so narrow a view of an entire genre. Seems kind of cynical to have accepted checks from rap artists for sample clearance, then years later condemn them for not “elevating our industry musically.”