Yeasayer Frontman: "R. Kelly Is A Piece Of Shit," EDM Music Is "Bottom Of The Barrel"

Yeasayer Chris Keating took some shots at R. Kelly and EDM in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Behold:

I think he [Ocean] is a good new face for the R&B world right now, to kind of usher out – no pun intended – some of these folks,” Keating said. “Because, let’s get real, R.Kelly is a terrible person. I like R.Kelly and how crazy he is, but he’s a terrible piece of shit, a horrible person, really bad all around. Let’s get rid of him. Let’s gay it up a little [in R&B].

He also took some shots at another popular thing:

The EDM world has always been the place that’s forward-thinking with sonic texture and production, but in terms of content, they’re down at the bottom of the barrel,” Keating said. “If it’s not about Friday, or the weekend, party-party, or if it has any comment at all . . . As someone who’s interested in progressive sound-making and textures, I look toward electronic music for that. But in terms of song-making and wanting to conveying something a bit deeper than just dancing all night, we’re trying to merge those two worlds [dance and rock].”

(via Rolling Stone)

Maybe he’s just crushed by the recent R. Kelly cruise cancellation? Image via the Quietus.

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Comments (35)
  1. This guys on to something…!

  2. Does Keating like him or think he’s a piece of shit? They seem to be contradictory remarks. “You’re a piece of shit and should be out of the music industry…but I like you!”

  3. What’s Rolling Stone?

  4. Would it be fair to say R. Kelly don’t move him anymore?

  5. “I like R.Kelly and how crazy he is…”

    Ok, shut up.

  6. I don’t get it. Has Chris not heard what’s going on in underground bass music in the UK? Or is he just taking an easy potshot at Skrillex/Deadmau5/Swedish House Mafia etc?

  7. granted I agree with what your saying, people that release garbage albums since their debut shouldn’t throw stones. Leave that to stereogum commentators

  8. Shouldn’t he have said Chris Brown instead of R. Kelly? R. Kelly has done some shitty things but Chris Brown is clearly the nadir of current R&B music

  9. Is he not including Four Tet, John Talabot, Boards of Canada, Teen Daze, Manual, Aphex Twin and the multitudes of artists out there creating amazing “electronic dance music” when he says “EDM is the bottom of the barrel” or is he really that naive? I find his statements especially confusing since the strongest tracks on Fragrant World are those that are more electronic based.

  10. Ugh. Reread his comments folks. In the case of R. Kelly, he likes the music and maybe the attitude but not the actions of the person. In the case of EDM, he likes the music but not the content/message, as there are no lyrics, or at least substantive lyrics.

    • This is, I think, reductionist. Instrumental music has a long history and calling a genre out for its lack of lyrics is myopic. There is so much experimental, forward-looking EDM out there and for the most part, the genre is not focused on lyrics at all. If he wants to hear EDM and substantive lyrics, he should get out there and find it, or if it can’t be found, make it.

      It’s not somehow a failing if music isn’t focused on the things that you care about. We try to evaluate music in its context and for its features, not for some imagined possible context or features. That’s not set in stone, but I think Keating here is projecting (his personality onto music that’s not his).

      To me, complaining that EDM lacks lyrical substance is like complaining that Sibelius lacks dope samples, or that Slayer didn’t use enough banjo. You shouldn’t expect that musical styles should just carry every feature you like about the music you like most. If you want those things to be present, then go add them.

  11. he means he’s the future of electronic AND pop music. Also, I think he knows dissing famous people is trendy these days, and possibly the only way he could get back some attention on this sad band thats become Yeasayer.

  12. Not only was he hypocritical in his remarks towards R. Kelly, but his comment regarding Frank Ocean seemed backhanded. So R. Kelly was cool until the gay guy came along? Like he only liked Ocean because he’s gay? And that the only possible way he could like RKelly would be if he was gay too? Not only that, but Frank Ocean isn’t gay, he’s bi. I wish people would stop using them interchangeably. Then again, it’s not like that matters because Ocean’s or Kelly’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. That shouldn’t be why you listen a musician’s music, but he made Frank Ocean his token gay guy. So whether this guy is just hating on R.Kelly to be cool or liking Frank Ocean to be cool, I can defiantly confirm that this guy likes the smell of his own farts.

    • If Frank Ocean didn’t make his sexual orientation open for discussion then no one would care about it. He came out, so naturally people are going to discuss that. If it didn’t matter to him, then he wouldn’t have brought it up, but the fact that he released a fucking STATEMENT makes his sexual orientation open for discussion by the public. So yeah, now it matters.

      • I never said that it wasn’t sort-of important for Ocean as a public figure to come out, but it doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) affect how one regards the quality of his or any other artist’s music. But like I said, “That shouldn’t be why you listen a musician’s music”. The people who deliberately listen to artists based on their sexual orientation are superficial and shallow as hell. Chris Keating is one of the these people. He made Frank Ocean his token gay so he can pat himself on the back for doing absolutely nothing other than listing to music.

  13. Has he never heard “Ignition (Remix)”? Because that’s still one of the best songs ever..

  14. Been a HUGE Yeasayer fan but Fragrant World and flagrant comments leave me cold. Embarassing how some artists feel the need to big up themselves indirectly.

    • I recently reviewed Fragrant World and gave it a pretty unfavorable score because it just seems to me these guys sit on their potential to make a great album but never end up delivering on it. They’ve been talking up R&B so much leading up to this album, and I thought maybe 15% at most of the album sounded like it had anything to do with the genre. Other than that, it’s a bit overstuffed with ideas and not really ones that break new ground. It’s electronic music chopped up and not given a home. Stereogum’s Tom tweeted that they’ve become Rusted Root for the Bassnectar generation. Not sure if he meant that as a backhanded compliment, but those two comparisons don’t sound like the cool R&B creds they’re going for. Personally, I think their ambitions get the better of them.

      • Gave you a +1 to neutralise your minus. Are fans really so blind they can’t be objective?? While certain genres are difficult if not impossible to meld, and hats off to those who pull it off; I agree Yeasayer may have over-reached their ambitions here. Shame that.

      • Michael_, I always see your comments on “Shut Up Dude” and various posts here, but would be interested in checking out some of your reviews. I know you’re trying to lay low on the self-promotion lest you be downvoted to oblivion, but it seems like that’s happening anyways, so maybe you could shoot me a link to your blog? I wouldn’t have heard that new Title Fight single without ya, bud.

  15. Shots at R. Kelly and EDM. So bold and edgy.

  16. “Gay it up” a little in R&B? Luther Vandross is one of the best R&B singers of all time, and he was flaming.

    Anyway, I’ll never know why artists feel the need to badmouth other ones in interviews, especially without even being provoked. Are you really that insecure?

  17. Nah, look man, enough is enough man. Y’all need to leave me alone, on the real. I mean can’t y’all see I love y’all, damn. I mean no matter what y’all say or try to do to me, I’m gonna love you anyway. You know what I’m saying, what y’all need to do let me go on do this music, you know what I’m saying. I mean, what a gotta do, what I gotta do? Give y’all all my money, all my cars, my houses, my clothes, what? I don’t owe you nothing man. Go get a goddamn job dawg, shit, leave me alone get a job. You don’t owe me nothing, I owe you nothing, you know what I’m saying. I am just trying to give y’all this music, make y’all feel good, you know what I’m saying. That’s all I’m trying to do. Let me do that, let the R do that, will ya?

  18. He must’ve just saw that they got a 5.4 from Pitchfork…

  19. goooooood!!!!! Peter Galbraith

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