Where's The Beef?

Black Lips’ Cole Alexander Disses Lorde, Drake, & Macklemore

By Tom Breihan / March 25, 2014

Cole Alexander, guitarist for Atlanta garage-rock mainstays the Black Lips, recently took part in “Hate Song,” an A.V. Club interview series in which various prominent types talk about songs that they can’t stand. As Pitchfork points out, in his interview, Alexander revealed himself to be a hater of Lorde’s 2013 smash “Royals,” a song I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone express straight-up hatred for before. Here’s Alexander’s reasoning:

In the lyric she says she’s “Never seen diamonds in the flesh / I’ve cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies / And I’m not proud of my address in the torn-up town / No postcode envy.” Most of the people that are rapping about Maybachs and diamonds come from really “torn-up towns.” I’m going on assumptions, but I feel like a lot of these guys are from Compton or these fucking ghettos like Memphis, and their parts of town are way more torn up than hers. That’s a mere assumption from seeing her in interviews and stuff, but I feel like they come from worse parts and they aspire to get Maybachs and diamonds because they come from ratchet-ass ’hoods where they have no hope. I think it’s a bit righteous of her.

Alexander also has some not-so-nice things to say about Drake:

I grew up in a decent suburb in Atlanta, but I do think sometimes in hip-hop, you can hear it in his voice. He didn’t have that pain in his voice, but it’s a subtle nuance. I’m sure he has some struggles in his life like everyone does, but I just don’t like Drake. He seems kind of fake to me.

I like my rappers more ghetto and ratchet sounding. Personally, I like more melodramatic, ignorant rap where they’re talking about violence and anger and it’s just evil. I don’t like when it’s too conscious, I don’t like it when it’s too smart. To me, it’s just like a gangster movie. In a gangster movie, you don’t want to see polite guys; you want to see them do horrible shit. It’s a movie, it’s entertainment, and, at the end of the day, music is entertainment. It might reflect what has happened, but a lot of times it’s an art form of telling stories.

And he objects to Macklemore, on the baffling grounds that he should not be using the word “honky” so lightly:

There’s that one line where they’re like, “That’s a cold-ass honky.” I really don’t like that line. First of all, it’s a racist word. I feel like white people, when someone says something racist against them, they’re not very offended. They’ve never had to deal with racism so it’s almost a kind of white guilt, or a subtle kind of action.

My problem isn’t the fact that he says “honky,” though. It’s that he puts “honky” in a black person’s mouth and they actually say it instead of him. He put a racist term into a black person’s mouth and had it thrown back at him to satiate his white guilt. That’s the way I look at it.

As a fan of a ton of ignorant rap music, I feel like I need to point something out here. When Alexander says that he likes rap to be “ratchet” and “evil,” this is not a defensible position; he’s pretty much fetishizing what he claims to like. And in the same interview, he mentions that his band had a chance to tour with Ke$ha and that they considered it, even though Ke$ha and the Lips are “opposite.” But they’re not opposite at all! They both sensationalize the shit out of drunk-party-kid images, and they’d probably make a lot of sense together. You can read the whole thing here.