Black Lips’ Cole Alexander Clarifies Rapper Criticisms
In a recent A.V. Club interview about his hatred of Lorde’s “Royals,” Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander offered some remarks about rap music that struck some readers as racist. Specifically, while bemoaning Drake’s suburban background and alleged lack of edge, Alexander said he likes his rap “evil,” “ghetto,” and “ratchet” among other descriptors. He also offered this critique of Lorde: “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.” Now Alexander has offered further clarification on his comments to Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing, saying you don’t have to be black to be ghetto or make ignorant rap music, that he is not some sheltered white guy because kids from rough neighborhoods beat him up at school, and that he likes his rock music “dumb and evil” too. (Good Bad Not Evil, tho!) Here’s Alexander’s full statement:
I didn’t realize my detractors held the stereotype that rap is simply a black thing. That ignorance is just a black thing. I never got that memo. There are plenty of white rappers on the scene singing dumb shit and I love it. Really, trap is just my preference in hip-hop. I don’t completely dislike conscious rap. We had the GZA from the Wu-Tang lay a verse on one of our tracks ["The Drop I Hold"]. He is, in my book, one of the greatest lyrically conscious rappers of our time. I don’t think he would fuck with us if he felt I was racist. Also, those interviews aren’t verbatim, but I was trying to explain that I come from an upper middle class neighborhood. So I’m not some artist claiming I have had some crazy struggle. Having said that, from Kindergarten through high school, my public school had the M-to-M program which shipped in inner city black kids, so my school was roughly 50/50 black-white. I used to get my ass kicked by kids from tougher neighborhoods than mine. So I, by no means, was raised up in some sheltered white environment. I also like my rock dumb and evil as well. Just my opinion.
So, turns out all you Alexander detractors are the real racists! What say y’all regarding his latest remarks?
[Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images.]