Cole Alexander

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.]

Comments (29)
  1. I’m not racist because black kids used to come all the way from their shitty neighbourhoods just to punch me in the face.
    QED.

    • A better way to prove you aren’t racist might be to talk about some of the black kids he got to know and learned something from, I guess the black kids and white kids at his school just beat the shit out of eachother…

      To be fair, he did say the interview wasn’t verbatim, maybe if you heard what he said in person it didn’t sound as bad?

      • Aaron Cunningham  |   Posted on Mar 26th 0

        Was his statement also not verbatim? Because his statement was pretty terrible too. Maybe if I’d seen him write his statement in person, it wouldn’t look as bad?

    • “I’ve been punched by ALL KINDS of races” is like an inverse “one of my best friends is black” it’s pretty crazy

  2. just keep digging bud.

  3. The guy’s not racist. He just put his foot in his mouth a bit and now everyone’s piling on because it’s the internet. Public statements are a tricky thing, and I’m glad I don’t make them.

    • He does seem to be particularly inept at it though.

    • whole thing seems a little storm-in-a-teacup IYAM. i don’t think anything he said sounded terribly vitriolic. even as a lorde fan i didn’t feel myself getting defensive. the whole thing is loaded with qualifiers like “personally”, “i think” and “i like”. generally his points weren’t great and he could have been more eloquent but i feel like the flack he’s copped in response is disproportionate.

      • that said, what’s the best that’s ever going to come of taking part in an interview series based on hating anything?

        • i agree, internet haters gonna hate. that said, oderus urungus’s hatesong for avclub is “get outta my dreams, and into my car” and it’s hysterical. r.i.p. oderus.

  4. So when he said he preferred rappers to be more ghetto he was talking about white rappers? Calling BS.

  5. This is actually, factually “I’m not racist, but…” as well as “look, I’ve got black friends (RZA)!”

  6. u tried

  7. This dude is a fucking knob.

  8. Upvote me if you think racism is bad!

  9. I Think all u white knights need to shut the fuck up and stop whining like little bitches and take your little witch hunt somewhere that it actually applies

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  11. I seem to be in the minority but I accept his explanation. Ghetto isn’t a racial thing. I would call a white rapper like Lil Wyte ghetto. I can see where his initial statement would get him into trouble but I get it after he clarified. Is anyone who hates on Drake for not having enough “street cred” racist?

  12. it’s always best to call someone “self-righteous” and “insensitive” in as self-righteous and insensitive a way as you can.

  13. What a pretentious hater.

    Is bro hating on these artists b/c they have had lamestream success unlike BL? Does he want The Boss to cover Boys in the Wood?

    Is bro hating b/c they come from backgrounds just as unfortunate as his own upper mid class upbringing?

    Is bro hating and putting into question the validity of their work/lyrics on hits due to lack of a “struggle”?

    Or, is bro mad b/c a 16 year old wrote a better cut than he has up until now?

  14. WHO CARES?? Racial tensions would probably ease a bit if everyone would stop getting so butt hurt about the subtleties of everyone else’s statements.

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