Rock and rap aren’t mortal enemies

March 26, 2015






Let’s get this out of the way early.


I love Kanye West, probably too much. He’s a musical genius. Every album he has put out has brought something new to the table artistically. Don’t even get me started on how perfect “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is.


But I understand that he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That’s fine. Expecting everyone to like everything I like is silly. Some other people, however, don’t understand this.


Recently, a petition was started to remove Kanye from the headlining spot of the English Glastonbury festival.


The petition, which now has over 120,000 signatures, begs the Glastonbury management to cancel Kanye’s set and get “a rock band.” It doesn’t matter what, just a rock band. Rap is icky and dumb, we want rock.


The fact these signers think their opinions on music are more important than people who actually paid money for the festival (the original petitioner admits he has never gone) is elitist as all hell.


And the fact that all they want is a “rock band” shows the immediate dismissal of rap as a genre. These are the people who think Migos (which, okay, I like Migos. Leave me alone) is what rap is all about. It’s all about sex and drugs to them.


Because rockstars totally don’t sing about sex and drugs, right?


I’ve seen people argue that rappers don’t “play instruments.” I’d like to see these people sit down at a computer and make a passable beat. Or write lyrics that have the power to move as much as Kendrick Lamar or Common.


The petitioner writes that Kanye should not be allowed to play on the same stage The Rolling Stones played on.


Regardless of what these people might think, he will be just as remembered and revered the Stones.


He redefined what rap is just as much as The Stones redefined what rock is. And that’s fine.


Claiming that you cannot enjoy both rock and rap is only robbing yourself of great music. Putting one above the other really means you don’t understand what you’re bashing.


At Bonnaroo last year, I watched Vampire Weekend, Kanye West and Mastodon, in that order. It was a blast.


If you stop worrying about what is or isn’t music and just listen, you might be surprised what you like.


John Sadler is a junior journalism and English major from Extension who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to jts040@latech.edu.


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