Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Night Slams Hip Hop

18 Sep

Legendary Singer Gladys Knight Slams Hip-Hop Music

Legendary R&B singer Gladys Knight had some harsh words for the genre of Hip-Hop in a recent interview.

During an interview with, Knight said that Hip-Hop had created opportunities for young artists, but the slammed the genre of music, claiming it had set back African-Americans as a race.

“It’s been bad, in my opinion, as far as the quality of the music and the stories that they tell. It’s one thing to be raw about your history, but they took it to another level and it became vulgar,” Knight said.

She also claimed that Hip-Hop had not “elevated our industry musically,” before blaming the music for a number of issues within the African-American community.

“It definitely has not elevated us as African-Americans, because we show disrespect for our partners, men and women,” Knight stated. “I believe we have lowered our self-esteem with these performances and presentations.”

Have to go with Gladys here. Maybe I’m just becomming an old fart, and I remember how my parents felt about the music I listened to as a kid…

But – to quote BB King, “The Thrill is Gone”.

A lot of it has to do with sampling, and the next logical step which was to outright steal the music created by real musicians, overdubbing it with new lyrics. The disappearance of real instruments lends a plastic quality to the music, and the massive overdubbing of base to make the music sound balanced on cheap low quality devices destroys any balance. Further, there is even a device which will translate a singers voice from being off-key to on key – ergo, whatever is (or isn’t in the case of lip-syncing) going into the microphone has absolutely nothing to do anymore with what is coming out the other end.


Posted by on September 18, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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6 responses to “Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Night Slams Hip Hop

  1. DW Jazzlover

    September 18, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    Right on Ms.Knight, she say it very well on her live version of “The End of The Road” Medley.
    I am with her on this one..


  2. t-shirts101

    September 18, 2009 at 8:09 PM

    Not questioning Ms. Knight, and I agree too that much of Hip Hop is a waste. The stuff that’s played on commercial radio is (my guess) what she is referring to… Jay-Z and the like.

    There is some originality in the genre and the musicians – but you will never hear much of it on commercial radio because it doesn’t make the rotation and it’s not promoted by the record companies. Mos Def comes to mind, the Platinum Pied Pipers also. (You may not like their music in particular, but they are not stealing previously recorded tunes to make it.)

    And, of course, any Hip Hop with positive lyrics – and there is some – won’t make it to commecial radio either.

    Much of the music I listen to comes from the Internet and my iPod –,, etc. Far more variety.

    I think the music form isn’t represented properly, that’s all.


  3. Tafaraji

    September 19, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    I guess Ms. Knight would hate what they done with her voice in this: Electronic VS Motown


    • btx3

      September 19, 2009 at 8:51 PM

      Yeah… She probably would. They also have Marvin Gaye in there, and several other artists. Not sure where Track 1 comes from, and if it, at least – was original.


  4. DW Jazzlover

    September 19, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Tafaraji, Did she approved this!It seems they would have had to speak to a number of artist for this one>But I like it except for Menmem and the coke references, but I like the idea.


  5. Tafaraji

    September 19, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    D W, I know, I’m sure she didn’t approve it, that’s why it’s just a few chords of her included. Eminem is such a misogynistic scoundrel, she probably would even talk to him except to be polite, she is a Southern Lady. but I did like it.



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