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Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Night Slams Hip Hop

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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