September 3, 2015


Keith Richards: Metallica's a Joke, Rap's Only for "Tone-Deaf People"

Getty Images
Getty Images

Keith Richards has a new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, out soon, his first in more than two decades. The Rolling Stone has been making the press rounds, and today's talk with the New York Daily News is a doozy. Let's start with the 71-year-old's attack on hip hop, one that echoes recent Kanye West jabs from David Crosby and Noel Gallagher:

“Rap—so many words, so little said. What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there. All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.”

Cool, man—very specific, you've totally engaged with the art form, and you're definitely not generalizing in any way or holding one genre up to another genre's standards. Do you have thoughts on non-Rolling Stones rock, though, or perhaps metal?

“It sounds like a dull thud to me. For most bands, getting the syncopation is beyond them. It’s endless thudding away, with no bounce, no lift, no syncopation. Millions are in love with Metallica and Black Sabbath. I just thought they were great jokes.”

Listen, in Keith Richards' day, you had to walk five miles, in the snow, each way, to find a little syncopation—but you did it anyway, dammit.