Jay-Z & Pharrell Williams Discuss Nirvana's Impact On Music

Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams chop it up in the latter's upcoming book.

In Pharrell Williams' upcoming book Pharrell: The Places and Spaces I've Been, the musician chops it up with Jay-Z about grunge band Nirvana and their impace on pop culture. Skateboard P asks Hov about where he was when he first heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit," to which he replied that he was in P's home state of Virginia. He then explained how Nirvana was birthed from the rockers before them.

"First we got to go back to before grunge and why grunge happened," said Jay. "'Hair bands' dominated the airwaves and rock became more about looks than about actual substance and what it stood for—the rebellious spirit of youth....That's why 'Teen Spirit' rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt, you know what I'm saying? It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know? Those 'hair bands' were too easy for us to take out; when Kurt Cobain came with that statement it was like, 'We got to wait awhile.'"

The Roc Nation chief says that he has a difficult time ignoring bands and musicians making noise, and that Kurt Cobain was one of those figures. "I have always been a person who was curious about the music and when those forces come on the scene, they are inescapable," Jay says. "Can't take your eyes off them, can't stop listening to them. [Cobain] was one of those figures. I knew we had to wait for a second before we became that dominant force in music."

Read the excerpt at Spin.com (via Miss Info).

RELATED: Jay-Z To Live Stream Final Show In Barclays Center Residency



  • Anonymous

    Nirvana is the shyt, but smells like teen spirit is one of there worst songs! follow me @noles506

  • bios

    And hip-hop took over because rock is done, at least in the mainstream. There are barely any great rock bands signed to major labels nowadays. The European music market is more balanced than the U.S one, or at least it was back in the 90's anyway. The U.S is too fad oriented. In Europe there were all different sorts of rock bands in the charts in the 90's, even metal ones like Maiden etc. Hair metal was an abomination. Nu-metal wasn't much better.

    • X

      I will co-sign you on that one. The only good acts are the bands from the 90's. There are a few current bands but they aren't really bringing anything different than what the past has represented.

  • X

    Just a heads up. Nirvana killed hair metal. Green Day killed grunge. Period point blank.



  • ETK

    "Any real rock n roll fan knows Nirvana ain't shit" Cosign people only listen to Smells Like Teen Spirit and already think they're the best but after that what Nirvana's got?

  • Anonymous

    "gweneth paltrow" That's his mistress.

  • Anonymous

    Jay-Z is always sucking white dick to fit in...He has become the ultimate house negro. He sucks off gweneth paltrow, my chemical romance, fall out boy, bill gates, warren buffet, linkin park, nirvana and many more..While his black rappers never get any shout outs..The dude HARDLY ever mentions any black rappers unless they are big in the white world like rhianna..He wouldn't even let freeway take a pic with him and the lilly white politicians..And this nigga knows he doesn't know SHIT about any of this..That's what kills me..He just wants to fit in with them..Notice he only started getting more white after he got rich...Before that he wasn't name dropping or trying to hang out with none of these people. His music is even sounding whiter these days...Kingdom Come and BP3 are wannabe hiphop versions of coldplay, U2, radiohead and all that other bullshit... I hate blacks who make it, then start sucking off white people...Cause none of these people would care about you if you were broke.

    • donnie mac

      The FM radio format you hear these days started in the 70's and didn't stabilize until the 80's, AM had the music. If you are Jay's age group (born late 60's-mid 70's) you know you have heard music from the last 50 years so it's nothing to like music from different genres, you grew up listening to and watching different genres.

    • Anonymous

      Man some black people are so racist. Why do you care so much if he shouts out some white people, what are you jealous of them or something? People always make race an issue why don't u spend more time trying to be yourself more then just being black

    • ^

      Jay fucked your bitch? Stop hating.

  • Anonymous

    "Nevermind--- Greatest album of all time" In your world. C'mon son, who the fuck is Nirvana close to Pearl Jam or Silverchair??? They are so overrated is hilarious. If Cobain was alive no one would be saying shit about Nevermind.

  • anonymous

    Nevermind--- Greatest album of all time of any genre of music in my opinion. Perfect in all aspects- musically, lyrically, conceptually, critically acclaimed, revolutionary, and it completely changed the culture at the time.

  • Anonymous


  • Afi K. James

    First of all GNR aka Guns N Roses got rid of the hair bands, not nerdvana, this band was overrated and sucked from the beginning, while nirvana and other stuff killed off hair bands, it also inadvertently hurt the careers of judas priest, Megadeth, AC/DC and some others. Plus Alice in Chains was a FAR superior band. Nirvana changed music alright, to shitty bands like limp bizkit, Korn-Hole, Greenday and the rest of the no talented bands other than godsmack.

    • yeaaahh

      Some people disliked their music because it was more punk influenced than the other grunge bands. They didn't really have a technique, it was just all raw emotion which is what made them so good. Kurt and Axl Rose almost fought at the VMAs one year because he called GNR's music garbage.. I love both bands and the whole grunge movement was dope..

  • Isaac

    Any real Rock n Roll fan knows Nirvana ain't shit.

    • Anonymous

      ^^ LMAO at all y'all. Nirvana is wack, period.

    • Anonymous

      haha james u got no life stop hating on nirvana u fucking loser how many posts have u made on this article alone?

    • Afi K. James

      Issac is right, Nirvana was total shit from the start, I Listen to their album nevermind many years ago when I Got it home from the library and it sucked all the way through. other than dave grohl. Thank goodness Alice in chains, soundgarden and pearl jam were MUCH better bands.

    • yeaaahh

      You're on crack! Kurt was a great songwriter and Dave Grohl is one of the greatest drummers of all-time.. Their music was full of raw emotion..


    Nirvana was a fantastic band that changed the way music was perceived when Nevermind came out. One of my top 5 albums. Was the first time I saw the capabilities of what the youth could do with music (A direct correlation with a lot of hip hop that I like).

  • Anonymous

    "so it's about time for another incredible act to come along and change Pop culture" Drake has just entered the building.

  • Anonymous

    im tired of these meaningless topics where it is discussed about rappers favorite's ice cream and other bullshit people with a bit of common sense don't care about only no life mothafuckas and sheep like this kind of headlines message alert to yall bitch ass niggaz : these rappers aint gods. stop worshipping these pricks

  • Anonymous

    "Those 'hair bands' were too easy for us to take out" Those hair bands made millions. The fact they died out was more about most burning out than hip hop pushing them out.

  • yeaaahh

    Nirvana was to the 90s what The Beatles were to the 60s. They changed the whole culture and brought real music back to the mainstream. Kurt was one of the best songwriters in music history. You know history repeats itself and mainstream music is pretty crappy right now,so it's about time for another incredible act to come along and change Pop culture.

  • Anonymous

    was just talking to someone the other day about how i still hear nirvana like every day on the radio (rock stations obviously) all these years later

  • Fuck Marcy

    Ain't nobody in the hood give a fuck about Nirvana...FOH w/this nerd swag bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    Kurt Cobain once big-upped hip hop by saying "Rap music is the only vital form of music introduced since punk rock."

  • Doubl Negative

    I got more love for Kurt and them dudes than most rappers. Smells Like Teen Spirit was released when I was a teenager, so I was part of that whole zeitgeist. Nirvana are one of the few white rock bands Brothers aren't afraid to admit to listening to.

  • Oaklands Own

    Im not really into Rock Music.... But Nirvana was DOPE! Ive been hooked every since i first heard "Smells like Teen Spirit" in sixth grade. Im a grown ass man now, and they still get play in the rotation every once in a while. RIP Kurt Cobain

  • Anonymous

    jay-z and pharrell discuss their favorite cartoon network

Most Popular News

Most Discussed News