Childish Gambino, an artist who has not shied away from offering his thoughts on Hip Hop, proclaimed that “rap is done” during an interview with Hot 97 personality Peter Rosenberg. He stated that he still has love for rap, but similar to jazz he says the genre of music is no longer doing “the thing it was supposed to do.”
Gambino, who previously revealed that he doesn’t consider himself a rapper, addressed the state of rap when the amount of singing on his most recent album, Because The Internet was brought up during his discussion with Rosenberg. He also spoke on a new movement in music, a movement he says some have dubbed “new black.”
“It’s a pop album essentially,” Childish Gambino said. “We never wanted to make a rap album. I’ve talked about this before. Rap is done. Rap is done. I love Hip Hop. I love rap, but the thing it was supposed to do it doesn’t do anymore. Like I love it as a music. It’s the same thing as like jazz. Jazz when it was doing what it was supposed to do. And people still listen to jazz now, but it doesn’t have—It’s not doing the social work it’s supposed to do anymore. And that’s not because it’s gotten bad…It’s just a different movement. Whatever movement is happening now—Like I would like to think I’m a leader of whatever movement is happening. People call it ‘new black.’ People call it whatever, but I don’t want to name it cause it’s bs to name it. As soon as it gets named that’s when you start marketing it. And it’s like ‘Ah, this is hipster.’ Cause hipster was cool until it became hipster…And then it became monetized. Same thing with Hip Hop. So, whatever this thing is. Whatever’s happening. Like whenever Jaden Smith tells me he’s like ‘I’m real excited for whatever’s happening.’ He can feel it. I can feel it.”
Later in the interview, the Stone Mountain, Georgia singer/rapper discussed the lack of “a sense of balance” between races and also addressed crooked cops.
“That’s the thing,” he said. “People feel like that’s an attack on something. It’s like ‘I get it. I understand. You guys are in charge. You don’t want to lose the power. I totally get it’…I’m not hating on that. I totally understand. I get it. I’m just saying there’s got to be a sense of balance. Same thing with cops. It’s like ‘I get it. You’re putting your lives in danger also. But what am I supposed to do when a cop who’s a bad person does something? Who am I supposed to tell? I would call you guys, but at the same time I know what’s gonna happen.’”
Gambino also addressed a controversial poem he penned last month following the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the poem, he states “I wanna be a white rapper.”
According to the singer/rapper, he wrote the poem, which he says was “about freedom,” while he was “in the moment.”
“That poem was about freedom,” Gambino said. “It really was. It was about freedom. That’s what I wrote and I—People were upset. But yeah, good. A poem should make you [upset]. Like when was the last time someone wrote a poem that made you feel bad like crazy? That was heart. That’s how I felt in the moment…I just wanted to write about—I wanted to show how freedom is something that’s so great when you feel it. Like I felt it. I feel it on stage…I don’t hardly remember when I’m on stage most of the time. Cause it’s like freedom.”
Video of Childish Gambino’s interview with Peter Rosenberg can be found below (via 2DopeBoyz).