This year, Larry King interviewed more Hip Hop artists on his talk show than ever before.
Although, King admits he’s “not a fan of the music,” he says he “respects that the music is appreciated by many.”
After King recently shared an entertaining exchange with T.I., VICE sat down with the 81-year-old TV personality to talk about Hip Hop, the music he actually enjoys and who he would like to collaborate with.
“I’m fascinated with all forms of music,” King said. “My musical tastes go back to [Frank] Sinatra and Ella [Fitzgerald], so most of these artists are new to me. But I’m fascinated, as I have young children, and they listen to these [musicians]. So sometimes I’ll go home and say, ‘I interviewed T.I. today,’ and I didn’t know who that was going in, but they knew all about him. I’m learning on the run. But enjoying it a lot.”
During his 25-year-stint as the host of Larry King Live on CNN, King primarily covered politics, global issues and interviewed controversial figures. Hip Hop was rarely a featured topic.
King points to his age, as the reason why he hasn’t taken a liking to the genre.
“I’m 81 years old,” he said. “I’m curious about a lot of things. I’m accepting of a lot of things. To me, lyrics mean Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and Frank Sinatra singing them.
“I don’t appreciate Hip Hop,” he added. “But if it’s good Hip Hop, and people like it, I understand it finding its audience.”
Despite his distaste for Hip Hop, King has been able to conduct many successful interviews with guests that belong to the genre. He’s even developed relationships with rappers outside of the show.
“I would love to do something with Snoop,” King says. “I dig all this. I’m youthful in my frame of mind. If you asked me to sing a Rap song with them, I would go do it. If they asked me to do one, bring a little Jewish element to it.”