For decades, Jazz musician and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has shined within his genre as an innovator and educator while also ruminating on the value of Black culture with a critical eye. Marsalis sat down in a newly released podcast interview, revealing that he’s still no fan of Hip-Hop and says the genre is “more damaging than a statute of Robert E. Lee.”
Speaking with journalist Jonathan Capehart and the Washington Post-sponsored Cape Up podcast, Marsalis tackled a bevy of issues including race in America, the quality of education, President Donald Trump, Kanye West, the loss of morality amongst Black people, and a heaping helping of respectability politics.
But what will turn heads in the Hip-Hop community was Marsalis stating that the music and culture that informs much of what it means to be Black in America and beyond is harmful because of its negative connotations and use of language.
“I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have a music talking about niggers and bitches and hoes. It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee,” Marsalis said to Capehart.
Marsalis also tackled Childish Gambino’s provocative “This Is America” video and single and the unavoidable presence of Kanye West also surfaced in the chat, to which Marsalis said, “I would not give seriousness to what he said, in that way. Okay? This guy is making products. He’s making him some money, got probably a product coming out that he’s selling. He’s saying stuff. People talking about him. They’re going to buy his product.”
Check out the full Cape Up chat with Wynton Marsalis in the clip below. Read more here.