When the Black Eyed Peas returned with their first studio album in eight years in October, they did so with a sound that reflected their hip-hop oriented early material. Ditching their more electronic and pop-inflected sound which defined their music Elephunk onwards, Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 saw the now Fergie-less Peas getting political. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the group's frontman Will.i.am admits that he isn't a fan of the current state of rap.
"What’s the number-one sport on the planet? Soccer, because anyone can play it," Will responded when asked about why hip-hop is the most popular genre at the moment. "The problem with hip-hop is everybody could do it. It doesn’t take much f**king skill right now to make hip-hop. It’s become the lowest-hanging fruit. It’s no longer about Rakim-level, Nas-level, not the deep, metaphorical simile shit. Out of respect for the Nases of the world, let’s not call it hip-hop. Let’s say that’s rap. But instrumental music is going to be the next biggest shit."
He doesn't back down from there, either, choosing to double down on his claim that listeners will want to hear more complex and skill-oriented music going forward. "That’s the only way to prove intelligence or taste: demonstrating your artistry," he explained. "Right now we’re competing human on human, and eventually we’ll be competing human on machine – the moment there’s a fucking AI mumble rapper [laughs] . . . it’s inevitable, bro!"
Check out the full interview, which also sees Will discussing how he feels about artificial intelligence, here.