Apparently, Jack White is a huge Nicki Minaj fan.
White explains that, when making the album, he looked for contributors who perform live on hip-hop tours. The group ended up including Beyoncé’s drummer, Louis Cato, Lil Wayne’s bassist, NeonPhoenix, and Pitbull’s keyboardist, Quincy McCrary.
“That’s a specific type of musician who can do that; they can replicate samples and tones that an engineer or a producer came up with on a recording and perform them live,” he says.
During his quest for new collaborators, White ended up learning a lot about hip-hop and rap scenes and even finding parallels with other musical genres. For him, contemporary hip-hop is, in a lot of ways, “the new punk rock.”
“They’re doing the dangerous things – whether it’s Trippie Redd or Tekashi69; these are a very punk, dangerous side of music,” the musician explains.
Then, he goes on to talk about Minaj and her song “Only.”
“I mean, some of those lyrics are like, ‘Holy shit!’ I, as an adult, listening to that by myself, am shocked at some of the words that I’m hearing,” he tells Clash. “But it’s brilliant! It’s brilliant to be able to say that, to be able to say whatever you want.”
Last month, White criticized DJ Khaled during an interview with Rolling Stone. Talking about Khaled's performance of single “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller during the Grammys, White said “It's just Santana's song in its entirety.”
During another recent interview, the musician offered his advice for the well-being of rock music, saying that rock 'n' roll needs “some new young blood” in order to carry the guitar-wielding torch into the next generation.
“Rock 'n' roll needs an injection of some new young blood to really just knock everybody dead right now,” White says. “I think it's brewing and brewing, and it's about to happen. And I think that it's good. Since rock 'n' roll’s inception—every 10, 12 years—there's a breath of fresh air and a new injection of some sort of what you could I guess call 'punk attitude' or something like that, a wildness.”
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