Keith Richards Calls Pop Music 'Rubbish', Blasts Rap: 'I Don’t Like To Hear People Yelling At Me'

25 September 2023 | 1:45 pm | Mary Varvaris

"I don’t want to start complaining about pop music..."

The Rolling Stones @ Qudos Bank Arena

The Rolling Stones @ Qudos Bank Arena (Credit: Josh Groom)

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The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has hit out against modern-day pop and rap music, calling the former “rubbish” and criticising the latter based on rappers “yelling” at him.

In a new interview with The Telegraph, while promoting their upcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, Richards revealed that he’s a fan of all genres, from blues to jazz to classical music, but you won’t catch him listening to pop or rap tunes on the radio.

“I don’t want to start complaining about pop music,” he commented. “It’s always been rubbish. I mean, that’s the point of it. They make it as cheap and as easy as possible, and therefore, it always sounds the same; there’s very little feel in it.”

Adding that he prefers listening to instruments, like guitars, drums, bass and keyboards, Richards added, “I like to hear music by people playing instruments. That is, I don’t like to hear plastic synthesised muzak, as it used to be known, what you hear in ­elevators, which is now the par for the course.”

Turning to rap, the rock star continued, “I don’t really like to hear people yelling at me and telling me it’s music, aka rap. I can get enough of that without ­leaving my house.”

The Rolling Stones will release Hackney Diamonds, their first album in 18 years, on Friday, 20 October. You can pre-order/pre-save your copy of the album here.

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The Rolling Stones signalled their “new album, new music,” and “new era” in a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon. “Hackney may be at the heart of Hackney Diamonds, but this is a truly global moment we want to share with fans around the world via YouTube,” the band said in a statement, per Variety.

The new album also features numerous big-name collaborations, including the band’s late drummer Charlie Watts, former bassist Bill Wyman, Lady Gaga as a guest vocalist, Stevie Wonder on keys and the piano, Paul McCartney plays bass on one track, and Elton John appears on two.

Hackney Diamonds also marks the band's first work with producer Andrew Watt (Ozzy Osbourne, Miley Cyrus, Pearl Jam, Justin Bieber).