Apart from the Jacksons, there probably is no more successful family in the music industry than the Marsalis family. Wynton Marsalis is a virtuoso trumpet player and a jazz purist. His recent comments about rap music might be shocking to people of the social justice warrior persuasion.
Wynton Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, and Pulitzer Prizewinner. He’s also built himself a longtime reputation as a jazz purist, one who refuses to integrate music like avant-garde jazz or fusion into his work, which is otherwise immersed in the genre’s history. But Marsalis’ view of rap music is a whole lot darker than his ideas about whatever forms of jazz he doesn’t like, as The Washington Postreports.
Talking to Marsalis on his Post podcast, Jonathan Capehart asked about playing jazz during a time of massive racial unrest like what we’re seeing today. Marsalis responded that racism has less to do with the Charlottesville attack or even with Donald Trump’s election and more to do with “how we’ve lost our grip on our morality in the black community… using pornography and profanity and addressing ourselves in the lowest, most disrespectful form.”
Here’s the whole podcast for anyone who wants to listen.
Marsalis argues that “filth” is now the “default position” in black music.
You can’t have a pipeline of filth be your default position, and it’s free. Now, the nation is entertained by that. It’s not free. Just like the toll the minstrel show took on black folks and on white folks. Now all this “nigga” this, “bitch” that, “ho” that, it’s just a fact at this point.
For me, it was not a default position in the ’80s. Now that it is the default position, how you like me now? You like what it’s yielding? Something is wrong with you, you need your head examined if you like this. It’s almost like adults left the room or something…
He says that rap music is more damaging than any statue of Robert E. Lee.
My words are not that powerful. I started saying in 1985 I don’t think we should have a music talking about niggas 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…
I feel that that’s much more of a racial issue than taking Robert E. Lee’s statue down. There’s more niggas in that than there is in Robert E. Lee’s statue.
I have to point out that losing a grip on morality isn’t exactly unique to the black community. Unfortunately that’s common ground across many demographics.