NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — In an interview with the Washington Post’s “Cape Up” podcast, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis made no bones at all about his especially dim view of hip-hop and rap music.
“My words are not that powerful. 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.
Marsalis sat down with Cape Up’s Jonathan Capehart to promote the debut of “The Ever Fonky Lowdown” a project commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The world premiere of The Ever Fonky Lowdown, which debuts at the Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre on June 6th, is part of the special concert event entitled Wynton Marsalis, an evening devoted to original compositions by Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director.
The program will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; guitarist Doug Wamble; vocalists Jazzmeia Horn, Brianna Thomas, and Camille Thurman; with narration from New Orleans native and actor Wendell “The Bunk” Pierce, and choreography by Jared Grimes. The concert also marks the finale of the organization’s 30th anniversary season.
Marsalis is no stranger to discourses on race and became the first jazz artist to win a Pulitzer for Music for his riveting 1997 piece “Blood in the Fields” an orchestral and vocal examination of race in America.
Marsalis noted that his newest compositions also addresses the weighty subject, telling Capehart “It plays on how you think — what you think — the mythology you’re given. You’re given this mythology — all these movies and shows. Black people commit crimes. Black people call each other niggers. Black people call each other bitches. Black people — all this. Everybody lives in drug-infested communities, everybody shoots this, they don’t have any respect — every black person has no integrity. You could have a movie with no black people in it, the one black person in it would be the one with no integrity. That’s just mythology. So if I’ll get you to buy into that, okay, that’s the ever-funky lowdown.”