Newly uncovered audio of an interview with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain has revealed his belief that white people shouldn’t attempt rap music.
The audio, which was posted online by musician Roberto Lorusso, was recorded on 20 September 1991 at the Opera House in Toronto, Canada. Lorusso, a then student at the university in Toronto, asked Cobain about a wide range of subjects which included everything from business deals around Nirvana’s tour and label, to their then album Nevermind.
At one point, Lorusso asked Cobain for his opinion on the music group Consolidated, a band who focused their music heavily around activism and featured a number of their white male members performing rap. Cobain replied: “I’m a fan of rap music, but most of it is so misogynist that I can’t even deal with it. I’m not really that much of a fan, I totally respect and love it because it’s one of the only original forms of music that’s been introduced, but the white man doing rap is just like watching a white man dance. We can’t dance, we can’t rap.”
In the same year, the former Nirvana frontman emphasised his opinion on white rappers in an expansive conversation with Billboard: “I think rap music is the only vital form of music that has been introduced to music in a long time since punk rock,” he said. “I would never do rap music. No. There’s just no sense in it. The people who do rap music do it just fine… I’m usually offended by people like Vanilla Ice, and stuff like that.
He added: “The white man ripped off the black man long enough. They should leave rap music to the African-Americans because they do it so well and it is so vital to them.”