After spending over twenty years making top-notch hits and ultimately paving his own lane, it appears that Will.i.am owns a very unsteady theory about the future of the Hip-Hop genre. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the Black Eyed Peas rapper expressed his thoughts about the livelihood of Hip-Hop’s global dominance and anticipated the coming and takeover of artificial intelligence rappers.
“What’s the number-one sport on the planet? Soccer, because anyone can play it. The problem with hip-hop is everybody could do it,” he said. “It doesn’t take much fucking skill right now to make hip-hop. It’s become the lowest-hanging fruit. It’s no longer about Rakim-level, Nas-level, not the deep, metaphorical simile shit. Out of respect for the Nases of the world, let’s not call it hip-hop. Let’s say that’s rap. But instrumental music is going to be the next biggest shit.”
If there is one thing out of Hip-Hop’s history that is telling of its universal appeal, which leads to its unlimited creativity, it is its barefaced journey to global recognition from being heavily discredited to a lasting folkway. Hip-Hop’s mesmerizing entrance was a green light to those who were linear to the culture and blatant migrants and eventually gave birth to the myriad of carbon rappers and unrestricted sectors of sub-genres. It was the showcased lifestyle of the prime catchy-rhymer that most aspiring rappers have spent the past 30 years crafting non-traditional tunes about, an often misleading and misunderstood expression.
With the help of name-dropping distinguished music acts, Will.i.am went on to elaborate on the contents of true Hip-Hop music, by highlighting the importance of a Hip-Hop musician being able to embrace their artistry.
“The John Coltranes, the Stan Getzes, the Jimi Hendrixes, the musicianship. That’s the only way to prove intelligence or taste: demonstrating your artistry. Right now we’re competing human on human, and eventually we’ll be competing human on machine – the moment there’s a fucking AI mumble rapper [laughs] . . . it’s inevitable, bro! Like, the reason why Star Wars is Star Wars is because the Jedis kept the machines in check.”
Will’s confidence in artificial intelligence is certainly not artificial, there is a sound reason behind his confidence. He is currently one of the most sought-after tech innovators of the 21st century and one of the lead advocates of artificial intelligence. According to Rolling Stone, since his 2015 Puls smartwatch exertion, Will.i.am has received over $100 million in funding for his company I.am, a personal artificial intelligence device.
The Grammy-award winning producer isn’t keeping his tech knowledge to himself, he instinctively mingled Hip-Hop into the game. The Black Eyed Peas teamed up with Marvel for the curation of their graphic comic Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles. The virtual reality version was released earlier this year and offers a full-fledged honorable Hip-Hop voice-over cast including Redman, Queen Latifah, and Snoop Dogg. There is a great deal of actuality in Will.i.am’s stance and that is mostly because of his luxurious experience as a modern day musician with a Hip-Hop foundation—which is just enough to justify the worth of his expression.