Arsenio Hall Says Hip Hop Is About Good Music, Not Race

posted Monday May 26 ,2014 at 10:00AM CDT | 23 comments

Arsenio Hall Says Hip Hop Is About Good Music, Not Race

Arsenio Hall calls criticism of white artists in Hip Hop "reverse discrimination," says people are no longer concerned with an artist's race.

Late night talk show host Arsenio Hall shared his thoughts on race and Hip Hop in a newly-released interview with Vlad TV. The actor/television personality spoke on the matter when asked what his thoughts on white rappers today and white rappers of the past are.

While responding to the question, Arsenio recalled listening to Machine Gun Kelly and not becoming aware of the Cleveland, Ohio emcee’s race until days after listening to him. He also shared his belief that color isn’t important in Hip Hop and praised Eminem for backing that theory.

“I was listening to a kid from Cleveland the other day, Machine Gun Kelly…I don’t think I knew he was white,” Arsenio said. “I don’t think it’s important. I think it’s about good music. Eventually if you get a CD or if you’re on the internet [and] look at Spotify you might see a picture in the bottom left and you learn that somebody’s white. I don’t think being a poet—I don’t think color is important. And I hope that in a reverse sense Eminem has kinda just crushed all the bull. Because if you can do this you can do this.”

Towards the latter half of his interview with Vlad TV, Arsenio stated that we’re in a place now where he feels that people are no longer “tripping over the color of an artist.”

“I think where we are now is good because aren’t we really about good music,” he said. “Is there anyone who would say ‘That’s a white girl and I’m not fuckin with it. Or that’s a white boy. I don’t want—.” I hope we’re way past that. Plus, you’d be dealing with reverse discrimination. And there’s nobody more forgiving than black people in America. So, I don’t think anybody’s tripping over the color of an artist. Not in the back community.”

Arsenio’s comments come months after Brand Nubian rapper Lord Jamar proclaimed that white artists are guests in Hip Hop.

“Okay, white rappers, you’re coming to this almost as a guest,” Jamar said during an interview with Vlad TV in September. “Okay, matter of fact you are guests in the house of Hip Hop. Just because you have a hit record doesn’t give you the right as I feel to voice your opinion.”

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