Billie Eilish under fire for saying rappers these days lie about women and guns instead of telling stories
The Grammy-winner is being called out on social media for being 'ignorant' and 'racist'
The Grammy award-winning teenager has caused an uproar with her thoughts on the hip-hop scene right now. Billie Eilish says many singers these days are lying when it comes to writing songs, rather than just storytelling. She went on to add that this is especially true for rappers.
This, however, did not go down well with most people. Much like young white singers before her, including Miley Cyrus and Lorde, Eilish is drawing criticism from all corners for diminishing the artistry within the hip hop genre while actively benefitting from it.
Eilish had this to say about modern music during an interview: "Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important... There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There's a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It's like, 'I got my AK-47, and I'm f*ckin', and I'm like, what? You don't have a gun. 'And all my b*tches' (and) I’m like, which b*tches? That's posturing, and that's not what I'm doing."
Popular rap is one segment of a much larger industry, and given that most of hip hop music is still created by black artists, any commentary on the genre cannot be separated from race. And Eilish's comments that come off the heels of artists such as Diddy, who called out the Grammys for disrespecting black artists, definitely seems in poor taste.
But some point out that it goes beyond that. Eilish draws inspiration from many black artists, including Tekno, who the young singer said was her favorite artist last year, and Tyler, The Creator, who she references in the same interview. She has also mentioned that she and Drake are good friends.
After drawing musical and fashion inspiration and mentorship from the black community, the singer's views on rap music appear to diminish the significant creative contributions the very community has made to the world — and to her own life.
Naturally, many have taken to Twitter to voice their criticisms after her interview with Vogue. One user tweeted, "breaking news: Billie Eilish has the same opinions about hip hop as your racist boomer uncle," and another said, "Her comments are especially dumb considering the clear influence of modern hip-hop on her work."
Many users pointed out that the singer was too young to know any better and is simply commenting on rap music being produced by her friends and acquaintances, but some explained just why Eilish's comments were problematic in the first place — they targetted a genre that has its roots in black culture instead of speaking about the music industry as a whole.
This user tweeted, "The first and only genre of music white artists demonize is rap. Billie Eilish could of said that country music as well. Sh*t most of the criticisms rap receives can also be applied to country music, but it rarely ever is and we all know why. (sic)"
Others were quick to point out the double standards this situation reveals. This user tweeted that interviewers "never ask Meek about the state of pop music? Or Jay or Kanye about their opinion on country or alternative rock? But here these fools go printing what Billie Eilish thinks of hip-hop."
As black artists continue to speak up about prejudice within the industry, Eilish's comments appear to miss the mark and demonstrate a lack of awareness of the very music that helped build the platform she stands on.