Jack White calls Nicki Minaj “brilliant” and says rap is the “new punk rock”

White is "shocked" by some of Minaj's lyrics

Jack White has spoken about being influenced by rap music recently, also describing Nicki Minaj as “brilliant” in a new interview.

The former White Stripes frontman released his third solo album ‘Boarding House Reach’ on March 23. It saw White work with hip-hop musicians who had previously played with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.

Speaking in a new interview with Clash, White revealed that he’s been recently listening to a lot of Kanye, Minaj, A Tribe Called Quest and “’80s and ’90s hip-hop specifically”.


“In a lot of ways, it is the new punk rock,” White said of modern rap. “They’re doing the dangerous things – whether it’s Trippie Redd or Tekashi69; these are a very punk, dangerous side of music.”

White went on to discuss Minaj’s work, saying that he was “shocked” by some of her lyrics.

“[If] you listen to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Only’. I mean, some of those lyrics are like, ‘Holy shit!’ I, as an adult, listening to that by myself, am shocked at some of the words that I’m hearing,” he said.

“But it’s brilliant! It’s brilliant to be able to say that, to be able to say whatever you want. I couldn’t get away with saying half of those things that Nicki Minaj says in that song. It’s just brilliant to see how far things have gone in that sense, and how cool it is for people to talk about these moments and say, ‘Wow, check this out.’”

White added that he wants bands to follow this lead. “I want someone to blow my mind right now, like a brand new band to come out and be like, ‘I can’t wait to hear that next song…'”, he explained. “That’s that moment that we don’t get enough of nowadays.”


This comes after White made headlines for saying that he doesn’t understand what DJ Khaled does.

Khaled’s 2017 Rihanna collaboration ‘Wild Thoughts’ heavily sampled Santana’s 1999 classic ‘Maria Maria’ and White recently described it as “just Santana’s song in its entirety”.

White sarcastically added: “It was nice of DJ Khaled to sit down and write and perform and record that – that was good of him! He’s an incredibly talented man. There’s no doubt about that. He does so much!”

In a five-star reviewNME wrote of White’s new album: “Jack White has finally lost the plot – and he sounds totally brilliant… he’s at last shaken off the bluesy shackles of the White Stripes and has created something wild, mysterious and unlike anything else around.”