Soul legend Isaac Hayes is urging young African-Americans to turn their backs on rap and concentrate on making music.

The singer/songwriter admits he was a fan of hip-hop when the genre first started breaking through because it was angry and fresh, but now he believes too many rappers are lured by the idea of fame and fortune instead of a desire to have their tunes heard.

He says, "Rap started out with a lot of anger, then they threw a lot of money at these guys, and they missed the point. It's about giving and sharing.

"I'd like to see kids play live music more. They've been throwing mad money at them, which is fine, but they need real art, some real music education. That will ensure that the art will continue."

Hayes, a mainstay of Memphis, Tennessee's STAX studio system, where talent was nurtured in the 1960s, insists kids don't have to look back far for inspiration and individuality.

He adds, "Back then, you knew who KOOL + THE GANG was, the OHIO PLAYERS and EARTH, WIND + FIRE. You could tell the SPINNERS from the DELFONICS. Now everything sounds alike."

28/02/2005 21:16