Legendary guitarist Keith Richards despises gangsta rap, and hopes it passes like another silly trend.

The veteran performer, known for his wild ways and legendary tolerance for substances, is convinced rap's roots lie with Bo Diddley and older Jamaican styles.

Richards, currently touring on the ROLLING STONES' FORTY LICKS bus, explains, "I think of (gangsta rap) like the hula hoop, as a fad. With the baseball caps and the baggy pants - I just got bored with what they were saying.

"And all those fingers pointing at you all the time! If I think about rap, which is basically talking over a beat, right, I think of Bo Diddley, to begin with, and then, where I really thought it reached masterpieces was in Jamaica with BIG YOUTH and I-ROY, when they were saying something and had some really incredible sounds.

"American rap has never really got on my radar screen, man. I mean, I know my brothers, right, and this is really not the best angle on them. They're all talking about the same thing and it's a wasted opportunity."

However, the MAIN OFFENDER album-maker concedes there are some interesting points in the gangsta culture.

He adds, "I don't really like to put a record on and listen to somebody talking to me, unless it's Lenny Bruce or TONY HANCOCK.

"But I did get interested when they started shooting each other. That's more like it, y'know? Wipe each other out!"

06/08/2003 17:14