Daryl Hall, one-half of the world's once-most successful pop duo Hall & Oates, doesn't take kindly to those who would accuse him of "cultural appropriation" for copying black styles of music, telling them they should shut their mouths in no uncertain terms.
"Anyone who says that should shut the f*** up," Hall stated in an interview with Salon.
Hall is enjoying a resurgence of popularity from his 1970s and '80s heyday, a time when there wasn't a radio station tuned in anywhere in America that wasn't playing one of the group's hits. Since 2007, though, Hall has hosted a popular live music Internet show called "Live from Daryl's House" and it features some of the world's greatest and most popular musicians, as well as current pop stars.
Hall's voice is one that works for multiple styles of music and the songs he has written span the genres of pop, soul and R&B. He's currently working on a record that he dubs "a real soul record." That's where the Salon article ran off the rails and sent Hall into a frustrated rant against those who find everything offensive.
Here is the exchange. Enjoy:
SALON: One of the current debates is over “cultural appropriation” – the idea that white people should not appropriate the culture of ethnic and racial minorities. I know that you don’t like the term “blue eyed soul.” Have you followed this conversation?
HALL: Are you trying to say that I don’t own the style of music that I grew up with and sing? I grew up with this music. It is not about being black or white. That is the most naïve attitude I’ve ever heard in my life. That is so far in the past, I hope, for everyone’s sake. It isn’t even an issue to discuss. The music that you listened to when you grew up is your music. It has nothing to do with “cultural appropriation.”
SALON: I agree with you entirely, because…
HALL: I’m glad that you do, because anyone who says that should shut the f*** up.
SALON: Well, this entire critique is coming back…
HALL: I’m sorry to hear it. Who is making these critiques? Who do they write for? What are their credentials to give an opinion like that? Who are they?
SALON: Much of it is academic.
HALL: Well, then they should go back to school. Academia? Now, there’s a hotbed of idiocy.
SALON: Anyone who knows about music, about culture in general, understands that everything is much more natural. Everything is a mixture.
HALL: We live in America. That’s our entire culture. Our culture is a blend. It isn’t split up into groups. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool – worse than a fool – a dangerous fool.
Rock on, Daryl.