In a very rare interview, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan revealed that he’s a fan of hip hop acts Eminem and Wu-Tang Clan, amid praise for a handful of seemingly unlikely contemporaries.
The brand new interview with Wall Street Journal was published yesterday and heard the 81-year-old folk-rock icon weighing in on a range of topics from the rise of technology and streaming to his favourite television shows. When questioned about how he discovers new music, Dylan said it arrives “mostly by accident”. He then listed over 20 artists that he’s been listening to in recent years.
Among the diverse list were the unlikely rap artists Eminem and Wu-Tang Clan, both of whom Dylan said he is “a fan of”. He praised both for their “feeling for words and language” and added that he enjoys “anybody whose vision parallels mine.” Also included in that praise was Royal Blood, Celeste, Leonard Cohen, Rag N’ Bone Man and Nick Cave.
While Dylan’s late contemporary Cohen and moody poet Cave came with very little surprise, something about Dylan sitting at home blasting out Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ doesn’t seem to fit, but we love the image.
In a 2001 interview with Time, Dylan revealed that he hadn’t listened to much of Eminem’s music but said that the soaring rapper was clearly “doing something right.” He added: “I almost feel like if anything is controversial, the guy’s gotta be doing something right.”
Dylan also mentioned a range of what he deemed more “obscure artists”, including Tiny Hill, saxophonist Teddy Edwards and guitarist Teddy Bunn, who were most active during the 1940s to 1960s. Dylan also revealed that he listens to Ella Fitzgerald, Brenda Lee and Janice Martin, the last of whom he described as “the female Elvis.”
Later in the interview, Dylan discussed some of the artists he had seen perform live. He revealed that he’s seen Metallica live on two occasions and that he made “made special efforts” to see Jack White and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner.
Listen to Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ below. Released in 1965, it is deemed by some to be the first-ever rap song.