Are rappers the new rockstars? Nikki Sixx has some thoughts

Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and rapper Post Malone
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia, Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Is rock dead? Has its corpse been usurped by younger, more 'dangerous' genres like rap? Are rappers the new rockstars? These debates have been rumbling on for what feels like decades at this point, and now Motley Crue founder and bassist Nikki Sixx has entered the fray to share his thoughts. Since the Crue were once considered part of the blueprint when it came to defining what being a real rockstar meant, it figures he might have some thoughts about what that term looks like these days.

As part of a conversation with Loudwire Nights, Sixx was drawn into a conversation about modern day rockstars with host Toni Gonzalez, who mentioned rapper Post Malone's new song Motley Crew, which features drummer Tommy Lee in the music video.

Asked about what the term even means in 2021, he shares that he thinks the word "rockstar" has evolved into something with a more complex meaning, typically used to describe an artist who stands out from the rest.

"I think whoever's got the balls to stand up and not be vanilla is the rockstar, right?" He says. "That's what rock'n'roll is all about — not conforming. I hate vanilla music, can't stand when artists conform for financial reasons.

"So anytime you have an artist, I don't care what genre it is, that's pushing the envelope, I find it really exciting because they're taking a chance."

Fence-sitting? Maybe, but we'll take it. 

Recently, Sixx revealed he'll be releasing a new biography titled The First 21. The book is set to go deeper into his personal life than previous memoirs such as The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries, and take a closer look at Nixx's life before he became a – you guessed it – rockstar.

The First 21 will be available October 19, and is now available to pre-order. 

To hear the full interview, tune in to Loudwire Nights tonight at 7PM local time via the Loudwire App or via the website.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.