Jack White Praises Nicki Minaj and Hip-Hop as 'The New Punk Rock'

Jack White Nicki Minaj
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images For Roc Nation

Jack White and Nicki Minaj attend the Tidal launch event #TIDALforALL at Skylight at Moynihan Station on March 30, 2015 in New York City. 

Jack White loves Nicki Minaj, and he loves her -- and hip-hop's current offerings -- so much that he dubbed the genre "the new punk rock."

In a new interview with Clash, White says that he sought out musicians who backed hip-hop artists on the road to flesh out the sound of his new album Boarding House Reach, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

"JAY-Z goes on tour and he has a live band behind him," he said. "That’s a specific type of musician who can do that; they can replicate samples and tones that an engineer or a producer came up with on a recording and perform them live. So those types of musicians I thought would be very inspiring to me, to just get to a new place that I’d never been before."

He adds that hip-hop, "in a lot of ways" is "the new punk rock," where artists performing in the jurisdiction of the genre are "doing the dangerous things -- whether it’s Trippie Redd or Tekashi6ix9ine; these are a very punk, dangerous side of music."

But Minaj, and her track "Only," in particular, set a new standard for him and what he's hoping to achieve in his work.

"I mean, some of those lyrics are like, ‘Holy shit!'" he told Clash. "I, as an adult, listening to that by myself, am shocked at some of the words that I’m hearing. But it’s brilliant! It’s brilliant to be able to say that, to be able to say whatever you want. I couldn’t get away with saying half of those things that Nicki Minaj says in that song. It’s just brilliant to see how far things have gone in that sense, and how cool it is for people to talk about these moments and say, 'Wow, check this out.'"