Wynton Marsalis is a musical legend, no one is denying that. But when it comes to understanding hip-hop culture his dogmatic point of view is a blemish that a man of his stature and class could do without.

In an interview with Jonathan Capehart for The Washington Post podcast Cape Up Marsalis expressed extreme dismay over hip-hop music particularly the lyrics; even going as far as saying that it’s more damaging than the presence of a Confederate statue.

“I don’t think we should have a music talking about n***ers and bitches and hoes,” said Marsalis. “It had no impact. I’ve said it. I’ve repeated it. I still repeat it. To me that’s more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee.” He went on to say that “we’ve lost our grip on our morality in the black community…using pornography and profanity and addressing ourselves in the lowest, most disrespectful form.”

Marsalis is coming from a genuine place. Having lived in the heart of the civil rights movement he fought hard to establish himself and used his craft to uplift the black community. Looking up at modern rap and its rudimentary lyricism would be enough to drive anyone in his position mad. He even compared the current scene to a modern day minstrel show.

“You can’t have a pipeline of filth be your default position, and it’s free,” explained Marsalis. “Now, the nation is entertained by that. It’s not free. Just like the toll the minstrel show took on black folks and on white folks. Now all this ‘ni**a’ this, ‘bitch’ that, ‘ho’ that, it’s just a fact at this point.”

There is no denying that lyricism in mainstream rap has taken a nose dive, so much so that one can’t help but side with Marsalis in how it portrays excessive wealth, gut-wrenching violence and misogyny that is in a word: loathsome.

What’s unfair is how he’s generalizing it all into one, failing to acknowledge trailblazers like A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, Guru and Madlib (and plenty of others) who have all made positive contributions. He’s also not considering that the lyrics are a reflection of their environment and to condemn the art is to ignore the other more grave socio-political elements involved.

Marsalis’ timeline begins and ends with a certain era. If the tables were turned, however, one can point to jazz icons who weren’t exactly saints themselves but still geniuses in their own right; Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus all had checkered pasts.

Marsalis has high standards and he has the right to scoff at rap especially when guys like Lil Yachty, Lil Xan and 21 Savage are getting such a large stage. But to dismiss hip-hop as an art form and all its positive contributions in the end says more about him and his ignorance than it does about the people he’s criticizing.