American rockstars Red Hot Chili Peppers have released some huge albums over the years, but their fifth album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, might just be the biggest of them all. Recorded in 1991 alongside legendary producer Rick Rubin, the album is a celebration of excess, with frequent references to sex, drugs and death. It propelled the band into superstardom, where they've sat ever since.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, we've taken a look at a range of artists/bands that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have influenced, no matter the genre. They're a band whose legacy extends far beyond their own releases - it's fair to say that over the course of their existence of the band, they've helped to shape the sounds of some of the world's biggest artists.
While Kanye West has made a name for himself as a rapper, he's never been shy about his love of RHCP. Fans have compared the guitar on tracks like Gorgeous to that of RHCP guitarist John Frusciante, and speaking to BBC, he spoke about their influence on his music-making process, saying, “My music is rock. I listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers and I listen to one of my songs, and if I don’t give you the same emotion, then I go back and re-spit.”
The two artists even planned to tour with each other on the Stadium Arcadium tour, with RHCP bassist Flea telling MTV, “I think we’ll be doing some legs with Kanye, but I don’t know if that’s confirmed yet or not. I think we’re going to do a month or two with him. I think it’s going to happen, and I hope it happens. He’s a great artist – and we always try to get the best people to play with that we can.” While the tour never eventuated, it's clear that Kanye is a big fan of RHCP, and the feeling is obviously mutual.
Despite making her mark in the R&B/hip-hop spaces, it turns out that SZA had a huge rock/nu-metal phase when she was younger. Speaking to Pitchfork, she recounts her time as a teenager, saying that during her adolescence, "I dressed the same. I talked the same. I’m probably living off of my high-school intelligence, honestly. I had JNCO jeans and fuckin’ 30 bracelets on at the same time. Just a lot going on. "
However, when listing the artist she was listening to, she throws up some left-field names like "Limp Bizkit, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Macy Gray, Nine Inch Nails". Having a metal/rock phase is an almost mandatory part of growing up, and SZA was no exception.
Flea and Anderson .Paak seems like an unlikely combo, but it's one that came to fruition during a jam session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While at a local event series called Jam Club, the pair (alongside members of Anderson's band The Free Nationals) hopped on stage to rock out.
Both artists were in Argentina as part of the Lollapalooza Argentina line-up in 2018, and it's a video that needs to be watched to be believed. We'd love to see the pair jump on a track together, because this jam sounds seriously funky.
While German electronic band Milky Chance's music might not immediately resemble the sounds that Red Hot Chili Peppers have made throughout their career, the band cities RHCP's music - specifically the guitar playing of John Frusciante - on the guitar parts the band have written throughout the years. Speaking to RVA Magazine, singer/guitarist Clemens Rehbein speaks about the influence of RHCP/John Frusciante on the band, saying, "John Frusciante would be a big influence on us, probably more for [bassist] Philipp [Dausch].
"I listen to more of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stuff and Philipp is a lot more into his solo stuff. He is just an outstanding guitarist who’s definitely influenced us. There’s a lot of different guys too. If you like John Frusciante, you like Jimi Hendrix because that was Frusciante’s big influence and I’m a huge Hendrix fan as well like anyone else who focuses on guitar playing."
Lil Peep's music combined elements of rock, emo, punk and rap, with Come Over With You're Sober 2 track IDGAF drawing comparisons to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' hit Californication. Speaking to Paper Magazine before his untimely passing, Lil Peep opened up about his love of RHCP lead singer Anthony Kiedis, labelling him a "living legend".
He also tweeted "Red hot chili peppers my favorite band if anyone cares" back in 2016. Following his passing, his mum took to Instagram to post a tribute to Peep, writing, "We loved singing to the Chilis together", and sharing a picture of Californication track Otherside." It's a sweet reminder of Peep's love of family, as well as the person behind the music.
During their appearance on Carpool Karaoke, a long-running segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Linkin Park sung iconic RHCP track Under The Bridge. The heartfelt moment is a great tribute to the band, and a powerful moment for fans of both Linkin Park and the Red Hot Chili Peppers - especially as it's one of the last recorded pieces of footage of the late Chester Bennington.
Lana Del Rey
Prior to the release of her 2019 album Norman Fucking Rockwell, Lana Del Rey spoke about the influences on the album which included the Red Hot Chili Peppers. She's also made a habit of posting on social media whenever she's performed at the same festival as RHCP, so there could be potential for a collaboration in the future now that festival touring is back on the table.
lana del rey at the red hot chili peppers concert.
— ? ☽★ (@cinnamonkisses_) January 1, 2021