There's a tendency for white people, white musicians, to grab onto r&b or hip-hop from 10, 15, or 20 years ago. In the last four years, I've been listening to a lot of contemporary stuff, good or bad, just trying to get into the mind of it. And I really wanted that to inform [Midnite Vultures] and consciously make it contemporary, but not in a trashy way. Take all the things that I like about the contemporary r&b, but without all the gunk and slickness and tasteless elements of it.
Griffith, Jackson, 'Boogaloo With Beck', Pulse! Magazine, December 1998
In the R&B world you're set adrift. You're allowed to have this sexual bravado, but at the same time you're a family man who loves his mama. You're allowed to be masculine and you're also allowed to make fun of yourself. I just find that so much more interesting and genuine. And R. Kelly is completely adored. He can come out and sing something like "I'm fucking you tonight" straight up, that's what it is. And it's love and devotion, too. I find that to be much more subversive and punk-rock than any band who are playing loud guitars and wearing fake contact lenses and trying to be scary and offensive
Ashare, Matt, 'Slow Jamming: Beck reveals his inner soul man', The Boston Phoenix, 25 November 1999