Elton is urging music fans not to "ridicule" rappers, insisting singers such as Kanye West and Eminem are "a phenomenon".
The piano player recently collaborated with West for a track on the hip-hop star's latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
He tells TeenMusic.com, "I never dismiss any form of music. I listen to everything. I'm on the new Kanye West record, for example. It's a genius record. I was on the Alice in Chains record...
"People who mock rap, and say, 'I don't like it,' they should go check out Kanye in the studio rapping. Or Eminem when he's in the studio. It's a phenomenon. Don't knock it until you've seen it. It may not be your cup of tea, but don't ridicule. I find that so many of my peers of my age don't listen to anything new. I love the new."