This is a partial repeat of a post I did a while back, I'm sorry I didn't catch this thread when it was new.
First of all, you have to view a rap album as the video equivalent of a godfather movie - a movie lauded by many, but put the same thing into music, and watch them protest. And, if you're a "serious" music lover, you have to unclench a bit.
Think the billboard top 10 is bad? Check out the non-rap top 10, it ain't much better. Think Led Zeppelin are genius? Try and be that open minded today, if you are that old, and still can.
For those who are actually able to unclench a bit, and listen to music just for music sake - not just to flatter your stereo (because it won't), my suggestion for rap would be to first of all see the documentary "Welcome to Death Row Records" - a true stunner. I can't suggest seeing that strongly enough. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg (and others in NWA) sold 5 million albums without any promotion, something that had never happened previously in the record industry, and probably never will again. No video.
Yes, you have to endure very rough content - if you can't watch a godfather movie, then don't buy these albums, but unlike the godfather movies written by guys using their imagination, early rap aka NWA was merely a reflection of the writers daily lives.
Here's a list of truly great music - godfather style - or as snoop would say - doggfather style - great in the sense that it truly "communicates" their vision, and often with some good comedic content - with #1 and #2 on the list the albums most talked about in the aforementioned documentary. Get just one of these 5 (I could list more) - seriously, I dare you. Put away the 20 reference CD's you play over and over to make your stereo sound good, and unclench your buttocks and mind to just one - seriously - just one new CD of the following 5.
 Dr Dre - The Chronic - 1992 (see documentary)
 Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle - 1993 (see documentary)
 Snoop Dogg - The Last Meal - 2000 (awesome in all ways)
 Dr Dre - The Chronic - 2001 (great update to 1992)
 Snoop Dogg - Top Dogg - 1999 (shmooth)
If you think you've heard it all as I did by time I turned 40, think again. If you want to know what rap is all about, starting with these 5 can save you a lot of time, and there may not be much better (but if anyone out there knows these albums and more like them, please reply - like RBX, Mel-Man, King-T, etc???). However this is nowhere near the roots of rap, I only just discovered some of these albums in the last year - many who've watched/listened longer would probably protest these choices, maybe rightly so. I missed a decade of it, and now have to dig back through NWA, etc.
Another album with some of the best cuts ever is "Dr Dre presents The Aftermath" 1996, but it's more of a sampler and more hit and miss than the "whole album experience" continuity of those above.
When #1 and #2 above came out, Dre and Snoop were just very poor ghetto kids (Compton) in and out of jail, and the lyrics are not promo, just their life. Pretty sad when you realize the talent these 2 individuals have, that if not for the breaks with NWA they'd be just 2 more guys in american prisons - it's a real eye opener.
Finally, as an added bonus, I picked these albums because the recordings of all of them WILL suprise you - except for #1 the first Chronic, if you have tubes and/or a smooth sounding system by other means, you'll be tuned right in. Personally, I use the Sunfire Hologram Generator in my tape loop for such albums - because I'll never let my stereo decide what music I can listen to! With the holgram generator, all these albums except the 1st are room-fillers, voices and sounds that shoot at you from the walls will lift you from your chair - and life size - and just as Snoop Dogg quotes of his Debut ablum (#2 on the list above), it's indeed "smooth".
Matt Haimovitz has been touring the clubs and blowing away the hip hop/rap/pierced set with his cello. Check out some of the reviews and try to catch him in one of these clubs. It is like McLaughlin and Coryell bringing jazz to tiny rock clubs and bars 25 years ago.
Of course most of the stuff on billboard is garbage (I didn't even bother to check the list) but SOME rap is artistic. Good old slick rick had things right, and DJ quik is another one. Most of the stuff is garbage, but some guys who do this are musicians.
I'll F_in' *guarantee* you'll read or hear about artist such as Tupac and Biggie Smalls by future generations spoken in the same light as we discuss Bird, Miles, Gillespe, etc.
It's enevitable folks; it's gonna happen; get used to it; get over it...
Was it that long ago when we heard the phrase: 'ole the times they are a changin'..." how ironic, how prophetic.
b read or hear about artist such as Tupac and Biggie Smalls by future generations spoken in the same light as we discuss Bird, Miles, Gillespe, etc.
Pathetic and sad, but probably true. The funny thing is that the three jazz artists you mentioned are not really from my era so it isn't just that I preferred the music of my generation. There's a lot of great music from all eras; rap is just one of the exceptions, IMHO.
It is inevitable that great talent will be recognized, and maintain its rightful place in the history of musical development. Rap will be discussed in the same light as past emergents which have had profound effect on todays artists. Like Sid whats-his-name from that group in the early days of junk music (or punk, I forget). "Friggin in the Riggin" is studied today alongside the works of stravinski, I understand. Punk music was only exceeded in popularity by DISCO music, another step forward from the darkness of overly complex musics. For some reason I cannot recall any of the thousands of Disco artists, but I think John Travolta was involved somehow. And then New Wave changed life as we know it.
As I said, The real talents are here to stay, cause good music is like truth:
First it is ridiculed
Then it is violently opposed
Finally it is accepted as being self evident.
Kids today...whatever happened to the real music of your own high school days. Now that was music. What the kids listen to today is not music. It is disgusting.
...that you listened to as a kid” gets trotted out in rap’s defense every time this comes up, but it has one or two major flaws.
Before the exploitation of sequencers, drum machines, and samplers by non-musicians, if you wanted to create music, you actually had to learn how to play an instrument and develop a musical vocabulary with which to express yourself. Music is a language, and literacy allows one to articulate their ideas with greater clarity and subtlety. Rap is the “musical” equivalent of having a conversation with a five-year-old; the musical content may be cute and even sincere, but it lacks any trace of deeper insight and emotional depth.
I’m not suggesting that rap has no value. Hell, in our culture, the commentators who best depict the pathetic state of our societal affairs are often comedians (intentionally or otherwise). Rap is illiterate social commentary, and as such, it’s obviously appealing to rebellious, unsophisticated kids who have never been exposed to real music.
And there’s the rub: The “music industry” (as though music can be assembled in a factory like a machine!) bean-counters have robbed an entire generation of music and replaced it with videos (themselves nothing more than commercials), “singing” strippers, toneless machines programmed by the musically ignorant, and LP’s of other people’s music being scratched (plagiarized) by half-assed DJ’s.
and you have the right to express it. Social commentary is bound to attract arrows. It's the differences of expressed opinion that make AA interesting.
The turntable(dJ) is an instrument that take great skill to master as much as a guitar ,horn or piano and rapping takes much skill as well.
There is bad rap just like their was bad teeny bop rock and roll. In pop music there is always good skilled performers and fakes, just remember just because you can't apreciate it doesn't mean is is bad music.
“The turntable(dJ) is an instrument that take great skill to master as much as a guitar, horn or piano and rapping takes much skill as well.”
I tried to beat my sword into a plowshare, but this is too much! You obviously aren’t a musician - if you possessed even the most rudimentary understanding of music, you’d never erroneously equate musicianship with record scratching. It would be more accurate to equate scratching with typing, though the latter requires a basic working knowledge of spelling, grammar, and punctuation (a void deeper than a collapsed star if we’re discussing rap), so perhaps I’m being too generous.
All a DJ’s needs are a bit of dexterity and a decent sense of rhythm. Throw in a sub-audio-grade turntable and a stack of records containing the hard work of actual musicians and practice, practice, practice. Pretty soon he or she can make all the trendy noises and loops needed for the genre. No actual musical knowledge what-so-ever is required. A DJ can’t “play” even the most elementary tune unless a musician pre-records it for him; no notes, no melody, no harmony, nothing but rhythmic scratching and looping. DJ’s “play” the high-tech equivalent of a washboard.
A decent musician needs a working knowledge of music theory, which in itself can take a lifetime. Without it, improvisation will consist of little more than a limited vocabulary of licks, but even a humble garage-rock player possesses an understanding of music that surpasses the best DJ’s. If a musician wants to be versatile, it also helps to sight-read – on a good day a DJ couldn’t tell whether a page of music notation was upside-down or not.
DJ’s aren’t musicians - they don’t play a musical instrument and they have no use for music theory. I’d call them limited sound-effects technicians.
Rappers aren’t singers - repetitious rhythmic-monotone speech is just that; speech. I’d call them public speakers with an extremely restricted vernacular.
Put the two together and you have…what? Without looping someone else’s recordings or hiring in some real musicians, rap, in and of itself, is some kind of prancing rhythmic rhetoric that clearly has value for some people, and that’s a good thing, but it shouldn't be confused with the music produced by a competent musician.
You know, I agree with you that a turntable is not an instrument , but you know what? It is considered an instrument by increasing numbers of people. A saxophone wasn't an instrument , either, less than 100 years ago. Remember that.
> All a DJ’s needs are a bit of dexterity and a decent sense of rhythm.
You guys think it's so simple, don't you? How about a knowledge of recorded music? You think these guys just automatically have acquired this? No, it takes time, and requires work, retention, memory--perhaps not practice or study, but something like it. The whole point is to have a track playing along that brings something musically to the listener. And remember, this doesn't apply simply to rap. There are several genres of electronic music. I know, I know. Nobody who makes that stuff is a musician. Sheesh. There's a whole world out there who doesn't give a damn about you & yr musical snobbery. Maybe if you listened to something that's going on outside yr own world you might even actually hear something you might enjoy, for Pete's sake.
> No actual musical knowledge what-so-ever is required.
A musician doesn't necessarily require an advanced knowledge of recorded works, either. A DJ does. Not better or worse, just different.
> A DJ can’t “play” even the most elementary tune unless a musician pre-records it for him
How do you know? There are plenty of DJs who are also musicians. Where do you get yr information?
> DJ’s “play” the high-tech equivalent of a washboard.
Yeah--so? John Lennon & Paul McCartney started in a band that had a washboard.
> A decent musician needs a working knowledge of music theory, which in itself can take a lifetime.
Really? What's yr definition of 'decent?' There are plenty of players I'd consider very decent who wouldn't know what music theory was if they even knew how to read music.
> Without it, improvisation will consist of little more than a limited vocabulary of licks
Yr source on this?
> on a good day a DJ couldn’t tell whether a page of music notation was upside-down or not.
Where do you come up with this stuff?
> DJ’s aren’t musicians - they don’t play a musical instrument and they have no use for music theory
Do you make it up as you go along? Hey, most DJs probably aren't musicians. But some are. Which means you're just plain wrong, bub.
> Rappers aren’t singers
Who's saying they are? They are, however, vocalists . Do you have this much of a problem with Ken Nordine?
> repetitious rhythmic-monotone speech is just that; speech
No, it's not. When delivered rhythmically, as rap, it enters a musical realm, whether you like it or not.
> it shouldn't be confused with the music produced by a competent musician.
Sounds like it's more likely you're concerned that
someone's doing this confusing than it is that anyone's actually doing it. Hey, I've got a question for you: did you complain this much in the 1970s about Gil-Scott Heron? How about Linton Kwesi Johnson? I honestly don't remember anyone ever screaming that THAT stuff wasn't music. Remove their musicians & substitute a record, and everybody's got such a big problem with it. Makes no sense. Or are you going to tell me that 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' wasn't music, either?
J, you constantly seem to want to engage in a pissing contest, but what’s the point? I never said “rap sucks,” or even that I dislike it. I just don’t consider it on the same level as music. I can’t stand polka, but I’d never claim that it’s not music - as you so amicably expressed it, that would be “idiotic.” I also don’t care for death metal, but its still music. I just feel that rap belongs in a different category.
I base my opinions on what I hear; same as you, but I’m also a professional musician and instructor, and I’ve played with more jazz, R&B, fusion, rock, and funk bands than I can remember. My cousin is a pro DJ, and I’ve even played bass for him on a few hip-hop jobs, along with a drummer. Those guys were so musically illiterate that they couldn’t communicate what they wanted the rhythm section to play, let alone provide charts for us. We had to waste hours learning it all by ear, but it was their money. I’ve taught enough beginners and played with enough people to realize how limited a musician is without some basic musical knowledge.
So, no, I’m not “making this stuff up;” I know what a musical instrument is capable of in the hands of a half-decent player, and a turntable just doesn’t qualify, IMO. Rap may be the most powerful, articulate, emotionally charged form of communication since William Faulkner, but as a form of purely musical expression , it may well be the most shallow, juvenile tripe to ever see a tape head. That’s why I think it’s better not to call it music and relegate it somewhere else; perhaps into the category of social commentary - though even then, it seems (to me) to be inordinately preoccupied with violence, hate, racism, and greed. That doesn’t make it “bad” pre say, but a lot of it is awfully damn ugly.
Okay, let me get this straight: I've got a guy who's trying to tell me what is & isn't music, possibly on the basis that he's a musician & therefore knows about such things. I sense the irony as I remember the words of a musical instructor I once had who told me that anyone who would play a fretless bass guitar was 'not a musician.' People who think they know enough about music to dictate such things to others are a truly frightening species. Reminds me of a discussion I had some five weeks ago with a chap who informed me that "No horn or reed instrument is in the same league with the violin when it comes to effectively conveying a vast range of emotions through music." When I challenged this, he replied, "I'm sorry if trumpets, flutes, clarinets, and saxophones don't have the majesty, or range of different kinds of tonal colors, and therefore haven't been able to exploit as many possibilities music has to offer as a violin or a cello but that's just the nature of those instruments." I've got to give him credit, because this is at least a somewhat novel position. There's far more folks out there who have deluded themselves into believing that rap is not music. Guess what: yr attitude is strikingly similar to his, and you're both wrong.
I notice you didn't respond to my query about Gil-Scott Heron or Linton Kwesi Johnson. No comment on Ken Nordine, either. I assume a guy who is a professional, a veteran, and an instructor like you has taken the time to listen to the records these three have put out? If you consider the work of these people to be music, I'm dying for an explanation on why what they did is music, yet rap isn't. If yr position is that they are not music, then I'd like to know why not? I'd love to see anyone have tried to tell Heron that what he did was music, yet rap isn't.
So death metal is music to you, but not rap. Who else isn't music to you? Yoko Ono? John Cage? The Butthole Surfers? Bob Dylan's vocal style on 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is rapping, so does that make that record 'not music?' Where does it begin, and where does it end? What about all the rap records that feature actual musicianship? I've got quite a few here in my collection--perhaps half of all the rap records I have feature
actual musicians playing on the records! I even have rap records that are sung! Does that mean they're not rap? Or does it mean they're not music? Which is it? Please don't just ignore these questions. I really am interested in yr answers. Seriously.
“People who think they know enough about music to dictate such things to others are a truly frightening species.”
Hi J, I’m not “dictating” anything; I’m expressing an opinion, just like you. To me it’s equally “frightening” that our culture is dumbing-down enough that some people are willing to lower their standards to the point where a DJ can distort a musician’s work, and be considered a musician himself as a result. If I take an artist’s painting and deface or mutilate it, I’m a vandal, not an artist. I suppose some people consider everything music (or art). One might ascend, Zen-like, to the perception that water drops leaking from a rain gutter onto the hood of a car are music, or that the sound of a thunderstorm is a symphony, but that’s more about philosophy than music categorization. Conversely, one could say that someone tapping their fingers in the audience is suddenly part of the band and a bona fide musician – it all depends on how high (or low!) you choose to set your standards (or have them set for you by marketing parasites). I set my musical expectations higher because I want to continue to grow as a musician, so it stands to reason that I expect more from music than some hack distorting the recordings of musicians on a turntable. You’ve clearly set your standards differently, and I wonder - where do you draw the line? Is a kid playing air-guitar while going “neow-neow-neoooow” a musician? How about an infant with a rattle? Hell, my car’s suspension makes a rhythmic tapping sound when I drive over the stutter-bumps on the freeway – is it a musician as well?
To answer your question about Gil-Scott Heron, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Ken Nordine; in all three cases, I hear guys talking over a band. The band members are musicians, but if the guys doing the talking aren’t singing or playing, then they’re just plain talking. Maybe they’re poets. Is an actor speaking his lines while a movie soundtrack plays a musician too?
Because I’m not willing to lower my personal musical standards to the lowest common denominator marketed to a musically bankrupt culture, I regard most rap as juvenile, mind-numbingly repetitive, illiterate prose, backed up by either a group of musicians (rarely), or (typically) a primitive sound-effects technician who distorts other people’s music because he’s incapable of creating his own.
> I’m not “dictating” anything; I’m expressing an opinion, just like you.
Uh-huh. You mean like this?
> > Rap is illiterate social commentary
> > Juvenile nursery rhymes set to mind-numbing mechanical repetition may be a form of communication
> > its still music played on musical instruments by musicians – rap is not
> > repetitious rhythmic-monotone speech is just that; speech
> > rap, in and of itself, is some kind of prancing rhythmic rhetoric that clearly has value for some people, and that’s a good thing, but it shouldn't be confused with the music produced by a competent musician
> If I take an artist’s painting and deface or mutilate it, I’m a vandal, not an artist
One man's vandal is another man's artist, though. Recently Howard Dean held a rally in NYC. His campaign hired a 'graffiti artist' to design a background for the stage. Last week that artist was arrested for his vandalism in the past. A year from now it's hardly beyond the realm of possibility that the American public might elect president a man who championed the work of a criminal. If Howard Dean hires you to paint for him, are you an artist?
> I suppose some people consider everything music
I limit it myself to what is sold and listened to as music. If a record company puts out a product that is not spoken word or comedy or an audiobook, and it is sold to consumers in a record store, then it is music so far as I'm concerned. Do you know what glitchwerks is? That's a form where electronic music professionals (I don't call them musicians, myself) record sounds like the noise that gets sent to yr CD writer when yr computer crashes. In fact, they crash their computers on purpose just to capture that sound. Then they set these noises to techno beats. And the result is sold as music. Is it not music just because you or me or someone else doesn't think it is? I don't see how.
> Conversely, one could say that someone tapping their fingers in the audience is suddenly part of the band and a bona fide musician
A performance artist put on a show some time ago where the audience members were handed cellphones. The phones were rigged to go off at strategic times based on the tones each was programmed to emanate. Does this make those holding the phones musicians? No. Does it mean music was not created? No.
> Is a kid playing air-guitar while going “neow-neow-neoooow” a musician?
No. However, if you form a record company, record it, publish it, print it, and manage to find even one person who's willing to buy it, then I will consider it to be music.
> How about an infant with a rattle?
No. However, if you form a record company, record it, publish it, print it, and manage to find even one person who's willing to buy it, then I will consider it to be music.
> Hell, my car’s suspension makes a rhythmic tapping sound when I drive over the stutter-bumps on the freeway – is
it a musician as well?
No. However, if you form a record company, record that rhythmic tapping sound, publish it, print it, and manage to find even one person who's willing to buy it, then I will consider it to be music.
> To answer your question about Gil-Scott Heron, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Ken Nordine; in all three cases, I hear guys talking over a band.
So it's not music, then? Interesting. Boy, am I glad you're not MY instructor. I'd have to introduce you to the guy who told me that anyone who plays a fretless bass is 'not a musician.' I'd pay a lot of money to see you guys duke it out.
I have to wonder what Bernard Purdie would have to say about that. Or Miles Davis or Quincy Jones, who, again, both recorded rap albums. I hate to speculate, but my sense is that they would disagree with you. Of course, you probably know more about it than they do. Music, that is.
> Maybe they’re poets.
So Heron's a poet, but not Public Enemy? Funny, the words, if you look at 'em, appear to be mighty similar. Oh, I forgot. Rap is illiterate.
> Is an actor speaking his lines while a movie soundtrack plays a musician too?
No. But if it's sold as music, then I would have to consider that actor to be a vocalist in a technical sense. Because on a music product he would have to be credited as a vocalist.
> Because I’m not willing to lower my personal musical standards to the lowest common denominator marketed to a musically bankrupt culture
Well, it's all in the eye of the beholder, now, isn't it? If you listen to rock music, then, according to the chap who had his say about strings vs. horn & reed instruments, YOU ARE PART OF THAT MUSICALLY BANKRUPT CULTURE. What do you think of that? The discussion began when someone was interested in hearing what would be a poster's #1 choice for a Desert Island Disc. The person starting the thread chose Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme.' This other guy said: "In my dictionary, rock music is an oxymoron. That someone would suggest that the only recording they would own on a desert island if that is all they could have is Coltrane shows the decrepit state of musical education in America and probably in most of the rest of the world." He also said "it's just an historical fact that the best musical minds who ever put pen to paper didn't waste their thoughts on jazz." Now, don't you hear that what you're saying about rap mirrors EXACTLY what he's saying about jazz & rock? How am I supposed to take yr position seriously when you share that attitude with such a musical tyrant? And believe me, there's always going to be someone who's even more of a stickler that's going to say that HIS choices when it comes to music are inferior. Now, as a musician, have you ever faced such an attitude in an individual who feels so strongly that whatever it is that you do is absolutely worthless? You're telling ME what's not music...what if I took his stance & declared that whatever it is that YOU like isn't music?
I'm not going to say that a turntable is an instrument, or that a DJ is a musician. What I am going to say is that the skill involved in being a DJ is, if not enough to qualify one as being a musician, certainly nothing to sneeze at, that rapping absolutely requires a semblance of rhythmic/musical ability, and that rap is absolutely, unequivocally, definitely music.
J, I’ll sum up my opinion very simply: If I’m listening to musicians (good or bad) playing musical instruments – it’s music, whether I like it or not. I think that’s pretty simple. No musicians, no musical instruments; no music.
I vehemently disagree that just because a corporation markets something as music, it is music. That’s the kind of subservient mindless consumerism that reduces human beings to drones and reduces a culture into a hive. If your represent the masses on this, I should start a company and sell CD’s filled with the dulcet tones of my garbage disposal grinding up rotten veggies– I’ll be rich!
So you're not going to address any of my points, are you? I sincerely hope that there comes a day when you have to explain yrself to someone who tells you that you are not a musician; that you are part of the dumbed-down culture because you like rock or jazz; that the fact that you like what you like is a result of the lack of musical education in this country; that the fact that you're an instructor is a musical travesty; and that any rock & jazz you may happen to enjoy is not music. I really do. And I hope it happens soon.
Hi J, I’ve addressed your points ad nausium. I think you know my opinion very well by now, and I don’t see the point of continuing this downward spiral of a discussion.
If you get your wish and someone dismisses my playing as crap; that’s the way it goes – you can’t please everyone. I’m comfortable with what I play and external validation isn’t terribly important to me.
Don't worry, I'll somehow manage to muck through life knowing you weren't interested in addressing directly what I had to say. I certainly did not take it as a personal attack. Oh, and believe me, it is not so much that I wish someone to dismiss yr playing as crap. I just think it would be a real eye-opener for you to have to face musical snobbery similar to yr own from the opposite side of the fence.
what do you think the classical music loving parent, who listened to tchaikovsky exploring the depths of the human soul in a piano concerto, was telling his kid about listening to three-chord, repetitive rock & roll where the singer screams (not sings) about "i wanna hold your hand"?
exactly what you're saying here about rap's relative unsophistication and lack of depth, and about rock & roll's substitution of amplification and screaming in place of "music".
I'm sure you don't listen to music that's made by people who are considered to be musically illiterate; but I sure do. If yr take on rap is that it represents 'illiterate social commentary,' it's plainly obvious you've never listened to the stuff.
> it lacks any trace of deeper insight and emotional depth.
Why, because YOU can't hear it? You want literacy, try looking up some of Public Enemy's lyrics. You want emotional depth, try listening to P.M. Dawn. Don't tell ME what is & isn't just because you don't like the stuff.
> it’s obviously appealing to rebellious, unsophisticated kids who have never been exposed to real music.
'Real music' as defined by who? YOU?
> other people’s music being scratched (plagiarized) by half-assed DJ’s.
Obviously nobody's bothered to inform you that people have to pay licensing fees to sample other people's music. Which means that people who are listening to rap ARE being exposed to plenty of music they wouldn't otherwise hear. You want examples, I got 'em. I've seen plenty of rap fans buying jazz & rock albums that they talked about being interested in solely because they heard samples on rap records. I suppose you think this is bad for music. You're entitled to yr opinion.
> Juvenile nursery rhymes set to mind-numbing mechanical repetition may be a form of communication, but it shouldn’t be pawned-off in place of real musicians playing real instruments.
> > > *Yawn*
Yes; you’re obviously tired and cranky; why else would you take my comments so personally?
> > > I'm sure you don't listen to music that's made by people who are considered to be musically illiterate
Sure I do; a lot of rock music fits this category, and I listen to a fair amount of it, but literate or not, its still music played on musical instruments by musicians – rap is not. The latter is as musically challenging as listening to a pair of sneakers pounding in a dryer.
> > > 'it lacks any trace of deeper insight and emotional depth.'
As I made plain by the italicized use of the word “musical,” I was not referring to the “lyrics,” but to the almost non-existent musical content.
> Obviously nobody's bothered to inform you that people have to pay licensing fees to sample other people's music.
I wasn’t addressing legalities; I was referring to artistic plagiarizing, which is not unique to rap, but rather than being influenced by another musician, or even copping a few licks, rappers descend so low as to use the actual recordings of musicians as their “instrument.” I could take an artist’s paintings, cut them up, and glue the pieces together, but the result isn’t an original work of art; it’s a hack-job by a non-artist.
> > > I've seen plenty of rap fans buying jazz & rock albums that they talked about being interested in solely because they heard samples on rap records.
I could not have said it better!!! Years from now just like our generation can reminise and see concerts of rock stars from our youth, that we still apreciate, (because it had muscians), and can hear them still...old and new songs on the radio, (althogh most of the newer songs aren't up to the old). Future genererations can look forward to seeing their favorite rap stars 30 years from now performing in some small club, (I doubt they can sell out an arena, let alone a stadium...they can't do it now..OK maybe one or two can), bring their kids, and can watch them prounce around clasping their 50+ year old crotches, waving their hands in their patented yo man style, and looking into their gold teeth, and say this is what daddy enjoyed in his youth. When I was young we used to argue who was the best guitarist, drummer, bass, keyboard player ect. Who do they argue about now..who has the most gold in their mouth!
Seriously I know some rap is listenable, and the cross over stuff is better, especially if there are intruments and musicians involved, but most of the hardcore stuff is crap. Time will tell...will there be clssic rap (old school) radio stations so in the future middle aged people can tune in to reminise when they were young? or will they say what were we thinking!!
I was listening to rap in 1979, and heard plenty of people say it was just a passing fad. Over the next few years plenty more said it would never be commercially viable. Now the majority of the top 10 singles in America are rap songs.
What's ironic about my participation in these threads is that I don't even listen to rap music much anymore, and haven't in over ten years. And I don't care about the genre one whit & wouldn't miss it if it disappeared tomorrow. But I knew a long time ago it wasn't going anywhere. Rap nostalgia in 50 years? Hell yeah. Believe it. But understand that rap is not a live medium. No arena rap tours in 50 years? Well, rap is what's at the top of the charts now, and it's there in spite of very little if anything in the way of arena rap tours now. The genre doesn't need to sell out stadiums to occupy the place it has in the market. Which still isn't even that much. Yet all those hit singles. Hmmmm...
The Beatles were turned down by nearly every record company in the UK before George Martin decided to take a chance on them. Any 'musician' you like--any one--comes from a tradition where musicians will be mocked by some because they just plain don't like it. I'm sick & tired of hearing people talk about what constitutes music when they base it solely on their likes & dislikes. 'I don't like it, therefore it stinks,' or 'I don't like it, therefore it isn't music,' or 'I don't like it, therefore the people who make it are not musicians.' I get really sick & tired of it. Anybody who's going to define what music is or isn't or who's a musician & who's not on this basis is going to get an argument from me.
J, I understand your point, and there will always be someone who thinks that theirs is better than theirs, and will try to discount what they don't agree with. I grew up with classic rock, and also listen to jazz some clasical and vocalist music. I know some people dont like jazz they think its all "over the place" and dont get it, and some won't even give classical a chance. So they can say what they want about it, but they really can't say it takes no musical talent, because they are musians...some better than others. What bothers (troubles) me with rap is that all I basically see is a person cluching a microphone bobing around with maybe 2 or more other guys just interjecting a yo or yea in between beats, and making the same gestures that EVERYBODY seems to do. What is that A natural phenominum or something that everybody must do? (I know "everybody" doesn't, but enough do) I mean come on already. I think the reason it has it 's staying power is that it has so much DISLIKE power. Young teenage rebelious people need to have music that angers/disgusts the older generation. I think if it was engaging, and excepted by the older generation in masses, it would be disgarded quickly, (my opinion):) And something else would have to be picked up that was edgy and frowned upon by the older generation. Also I think "music" (instruments played by musicians) is held by people in a higher regard because the aveage person can't do it, where as the average person only sees a person with bad grammar talking into a microphone, spiiting out words fast enough to fit into the beats. (I know that takes some talent, how much is up for debate). Also on the musical food chain so to speak you have people who can play their instuments extreemly well, (music that can be enjoyable by the masses, or too cerebral for some others but still respected) then you have mediocre musicians who play adiquate, but have outstanding songs, then you have rappers who the majority dont play instuments (if they did it wouldn't much matter because the phrasings are simplistic enough that you might just as well use electronica) So they are percieved to be on the bottom of the music chain by myself and a great many others.
Like I said in another thred you can make fart noises to a beat, and make a song. Does it take talent? (perhaps) is it music? It might be to some, but it is way down on the music food chain.
My 2 cents.
I really don't have a problem with yr position here. I probably agree that rapping in & of itself is on the lower end of the musical ability spectrum. But I insist that it is part of that spectrum. As far as the sameness goes, like I said, I was listening to the stuff a long time ago. Believe me, it isn't all that same thing with the same poses & attitudes & clothing styles & so forth. There's even a bunch of stuff that's remarkably friendly to classic rock ears. It won't matter to D or Fretless, but I honestly don't care about their opinions, just their proclamations about what is & isn't. (D already re-framed his argument, and as such I may disagree with him on the basis of his opinion, but certainly respect his choice to voice it) If you have the slightest interest in hearing something that breaks away from the sameness, try the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, P.M. Dawn, & the Pharcyde. Then there's A Tribe Called Quest. The early Public Enemy records pack a pretty powerful wallop, whether as a political statement or a vocal tour de force by Chuck D, who is probably the best rapper ever. If you have a sense of humor, try the first N.W.A. album, and you might see that 15 years ago the potential was there for gangsta rap to be funny & fresh instead of simply being repetitive & tiresome. If you don't, go back & listen to Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' & Louis Jordan's 'I Want You To Be My Baby' & then tell me what you think. If all I knew of rap was Snoop Dog & Tupac & Puffy, I'd probably hear Eminem as being pretty much the same as the rest of 'em. But he isn't, and if Chuck D isn't the best rapper ever, then it's that guy. These people are capable of using their voices to do things with words that can be, in spite of the 90% or more of it that I consider to be garbage, quite impressive. Nobody has to listen to it. But like anything else, there's something there worth finding.
> why else would you take my comments so personally?
Because I find them to be idiotic?
> The latter is as musically challenging as listening to a pair of sneakers pounding in a dryer.
Sounds like what my father's music teachers said to him about Art Tatum.
> I was not referring to the “lyrics,” but to the almost non-existent musical content.
Which means you still haven't listened to P.M. Dawn, or Wyclef Jean. Why criticize stuff you don't know anything about? It only makes you sound foolish.
> I was referring to artistic plagiarizing, which is not unique to rap, but rather than being influenced by another musician, or even copping a few licks, rappers descend so low as to use the actual recordings of musicians as their “instrument.” I could take an artist’s paintings, cut them up, and glue the pieces together, but the result isn’t an original work of art; it’s a hack-job by a non-artist.
Uh-huh. Yeah, you're right, it's an artistically worthless genre. I wonder why Miles Davis & Quincy Jones ever bothered making rap records. Hey, tell you what--why don't you go & take a look at the list of names that appeared on Jones' 'Back On The Block,' then come back & tell me that yr opinion is the correct one, and that they're obviously wrong & know nothing about music. I await anxiously.
i'm not picking on fretless in particular, but have you noticed how people who hate rap (i mean, those who really have an axe to grind) seem not to have listened to any of it from the last ten years?
when they talk about the reliance on sampling, lack of original music on the songs, and even when they mimic rappers ("my-name-is-andy-and-i'm-here-to-say"), they're talking about rap back in 1985. no genre could have survived for over two decades by repeating itself constantly.
...I shouldn't have been so critical. There’s enough nerdy bickering going on at AA without piling on my personal heaping helping. Music and audio are supposed to be fun, and I apologize for briefly forgetting that. If this genre of entertainment gets you guys off, who am to tear into it? And if it can keep J unperturbedly planted between his speakers and off the street, it is indeed a benefit to us all. ; )
"I guess you'll never realize exactly how much like Mitch Miller you sound."
But not from this olddude. Anyone that dismisses rap without hearing Ice Cube's cover of "One Nation Under A Groove" is just cheating himself.
Yeah, I know its old, but....
The only thing that bugs me about the dominence of rap isn't rap itself, it's radio narrowcasting. Thirty-five years ago, the top ten singles would have probably been eight different styles of music. Radio just won't do that stuff anymore.
brought to you by the people who brought you jazz...blues...and rock and roll...
The next step in musical evolution.
Rap and Hip-Hop are two of the main reasons those 12" black vinyl discs you covet so are still being made.
Since the beginnings of ragtime over a century ago old people have been denouncing the music that kids like. My parents didn't care for the Beatles records I bought. My grandfather didn't like the jazz my father snuck out of the house at night to hear in Saint Louis clubs in the early '40s. My daughter probably won't like the Sex Pistols and Clash records that mean so much to me. Who cares? An important part of being a teenager is establishing your own identity and seperating yourself from your parents. One way to do that is by adopting pop culture that isn't owned by adults and, even better, annoys most of them.
part of being a teenager is establishing your own identity and seperating yourself from your parents. One way to do that is by adopting pop culture that isn't owned by adults and, even better, annoys most of them.
Add tattoos, piercings and cutting
Adults who denounce an entire genre of music as crap are just idiots. There's good and bad in all styles.
In my entire life (50 this month) I've only met one person who liked more musical genre's than me. I actually collected rap CD's for an entire year a few years ago (focus on one genre per year) and reached at least 50CDs. The wife, who is 54, is a big Eminem fan who has all his CD's, saw Eight Mile twice and attended the Eminem concert in Detroit last Summer. So we're not anti-rap here.
I'm a very critical music listener -- I've purchased over 2,200 CDs since 1985 and have given away, or traded in, about 1/3 of them mainly due to mediocre music -- and few CDs were purchased unless I read or heard a good review first -- I didn't just pick them at random.
For the rap genre, I purchased about 50 CDs so far and traded in about 25 of them -- the worst percentage for any genre except new age where I think I traded in EVERY CD I purchased.
In my opinion, 19 out of 20 rap songs I've heard are not worth hearing twice, and as a result it's among my least favorite
genre's (new age is my least favorite, and reggae is my favorite).
The good news is about 5% of the rap songs are very good high energy music. Even if the artist is some white guy from Michigan like Eminem.
I think rap got off to a very strong start in the late 1970's (ignoring the earlier reggae 'rap-like' toasting) but hasn't
advanced that much since then.
Two groups that combine rap with other genres (US3 rap + jazz) and Blackalicious (rap + R&B) made great progress in creating rap style music that appeals to adults, especially the latest Blackalicious CD.
These groups allow me to introduce 40 to 60 year-old friends to rap music -- many won't move deeper into rap, but at least I get them to give it a try.
Re: a rap CD that got good reviews, the Beastie Boy's "Paul's Boutique" -- I just can't figure out why some people like it so much.
Science fiction writer Ted Sturgeon coined the phrase years ago at a writers' convention: "95% of new science fiction is crap (stunned silence).......95% of everything is crap. (much laughter)"
He was right. Rap music, classical music, jazz, rock, beer, cars, toaster ovens, movies.....everything.
... but it's still a good quote. As to whether rap music has a higher-than-usual "crap factor," that's a matter of opinion. Personally, I don't like rap. Most of it is ugly, angry music. Does that make it "crap" ??? Maybe.
I don't get into too much rap music as I would rather hear about love and the struggle to find it than hearing about how much money some kid made in the dope game or hear the "MF" expletive 47 times in 4 minutes. Some of it is alright once in a blue moon if you like to dance in a disco. I do like 2pac, but that is because his lyrics were insighful and often colourful about the experiences in his life. Yes he does use the "MF" expletive and some other course language, but there are a few songs like "Dear mama" where he does not curse in such a way as to make the song offensive. Most rap is poorly produced. I have never produced a record, but those rap enginers sure could be the blueprint for the book titled" how not to produce a record" If your target audience wants to shake the windows in the car, why not have deep bass instead of bloated mid bass that is baddly in need of compression? It would do a much better job. Also a band would be a nice touch instead of a guy spining a record and a guy talking. It seems like now any kid with an old 808 drum machine and a turntable can be a rap star. The worst concert I have ever seen in my life was a free Outkast concert I went to a few years back with a few friends who liked rap. It was laughable, 3 guys talking and a guy spinning a record. And these guys won a Grammie?? It might also be nice to write your own music, like most artist do, instead of slicing a piece out of a popluar song and or lifting the entire song. Puff daddy and the fresh prince seem to nice job of taking a song, stripping the original lyrics out and rapping over it. Of course rap started out like this, as "rapper's delight" was just Chic's "goodtimes" without the vocals. I can see covering a song, but that is a whole other can of worms....
95% of rap is crap ... thats bold .. very bold. although I don't think it really says a great deal about your openess to that genre if you can only find 5% that you feel is worthy. That is of course you opinion based on your experience thus far, I would like the oppotunity to challenge that...just a little:
What I would like to know is exactly which acts have lead you to think this?
I would also say there is always going to be a certain percentage in all genres that doesn't really reflect good music for whatever reason but 95%? . .. Just because 95% of a genre is not accessible to you for whatever reason does not make that 95% crap.
Rap (i use this in its broadest defin. to include -incorrectly- but for ease of discussion; fusion, crossover and hip hop) being as you like US3, i suspect you might be more persuaded by something a little higher brow like Spearhead, Naneh Cherry (home brew especially) Credit to the Nation, or maybe something from the old school; Sugarhill Gang, Afrika Bambaataa, Tone Loc or Roxanne Shante. Maybe a little more funked up like Stereo MC's or maybe Arrested Development' unplugged outing. You might also like something with a little more brooding insight as you like Eminem, maybe MC Tunes or The Streets (hardly brooding, but insightful) or even Top Authority to name only three... Currently however you can't deny acts like DM and Gemnini, Jurassic 5, Dizzee Rascal (took me a while to get with this one). And this represents only a sprinkling of the mainstream.
Also I feel it is a great shame you havn't found the "new age" genre to be pleasing since it is nothing more than a catch-all classification for everything and anything that does not nicely slip in to a more mainstream catagory, from folk and world styles to spirtually focused musings - you have bypassed a great many wonderful acts. Take Michael Hedges for a start, that is catorgarised (as is most of the Windham Hill label) as new age (even though most would argue Windham Hill is closer to contempory folk by alot of their signings.) He is seen by many guitarists as one of the true greats, a pioneer and innovator and his hugely influencial "Aerial Boundaries" is nothing short of a masterpeice in many peoples eyes. That is only one of many hundreds I could happily point you to.
You should give it a spin and let us know what you think?
Can ya' dig it? homeeeeeee
I guess I'm very selective -- on average I find three out of four songs of any genre not worth listening to twice.
The new age music I bought was all instrumental "elevator music".
Good for putting you to sleep, but not much else.
I even saw Andreas Vollenweider in concert.
I may be using a very narrow definition of "new age"
as I do like world music and folk.
Yeah I do understand what you mean by the new age elevator stuff .. good for ...errr .. elevators?
There is an area of new age that I am very fond of and that is the "toning" people:
David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir, and people like Michael Vetter, Jill Purce and so on ..
For something utterly perplexing try:
I do not have the words to summize quite how beutiful the above are. The things these guys and girls can do with their voices its astounding. Beauty in essence.. Possibly too ethereal and free for some but to me they truly are a spiritual experience.
Read it again: I wrote "Adults who denounce an entire genre of music as crap are just idiots. There's good and bad in all styles. [emphasis added]"
You wrote: "95% of rap (so far) is crap" . 95% is not 100%. You wrote: "The good news is about 5% of the rap songs are very good high energy music. " 5% good is not 100% bad. You've just agreed with me!
I'd say denouncing a genre is fair if you've given it a fair chance.
Why are you trying to argue that all rap music is bad when you're simultaneously arguing that some of it is very good? You seem to have a serious unresolvable contradiction in your positions.
b I stand by my earlier characterization that anyone who says an entire musical genre is crap - every performance everywhere, and every recording? - is an idiot.
You're right. But what idiot would listen to the entire rap catalog of every artist and every song, simply to prove to himself and the world that the genre is crap? I've heard enough to say that while perhaps the entire genre isn't garbage, every piece of rap music I've heard, every blurb on the tv, every 10 seconds from a passing car, IS garbage. With the absence of evidence to the contrary, I'd say that it's highly likely that all rap is garbage. But one man's garbage is another man's treasure, I suppose.
> Re: a rap CD that got good reviews, the Beastie Boy's "Paul's Boutique" -- I just can't figure out why some people like it so much.
when this came out, its production was pretty cutting edge. it sounded *denser* than anything else before, and its references (in lyrics and in samples) came from a completely different direction than most rap albums that came before. that is, the music wasn't set to funk & r&b sounds, but the band was sampling and cutting up the albums you'd find in a white person's home, and making a collage of it at a new level of sophistication. you have to remember that the beastie boys were the first white act to really break into rap.
the album also established the beastie boys as a serious act, rather than the "fight for your right to party" frat boy image they had cultivated on their first album. now that producers have computers to work with, and even obscure sources of samples have been tapped out, paul's boutique does sound dated, and i can understand how it's difficult to appreciate it's impact. the beastie boys went on to take another stylistic turn later by playing instruments on their alubms.
many albums that are important for their time don't hold up years later. you may remember that in 1992 spin magazine editors put teenage fanclub's album over nirvana's nevermind, my bloody valentine's loveless and r.e.m.'s out of time as album of the year. i remember reading that issue then, and it didn't seem so weird then.
I'm now going to buy all my hamburgers at McDonald's because the public feels they are better than what I grill at home. Quality stinks!
we would have to conclude that Gilligan's Island is superior to Hamlet. I always laugh when someone says X number of people can't be wrong. Of course they can.
b I always laugh when someone says X number of people can't be wrong. Of course they can.
They are pretty darn good---I don't think there are many stores out there yet... YUMMY
i am constantly surprised at how so many people find hip hop and rap so offensive.
dick clark once said that through the history of american bandstand, the kids always said about the songs they liked that "it's got a good beat and you can dance to it". the fundamental appeal of music hasn't changed in forty years, whether it's three chord rock-n-roll from the '50s or hip hop today. even going back into ancient history, you'll find plato writing about the beat stirring the soul.
the only change over the years is that you and i keep getting older.
"i am constantly surprised at how so many people find hip hop and rap so offensive."
I kind of have a similar opinion about '70's music...
I would not call hip-hop and rap "offensive," but I would call it "monotonous" and "boring." To me, one song almost sounds like a carbon-copy of another.
*the only change over the years is that you and i keep getting older.*
hehe. you can say that again.:-)
For any genre of music, there is good ones and bad.
LIke most all recent music, tons of crap out there.
Some rap artists are good. I spin Pete Rock every now and then.
that 'N_ _ger music' if I recall.
The only consistent thing about 'pop' music is that the current generation's music is never quite understood (or accepted) by their predecessor's.
Which leads one to only speculate what the next generation's will bring..!
and they had all sorts of different names for that. calloway once told gillespie to stop playing that "chinese music" in his presence.
Bebop was artistic music, played by artists - musicians (rappers, take note of that word) that were well schooled in sight reading, improvising and their history. Rappers are hucksters that are out to make a buck. Even many of the old rock and rollers were talented and could play. Rap is the next step, after disco, to the ultimate sound of tomorrow - flatulent noises over a techno beat. Granted, it's a generational thing. Kids want their own music, not the stuff we grew up with. OTOH, it isn't because it's current that I despise it. I listen to a lot of newer rock bands as well as jazz groups. I despise rap because it requires no talent to perform, no hard work studying, and/or nothing beyond a physical image. I'm embarrassed for the kids today that revere this stuff. Even disco was less pretentious.
Well, so what kind of movies do you go see on the weekends? I watch Ingmar Bergman films from time to time, but I also enjoy seeing mind-numbing action films too. I got zero problem with going to a movie that I know was made to make money for the studio, the producers and the actors. I got no problem with the film featuring actors who are hired because they look hot, or the flashy scenes that are style over substance. The Matrix was a lot of fun, and so was Terminator 3. It's meant to be fun, and yeah, it's a business too. Music, that is.
> I despise rap because it requires no talent to perform
Ridiculous statement. You obviously have no idea how much talent it takes to apply rhythmic phrasing in a rap meter to vocalising. If it were something just anybody could do, talking blues would've morphed into rap a long time ago. Nobody who cannot keep time is capable of rapping. I don't know if you've anyone ever attempt it who did not possess the requisite rhythmic talent to pull it off, but I sure have. Sometimes by people who share yr view that rapping requires no talent.
b You obviously have no idea how much talent it takes to apply rhythmic phrasing in a rap meter to vocalising
Actually, I do. It requires zero talent. Find me someone who CAN'T do it.
b Nobody who cannot keep time is capable of rapping
> It requires zero talent. Find me someone who CAN'T do it.
You don't know what you're talking about. PLENTY of people can't do it. Rapping is syncopated. NOT everyone can do it.
Now you say that 'not everyone can do it.' It is something that requires talent .
> comparing learning this to learning the violin or the saxophone or any musical instrument is a joke.
Perhaps, but I never compared rapping to learning a musical instrument, now, did I? Remember what you said?
> > I despise rap because it requires no talent to perform
That's what I responded to. From that you infer that I'm making a comparison to a musical instrument? I did no such thing. Oh, and by the way, you're forgetting that these allegedly talentless people manage to write their lyrics. Some are better than others, but some are quite literate. Of course, that requires no talent.
Why don't you take a look at all of the rap/jazz collaborations that Blue Note has been putting out for the past few years & tell all the old jazz guys who are working with rappers are wasting their time collaborating with people who have no talent? I'm sure the likes of Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, & Ron Carter are real interested in yr assessment. You obviously know more about it than they do.
My grandmother can't do it. There may be a few others.
It's musical talent or it isn't. Which is it? You said it requires talent. Of what if not music? Isn't it called Rap MUSIC? If they want to be called artists or musicians and claim they have talent, they're going to have to accept a comparative analysis.
"I'm sure the likes of Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, & Ron Carter are real interested in yr assessment."
Outstanding jazz artists that sell out is nothing new. They have mouths to feed just like anyone else. Hell, they may even enjoy rap but that's debatable. I'm sure they're NOT interested in my assessment just as they weren't in the 1970's when they jumped on the disco/funk bandwagon. I recall Herbie's "Rockit" LP, a mass of disco funk crap with such meaningful lyrics as "Ooo-hoo-hoo, I want the beat and I know you do, too." It was a cruel joke, just as rap is. But it sold very well. They see these collaborations as a way to make money from the masses who enjoy rap. And why not? Nothing wrong with it. But puh-leeeeeeze don't compare that crap to the stuff they did in the 1960's... you know, the stuff that requires talent, dedication, study, numerous gigs, practice, musical training.
Rap requires rhythmic talent. If that's not musical talent to you, then percussionists & drummers are going to take issue with that, I believe. Meanwhile, YOU try doing what DJs & producers do with turntables & samples & then tell me it takes no talent. Where do you dream this stuff up? Is a turntable a musical instrument? No, and neither is a sequencer or an engineering board. But they are all tools by which music can be created. Not the same as instruments, but certainly & absolutely in the same ballpark. Just because you restrict yr view on the matter to traditional musical instruments only doesn't make it so. Boy, am I glad I don't have to live in yr world.
> Outstanding jazz artists that sell out is nothing new.
So they're all sellouts, and Miles Davis & Quincy Jones as well? Very interesting. Even Ella Fitzgerald appeared on Jones' album. Was she a sellout, too?
> I'm sure they're NOT interested in my assessment just as they weren't in the 1970's when they jumped on the disco/funk bandwagon.
Ah, but they're the ones with the 'musical training' you seem to feel is so important--the sort that the rappers don't have. Wouldn't it be great if they'd had to live their musical lives according to yr rules? The world would've been a much better place without 'Rockit,' to be sure. And all of that disco/funk stuff. And rap.
> puh-leeeeeeze don't compare that crap to the stuff they did in the 1960's
Where exactly did I do that?
> talent, dedication, study, numerous gigs, practice, musical training.
Yeah, anybody can just jump on a stage & do what they do. Looks real simple. No dedication, study, practice, or musical training whatsoever. Hey, if you know so much about it, why don't YOU do it? You could make millions of dollars, and it takes no talent! Hey! What an idea!
Oh, God! Now you're comparing rap artists to drummers and percussionists? I think they'll take exception to YOU!
Yes, Miles and Quincy sold out! So what? I'm not familiar with the Ella disc so I can't comment. They all had musical training, as you conceded. Perhaps they lent some credibility to the rappers. At least someone on those discs had talent! And I'm not imposing any rules on music. All I'm saying is that it requires no talent to be a rapper.
"I say you wouldn't know what talent means if it bit you in yr colon."
The colon is where rap comes from. I wish it would stay there.
"Hey, if you know so much about it, why don't YOU do it? You could make millions of dollars, and it takes no talent!"
Because I don't have the right image. Rap is all image. Furthermore, I hate it. Why should I do something I hate to make money? But YOU could do it! Hell, ANYONE can... with the exception of my old granny and perhaps a few other people in remote areas of the world.
> And I'm not imposing any rules on music. All I'm saying is that it requires no talent to be a rapper.
Gee, that makes sense. You a lawyer or something? You're sure good at talking out of both sides of yr mouth.
This is as though I'm involved in an argument with someone who hates McDonald's so much that they're trying to tell me their products are such garbage that it requires absolutely no training or skill whatsoever to produce their food products. You want to believe it takes no musical talent to produce rap, you go right on believing that. I don't know one musician--and I know plenty--who agrees with you. Of course, since you know more than the 'sellouts,' yr opinion is the only one that matters. I leave you to it.
And you're sure full of ad hominum attacks. I guess when your argument has no leg to stand on, you resort to personal attacks.
"I don't know one musician--and I know plenty--who agrees with you"
I'm not interested in attacking anyone. What I am interested in attacking is the notion that rap requires no talent--when it's passed off as fact. If that's yr opinion, that's yr opinion. I might choose to argue otherwise, but I realize I'm probably not going to change yr opinion. When you insist that rap requires no talent & put it out there boldly as though you were proclaiming that the sky is blue, then I have a problem with it. I disagree with you that Miles was a sellout--how exactly did he sell out?--but that's not something that can be proven one way or the other. Sure am scratching my head about that one, though, since it's something I've never heard before, and since his body of work represents so many pioneering stylistic experiments and changes in direction, none of which, apparently, were done to cash in on anything in particular. But that's okay, you go on believing that. If you'd be so kind, perhaps you could tell me which of Miles' albums is an example of a 'sellout,' and why. I don't expect I'll be seeing 'Sketches Of Spain' on that list, but you never know. Perhaps you'll surprise me.
Don't know if you've seen the posts above between fretless & myself, but I'm going to put to you a question that to this point he has not responded to. Since his contention is that rap is 'not music,' I asked him to tell me if he thinks albums by Ken Nordine, Gil-Scott Heron, and Linton Kwesi Johnson are music. If they're not, then it looks like there's a slippery slope here where there's an awful lot that could be considered 'not music.' If they are, then I'm quite curious to know how they could be considered music while rap isn't. So tell me, if you'd be so kind: do you think that what Nordine, Heron, & Johnson did was something that required 'no talent,' and if so, how do you come up with that conclusion? If you don't think that, then I'm eager to know why you'd say they are talented while rappers are not.
I should have stated that my post was only my opinion in the first place but I thought that since there is really no way to prove it as a fact, it would be a given that it was only my opinion. But actually, you COULD change it - what rappers/discs do you feel show that there is talent in the rap field? Perhaps I've missed something.
As for Miles, no "Sketches of Spain" would not be on my list. Many jazz purists feel that anything after "In a Silent Way" should be on the list, but I don't agree. I'd say, from the top of my head, just about anything after "Decoy" was a blatant attempt to make money while sacrificing any music of real value. Remember, that's just my opinion and I've not heard every single disc Miles made after that point but I've heard most of them. And don't think just because I've used the old term "sell out" (which generally has a negative connotation) that I think making music for money is bad. Jazz/Rock Fusion itself was a sell out but I enjoy a lot of it (from the early days) and it is also well done.
I appreciate where you're going with your challenge but I'm afraid I've not heard anything by the three artists you mentioned. Can you supply suggestions - say, the single best disc from each of them? I'll check them out if I can find them. But I'm assuming that there are elements of rap and perhaps jazz - they're likely some kind of fusion - and your question is how can these two coincide if I feel rap artists have no talent? Is that where you're going? I can answer that without hearing the music you mentioned (I think) but do let me know before I do so I don't waste your time.
> what rappers/discs do you feel show that there is talent in the rap field? Perhaps I've missed something.
I was exposed to rap fairly early on--1979. I listened to it in the early 80s & then didn't pay much attention until I heard a Beastie Boys single in 1985. After the big Run-DMC & Beastie Boys albums that came out in 1986 I listened to quite a bit of rap until 1992's The Chronic by Dr. Dre, the debut of Snoop Dogg. Since then I don't think I've purchased more than a dozen rap albums. Every once in awhile I hear something I think is very good--the first Pharcyde album, the third P.M. Dawn album, Eminem, MC Paul Barman, an odd tune here or there. Mostly I don't pay attention. Most of it sounds the same to me. And I hear efforts to deviate from the typical gangsta style, efforts to inject positivity, what have you. Some are good, but most suck. Like anything else. Who do I think is talented? The Beastie Boys, certainly. I don't think they've ever put out a bad record. De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, P.M. Dawn, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Eminem, absolutely. If not for Chuck D I'd say Eminem was the best rapper I've ever heard. Nobody has ever done with words what he does. He is the Sinatra of rap. The phrasing that is required to do what he does is absolutely mind-boggling. But I still think Chuck D is the best. I've never heard a voice like his...maybe Paul Robeson's voice would be an apt comparison (I am not talking about singing talent). There is a quality to Chuck D's voice that comes out precisely because of how he uses it--to rap. And he is the voice of rap so far as I'm concerned. What he does evokes a listening experience that you won't get from listening to anyone else. How anyone could say that does not require talent is beyond me.
> Many jazz purists feel that anything after "In a Silent Way" should be on the list, but I don't agree
I don't have much use for anything he did after 'E.S.P.' But sellout? No.
> just about anything after "Decoy" was a blatant attempt to make money while sacrificing any music of real value
If he'd done an album of Phil Collins covers, then I'd agree with the term 'sellout.' But while I have absolutely no use for what he was doing, it was hardly Muzak. I believe he remained true to his artistic sensibilities. I just don't get where this is a sellout. It makes no sense to me. It's not like the stuff was disposable pop garbage designed to sell a million copies. 'Rockit' is a different story. What Miles did? I'd characterize it more as flailing about in an uninteresting genre as his skills & sensibilities declined. But sellout? No way.
> I've not heard every single disc Miles made after that point but I've heard most of them
I haven't heard them all, either, but I've heard a lot of them. Recently someone sent me a copy of 'Aura.' One of the worst things I've ever heard. But I can't see how that would be considered a sellout. Now, if you've heard 'Doo-Bop,' again, I have no idea how that could be characterized as a sellout. It's simply a mediocre funk jazz album with a few raps on it. Lousy raps, I might add. I have no doubt had Miles not passed when he did that he would have turned out a good piece of work, had he had more time to pursue that direction. I hear real potential in that record. A year after it was released, Guru put out Jazzmatazz, a jazz/rap hybrid, on Blue Note records. Digable Planets rapped over jazz. And so did the Pharcyde. The Quincy Jones album might more easily be labeled a 'sellout,' since it was a pop marriage of jazz luminaries & rappers. Still, he was ahead of his time with it. Miles' record was more serious, and, even two years later, he was still ahead of the curve.
> Jazz/Rock Fusion itself was a sell out
By this argument any style that is in any way a hybrid is a sellout. Only the root forms can be considered non-sellouts. What's ironic about this is that rap is as pure a form that was created in the 20th Century. Sure, there are influence, but, prior to 1975, there's very little that resembles it closely. It's based on itself, and it was created from scratch. Yet everyone finds it to be so worthless. This always amazes me.
I don't listen to fusion & never did. But there's a fine line between exploring an artistic muse & selling out. As much as I detest the stuff, I don't think it's a sellout in & of itself & never did.
> I'm afraid I've not heard anything by the three artists you mentioned
So a guy who's telling me that he doesn't think that rap requires any talent actually hasn't heard any of these guys? This amazes me. You've never heard Gil-Scott Heron's 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised?' I mean, come on. To sling the insults that you do about rap, yet never having heard any of these three people...this astounds me.
Ken Nordine is a voice-over specialist who's been putting out records dubbed 'word jazz' since the 1950s. It's a little difficult to describe, but think of it as stream-of-consciousness poetry/prose over background jazz. If you're thinking of Jack Kerouac spitting out beat manifestos while someone with a goatee beats on bongos, you're way off. It's nothing like that. Maybe someone else can describe it better than I can, or take a look on AMG.
Gil-Scott Heron is more like a beatnik poet, except of the Black Panther-ish variety. He's made a lot of very interesting records where he explores social issues from a typically incendiary point of view. Bernard Purdie (James Brown's longtime drummer) played on some of his records. So did Ron Carter and Bernie Worrell. My favorite of the three people I've mentioned here, though I'm not exactly a fanatic. But the anger that emanates from his record is similar in tone to what you hear on Public Enemy records. Unfortunately, in his middle age, apparently he's fallen on hard times. I did not know if he had any history of drug abuse; actually I don't think he did. But over the past several years the word is that he became a homeless crack addict. I don't know what's happening with him now. But I do think he's still alive.
Linton Kwesi Johnson recorded several reggae/dub records in the late 1970s & early 80s. His delivery is somewhat rap-like, and he also explores social issues, if with a little less anger than Heron. But he was very influential in reggae & dub, with lots of people following his tradition of beat poetry in combination with the music.
> But I'm assuming that there are elements of rap and perhaps jazz - they're likely some kind of fusion - and your question is how can these two coincide if I feel rap artists have no talent?
Yeah, something like that. For the sake of this discussion, I'd suggest taking a look at any Heron best-of comp on Amazon. Take a listen to the samples & tell me what you think. If you think that requires no talent, I'd like to know why. If you think it does, then I'd wonder why that does but not rap.
I think one of my neighbor's kids has some Eminem and perhaps a few other things. I'll check it out.
"Now, if you've heard 'Doo-Bop,' again, I have no idea how that could be characterized as a sellout. It's simply a mediocre funk jazz album with a few raps on it."
By your second sentence, the word "sellout" screams at me. I'd say that one definitely, "Amandla" would be another and "You're Under Arrest" is a third. Apparently, you and I differ on what is meant by the term. You mention that he uses "lousy raps" on Doo-Bop. Don't take this the wrong way but just what is it that tells you if a rap is good or lousy? Lyrics? Beat? What? You've said that rap requires talent? In what ways?
Why should my not hearing the three people you mentioned surprise you? If it even resembles rap, it's something I've stayed away from. My listening runs from 50's and 60's rock to avant garde jazz to bands like Current 93 and Controlled Bleeding (which are called noise bands, I guess) to metal to world music and back to jazz, swing and beyond. The three you mentioned don't sound like they'd be something I'd be interested in so I either shyed away or didn't notice.
I'll check into some of the things you mentioned. Who knows? Maybe I've missed something. I don't believe I have but I do promise to give it an honest shot and attempt to put my biases behind me. I can usually do that ok - I'm often pretty sure I won't like something and occasionally it turns out differently.
If you're going to listen to Eminem and have that be the first rap you listen to you're probably not going to like it. However, I'd suggest the song 'Stan' as an introduction. I can't imagine that anyone could listen to that with an open mind & not have SOME sort of feelings evoked by the imagery that the words bring. If you have access to his most recent album, then I'd say 'Hailey's Song.' If it's the first album, I'd suggest 'My Name Is,' 'Guilty Conscience,' 'Bonnie & Clyde '97,' and 'My Fault.'
> By your second sentence, the word "sellout" screams at me. I'd say that one definitely, "Amandla" would be another and "You're Under Arrest" is a third. Apparently, you and I differ on what is meant by the term.
Like I said, considering Miles' body of work, nothing short of a Phil Collins tribute album would be a sellout by him so far as I'm concerned. I can't speak specifically to the albums you're mentioning; I heard one once, but not the other. It sounded like more meandering fusion blah-de-blah stuff of the sort he'd been doing for years to me, certainly not like anything I would've thought was an attempt at some sort of commercial breakthrough. I don't think it was a case of him betraying his abilities, either. It would have to be one or the other for me to consider it a sellout. Miles never cared what anyone thought & was a peerless visionary so far as I'm concerned. Like I said, I have no use for anything he did after 1965--but if there's an artist who walked the planet who earned the right to explore his artistic muse, it was that guy. He kow-towed to nobody. So I just can't see how anyone could ever consider him a sellout. In my book he was always true to his art.
> what is it that tells you if a rap is good or lousy? Lyrics? Beat? What? You've said that rap requires talent? In what ways?
My own feeling is that 50% of it is the words. If they're no good, then listening to the funkiest beat with the most infectious grooves that make me want to get up & dance (and THAT'S a feat) is ultimately a disposable experience. I have lots of rock records that I love for the music, but the words are just insipid & uninspiring & lousy & cliche-ridden. I usually don't absorb the words at first & hear the music first & foremost, so in some cases I'll really dig an album. Then over repeated listenings over time, I'll hear how lousy the words really are & end up listening to it less & less. And eventually I'll arrive at a point where if I hear it, I'll chuckle as I remember how much I liked it before I knew what it was all about.
There's a great deal of profundity & intellect in a lot of rap lyrics. It's poetry any way you look at it, and not all of the people who are writing it are thugs. Some are quite educated, cultured, and articulate. Like ALL forms of pop music, rap started out solely as party/dance music. By 1982 Grandmaster Flash was talking about 'The Message,' about life on the street. The first rap that broke through because it was married to rock music (Run-DMC's duet with Aerosmith, and the first Beastie Boys album), and because it was about partying (first Beastie Boys album). These records crossed over because they were made to appeal to people with a rock sensibility--white people who had grown up listening to white rock music. That was the untapped audience that either had never heard rap, or knew it only as that noisy garbage that black people listened to. A year or two after those breakthroughs, Public Enemy put out their definitive artistic statement, 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.' It's angry & laden with rhetoric, but it's as effective as a political statement as any Malcolm X speech, and was probably heard by more people than ever heard Malcolm X. And it was the first rap record that a lot of people took seriously, since it was so serious, and since it also crossed over to teenaged white suburbia. A year later, N.W.A. put out what I'd say was the first 'gangsta rap' album. This is a record that spawned a genre that pretty much got it all wrong. It's not something that's meant to be taken seriously, which of course is exactly what happened. They didn't disavow it; their leading member left; and the genre went on to become something completely different: real-life & wannabe gangsters bragging of their exploits & fantasies about doing all sorts of illegal things. It could've been great as entertainment, but to my ears is a miserable failure as a depiction of reality--in no small part because it is completely unapologetic. (This is where Eminem can also be quite refreshing, especially in a song like 'Stan,' as well as others where it becomes clear that the notion of taking responsibility for one's actions is anything but a foreign concept to him) Through all these records, and others that I like, is what I consider to be good raps, good lyrics--good storytelling, funny, insightful...having something to say, even if it's as mundane as 'Be-Bop-A-Lula.' So I'd have to put words as the most important aspect. This requires talent. Perhaps not musical talent, but talent nonetheless, to construct poetry that's going to connect with the listener.
Then there's the ability to rap well. You know, the part that requires 'no talent?' It does, though. It sounds like something anyone can do, but when it comes to that, people never learn their lesson. Listen to the Beach Boys much? Those hit singles sound really simple, don't they? They sure sound like something anybody can do. However, if you notice, there are very few Beach Boys covers out there. Why? Because they're REALLY HARD to perform, in spite of how simple they SOUND. The Beatles were good at this as well, though not to the extent of Brian Wilson. But that's besides the point. I'm not comparing rap to the BBs. What I am saying is that it's something that not everyone can do. How many times have you seen criticism of three-chord rockers who never emerge from that box? 'Oh, anybody could do that.' But NOT everybody can become proficient enough on guitar to even play three chords competently. It's a talent that too many listeners take for granted, because it sounds pretty much effortless. It isn't. You at least have to get to the point where you can do that, and there isn't a soul on the planet who can pick up a guitar & automatically play 3 chords without working at it. In a technical sense, rap is nowhere near that difficult, obviously. But that in no way means that it's something that 'anyone' could do. It requires rhythmic skill. Now, since nobody raps with the material of others, we're talking about not only having to compose halfway decent words, make them rhyme properly, and apply the proper cadence depending on the beat. This is not the same as singing, of course, but to say that it's something that anyone can do is ludicrous. It does require some measure of musical talent.
The other 25% is the actual music that's being heard along with the beat. Now, I get angry at all these assertions that all of the music is canned, because it isn't. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what percentage of rap involves actual musicians playing for the purpose of the rap track, but it's probably small. Still, even 1% renders this argument wrong. Yes, most rap involves little more than a DJ, beats, loops, and samples. But some rap is funky, some isn't. Some is pleasant to the ears, some isn't. Some rap samples well-known music of others, some doesn't. There's a huge decision-making process here. How are the words going to flow? Should there be unpleasant noise to highlight the unpleasantness of the subject matter? Should there be background singers or vocalists? How fast should the track be? Sometimes, I would think, the rapper makes these decisions, sometimes the DJ, sometimes the producer. I don't really know. But I've seen the argument put forth that the rapper bears no musical responsibility here, since the material is all chosen by others. I dispute this. Still, let's assume this is true. The rapper is still making the choice to work with the producer & the DJ who are choosing what music works best with the rapper & their material. That's why certain rappers seek the services of certain producers--because they know that the producer in question has a knack for putting the right music with any particular rapper. All of this is meant to say that there's a lot more here than meets the eye. Certain rap songs just wouldn't be the same without this or that particular sample. Is it repetitious to use the same 2-second snippet of somebody else's song, over & over again? Of course it is. Would I do it differently? Of course I would. But I certainly wouldn't assume that just because I have different ideas that the people who are doing this have no talent or skill.
As an aside, I would point out that samples are licensed, the original artists are paid for the use of their work, and I KNOW I'm not the only one in the whole world who's scanned liner notes to see what sample is what. I've bought albums by artists I wasn't all that familiar with based on samples. I can't be the only one.
> Why should my not hearing the three people you mentioned surprise you?
Because generally people who express such bold opinions about music can be expected to possess musical knowledge. These three guys are certainly obscure, but not THAT obscure. If it were the 1950s & I wanted to express the opinion that none of these whippersnapper heathen rock'n'rollers had any talent, I'd have chosen to make sure I knew who Ike Turner, Louis Jordan, & Louis Prima were before I would've made such a pronouncement.
> If it even resembles rap, it's something I've stayed away from
Well, it doesn't really, especially Nordine. But that's not the point.
> My listening
I will say that I'm kinda dumbfounded that someone who listens to avant-garde jazz & noise bands & stuff like Controlled Bleeding never heard of Ken Nordine. He came up with a one-of-a-kind form that, while not earthshattering, is certainly interesting, and nobody's ever paid a whit of attention. Except those into stuff like avant-jazz.
> I'll check into some of the things you mentioned.
Nordine's 'Word Jazz' is probably most up yr alley. But while Johnson is stylistically similar to a lot of reggae if you're not big into making distinctions in that realm, the Heron is similarly unique. I would highly recommend picking up a single disc best-of. It's something that everyone who's ever said a critical word about rap should hear.
> Who knows? Maybe I've missed something. I don't believe I have but I do promise to give it an honest shot and attempt to put my biases behind me.
Do you see the difference between what you're saying here & what you said in yr first posts? I do kinda wish all the other people who say similar things would take notice. I don't like most rap either, believe me. But if there's one thing I hate, it's a crappy attitude, especially when it's completely unfounded. I applaud you for at least pledging to try to keep an open mind. Chances are you'll never like the stuff. But if all I've done is present a case to you that you're wrong about the 'no talent' aspect, and it made any impact at all, then it was worth all the time & trouble so far as I'm concerned.
"If it were the 1950s & I wanted to express the opinion that none of these whippersnapper heathen rock'n'rollers had any talent, I'd have chosen to make sure I knew who Ike Turner, Louis Jordan, & Louis Prima were before I would've made such a pronouncement."
Not necessarily so. I might be comparing them to classical musicians. Be that as it may, I don't understand how it's pertinent to knowing who Heron, etc are and having any familiarity with their music. Certainly I'm aware of the roots of music I enjoy but if you're saying that rap comes from these three, again, it's not pertinent to my original statement. If I said punk rockers possessed no talent, the fact that I might not be familiar with Velvet Underground, Stooges, etc has no bearing on it, IMO. PErhaps I'm comparing them to Page, Clapton, etc. If rap is to be considered talent-laden music, it's going to have to stand on its own, same as any other genre. I'm not sure where you're going with this comment. Somehow Heron and the others hold some key to musical knowledge?
I bounced the name Ken Nordine off several musician/record collector buddies and got little info. It sounds interesting, though.
I appreciate your final paragraph. I don't think the point is for me to learn to like rap; the point is to see if I agree or not with the talent aspect. I'm sure I'll never enjoy it but it may just broaden my musical perspective somewhat.
What I'm talking about is my own personal bias that has to do with my wanting to know that someone issuing a critical comment has the background to qualify their opinions. If someone who has never seen 'Citizen Kane' states that 'Titanic' is the best movie ever made, then there's a credibility problem. So I'm only going to take their praise so seriously. Likewise, I think that someone who is familiar with Gil-Scott Heron is going to have more background on how & why rap music came into existence. So their opinion on rap is going to carry more weight with me. Obviously it's a waste of time to argue with a 10-year-old who's going to insist that 'Shrek' is the best movie ever made. We pick & choose our discussions. My own personal feeling is that anyone who's complaining about rap simply because they don't like it should listen to something like Heron; in most cases they've never actually listened to rap, just heard it blaring at them from their television or someone else's car. That's no way to judge an entire genre of music so far as I'm concerned. This being a site that is at least peripherally related to music, I tend to hold people on these boards to a certain standard when it comes to arguing about music. That's all.
> Certainly I'm aware of the roots of music I enjoy
I'm also interested in the roots of music I don't enjoy. Some I know about more than others. But the bottom line is, I want to know where something I don't like comes from. Why does it exist? Is there something I'm not seeing? Is it somehow traceable to something I do like? Where do they diverge? How? Why? Who are the principals involved? When were they active? These are all things I want to know about. Obviously I'm going to know more about stuff I like as opposed to stuff I don't, but the more you know, the more informed yr choices can be. This may seem obsessive to some, but I'm not an obsessive person. If I'm obsessive about music, well, there's worse things one can be obsessive about.
> if you're saying that rap comes from these three
No, not at all. I don't think rappers were listening to Nordine. Some were obviously listening to Heron & drew inspiration there. But it comes just as much from electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk, and James Brown & others like him. For several years, I once read, something like 50% of all rap that came out used 'Funky Drummer' as a backbeat. Miles' 'On The Corner' is also cited as an influence on the musical end of rap.
> If I said punk rockers possessed no talent, the fact that I might not be familiar with Velvet Underground, Stooges, etc has no bearing on it, IMO
That means a LOT to me. Anyone not familiar with those bands certainly has the right to express their opinion--but how much weight I give it, as I explained above, is going to depend on whether or not they HAVE heard those bands.
> Somehow Heron and the others hold some key to musical knowledge?
No, more like knowledge can be a key to understanding music.
> I'm sure I'll never enjoy it but it may just broaden my musical perspective somewhat.
I differ a little - I don't think it's necessary to express even a strong opinion on a form of music in its more or less pure state. Rap, or anything else, has to stand on its own two feet with me. OTOH, I would certainly understand people like Tim Berne, Evan Parker and Peter Brotzmann a little less if I didn't have the Albert Ayler, Coltrane and Charlie Parker background. Things just make a little more sense when you're familiar with the sensibility from which they're derived. But I also don't believe that the people who have listened to the first three and many others need to go back through the jazz canon to support their arguments against avant-jazz. It stands on its own or it doesn't. It may make for some interesting historical prose to research but a piece of music or even an entire genre either works or it doesn't. For me, rap doesn't. For my 4th or 5th OTOH, I"m much less familiar with it although I've heard a lot more than you may think. And as you probably know, there are a lot of jazz fanatics who think Coltrane's creativity died in 1965 and that think Cecil Taylor has zero musical knowledge and talent. Many thought the same about Monk... etc, etc. I may not agree with their opinion but I can understand, based on what they do enjoy, how that opinion came about.
If you post your email address, I'll update you on my rap research offline. May prove uninteresting to the board.
Very well said!! Beautiful, I'm reading the pro rap responces, and I understand trying to use the "you parents said the same about rock" theme, but lets face it rap has very little artistic merit, the producers deserve more credit. Of course you may get veteran jazz artists to cross over to make collaborations, but OF COURSE they are doing it for the money. If I could fart in a manner that was unique and people loved it, and then I got other people into it, and before you know it I'm making records with my distinct farting sounds, and other "artist" started making colaborations and started doing other fart records, using palms under arm pits and making other ridiculous noises and it sells millions and millions, then does it prove that it is good music?. Does it take tallent? I guess to a certain degree, but is it music? to some it might be, but does that make it good music? No, I dont think so, and I'm wouldn't put much in the tallent dept either.
> lets face it rap has very little artistic merit
To who, Mike? You? What about the people for whom it has a great deal of artistic merit? Are they WRONG simply because they like it & you don't? Boy, I wish people could be judged right or wrong based on their tastes. It would make life less complicated.
Now, take a look at D's post:
> I despise rap because it requires no talent to perform
Compare it to a couple of yrs:
> Does it take tallent? I guess to a certain degree
> does that make it good music? No, I dont think so
> I'm wouldn't put much in the tallent dept either.
You see the difference here? I certainly don't expect everyone to like rap music, especially around here. As I said elsewhere, I haven't listened to it much myself in the past 10+ years. But I don't need D to tell me what is or isn't. You expressed an opinion. He imposed his on the board as though it were fact. You see the difference?
Like whatever you want. Don't tell me that this or that style of music requires no talent. It's been said about EVERY style of music except for perhaps classical music. There isn't a pop or jazz or world or folk or blues record in your collection, mine, or D's about which that sort of thing hasn't been said. There are still people who think jazz is absolutely worthless. That's fine, so long as they don't impose that on me. I make the same argument here as I did recently with a guy who exclaimed that JOHN COLTRANE 'sucks.' Just because he couldn't hear Coltrane's talent doesn't mean it didn't exist. Rap operates in a different medium. You don't like it, fine. That doesn't have to count for those who disagree.
"He imposed his on the board as though it were fact. "
It sucks big time, some rapers might have talent but, this type of music is best produced in the studio where the producers can put the final tuches on such a raw type of music. I think the producers deserve much of the credit for putting any polish at all on rap. Do you actually think that 50 cent thought of putting violin sounds to his big hit? I dont think so. most of these raps stars have little or no talent, but have the the right look. Yes people said the same thing for rock, that it was garbadge...but the people who grew up on rock, still like it, and appreciate the artistry that went in to some, not all. Rock was music played by musicians, where the average person could admire the talent that was involved to make a song. There is not that much talent in rap music, I dont admire a rapper doing a song that I can see the average person including myself do. (although I would have to learn how to hold out my hand in that angry attitude (yo man) patented stance that EVERYBODY seems to do. LOL!
Okay, will today's youth be going to see 50 cent when they're 40 or 50 years old with they're kids!! Ha ha ha ha ha. I dont think so.
Call me old, but I still like rock, and some alt bands that play now that I can see myself going to concerts with my kid.
I think it should be recognized that in Rap, the producer is an integral part of the process, a part of the "band" if you allow. Many times the producers achieve as great a level of status as the rappers. Pharell, for example, these days does a bit of rapping, but is more sought after to put his sound out there for other artists as a producer as his most important contiibution to many of his collabnorations. I see nothing wrong with that at all.
A guy who plays the guitar and sings needs others to pitch in, and even if he gets the song writing credits sure as hell doesn't write all the musical parts, drums, bass, etc... Making music is a collaborative process, there's just new tools to do it with these days, and the producers who master studio techniques to get the sounds required are simply a part of the band, putting the whole thing together.
What that has to do with talent I don't know. So it sounds better on record, so what? Has nothing to do with my point.
> There is not that much talent in rap music, I dont admire a rapper doing a song that I can see the average person including myself do.
Most rappers write the vast majority of their raps. Whether you agree or not, that takes talent. Not everyone can write; not everyone can rap. Just because it's become increasingly common doesn't mean it doesn't take any talent to create, produce, and perform.
Live rap today is not just a microphone and DAT tape. Live musicians, often reworking the music. You don't have to go out to a concert; just catch a rapper performing on the Tonight Show or Letterman. On the other hand, a lot of rock bands go out there and perform note-for-note what they created in the studio. Which is the bigger waste for the question of studio versus live? I don't think there's an answer.
> Do you actually think that 50 cent thought of putting violin sounds to his big hit? I dont think so.
At least he writes his own lyrics ... so I guess that gives him one up over, say, Frank Sinatra? ;-)
> There is not that much talent in rap music, I dont admire a rapper doing a song that I can see the average person including myself do.
I think your point could be applied to other genres of music. For example, box chords, like what the Ramones play (Johnny hated solos so he didn't do 'em) are something any novice guitar player with two months of practice can learn to do. The Ramones did the same damn thing album after album. Speaking of violins - it wasn't until Phil Spector produced one of their albums that they added strings and stuff. So, is there not much to admire about the music of the Ramones? I think it's the execution that makes the Ramones so much more enjoyable than their copycats, and in spite of their musical simplicity.
> Okay, will today's youth be going to see 50 cent when they're 40 or 50 years old with they're kids!! Ha ha ha ha ha. I dont think so.
Didn't this issue come up every time the Who or the Rolling Stones every time they tour? Who thought they'd last this long, the headlines scream. You never know is my point here.
The music of the Doors moved me when I was young. Now I seem them as silly, pretentious, simplistic and goofy. Well, that doesn't take away from the fact that it moved me during the years I was listening to it. I guess you see the value of music differently than I do, but the fact that it moved me as a young man (even if it doesn't today) is what the pleasure of music is all about.
You've got some valid points, music is meant to stimulate the young and move them, I also find that music I was passionate about when I was young has lost alot of its glitter, but I still like rock and the like. I also like Jazz, and Sinatra, when I was young I didnt as much. I know you must know that although 50 cent might write his own songs (Wow we'll be hearing them being taught to our kids in school in the future in their music classes!!) they are not in the same league regardless. Not even close. The Romones might play a few chords and it didn't requre much talent...but not everybody in rock did the same thing and sounded alike. (I did not care for them much anyway). There was variety in the genre of rock, If there wasn't it would be disgusting. Rap to me sounds pretty much the same (I know there are some differences ect). I mean look at the patented posing and hand jestures.....what is that...EVERYBODY does the same thing!!! Come on now!!! Thats what I'm talking about. Live rap is terrible. Alot of people I talk to (young people) agree on this, when a rapper performs live you will see the real natural talent they posses, the same goes for rock. rap can only go so far in the state its in...it will have to reinvent itself. Once that happens some other genre will move in. I'm supprised it's lasted so long. Music is music, if its good it will last forever. Good songs that are good now will be apprciated long after the genre is past its glory. I just dont think the catalog list of good rap songs will be that long.
Oh! screamed the sandaled one, I just can't resist! ....
Rap to me sounds pretty much the same (I know there are some differences ect). I mean look at the patented posing and hand jestures.....
Many would and have said the same of rock...classical...new age...folk...blues...jazz...reggae.
At the end of the day if you are not switched on to something then it is not going to open up for you. The key is listening without reservation or preconception. Music is just music in all its forms, no matter the style of expression it is still all expression and some find it easier to access one style of expression over another, that goes without saying.. but the ability or inability to access something is the responsibility of the listener not the responsability of the medium nor is it any indication of how good that medium is.
The jestures exist in some areas of rap, without a doubt but they are not universal. There are many rappers out there that promote and express themselves in a totally different way.
There was variety in the genre of rock, If there wasn't it would be disgusting.
No more or less than in any other area of music .. If we talk about rap as including or being included in hip hop or as an off shoot or umbrella then your statement is even more redundant since now the amount of variation is astounding. and what about the cross overs from rap to rock and so forth and all the associated fusions?
Music is music, if its good it will last forever. Good songs that are good now will be apprciated long after the genre is past its glory.
You are contradicting yourself .. if Music is music then the genre isn't important is it. Or in other words your subjective classification of what constitutes rap is limiting your overall experience because it is not inline with the setiment music is just music.
Live rap is terrible.
Compared to what exactly? classical, rock, jazz?
Some musicians can pull it off in the studio and not live others vice versa and then still fewer both. You may have heard some bad live performances but that can be applied to every genre of music there is. it is nothing to do with the genre at all.. I come back to my earlier statement that the mode of expression is irrelevant, you cannot judge talent or the lack of it based on the genre that music is associated with. I know just as many rock, jazz, blues bands that don't quite get it right live and just as many rap bands/acts that are truly awesome live.
At the end of the day its a mute point. We may as well argue about how blue the sky is because the significance is comparable.
Listen, when I mention music, I mean music played by musicians, not a pre-fab concoction singing into a microphone. Of course there are preformers in rock that don't sound as good as in the studio, but when its done by the one who can do it right it is a performance that is to be remembered. (not so with rap in my opinion). Look we all have different tastes, and I am fine with that, but I doubt that todays youth, will be following 50 cent or a simular rapper, with the same passion when they're middle age, that a middle age person does now, who will still go to see the Stones, Who, Springsteen ect ect.., and if they were still around the Beatles. Some of their material is considered classics, that are played by children in schools. I mean I might be wrong....but it will be a sad day when my child tries to play, "lets take off all your clothes" on the piano. What rap song do think in 20 years will be considered a classic? If so, is there that many? I recently purchased Led Zeppelin's "How the west was won" I saw a performance from Jimmy Page, and my hair on my arm stood up! Will that be the case 20 years from now when you see an old performance of 50 cent/Snoop Dog/Eminem rapping into a microphone??
Stare into the gold teeth!
I should have thought of that one! I think every generation has a predisposed gene that steers their music away from their parents perspective. I mean think about it, in most instances it's all they've got to single themselves out. It's all about seeking their own identity I guess. Again, I shudder at the thought of hearing music 10 years from now...
kids will be so into computer-based games and visual/virtual reality that simple audio for audio's sake will be an anachronism.
Already kids are spending all their cash on games, and their parents are spending big money on home theater...
I think that explains the sinking CD sales, more than P2P downloading of Mp3s...
Well, look on the bright side. One of Art's Lemmas postulates: Without a lower class, we can't have an upper class.
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