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In Reply to: RE: Rap always gets a bad rap.... posted by viridian on May 28, 2017 at 11:30:51
you just gotta dig...ya dig?
In order to "get" a lot of the acts in the 1960's you had to be "hip", no squares allowed, which to the older generation seemed to be a 'beyond-asinine' concept.
Fast forward to the 90's (the peak of rap as I see it) and substitute 'hip' with 'street cred'; same difference IMO. Also in the 90s Dr Dre dropped which many consider the 'Sgt Pepper' of all rap albums "The Chronic" which also introduced a then unknown Snoop Dogg. And just like many acts of the 60s that spawned sub-genres ie 'psychedelic music', the Chronic in this case brought the term 'gansta rap' into the limelight and into the 'American' living room (and far worse -behind the closed doors of suburban kids rooms).
Granted I'm now 57 yrs old (32 when it was released) and I still cringe at some rap lyrics on today's music but production wise the Chronic was -and still is considered a classic. One of my favorites: "little ghetto boy".
Rap always has been about art imitating life, it wasn't until it started imitating itself did it start to lose it's street cred. Take for instance Biggie Smalls who bragged about selling 'rocks' rocks on the street, his mother (a Phd) debunked a lot of that nonsense. Ditto for Tupac who started out as among other things doing ballet . Suge Knight, the most notorious and intimidating of them all was a college grad.
Schoolly D's eponymous 1985 LP is arguably the first gangsta rap album since he rapped about gangs and urban violence. Ice - T (yes, the guy who is now on "Law and Order SVU") was inspired by Schoolly D and switched to writing about Los Angeles gang life for a series of LPs in the late '80s. Dre was in NWA before he went solo, and of course NWA's Straight Outta Compton gangsta rap album was an enormous hit.
I would argue that Public Enemy's 1988 It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back most deserves the comparison to Sgt. Pepper's. The album is a staggering artistic triumph; it sounded completely unlike anything that had come before. ITANOMTHUB had much faster beats than any rap record that preceded it, and the music was an incredibly dense (up to 80 tracks layered together) and chaotic mix of samples, sound effects, and noise that was closer to musique concrete than traditional rap music. On top of the blistering music was Chuck D's highly political black nationalist, consciousness - raising lyrics. There's a reason the PE album has repeatedly been named the greatest rap album of all time in music polls, and why its the only rap album in the top 100 of Rolling Stone's 500 Best Albums list.
I never said Dre invented gangsta rap; I merely mentioned he brought the genre into the limelight/mainstream.
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