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Author Topic: Rap  (Read 14944 times)
summerinparadise.flac
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2006, 03:41:21 PM »

  Rap or hip-hop is not music.

Right, those melodies and beats certinley aren't musical!
I guess what the rappers do is just talking as well.
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2006, 07:17:48 PM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley
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summerinparadise.flac
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2006, 07:56:09 PM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley

It makes sense, and I would agree if it were just a beat and someone spitting rhymes, but it's not quite that simple. I think the musical accompaniment is just as important as the beat. For example, RZA, from the Wu-tang Clan, makes use of strings and and synths for hooks and atmosphere and it's really the atmosphere that is created that makes Wu-tang so appealing.
I agree that the individual rapper might not be making music, but the combination of the backing track and the rapper is certinely music.
It's nice to hear a different opinon on this all though! I'm used to only talking to huge rap fans!
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b.dfzo
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2006, 08:06:19 PM »

It makes sense, and I would agree if it were just a beat and someone spitting rhymes, but it's not quite that simple. I think the musical accompaniment is just as important as the beat. For example, RZA, from the Wu-tang Clan, makes use of strings and and synths for hooks and atmosphere and it's really the atmosphere that is created that makes Wu-tang so appealing.
I agree that the individual rapper might not be making music, but the combination of the backing track and the rapper is certinely music.
It's nice to hear a different opinon on this all though! I'm used to only talking to huge rap fans!

Right.  I was laying out the bare essentials: rhyme and beat.  Like what you said, it is what the artist adds to it, music or a hook or whatever, that makes it stand out.  You have to admit, though, with the focus of most all of rap music being on the rapper and his viewpoint or personality, it can diminish the perception of musicality.  BTW, I don't mean that in a negative way.

How can you tell I'm not a huge rap fan?  "Yo, my name is Wermz and I'm a young MC/I'm the kind of rapper other rappers wanna be!"  Hoowah!
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summerinparadise.flac
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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2006, 08:18:53 PM »

It makes sense, and I would agree if it were just a beat and someone spitting rhymes, but it's not quite that simple. I think the musical accompaniment is just as important as the beat. For example, RZA, from the Wu-tang Clan, makes use of strings and and synths for hooks and atmosphere and it's really the atmosphere that is created that makes Wu-tang so appealing.
I agree that the individual rapper might not be making music, but the combination of the backing track and the rapper is certinely music.
It's nice to hear a different opinon on this all though! I'm used to only talking to huge rap fans!

Right.  I was laying out the bare essentials: rhyme and beat.  Like what you said, it is what the artist adds to it, music or a hook or whatever, that makes it stand out.  You have to admit, though, with the focus of most all of rap music being on the rapper and his viewpoint or personality, it can diminish the perception of musicality.  BTW, I don't mean that in a negative way.

How can you tell I'm not a huge rap fan?  "Yo, my name is Wermz and I'm a young MC/I'm the kind of rapper other rappers wanna be!"  Hoowah!

Haha, I shouldn't have made the assumption!  I mostly talk to people who people who would never stand for someone saying that rap isn't music is what I should have said. Sorry about that.
I totally agree that the personality of a rapper is a huge factor and could sometimes overshadow the music. I try to avoid stuff like that.
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2006, 08:34:22 PM »

The two greatest, I think, are the aforementioned 3 feet high... and Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutiqe.

I also must throw in "Paid In Full" by Eric B nd Rakim as well as "The Cactus Album" and "Derelicts Of Dialect" by 3rd Bass.  For something a bit more modern I'll also throw in "Blackstar" by Mos Def and Talib Kweli. 

Rap can most definately be musical and creative.  Unfortunately, most all of what is popular today and spoon-fed to us is pure un-imaginative garbage.
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summerinparadise.flac
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2006, 08:44:27 PM »

Rakim is amazing, a total classic, but not outdated.
Slick Rick is often overlooked, but is definitely one of the best story tellers in rap.
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« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2006, 09:31:43 PM »

Dangermouse - The Mouse and the Mask
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Ron
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« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2006, 09:37:34 PM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.  rap is not music because all they need is something to say that rhymes, and b. a cool beat underneath.  Everybody on this board worships "Our Prayer" even though it has no words, and no instruments, just a melody.  that's music, then, eh? 
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summerinparadise.flac
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« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2006, 09:51:24 PM »

Dangermouse - The Mouse and the Mask

Is that the album with MF Doom, or am I thinking of something totally different?
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2006, 01:45:32 AM »

The greatest and most under-rated rap album of all time IMO (which doesn't count for much on this subject as I've no real knowledge of rap since the late 1980s) is LL Cool J's 1987 album 'Bigger and Deffer'.  What I can say is that this is a truly great record, much better IMO than the much more fashionable Public Enemy's albums of the time. 
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2006, 05:25:46 AM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.  rap is not music because all they need is something to say that rhymes, and b. a cool beat underneath.  Everybody on this board worships "Our Prayer" even though it has no words, and no instruments, just a melody.  that's music, then, eh? 

I am saying that rap does not rely solely on an arrangement of musical notes sung and played in harmony; "Our Prayer" without arranged musical notes would be horrible to listen to.  Maybe someone can explain it to me in terms I can understand...what is rap without the rapper?  What is rap without the beat, whether prominent or implied in the rhythm of the rhyme?  I am not trying to discount rap. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2006, 05:37:05 AM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.  rap is not music because all they need is something to say that rhymes, and b. a cool beat underneath.  Everybody on this board worships "Our Prayer" even though it has no words, and no instruments, just a melody.  that's music, then, eh? 

I think sometimes when people say that rap isn't music, it's because it's based more on rhytm and loops and not so much harmonic progression, like your regular music. But following that logic you should also discard stuff like like "Sex Machine" or "Tomorrow Never Knows" and some of the stuff that jazzers like Miles Davis has done. In a way you could say that rap is actually more harmonically advanced than normal music, because harmonically it's more open that way. But of course it's a pity that a lot of rappers cant get beyond the same boring chestthumping and misogony that's prevalent in rap.

Søren
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Sir Rob
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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2006, 05:48:42 AM »

Is it not that the lack of melody in the actual rap, it's reliance on pace and rhythm alone, makes for a rather limited emotional vocabulary in musical terms?  I think there's been good rap records but I think the genre's effect over all in music has been for the worse.
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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2006, 06:05:44 AM »

But following that logic you should also discard stuff like like "Sex Machine" or "Tomorrow Never Knows" and some of the stuff that jazzers like Miles Davis has done.

You're talking about occasional experiments (and I'm not entirely sure how pertinent they are to the subject) here not an entire genre of music that has arguably become the prevalent popular musical form.  Thats what people (who may be wrong) tell me is the case in America.  At the very least, rap is a huge part of today's music scene.
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« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2006, 06:39:00 AM »

Eh, I'll bite.  Technically, rap is not music.  Now I am saying this in comparison to, say, The Beach Boys - they absolutely need music to function.  Hear me out here.  All a rapper needs, in essence, is a. something to say that rhymes and b. a cool beat underneath.  That's about the simplest way to put it.  Webster's Dictionary goes a bit further, defining rap as "a rhythmic chanting often in unison of usually rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment".  In all truth, though, the rhythm is definitely more important than whatever the music or hook or lick or etc. is.  Don't think I am saying that rap is a genre that doesn't deserve attention because of its unreliance on specific music composition.  I hope that made a bit of sense.  Huh Smiley

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.  rap is not music because all they need is something to say that rhymes, and b. a cool beat underneath.  Everybody on this board worships "Our Prayer" even though it has no words, and no instruments, just a melody.  that's music, then, eh? 

I am saying that rap does not rely solely on an arrangement of musical notes sung and played in harmony; "Our Prayer" without arranged musical notes would be horrible to listen to.  Maybe someone can explain it to me in terms I can understand...what is rap without the rapper?  What is rap without the beat, whether prominent or implied in the rhythm of the rhyme?  I am not trying to discount rap. Smiley

What is music without the beat?  You're gonna have to do a better job of explaining yourself, because it's kind of nonsensical to me.  And I don't even know how to spell nonsensical.  Anyways, take Dr. Dre off of "Let Me Ride" and what do you have left?  Music.  Take the Beach Boys off of Fun Fun Fun, and what do you have left? Music.  Take the music off of either song and you have vocals, two totally diferent styles of acapalella arrangements, but they're both still music.  At WORST with simplistic melodies you can call rap poetry, but poetry has been considered a high artform forever.

In my opinion you can easily argue your opinion about rap by just focusing on the shallowness of the lyrics (usually) or the repetitive, 4 bar structure of the arrangement, or the simplicity of the melodies, or whatever you want to attack, but saying that it isn't music is just the easy way out and doesn't hold up to scrutiny, imho again.

The best way to put it is "Rap is Crap" as Mr. Wilson is so fond of saying.  Nobody can really argue with that.  "Yeah, Rap Sucks.  I don't like it, sounds like a bunch of idiots saying nonsense I can't understand".  There's no argument against that.  If you try to attack it as not being music, though, people can shoot holes all through your opinion because you're technically wrong and it can be demonstrated you're wrong. 

I think we both agree rap sucks, on a whole, though, lol. 
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« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2006, 06:44:31 AM »

i love coming to the smiley shop to listen in on the whitest, most ill-informed discussion of rap music in the land.  sounds like my parrents talking about hip-hop with dr. phil. obvioulsy, not everybody is a fan of hip hop and thats fine. but there are some pretty sad moments recorded in these posts whenever this topic is brought up. lets talk about jazz, yeah! did you all see that great ken burns documentary on jazz? he really captured it all. yeah!
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« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2006, 09:42:36 AM »

The Humpty Dance is all I need.  I have no use for much of the other stuff, aside from some Beastie Boy material.
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« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2006, 02:54:27 PM »

Søren: I can see your comparison, but note: "Tomorrow Never Knows" would still be a song without the (killer) beat, or even the loops.  There is a melody; there are chord changes.  But, it wouldn't be the same.  You might have to explain furthur how rap is harmonically advanced because it is "harmonically more open" than music in general.  I can see how it doesn't rely on a concrete musical arrangement, but I could point to artists like Cornelius and say the same thing.  He doesn't rap, but still utilizes a lot of the adventurous production techniques prevalent in rap music and makes some wonderful, melodic MUSIC!  Check out "Fantasma" or "Point" to see what I mean.


Ron: Do you agree with me that dubbing rap 'rhymthic poetry' (tell me if I am wrong in that paraphrase) would imply that specific melody, song forms, chord changes, basic rules of music are NOT the main emphasis?  And When did I say that poetry was not a high art form?!?  Drop the needle, DJ!  "Methuselah ate/Cha!/what he found on his plate/Huh!/And never, as people do now/Break it down/Did he note the amount/Crunk!/Of the calorie count/Yo!/He ate it because it was chow/Fool!"  Can you smell the braggadocio cooking with the collard greens?  And when did I say that I agreed with you about rap?  I even said I wasn't "discount[ing] rap". Smiley


andrew k: I may be ill-informed, though the only thing ill about me is my skills, but...when did I say I was white?   Smiley
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jazzfascist
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« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2006, 05:13:46 PM »

But following that logic you should also discard stuff like like "Sex Machine" or "Tomorrow Never Knows" and some of the stuff that jazzers like Miles Davis has done.

You're talking about occasional experiments (and I'm not entirely sure how pertinent they are to the subject) here not an entire genre of music that has arguably become the prevalent popular musical form.  Thats what people (who may be wrong) tell me is the case in America.  At the very least, rap is a huge part of today's music scene.

Well, James Brown made a lot of songs based on the same principles, so for him it certainly wasn't an occasional experiment and even if they were experiments, I don't think anybody would deny that it was still great music. I think "Sex Maxhine" is pretty relevant, if you compare it to for instance Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" there's  the same call and response and the way he uses the guitar sounds very much like the way rappers would later use loops.

Quote
Søren: I can see your comparison, but note: "Tomorrow Never Knows" would still be a song without the (killer) beat, or even the loops.  There is a melody; there are chord changes.  But, it wouldn't be the same.  You might have to explain furthur how rap is harmonically advanced because it is "harmonically more open" than music in general.  I can see how it doesn't rely on a concrete musical arrangement, but I could point to artists like Cornelius and say the same thing.  He doesn't rap, but still utilizes a lot of the adventurous production techniques prevalent in rap music and makes some wonderful, melodic MUSIC!  Check out "Fantasma" or "Point" to see what I mean.   

I just think that exactly because rap isn't based on very evolved harmonic schemes, it can give it a more open harmonic feel, exactly like "Sex Machine", but it's a little a question of whether you think the glass is half full or half empty and how they do it of couse. Miles Davis also did something similar on "So What" and other stuff,  that's also based on very few chords. I think when you arent constrained by a very developed harmonic scheme, you can suggest more harmonic twists than might otherwise be possible.

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i love coming to the smiley shop to listen in on the whitest, most ill-informed discussion of rap music in the land.  sounds like my parrents talking about hip-hop with dr. phil. obvioulsy, not everybody is a fan of hip hop and thats fine. but there are some pretty sad moments recorded in these posts whenever this topic is brought up. lets talk about jazz, yeah! did you all see that great ken burns documentary on jazz? he really captured it all. yeah!

Sorry, if we aren't black enough for you.

Søren
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« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2006, 05:20:43 PM »

"I'm sorry Foxxy, I don't speak blackanese!"
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Ron
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« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2006, 05:47:34 PM »



Ron: Do you agree with me that dubbing rap 'rhymthic poetry' (tell me if I am wrong in that paraphrase) would imply that specific melody, song forms, chord changes, basic rules of music are NOT the main emphasis?  And When did I say that poetry was not a high art form?!?  Drop the needle, DJ!  "Methuselah ate/Cha!/what he found on his plate/Huh!/And never, as people do now/Break it down/Did he note the amount/Crunk!/Of the calorie count/Yo!/He ate it because it was chow/Fool!"  Can you smell the braggadocio cooking with the collard greens?  And when did I say that I agreed with you about rap?  I even said I wasn't "discount[ing] rap". Smiley


When did I say that you said that poetry wasn't a high art form? 


When did I say that you said that you agreed with me about rap? 

.. and I wouldn't call rap rhythmic poetry.  I'd call it music. 
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b.dfzo
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« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2006, 07:21:54 PM »

When did I say that you said that poetry wasn't a high art form?

Sorry, my bad.  You said, "At WORST with simplistic melodies you can call rap poetry, but poetry has been considered a high artform forever."  I misconstrued what you said.  I would say I would call rap poetry when it's at it's BEST.  At it's worst, which often is the case, rap can careen from atonal sprays of vitriol to shameless exhibitions of self-importance.  Though this is ubiquitous in rock and roll, for example, "Positively 4th Street", at least it has smart chord changes and a singable melody throughout.  Now, if want to get started on "Subterranean Homesick Blues"... Smiley

When did I say that you said that you agreed with me about rap? 

When you said, "I think we both agree rap sucks, on a whole, though, lol."  I don't agree with that!  Period.  Though, looking at the 'lol', maybe I just wasn't 'hip' to your 'jive'. Smiley

.. and I wouldn't call rap rhythmic poetry.  I'd call it music. 

"You're right from your side/I'm right from mine."  You are saying that rhyming lyrics chanted to a musical accompaniment is a legitimate form of music.  I am saying that to be an MC doesn't require someone to be musically talented (ie. Brian Wilson, etc.)

Any other contentious points on this thread?  An apt old saying goes, "The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth"...

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« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2006, 07:30:40 PM »

Oh, so now TALENT has something to do with music? Ha!
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« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2006, 07:58:11 PM »

Oh, so now TALENT has something to do with music? Ha!

Okay, maybe I should rephrase that... Smiley  Maybe if you could expound, with your claws retracted.   Azn
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