The sheer inanity that I encounter on a daily basis is exhausting. I'm so tired of hearing things like: "Rap sucks! Rap is crap! How can you listen to that garbage?! It's not even real music! It's not art!". Now, from a certain stand point I would agree with those statements. The music that you hear on the radio, and see on television, which is a heinous excuse for Rap, is surely detestable. Any partially-keen person could tell you that... But the thing is, there is a vast difference from Rap of yesterday and today.
First off, let me specify exactly the kind of Rap music I am referring to. While the 80s and early 90s of Rap could assuredly topple the content of the mainstream litter of today, I stand most solemnly behind Rap of the mid-1990s. To me, this era was, without a shadow of a doubt, Rap's "Renaissance". The production during this time was solid, to say the least...the lyrics were real, visual, tough, poignant, and cathartic. It was as if everytime a Rapper stepped into the booth in the mid-90s that they were there to vent the hardships of their realities, or lack there of. They were there to paint vivid portraits of their struggles, expressed through their emotive, and sometimes violent, verses of street poetry.
And yes, some of this music did pertain to what could be viewed as "braggadocious". However; even so, it was done in such a classy way that the artists felt enamored in what they had accomplished. Rising from poverty to gaining most of the things one could desire is a wonderous thing. It seems as if Rappers of today wouldn't be able to fathom it from this point of view. Now it's more akin to: "Haha, yeah! Look what I got! I'm better than you! You can't *beep* with me!". It all resembles a sickening display of caricatures caught in a drain attempting to one-up each other. And this is clearly showcased in their regurgitated themes, along with their impuissant bars constructed with dumb punchlines of repartee. Rap artists of yesterday were deeply hardened, intelligent warriors of the city; Rap artists of today are shallow boasters, pretending as if this is some sort of fashion contest, desperately trying to win it. The fact is, some can win, but they lose their ingenuity, in return. And become yet another spewer of the never-ending display of repetitiveness.
But it's all all right as long as you get your paper in return, right? You ruined one of the most beautiful art forms for a *beep* piece of paper...you make me sick and you should be silenced, forevermore.
"These Rappers is insane; they on cocaine
What they call hot, I would call so lame
They don't care about the art, and they show no shame" - Styles P
Back to those who criticize...
It makes me chuckle each time I see a fan of Rock music assaulting Rap. Do you have any idea how much of Rock's music is laced with blatant references to heavy drug usage, suicide, and, of course, Satanical worshipping praises? No, really, ask yourself that...do you? For decades upon decades Rock has been generating music with that sort of content, yet it's Rap music that always has to take the blame for being so "savage". Just take these lyrics of a Rock song, for example: "Dark Lord, I summon thee Demanding the sacred right to burn in hell Take My lustful soul Drink my blood as I drink yours . . .LUCIFER IS KING PRAISE SATAN!" ...I NEVER in my life heard ANY Rap song with anything even coming close to some *beep* like that, and that's only a minute sample of the rest that's out there, yet Rap is bad, huh? Or you can take slam-dancing, as another example. Hitting, punching, jumping on and ramming into each other during concerts, yet Rap should get the finger pointed its way? *beep* outta here!
If it's not that, some simply attack at Raps artistic creativity. They'll say how there's too many references to crime, guns, and misogynism. They'll call it a glorifier of violence, and such. To this I would have to say...you're right. There is much of Rap flourished with such topics, but it's more or less contributed as DEPICTIONS. Please don't be a hypocrite...would you call someone like Scorsese a glorifier of violence, because, after all, in several of his films there are uses of guns and murders. But no, you wouldn't, right? Because he's merely displaying them as DEPICTIONS, correct? But to someone who is absolutely ignorant to Rap music, if they took a peek into it, and briefly heard a Rapper say something like "Put the gun to his head and let it go", or something similar, their natural response might be: "Oh my God! It's so aggressive and violent!" Their intrinsic sensitivity is alerted upon hearing those simple keywords, and they're, right away, quick to judge.
I'm afraid the bottom line is as trite as anything: "Think before you speak." I tire of seeing everyone about bashing Rap without having any prior knowledge or experience with it; aside from adopting others' beliefs of it being nothing but music for criminals, and such. I honestly think more than half of those biased people's animadverts are fueled by other prejudices, and what have you, but that's another story, entirely. Rap is, in fact, artistic; you just have to differentiate the strong from the weak. There's a whole undiscovered world of invaluable Rap to get lost into, nestled in those forgotten, unopened CD cases.
Rhythym And Poetry forever...
^ You can post that here:
Rap or Crap?
My thoughts on Anime @ www.animananime.com