Is there good Rap?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Peter Kim, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    First off, I'm not an expert in the field of rap music. But as pop culture seems to be more permeated with what was once a fringe music genre and now has crossed over as mainstream culture, I cannot escape incessant references, direct or otherwise.

    Subsequently, rather than stick my head in a hole, I'd like to make a genuine attempt to understand its appeal or debunk the myth. Presently, from what I've seen, rap has transmogrified from a niche sound to a cultural phenomenon that wraps itself around a core of materialism, misogyny, violence, and ignorance...and in the world of rap, these 'principles' are regarded as badges of honor.

    In our distinctly pc-society, why is this code given free pass when other combustible issues are beheaded and imploded before reaching critical mass? For example, gangland violence and pimping ho's have become acceptable, cool 'noise', while Hunting for Bambi has been banned and investigated for illegality.

    Inevitably, some might characterize my analysis as anti-pc/racist generalization, but I believe I've arrived at this point not solely based on a cursory glance of our contemporary landscape. I watch MTV a lot, listen to pop music, make frequent visits to malls, and have a diverse group of friends.

    And from what I've witnessed, as the vicissitudes of rap culture take on a more virulent and absent tone, it gathers more velocity, especially in the dominant, white majority. Bizarre.

    So, am I missing something? I don't completely subscribe to the belief that succeeding generations develop a more callous hide, resulting in a greater acceptance of depravity. I also believe that a thoughtful discussion of the pitfalls of any culture or race shouldn't be knee-jerked as racist or hateful diatribe (an example to illustrate and to break the ice...I find it 'distasteful' to 'eat dog' and think US troops should toss the mantle of 'tripwire' and abandon the DMZ).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    The best rap is from the late 1980s [​IMG]
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I have a theory that what has happened to rap music in only a few short years is similar to what has happened to country music over the past few decades. Basically the rawness of the genre has been fading, making way to a more pop-ish sound.

    I mean, really, can anyone legitimately claim that Shania Twain is a country artist or that 50 Cent is a rap artist (what the hell was Eminem thinking?). They are both pop artists, pure and simple.

    The only person in my mind who is still serving up the goods in rap music today is (ironically enough, since I just dissed his "discovery"), Eminem. Love him or hate him, he's one clever little bastard.

    If you want to delve into some older rap, I would recommend the following albums to you, as a start:

    LL Cool J: Radio; Mama Said Knock You Out
    Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back; Fear of a Black Planet; Apocalypse '91: The Enemy Strikes Back
    Run DMC: Run DMC
    Ice-T: O.G.: Original Gangster

    With rap music, it is essential that you keep in mind that what is being said is not necessary intended to be taken literally. Rap is a very in-your-face style and often what is being said is meant as effect and intended to solicit a very strong reaction from listeners.



    Have fun "Kickin' it old school." [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Nothing today, at least in the mainstream acts is much good. All the musicality that rap had went right out the window. Now it's all about a bunch of thugs "keepin it real" and dialing in a few backbeats.
     
  6. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    Is there any good rap after Grand Master Flash? [​IMG]
     
  7. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    I hate rap now. I think its all the same and its more about the personna then the rap. I mean how clever is fity cent birthday song.......


    Growing up I loved rap. My favorite from back then was.....

    Ghetto Boys
    and NWA. (both kinda raunchy but not to bad)

    I agree with Rain on the Public Enemy also... cleaner and more upbeat, and political
    kind of like the rage aginst the machine of rap.

    oo oo oo Also DJ quick was good........

    and we can never forget the UNBELEIVABLE TALENT OF VANILLA ICE!lol

    oh and if your looking to possible get into rap. Try the Judgement Day (Leary,Estevez,Gooding Jr. movie)Soundtrack.........

    its great, a collection of rap meets whatever other type of music that would be considered. you who have heard this soundtrack know what im saying........
     
  8. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    I am subjected to hip-hop because I have a 20 year old son who seems to buy a new cd every two weeks.

    To me it is the classic trait of youth to embrace that which pushes the socially acceptable envelope. Two male deer, elk, rams, etc. joust to determine dominance and the ability to breed to their harem. The "in your face" nature of rap and the total distancing from the traditional melodic underpinnings of "music" makes it a good venue for young males to strut about.

    I have had discussions with my son concerning whether hip-hop is even music. It seems like a short poem spoken in a boring monotone set to a series of unimaginative measures with a predominate heavy handed low frequency over amplified thread.

    For what it attempts to do it is quite successful and effective. For anyone raised on more traditional music, it sounds like annoying dissonance.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I might like it more if those rap artist could somehow show that they could carry a tune once in a while.
     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You guys should check out Dragon Ash. A Japanese group that successfully fuses rock, punk and even folk in with hiphop. They carry a tune, and even when just going hardcore end up being musical.

    The cycle is starting to shift again. A whole new generation is ready for rock again, and are sick of generic corporate acts, boy bands and rap. It's time for rock again

    And of course, 4-5 years from now, it'll be time for it again [​IMG]
     
  11. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  12. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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  13. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    Kevin,

    That was a great summary of the rap genre. Of course it only touches the surface but it really answered the initial poster's question.

    To everyone else,

    If you have only heard rap on the radio and got annoyed or heard it coming from someone's loud car and got irritated you have not really heard any real rap. I am a fan of the genre and I do not listen to traditional radio at all. One of my favorite stations on SIRIUS satellite radio is Backspin which plays old school rap and Wax which plays underground and unsigned artists.

    Most anything rap that you hear on the radio or see on MTV is garbage. As the post above stated there is so much more out there. If you have a true desire to learn something about rap your education had better not begin on the radio but should begin in the aisles of your local music stores. (Not circuit and best buy but the real local corner music store.)

    I will come back later with some must listen to albums for anyone that has a true desire to listen to some real rap.

    djb
     
  14. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Yes, there is in fact good rap out there. Here are some good rap artists...

    Sugar Hill Gang
    Run DMC
    Grandmaster Flash
    Jurassic 5
    Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Least we not forget that the first 'rap' song was done by Blonde, but I won't go there.

    I don't consider rap to be music at all. It is too much vocal and too little song to be considered music, IMO. Call it what you will, but it can be quite poetic and would probably do just great if they'd just take the music out completely and just talk in rhyme.

    I think it is funny too that the rap singers want 'us' to get 'their' message, but they are using slang words that not everybody knows about. If just one of them shows up, the real meaning of the line is lost in the translation, as they say.

    Yep, I certainly wouldn't turn Shania Twain down! (Ok, we knew that). The fact that she has 'crossed over' dosen't impress me much, as others have too. Elvis started out country too (personally, I wish he would have stayed there).

    It is true that country has changed over the last decade, but how many Rap or R&R listeners know who Toby Keith is? Or Trisha Yearwood? Some cross over, and some don't. It has always been that way.

    Way back when, the rock & roll top 40 had Johnny Cash and Johnny horton listed. Oh, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin too. I think it was Dean Martin that pushed a Beatles song out of the #1 spot once. Yes, on the rock and roll charts!

    I cannot, however, imagine a C&W station ever playing a 'Rap' song.

    Glenn
     
  16. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I only own a handful of rap CD's, but the Beastie Boys, are to me, the most consistent and talented rap act there has ever been. Compare their roughly 20 year career to the other acts the come and go overnight. They also collaberate with many of the other best acts in the biz on most of their albums.

    Paul's Botique is a must own in any CD collection. One of the best albums of all time. Rap or otherwise.

    Other favs are Jurrasic 5 and Run DMX.
     
  17. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Well, I'm always interested whenever someone can speak passionately and intelligently about a subject.


    While I still contend that the direction of rap and subsequently pop culture has taken a nosedive as a result of popular perception that it's populated by violence and the vacuous (deserved or not, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch...and is it really just a minority that's damaging the entire population or realistically, the majority that stands idly by, tacitly approving, substituting thugdom as new-age angst?), I'll definitely check out some of the artists, especially those mentioned by Diallo and Kevin.
     
  18. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    2-Pac!!!!!!

    I can't believe no one has mentioned my favorite rapper yet, and pretty much the only one I ever listen to now that the "rap phase" I went through in my early teens is over.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Buddies, if we are talkin' hip-hop
    This ain't the right stop.
    So come with me now
    And I'll show you how —

    In the Music Section! [​IMG]
     
  20. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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