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today's music, a rant really


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#1 of 92 OFFLINE   Paul Bartlet

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Posted January 01 2006 - 05:36 PM

Music is an arguement thats never won or lost, it's all personal taste. So lets get that part done.

Last night, my wife is going through the channels on TV of New Years party's going on. Of course, music is the main thing.
Now this is gonna sound like an attack on RAP, if this is your thing, I mean no insult, but.

Channel after channel, 2 guys Holding mic's rapping, 3 guy's holding mic's rapping, 4-5 guy's rapping holding mic's.

I'm a little lost here, in my time, if you wanted to be in a band, you needed to -
play - guitar, bass, drums, sing, keyboards.
Now it took about at "minimum" 3 of these to make a "band".
Not anymore, nobody plays guitar, bass, drums..., just hold mic and rap (guess computers or unknown people look after it now).
How do you get in a band these day's - "man he hold's a mean mic".

Well makes things easy I guess, no more arguements over whos' a better "drummer, guitar,...." player anymore. With todays music, there are none.

I never expected RAP to last this long, is it because it's so good, or everything else is so bad right now ?.

I do not see RAP taking flight in the 60's -70's - early 80's. With bands - Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Rolling Stones, Eagles, Black Sabbath/Ozzy, Jimmy Hendrix, Genesis,.......... I mean the list of bands goes on and on.

2,3,4 guys Holding a microphone rapping would NOT have cut it back then, why does it now ?.

I have what I call the 20 year club, you make music for 20 years, and the general public still likes and buy's your music, you now have my respect.
If you can't last this long, then you weren't all that great. This is my personal thing of course.
I really don't see "ANY" of today's or yesterdays rappers lasting 20 years. Each year has new ones, ya the Really good ones hang out 3-4 years, but then there gone.

I truely see todays times as bad times for music. Music really needs an "Elvis" or "Beatles" to get out of this slump.
Music creativity is at a zero, there is no more Lennon writing lyrics, no more Eddie Van Halen writing kewl guitar riffs, no more John Bonham beating teh sh!t out of the drums, no more Pink Floyd making so kewl music, no more Queen belting out lyrics...............

Yes I know some of the above are over the hill or dead, but u get the general meaning.

anyhow, rap sucks, and thats that.

To the forum members that truely like rap music, it's not my intention to offend, but to give it a poor review (much like one would a movie).
I'm sure someone out there likes Batman Forever, but it still is very poor film.
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#2 of 92 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted January 01 2006 - 10:08 PM

Paul, ©rap has not taken over the world - it just seems like it.

A key reason for the rise in prominence in rap and dance music is the lack of competition from mainstream pop. This is for a very simple reason - the pop song is limited in its permutations, so eventually, things become stale.
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#3 of 92 OFFLINE   Jeff_A

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Posted January 02 2006 - 01:15 AM

Paul, your opinion is certain to offend someone who will counter (perhaps shout) about your ignorance. I, however, am not that person. You have echoed my sentiments quite beautifully.

Posted Image Posted Image


#4 of 92 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted January 02 2006 - 02:04 AM

You're not going to get an argument from me.

Unfortunately, rap is here to stay.

#5 of 92 OFFLINE   Chris Brunner

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Posted January 02 2006 - 03:29 AM

Hey Paul,

I play bass and guitar. Wanna start a band? Posted Image

You and I share the exact same sentiments.

Happy New Year.

C

#6 of 92 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 02 2006 - 03:59 AM

Quote:
Unfortunately, rap is here to stay.
While I agree with this too, I really don't care if it stays or go's. Just wish there was more out there that I likedPosted Image . About the time rap (and dance) turned popular, music in general took a left turn and dumped me off the wagon. October of '93. That's when I realized that I was no longer hip. I turned on the radio and for the first time in 30 years I didn't have a "favorite song" to wait for. Bummer Posted Image . There's still some good stuff out there, but not much appeals to me anymore. When you have to suffer thru 5 to get to one that's listenable it just ain't worth it. Back to classic rock. Yes, the world is passing me by.
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#7 of 92 OFFLINE   Paul Seyfarth

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Posted January 02 2006 - 04:47 AM

The problem is most of the "rap" that you hear on the radio, or TV is junk. Most of it just seems like pop or dance music to me.

But that goes for 90% of the pop music thats out there. It's just generic, nothing special, or very good. You can't really argue which is better because they are all basicly the same.

Bet then again I think how "good" these older bands were is greatly exagurated.

There are lots of great bands, and rap artists out there, you just have to look for them.

Edit: I do believe there is the worst "song" I have ever heard just came out and it's Laffy Taffy. There really is some horrid "music" coming out right now.

#8 of 92 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted January 02 2006 - 05:25 AM

I grew up during the time when rap was hitting the mainstream (i.e. 1980s with Run D.M.C.). Once I grew out of my early teens I stopped listening, but have in the last five years started listening again and being very selective about it. I have the same attitude about country music, except I never liked country music in my teens Posted Image. Speaking in generalities I tell people I don't like rap or country music - or Top 40 for that matter. But I've learned there are gems in any genre and I keep my ears open for artists who can make me change my mind. Usually if they get mentioned on NPR I check 'em out (e.g. Kanye West and Common).

I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people here who can make a case for rap and hip hop. Generally I think the stuff you see on TV, and especially on New Year's Eve shows, is not the best of the genre. I mean, Hilary Duff was performing on one of the shows and I doubt anyone would say she's the best pop music has to offer!
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#9 of 92 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted January 02 2006 - 05:51 AM

Paul, very well said.

#10 of 92 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted January 02 2006 - 06:41 AM

I'm not going to slam any particular genre of music, but I will definitely agree with Paul's sentiments about the lack of actual musicians in music today. While rap seems to come under this criticism often, simply due to its electronic nature, other genres are just as affected. While I play five instruments, I'm primarily a drummer, and it's annoying to hear drum machines on just about every song on the radio. I'll also cite the cookie-cutter Top-40 modern rock "sound" that seems standard equipment at every major studio these days as another root cause for the blandness of today's music.

On a positive note, sometimes you find unexpected little nuggets in the trash. When Puffy was on SNL playing his "Come To Me" Led Zep knockoff, he had an absolutely smokin' drummer!
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#11 of 92 OFFLINE   Bobby T

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Posted January 02 2006 - 07:49 AM

Blame it on Mtv and kids who just want something to boom loudly in the car instead of something to listen to. That and the fact that almost all radio stations are owned by the same few companies. This is whay i have an ipod hooked up in the car. I haven't listened to local radio in quite some time. I have listened to some internet radio at home.

For some relief from mainstream junk check out www.cdbaby.com and www.garageband.com.
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#12 of 92 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted January 02 2006 - 08:52 AM

Music has lost its place as something that people really pay attention to (thus making quality a necessity). Nowadays people don't really "listen" to music--it's mostly something to have in the background while you're doing something else.

There's no bonus now to being a great musician, writing great riffs, creating insightful lyrics. People aren't listening that closely. No one's listening critically.

That drives down the quality of the music, because the quality is not being demanded by most of the listeners.

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#13 of 92 OFFLINE   JayMacey

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Posted January 02 2006 - 09:52 AM

Why do you keep talking about DANCE? Dance hasn't been huge in years.

Dance folk are hoping Madonna's new album will bring a resurrgence in dance music, but it CERTAINLY hasn't been mainstream in awhile.
Sigh...
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#14 of 92 OFFLINE   Paul Anthony

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Posted January 02 2006 - 10:20 AM

I'm sorry, but today's music sucks.Posted Image Today's teens have to listen to industrial type clone music that's pretty much a dime-a-dozen. You don't even have to have a good voice to be a musical performer (the studio does that for you), as long as you have the right look, because that's where the music industry has gone. It's all presentation, and not the music anymore. I rarely buy the latest popular CD, unless it's on SACD or DVD-Audio.:b

#15 of 92 OFFLINE   Matt Butler

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Posted January 02 2006 - 10:48 AM

If you look in my CD tracker in my sig you'll see how little rap/dance I like. Madonnas new cd isnt bad and I loved the Dirty Vegas debut.

95% of my music taste is Classic Rock, Metal and pop.

Other than a few decent bands (Disturbed, Coldplay, Fuel) Todays music sucks.
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#16 of 92 OFFLINE   Stu Rosen

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Posted January 02 2006 - 12:01 PM

Speaking as a 46-year-old with not an awful lot of rap in my collection, I'm pretty much astounded by the hostility towards rap in this thread.

Start with a few basic assumptions:

1. Every genre has its fair share of crap. Rap's no different. Neither is rock, by the way.

2. You can't necessarily judge a genre by what's popular. Journey in its prime sold more than Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones, for whatever that's worth (and please, let's not get into a Journey v. Dylan debate).

3. If you want to understand a genre's appeal, don't apply your own favorite genre's criteria to it. It's like saying disco is better than jazz because you can't dance to jazz, or that rock's better than classical because classical doesn't have any kick-ass guitarists.

With that in mind, here's why the best of rap is as exciting and innovative as the best of any other genre.

1. Rap's a producer's medium. For a moment, get past the lyrics and appreciate (even if it's not your cup of tea) the intricate rhythms, the inventive use of samples (call it stealing if you want and I won't necessarily disagree), but you'd be foolish to deny the wit in the appropriation and re-contextualizing of Annie's "Hard Knock Life" by Jay-Z (a use that was fully licensed by the musical's composers, by the way).

2. Rap's funny. And intentionally so. Eminem cracking wise is the same as the cartoon-like agression and misogyny of your favorite metal band. They're as offensive (or as funny) as each other and as intentionally over-the-top.

3. So rappers don't sing. Granted. So all that means is that they're not singers. Doesn't mean they're not talented. That's like knocking your favorite instrumentalist because he/she's not a singer. And again, listening to the best of the bunch - Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Chuck D - you have unique, distinct, rhythmically sophisticated musicians.

4. Don't deny the energy. The best rap is of a piece with the best James Brown or any of the best in the black music tradition - energetic, polyrhythmic and inventive.

5. The best hip hop, like the best of all music, really speaks of its time, and provides a voice for people who don't otherwise have a voice. That's what country did and sometime still does, that's what metal continues to do. At its best, rap provides a community for the disaffected that's no less valid than any other community.

6. The "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" argument - While I'd never equate popularity with quality, when a music lasts so long and is so beloved by so many people, you dismiss it at your peril. Again, like any genre you don't like, at least consider the possibility that it just may not be for you, but isn't useless. Read the writing of Nelson George or other great music writers and think about what they're saying about rap, and approach it with an open mind.

Clearly, if you're looking for great technical vocals, don't look to rap. But under that standard, Geddy Lee and Steve Perry are "better" singers than Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and John Lennon. Now, you can think that's true, and let's not argue about it. But if you are receptive to the idea that great vocalizing is great communicating, then your focus is on the communication, not the technical prowess.

Having said all this, I'm not a huge rap fan, but it's not because I don't think there's anything there. Rather, I like strong melodies (and as a result, go for rap that's built over great melodies). I'm not big into lyrics that don't look past a guns and girls worldview (which is why I'll prefer Public Enemy or Jay-Z to your generic gangsta or Motley Crue).

But I'm also not into opera and wouldn't dream of blaming it on opera. I also couldn't even begin to see the appeal of prog rock but I acknowledge it's because what I value isn't there.

I'm not saying that all music is good and everyone's opinion is the same blah blah blah. Not at all. And I'm not trying to convince anyone in this thread that they SHOULD like hip hop. And I sure as hell don't want to get into a point-by-point counterargument to my post. I'm sure you all have your responses to all of what I'm saying. All I'm trying to do is explain what there is to like about hip hop.
 

#17 of 92 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted January 02 2006 - 12:04 PM

Quote:
I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people here who can make a case for rap and hip hop.
Thanks Stu! Posted Image
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#18 of 92 OFFLINE   Stu Rosen

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Posted January 02 2006 - 12:09 PM

Thanks. Nothing like a good, self-righteous post to clear out the sinuses.
 

#19 of 92 OFFLINE   nickGreenwood

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Posted January 02 2006 - 01:29 PM

I think the thing about rap is that what it started out as isn't exactly what it's ended up to be. It started as a forum for youth of the streets, ghetto, whatever or where ever you lived, to voice their opinions about what was going on around them. A lot of these people couldn't sing, but could write and rhyme, and some where out of a John Bonham drum loop and etc rap was born.

Now the early stuff, what I've heard of it was great. Even the "joke" rap stuff or the rap that geared more towards a pop sound such as some of the Run DMC stuff was great. Even early Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin is an amazing producer, he brought a bond between hip hop and rock.

Rap became a bit hokey during the late 80's and early 90's with people like Vanilla Ice and M.C. Hammer (don't get me wrong I grew up with Hammer but still somewhat cheesy) then NWA and the whole gangsta rap thing came, it made it serious againe. There is no denying that Dr. Dre is one of the most influential producers of all time, the man I think is notorius for adding string sections and such to rap music. But then once again Rap went off on a tanget and then it became all about rivals and east coast / west coast stuff. A lot of rappers died for stupid reasons. This still happens today, the rivalry stuff is dumb.

Rap came back more to prominance when Eminem came out in the late 90's rap was filled now with rap/rock hybrid bands, Limp Bizkit and crap. When Em came out it was joke stuff, but he had a serious side to himself, we saw a little of that mostly with "Stan" and now with people like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and a few others, rap is beginning to come back to life a little bit.

There are other hybrid bands, The Roots, they have quite possibly the single best drummer that has been heard in the last 5 or so years, ?uestlove is amazing, he played on John Mayer's Heavier Things album, I highly recommend checking out anything he's been involved with, he's very John Bonham sounding.

I will agree that a lot of rap today is nothing but crap, it's mostly an excuse for flaunting money, women, sex, drugs and such, but what music hasnt' been about flaunting any of that?
I more than agree songs like Laffy Taffy and bands like Black Eyed Peas are destroying what artists like Kanye are trying to fix. Even 50 Cent to some degree is great, very catchy stuff.

After all that, let me tack this on, I grew up listening to artists like Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, my all time favorite band is The Beatles, they always have been and always will be. I absolutely love Loggins and Messina, Journey, The Eagles, the late 60's and early 70's stuff from the Stones, The Animals, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd... the list goes on. I used to be the same way, rap sucked and it wasn't an art form, neither was techno/dance, I still don't like a lot of techo or rap, but bands like The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and The Prodigy are making techno/dance great. A lot of the bands that I've mentioned especially John Bonham has actually influenced a lot of rappers, you can hear drum loops from John Bonham, Keith Moon or samples of old Aerosmith songs, or The Police, even John Mellencamp all over rap these days.

Lastly, there is a lot of rap on tv, thanks to MTV and MTV2 and about 90% of that stuff is pop/rap. I would highly recommend Kanye West, his first album The College Dropout is amazing, one of the best albums in the last five years. Eminem's lastest stuff like Mockingbird and Toy Soldiers, his more serious stuff, John Legend while being more R&B is produced by Kanye. Common has been around for the last 10 years or more but is now starting to get famous because he's famous with Kanye, but he's not too bad, his stuff is more freestyle and is alright, but I don't like all of it. You can go from there, Dre is supposedly coming out with a new album within the next year or two.

This is really long and I appologize, and I'm in a rambling mood. This isn't refuting what anyone has said, let me state that cause I do hate a lot of rap out there, but there is some good stuff, it's just got to be found much like rock, blues, country or any other music genre.
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#20 of 92 OFFLINE   Paul_Medenwaldt

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Posted January 02 2006 - 01:52 PM

Quote:
appropriation and re-contextualizing


Stu, it just didn't rhyme or have a good beat, you lost me after that Posted Image

I'm with Paul, rap is crap. Its unfortunate that its so easy to produce and put together, records companys can turn them out so quickly. Why would a record company want to deal with 4 to 5 members of a band anymore when they can just have one frontman belch out lyrics to a sample of a song from 20 years ago.

I found my relief to the re hashed music that the local radio stations play and its satellite radio. I have encountered so many different artists listening to the many genres of music available through satellite radio. If your like me and enjoy KISS and my only local outlet is your classic radio station playing Rock and Roll All Night Live version and only that KISS song, then satellite is a gift from the heavens.

Paul
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