Why hip-hop is music

 
    • redcoal said...
    • Subscriber
    • 16 Jun 2010, 06:52

    Why hip-hop is music

    I wrote this as a reply to the thread about why rap isn't music, but then I realized that the thread was closed to posting so I will post here instead.

    This is in response to the following quote:

    IS RAP MUSIC? According to the Random House College Dictionary:

    Music - The art of combining and regulating sounds of varying pitch to produce compositions expressive of various ideas and emotions.

    Musician - A person who makes music a profession, a person skilled in playing a musical instrument.

    In the case rap one or more or all of the following are missing:

    - Art

    - Sounds of varying pitch (a tune)

    - Combining and regulating sounds

    - Skilled musician

    - Musical instruments ("A mouth rapidly spewing out words is not an instrument")


    Apologies for the lengthy response but I felt that since an attempt was made to use a dictionary to define/invalidate the existence of a musical genre or its classification as music, that I should attempt to use similar sources to define/validate the existence of that musical genre and its classification as music. Enjoy!


    Art: Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions... (Wikipedia)

    Hip-hop is a a product of deliberately arranged elements (words, sounds, samples, etc.) that are combined in an effort to tell a story, share emotions, inspire energetic dancing etc., in other words, affecting the senses or emotions.

    Sounds of varying pitch-

    Sounds: Sound is a travelling wave which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations. (Wikipedia)

    Well you can clearly hear it or you wouldn't be complaining so I'd say it has sounds. Also, nothing demonstrates an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid or gas like a good subwoofer playing (you guessed it) hip-hop.

    Pitch: The property of sound that varies with variation in the frequency of vibration. (Wikipedia)

    So if the pitch did not vary (change) the song would be monotone, or have only one note and the only variance would be rhythm. In hip-hop songs there are multiple notes used in the samples, synth lines and other programmed melodies, and also in the voices of the rappers themselves (sometimes to a lesser degree but there nonetheless, more so in artists like Busdriver and also in the vocal harmonies of artists like Bone Thugs or Devin the Dude).

    Combining and regulating sounds-

    Combine: put or add together; (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

    Regulate: fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of; (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

    So, in hip-hop, samples (sounds) are combined with programmed drum and synth lines (other sounds), which are regulated in both dynamics (volume) and timing (rhythm). All of these are combined with vocal lines (more sounds), which also vary in dynamics timing and rate, among other things.

    Skilled Musician-

    This was technically part of what you would need to constitute a musician (by your given definitions) and not music itself. However, if a person who makes music a profession is a musician, and hip-hop is music (as it appears so far to be), then by your definition a rapper is a musician. And, by the same circular logic your are employing, hip-hop is music.

    Musical instruments: A musical instrument is constructed for the purpose of making the sounds of music. In principle, anything that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the beginnings of human culture... (Wikipedia)

    Again, this was only part of the definition you gave for a musician and not for music but... From the above definition, if a computer recording station is put together for the purpose of producing or performing music (via a midi keyboard, or strictly programming beats) then it is functioning as an instrument. A pair of turntables in the hands of a good DJ create sounds that the original makers of the records never dreamt of so they too serve as instruments. As stated above, "the history of musical instruments dates back to the beginnings of human culture". We have advanced continually through time from whistling and singing to making drums and flutes, lutes and guitars and harpsichords to pianos, electric guitars, synthesizers and drumsets. Why would we stop there, humans will continue to invent new instruments to create music, just as we continue to invent new types of music. Further, many hip-hop bands do in fact record and tour with traditional live instruments.

    Even if you don't buy all that, the presence of traditional instruments is not a requirement of music, or a Cappella style music would not be considered music.

    Anyway, cheers mate if you read through all that. Would be glad to clarify any points that remain if I am not banned from this group after making this post. Hopefully you will find this more coherent and less confrontational than previous responses to your postulations.

  • [spam]

    [spam]



    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 1 Feb 2011, 16:04
    • redcoal said...
    • Subscriber
    • 17 Jun 2010, 23:20
    Yeah, Stomp. Haven't seen them live but cool stuff for sure. Definitely related.

  • Hey redcoal

    Only rapfag group members who insult, badger or harass other members get banned.
    ----
    You are missing the whole issue here. We are ANTI RAP. Your post with its arguments generally applies to Hip Hop, not Rap, and it belongs on the I Hate Hip Hop group forum. "Rap" and "Hip Hop" are NOT interchangeable, even if people incorrectly interchange them. I feel sorry for anyone who cannot differentiate between the 2, and will not explain the difference again here.

    Example - You wrote: "So if the pitch did not vary (change) the song would be monotone, or have only one note and the only variance would be rhythm"
    = Rap

    Someone sent me a bunch of Busdriver tracks as "good rap", and guess what, I found >>music<< on them!! However, they were all instrumentals, with absolutely no rapping in them. So it was NOT really RAP, it was more like Techno.
    Rappers performing "music" under other genres (like Techno, R&B, Reggae, etc) does not elevate Rap itself into "music" level.
    Similarly, when Jimmy Page plays his guitar live, it is music, however when he talks on stage to the listeners, it is not music. And when in the morning he was using an electric shaver, he was NOT a musician, even if he created sounds/noise.
    Noise is not music, "a mouth rapidly spewing out words is not an instrument".
    {forgot who said it}

    Overall, your definition of "music" is so wide and all inclusive - to be able to fit Rap (or just Hip Hop?), that the barking of 3 dogs in the neighborhood would also qualify as music! :)

  • It is music(I guess) but it is still a load of ass.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 28 Jun 2010, 21:50
    Who gives a shit, this is an Anti-Rap group and if you like rap then get the fuck out. I will never like rap and there is nothing that will convince me that it's good music.

  • Why listen to rap when you can listen to something better?

  • [spam]

    [spam]



    Edited by hjbardenhagen on 1 Feb 2011, 16:04
    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 2 Jul 2010, 21:53
    JohanJello said:
    lostmyyoshi said:
    Who gives a shit, this is an Anti-Rap group and if you like rap then get the fuck out. I will never like rap and there is nothing that will convince me that it's good music.

    Someone's pissed.


    Haha. Rap pisses me off so that's why I was pissed when I typed that.

    • redcoal said...
    • Subscriber
    • 3 Nov 2010, 02:48

    Tracks up for debate

    Manowar1 said (in the shoutbox):Give us a link to the best track(s). (from Z-Ro's album I'm Still Livin)

    As a preface, it was mainly the thematic elements of these songs that I wanted to bring to your attention, but I believe their other musical elements would stand up to debate as well. If you would like to provide a sourced definition of music or art that you find acceptable for the purpose of this discussion, I think that would be awesome.

    Here is a list of three tracks that I believe would be good subjects for debate:


    City Streets
    No More Pain
    T.H.U.G.

    I would reiterate that to appreciate a work of art properly you should view it in its entirety, but failing that, these songs should be a good start if you don't have the time or patience to grok the whole album, artist, genre etc.

  • redcoal said: sure man(owar1), will do. In the meantime here's another thought. I think sometimes the reason people listen to hip-hop and think it's just dumb words is because they don't have the cultural references to understand the clever word play. I could be wrong here but let's have a test if you would care to play along. Lil Wayne says in a song that "all his kicks fly like Liu Kang". Can you tell me why this is humorous or clever (or might be considered so even if you do not find it to be yourself)?
    As you say, we, members of this Anti-Rap group "don't have the cultural references to understand the clever word play". However, rap fans also "don't have the cultural references to understand" country, classical or doom metal (just check their charts). So why should we embrace rap, while the majority of rap fans hate other music genres?
    I find your sample lyrics "all his kicks fly like Liu Kang" neither humorous, nor clever. That statement does not make sense to me. Based in my limited English knowledge, it should be ending with "... Kang's kicks".
    Will comment on Z-ro next time.

    • redcoal said...
    • Subscriber
    • 4 Nov 2010, 05:20

    I just realized I don't have to put a title on every post!

    I never asked that you embraced rap, merely tolerate it :)

    On what do you base your assumption that the majority of rap fans hate other music genres? Hip-hop is a musical style built upon other genres through its use of sampling; therefore, it would make sense that both fans and artists would have an appreciation for other forms of music.

    Regardless, two wrongs don't make a right (although three rights make a left). So why disparage one genre of music because of your perception that its listeners dislike the music that you listen to?

    Really, it doesn't matter to me in the least what you think about rap or hip-hop. But I find your public claim that it is not music to be illogical, and so I am compelled to question you on that subject. I also feel that this group is a collection of comments, assertions, and assumptions that if not racist are at least hateful, inflammatory, and in many cases ignorant.

    Because of this I thought it would be nice to try provide some information or perspective to you as a "rap fan", and to attempt to do it in a non "RapFag" (fuck yeah this Unreleased Bitterness track kicks ass btw /unrelated comment) manner (not that there's anything wrong with being a RapFag). I thought it might help that I listen to metal, classical and other genres of music that ya'll seem to appreciate.

    So, basically, my point is that if you aren't receiving the full meaning of something then it is difficult to judge if it is intelligent, creative or artistic. If you heard someone quoting from The Bible or reading Einstein's theory of relativity in a language you spoke poorly or not at all (Español, por ejemplo, vagy talán magyar (Holy Shit! you're Hungarian, my girlfriend's father is from Hungary, a beautiful country and wonderful people, I especially like all the cow statues in Budapest)) then you might assume that the words they spoke were foolish nonsense and had no meaning. Kind of like how jokes don't translate very well between languages.

    I feel that the case with hip-hop (or rap) is similar. For me a lot of the enjoyment of the genre comes from listening closely to the lyrics (which I don't often do with other genres) and trying to understand both what the artist is saying as a story, and to appreciate the double meanings frequently implied in rap lyrics (I'm also a fan of puns). Like I said before and I meant no insult, if you're lacking the cultural references, many of those double meanings will not be apparent.

    It was because of this that I provided the Lil Wayne lyrics. I think he is a good example of why it helps to look a little deeper sometimes. I used to think he was just catchy pop bullshit, but then I read a book about southern hip-hop that explained some of the details of his early life. I was impressed by his tenacity in the face of adversity (something that I believe is a common theme in rap music). I started listening to some of his lyrics more closely and many of them are clever as shit and fucking hilarious (to me at least). He also seems to be a nice fellow and relatively humble (http://weezythanxyou.com/) when he's not rapping. And, coincidentally enough, he's probably being released from prison right about now.

    TL;DR
    Basically, as you state on your user page, there are plenty of dumb kids all over this site criticizing other people's favorite bands, groups (zang! 95!?!?) or genres. Many of them are trolling. I do not believe that this is your goal and so I have decided to address your questions and claims in as civilized a fashion as I can manage.

    To be perfectly fair, the complete line is

    "Feet hanging out the window jock my shoe game
    'Cause all my kicks fly like Liu Kang"

    Delivery is also a very important component of rap; here is a link so you can hear how it sounds when he says it (4:11 in case you can't take the whole song :).

    If you'd like I'll comment on the superimposition of ideas in that quote and why I think that is so fucking hilarious and clever next time.

  • Re: Tracks up for debate

    redcoal said:
    As a preface, it was mainly the thematic elements of these songs that I wanted to bring to your attention, but I believe their other musical elements would stand up to debate as well. If you would like to provide a sourced definition of music or art that you find acceptable for the purpose of this discussion, I think that would be awesome. Here is a list of three tracks that I believe would be good subjects for debate:

    City Streets
    No More Pain
    T.H.U.G.

    Thanks for the links. I listened to the 3 Z-ro tracks. I found the 3rd one on youtube. Yes, he sounds more or less different other rappers. Still, the problems:
    - There is music in the background, I even heard a guitar, but the background music has absolutely no correlation with the rapping. At the times when he sings with the music, he is no longer rapping.
    - You seem to put importance on the lyrics. Most of the time Z-ro raps so fast, I cannot understand everything he says. So his "clever word play" becomes useless.
    I do not really care about Death or Black Metal lyrics either, I just like to listen to the music. In Rap the vocals are so overwhelming, so forget it.
    So for me Z-ro is still thumbs down.
    Even if you add rap to metal and call it Nu-metal, it is as bad as Hiphop. To me the rapping kills ever genre of music.

    PS If you like Black Metal, check out Woodtemple

  • I see I am in a losing battle: You are master of the language while I never attended an English class, and it is only my 4th language.

    I never asked that you embraced rap, merely tolerate it :)
    This would be similar to tolerating a root-canal without novocaine.

    On what do you base your assumption that the majority of rap fans hate other music genres?
    The experience here on Last.fm. Generally, the more "pure" rap/hiphop the users chart is, the nastier he/she acts here.

    Hip-hop is a musical style built upon other genres through its use of sampling; therefore, it would make sense that both fans and artists would have an appreciation for other forms of music.
    Does not matter. Rap fans listen to rap because they like rap. If they really liked the background music, they would listen to the original, not the sampling. Also, sampling makes the "music" monotone or amputated.

    So why disparage one genre of music because of your perception that its listeners dislike the music that you listen to?
    This is not a real reason. See the Group Description for the real reasons.

    I find your public claim that it is not music to be illogical, and so I am compelled to question you on that subject.
    I believe it is a person's sovereign right to determine what is music (and what is not music) to him. Most of us here have the same belief. You have a problem with that?

    I also feel that this group is a collection of comments, assertions, and assumptions that if not racist are at least hateful, inflammatory, and in many cases ignorant.
    When all else fails, play the race card. :-) See the link to the racist comments in the Group Description. Also, I bet that about half the rappers of the world are not black.

    I thought it would be nice to try provide some information or perspective to you as a "rap fan", and to attempt to do it in a non "RapFag" manner
    Thank you, a rare courtesy from a rap fan, it is appreciated.

    I thought it might help that I listen to metal, classical and other genres of music that ya'll seem to appreciate.
    This explains the courtesy :-)

    So, basically, my point is that if you aren't receiving the full meaning of something then it is difficult to judge if it is intelligent, creative or artistic.
    You are applying this to rap, but it could be applied to birds chirping, dogs barking too, but you would not call those sounds "music".

    For me a lot of the enjoyment of the genre comes from listening closely to the lyrics (which I don't often do with other genres) and trying to understand both what the artist is saying as a story, and to appreciate the double meanings frequently implied in rap lyrics (I'm also a fan of puns). Like I said before and I meant no insult, if you're lacking the cultural references, many of those double meanings will not be apparent.
    I do not care to listen to lyrics in any genre. Do you listen to non-English rap? - As I said before, I do not fully understand rappers, they talk too fast, using slang and with an accent. I wonder how much people from non-English speaking countries understand rapping. Yes, I am lacking the cultural understanding, but that goes both ways. Most rap fans do not like or listen to country, opera, viking metal, sludge, stoner, prog, folk, doom, gothic, etc. So why should I care to understand rap?

    as you state on your user page, there are plenty of dumb kids all over this site criticizing other people's favorite bands, groups (zang! 95!?!?) or genres. Many of them are trolling. I do not believe that this is your goal
    What do you think is my goal? And what should be my goal?

    To be perfectly fair, the complete line is: "Feet hanging out the window jock my shoe game 'Cause all my kicks fly like Liu Kang"
    It still does not make sense to me. I was watching the video and did not get 2/3 of the words they said. And why should a person understand the language and/or the culture to understand and enjoy the music?
    I assume you do not understand German or the Baroque German culture, but you can still enjoy (I hope) Johann Sebastian Bach, right?
    Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipzR9bhei_o
    I enjoyed prog rock and heavy metal since 1968, even though for many years I did not understand a word of it or the culture which created it.

    Interesting, this track was also recorded in the US and I can understand the vocals!!:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRWcmYLVKG0

    And finally here are 3 songs you can enjoy without understanding the words or the culture:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-9s6bsJqJM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JKH3Wm1OYQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHBKDO6d-VA

    Edited by Manowar1 on 20 Feb 2011, 11:19
  • The main problem I have with rap music is the lack of variety in the subject matter of their songs.
    It's like they only know about three things: Money, Drugs/Alcohol, or Women's asses.

    And When one of them actually does come out with something new like the last few years these stupid made up dance songs (Lean with it, Rock with it just to name one) have become popular, but once the first one to do it gets noticed and popular Every single fucking rapper known to man tries to copy it and make their own shitty version of an already shitty song,....I just find this to be the most annoying thing ever,..

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 16 Dec 2010, 05:08
    alwaysornever said:
    The main problem I have with rap music is the lack of variety in the subject matter of their songs.
    It's like they only know about three things: Money, Drugs/Alcohol, or Women's asses.


    If you're willing to listen to them, I could give you a few albums to disprove this statement.

  • This little girl has more musical talent than all rappers combined:
    http://www.flixxy.com/little-north-korean-girl-playing-guitar.htm

  • More Music for Rap Trolls

    Especially for our RapTrolls - actual "music" from Ghana, Africa:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvdcSQMGoOQ (listen the whole track)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjBcCl7i25M
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtMUyvwejNA

    African influenced music played by Vikings decades before the trolls were born:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdh8jA7vsiM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdkXRS-wpRw

    Killer songs you never heard before:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP3UMWYi7ns
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3Jd6U_P-JI

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 4 Mar 2011, 03:20

    Rap Is Untalented Crap

    I don't see why people call rap talent..I mean what's so talented about putting down women (even though i think some women like to be called a bitch and a hoe that's why they listen to this kind of garbage) and using vulgar language all the time and yes when i mean vulgar i mean saying "nigga" as well which is very vulgar..Most music is supposed to be full of talent but NOT most rap..And i think todays youth are wasted listening to this garbage..Also it's pathedic how some of the kids talk today and as a concerned parent i am very concerned about it..But THANK GOD my kid doesn't listen to (c) rap...

    • redcoal said...
    • Subscriber
    • 15 Apr 2011, 00:42

    to the concerned parent

    I don't see why people judge an entire genre of music based on the characteristics of some of the artists that fall into that category.

    Also, if you are going to criticize the way today's youth talk, you might consider using correct spelling (pathedic [sic]) and punctuation (todays [sic] youth). At least the spelling part, come on, there's a built in spell checker on the web page (right click on the wavy red line for suggestions.)

    There's a lot of value to be found in rap lyrics, and if you don't care to look past the surface to see that then that's fine. But as an example to your child you might not stoop to denigrating other cultures and art forms, and instead have an intelligent discussion about their elements that you find controversial or inappropriate.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Youth

  • to A Concerned Youth

    redcoal said:
    I don't see why people judge an entire genre of music based on the characteristics of some of the artists that fall into that category.

    Of course you can judge an entire genre of music, where is it "written" that you can't?
    That is the purpose of having genres. Music classified into genres make your music selection much easier. You can weed out the crap without wasting your time listening to it.
    Btw, how come you do not scrobble Epic Doom Metal?

  • Rap is crap. It all sounds the same and I am sick of hearing the same old annoying songs blasting out of people's stereos. The songs are about clubs, sex, dancing and stuff I can't relate to. Don't waste time telling me that I am listening to the wrong stuff, because I listened to some "true" rap and I still don't like any of it. I don't get the appeal of rap. I am glad I am one of the few kids who refuse to listen to that hogwash.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 7 Mar 2012, 12:44

    Re: to the concerned parent

    redcoal said:
    I don't see why people judge an entire genre of music based on the characteristics of some of the artists that fall into that category.

    Also, if you are going to criticize the way today's youth talk, you might consider using correct spelling (pathedic [sic]) and punctuation (todays [sic] youth). At least the spelling part, come on, there's a built in spell checker on the web page (right click on the wavy red line for suggestions.)

    There's a lot of value to be found in rap lyrics, and if you don't care to look past the surface to see that then that's fine. But as an example to your child you might not stoop to denigrating other cultures and art forms, and instead have an intelligent discussion about their elements that you find controversial or inappropriate.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Youth

    i'm not sure about other people here, but i don't hate an entire single genre, after all, even if the chances are infinitesimal, non-generic rap might exist, my argument is mostly based on the effects rather than the characteristics of rap
    this page summarizes it all:http://musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr/
    i have the same argument for pop and other generic music, you can check out my rationales on my profile

  • What? Is it really music?

    JHVA ELOHIM METH

    “Tiden läker alla sår de säger.
    Men såren är mycket djup.
    Och ärren inte läker.
    Endast blekna.”
Anonymous users may not post messages. Please log in or create an account to post in the forums.