Monday, April 9, 2018

Hip Hop...It's a Lifestyle Y'know

I'm a funny guy, so when I was on Twitter the other day, some probably-millennial @KnowlesCarta was praising Rap awards and I tweeted back, "It's only Rap, so it kind of loses any credibility as far as music goes."
This is a guitar.
You make music with them.
Of course, some yo-yo (@slimtallwinos, who will be Nigeria's future Minister of Information, by the way) tweeted back saying Rap is the most popular genre in the US right now, come back later.  And then @KnowlesCarta replied back DRAG IT.  I'm not sure how I got roasted when the Future Information Minister's reply had nothing to do with what I tweeted.  But I used my very first LOL when I tweeted @KnowlesCarta back that she missed the point.

Look, I'm not a fan of Rap.  It's a lazy form of music, if you want to incorrectly call it music.  It was OK when it was funny, like Ice-T and NWA, but it took itself too seriously and by the mid 90s, it wasn't funny anymore.  It really is Spoken Word over what sounds like a robot spilled water on itself.  Anyways, my main point was that Rap or Hip Hop isn't very musical since it's not made with musical instruments.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good drum loop, but a pattern of drum samples put together in a computer, isn't very interesting unless there's something musical going on.  But I'm not surprised that a millennial would think rap is some form of music.  Take away the vocal and what are you left with?  An uninteresting collage of 3 or 4 snippets of other people's songs.  Creative.

I did my due diligence and hopped online to figure out how rap turned into HipHop.  It's amazing how many people got the origins of Rap incorrect.  Too many kids in the Comments section saying it started in the 70s.  And that's why kids aren't very bright since they don't do their homework.  The oldest Rap I have on record is Bo Diddley and that was recorded back in the 50s.  So if it's making it to record in the 50s, it's been around a lot longer than that.  But Bo Diddley's Raps has played musical accompaniment, so that could actually be considered music.  Funny how that works.  And then later on in the 60s, James Brown was rapping.  And then like a slap in the face to James, Rappers started sampling the bits of music that was played by James' band without asking.  Lazy.  Hmmm...I guess a drum pattern on its own can't carry a tune for 4 minutes after all.

Bo and James would have been considered R&B at the time.  But what happens when you first take out the Blues, and then take out the Rhythm of R&B, is you're left with not a heck of a lot.  I've heard some current beats and you can tell they were programmed by someone who's doesn't know what a drum set is.  The hi-hat parts are so disjointed and non rhythmic, it makes Yes sound like The Funk All Stars.  And now they're copying and pasting the vocal track(s) together, and that's even worse.  The vocal, even though it's just talking, can't even be recorded in one pass.  On top of it, it's like they're trying on purpose to be more off-beat than Ol Dirty Bastard.  This lack of trying reminds me a lot of New Country Music.

KRS-One says, "Rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live."  KRS-One is also a Social Theorist.  Those two words, that when put together, almost sound sophisticated but when you actually think about it, it means nothing at all.  So HipHop is a Lifestyle, and I read that it's a combination of 4 things.  Ready for this?  This is from Quora, by the way: "The four elements of Hip Hop are DJing, MCing (a.k.a. rapping), B-Boying (a.k.a. breakdancing) and graffiti writing".  I laughed my ass off that people still Breakdance.  Whew, good thing someone's keeping the Robot flame alive.  And don't forget the vandalism, err, I mean, graffiti.  Not to completely knock it, some of the technique is excellent, but no matter how pretty it is, it makes any brick wall or train car look like shit.  DJing is just playing other people's records and then Rapping is talking.  Nice lifestyle. 

That lifestyle must be catching on to the masses because I see the old ladies signing up to those Hip Hop exercise classes but they don't look like they're going spray painting after the class.  Or maybe they are. 

Rap/Hip Hop may be arguably the currently most streamed/downloaded type, but it certainly isn't music.

No comments:

Post a Comment