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The Art Of Rap

Posted By: Trentb

The Art Of Rap - 03/15/17 10:31 PM

I saw this film on cable tv a few days ago. I have never been a fan of rap, I couldn't name more than 5 rappers. I have never purchased a rap cd or downloaded or streamed a rap song. So I'm an expert on rap....lol

But I have always maintained there was skill involved, many people think there is not. You can watch the film below, but be warned, it's foul language all the way through, in fact I think the f bomb, is used more than the word...the

If that bothers you don't watch it https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xpWu4_hp00M. Part 1

Part two https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zxuvsm8Kkco
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/15/17 10:46 PM

Hey Trent,

This is from 1990..."Poppa Was a Rolling Stone"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ke0Cklp6A

Was Not Was

IMHO, the best mix of music & rap ever!!!!

Totally family friendly....

Hope ya enjoy:-)

Midnite
Posted By: Roy Cooper

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 11:09 AM

Hi Trent...

The art of rap... ummm

When my Helen was in hospital, I had time alone at home, and decided to have a go at doing a hip-hop /rap song, (the lyrics only) as that is what I do.

So I spent many many hours on the net, researching the structure of rap lyrics and how they are put together from a rhyming POV.

Like you I was never a fan of hip-pop or rap, and thought that it was just spoken words that had no cohesion.

How wrong I was...lol

Having written many song lyrics over the years to different rhyming schemes, I was surprised to discover how complex rhyming schemes in rap and hip-pop can be.

As an example, a verse from mine and Jackie's Christmas song, followed by the chorus, showing my typical rhyming schemes.


verse where the last words of the lines rhyme.. in pairs

An old man on a bench, smiles at passers-by
Christmas spirit warms his heart, puts a sparkle in his eye
The snow is falling now, his son comes into sight
Sits down beside his dad, to welcome in Christmas night

chorus where all the last words rhyme...

The Magic of Christmas is a wonderful thing
Remembering the past, and the birth of a king
It's not just the gifts, tied with ribbon and string
It's family and friends and all the joy they bring
The Magic of Christmas is a wonderful thing


and a verse from the fireman, having a different scheme, but still the last words of line 2 and line 3 only need to rhyme.

His favorite toy, was a fire truck
And he knew what he wanted to be
Said mum, when I'm a man
I'll fight fires, and set people free..


Now to the hip-pop /rap rhyming schemes.


Not only do they usually have lines that rhyme with other lines, but also rhymes within lines.

verse 1 with rhymes in lines and rhymes of lines..

Sleeping in their bed, was the spider with her web
Who plied a twisted thread, that got inside his head
Looked so sweet laying there, indiscreet, she didn't care
He'd just became aware, she'd had a love affair

verse 2 with rhymes in lines and rhymes of lines..

He was out of his zone, as he left on his own
To sleep on concrete and stone, the street his new home
Was a man to avoid, his world was a void
Became unemployed, his ambition destroyed

and the rap verse in the song..

Life in a cell four by six, was a world of conflicts
Saw some give out kicks, while others joined or made cliques
He would never comply, or see eye to eye
So the years didn't fly, was a sad, lonely guy

I did find it so much harder to write the double rhyme lines, but as an excersize thought it was fun... tough but fun.

anyway, just thought that I would mention this, if anyone is interested.

here is the finished song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lBc9PM6fVs

God Bless Roy and Helen
Posted By: Trentb

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 02:39 PM

Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Hey Trent, This is from 1990..."Poppa Was a Rolling Stone"... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ke0Cklp6A Was Not Was IMHO, the best mix of music & rap ever!!!! Totally family friendly.... Hope ya enjoy:-) Midnite


Thanks for the link, enjoyed that.
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 02:46 PM

Aw,Ha!,
The first Rap Song. SMOKE, SMOKE, SMOKE, THAT CIGARETTE by Tex Williams. You heard it here first! You can Goggle it.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by Roy Cooper
Hi Trent... The art of rap... ummm When my Helen was in hospital, I had time alone at home, and decided to have a go at doing a hip-hop /rap song, (the lyrics only) as that is what I do. So I spent many many hours on the net, researching the structure of rap lyrics and how they are put together from a rhyming POV. Like you I was never a fan of hip-pop or rap, and thought that it was just spoken words that had no cohesion. How wrong I was...lol Having written many song lyrics over the years to different rhyming schemes, I was surprised to discover how complex rhyming schemes in rap and hip-pop can be. As an example, a verse from mine and Jackie's Christmas song, followed by the chorus, showing my typical rhyming schemes. verse where the last words of the lines rhyme.. in pairs An old man on a bench, smiles at passers-by Christmas spirit warms his heart, puts a sparkle in his eye The snow is falling now, his son comes into sight Sits down beside his dad, to welcome in Christmas night chorus where all the last words rhyme... The Magic of Christmas is a wonderful thing Remembering the past, and the birth of a king It's not just the gifts, tied with ribbon and string It's family and friends and all the joy they bring The Magic of Christmas is a wonderful thing and a verse from the fireman, having a different scheme, but still the last words of line 2 and line 3 only need to rhyme. His favorite toy, was a fire truck And he knew what he wanted to be Said mum, when I'm a man I'll fight fires, and set people free.. Now to the hip-pop /rap rhyming schemes. Not only do they usually have lines that rhyme with other lines, but also rhymes within lines. verse 1 with rhymes in lines and rhymes of lines.. Sleeping in their bed, was the spider with her web Who plied a twisted thread, that got inside his head Looked so sweet laying there, indiscreet, she didn't care He'd just became aware, she'd had a love affair verse 2 with rhymes in lines and rhymes of lines.. He was out of his zone, as he left on his own To sleep on concrete and stone, the street his new home Was a man to avoid, his world was a void Became unemployed, his ambition destroyed and the rap verse in the song.. Life in a cell four by six, was a world of conflicts Saw some give out kicks, while others joined or made cliques He would never comply, or see eye to eye So the years didn't fly, was a sad, lonely guy I did find it so much harder to write the double rhyme lines, but as an excersize thought it was fun... tough but fun. anyway, just thought that I would mention this, if anyone is interested. here is the finished song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lBc9PM6fVs God Bless Roy and Helen
Pretty darn good first attempt at rap Roy. I agree the rhyme schemes get complicated. If it was just the rhyme, I'd say anyone could grab a rhyming dictionary and work from there. And alot of the content is just like, your mama jokes, I can do this thing and you can't, I'm cool and your not, I make ladies go crazy, etc etc etc

But the thing is if you are not from that culture, you think of it as stupid. You even think two guys talking to each other in the hood sound pretty stupid too, and the way they communicate is way different than us.

it's the rhymes, but also there is musicality to it. There is rhythm to your talking, there is the sound of your voice, a lot of syncopation, and lyrically alot of alliteration, and euphemisms, and hyperbole, I mean they use the same tools as poets and songwriters use.

And then there is the cool factor. Elvis had cool too. To be able to grab a mic and get people to pay attention. Not everybody has the ability to work a crowd, if you have ever played live, you know this

And the real impressive feature is when they can free style, it's no different than improvising on an instrument. So, while I simply don't like it, I can tip my hat to the talents needed to be good at it

Eminem freestyling, make fun if you want, but not many people can do this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ZkiRijI8g
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 06:09 PM

Originally Posted by Trentb
[quote=Roy Cooper]

Eminem freestyling, make fun if you want, but not many people can do this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ZkiRijI8g


Glad you enjoyed "Poppa", Trent. Since you mentioned Eminem, and I have my own issues with rap, but I assume you've seen the movie 8 Mile? It gave me a whole appreciation of freestyling after watching it years ago.

I'll hafta check out the links you've dropped, because, as you say, even if one doesn't enjoy the music(?), that doesn't mean ya can't appreciate the "art" and derned hard work that goes into it.

Midnite
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/16/17 06:57 PM

I tried my hand at writing a rap(mild) ONCE(it's beneficial to know one's limitations) while I was living in D.C. It was early at an open-mic and a young group had just rapped their way through 3 pieces. Since I was gonna be there for a while, I grabbed a handful of napkins and wrote this out and gave it to 'em before I left.

I never made it back to that open-mic and I doubt if they ever did anything with it, but it was a fun bit o' creative energy.

the tears of the mothers turn to salt in the gutters
down among the litter of discarded glass and sneakers
spray painted epitaph no one has the last laugh
empty bed at midnight someone cries at first light
that's the price you're gonna pay when you got another deal gone down.

empty space on porch swing voices in my head ring
a limousine tomorrow weighted down with sorrow
on a ride that lasts forever to a place that holds no pity
where everyone is equal and each soul has a marker
with flowers to remember a child who once was smiling

each day is a season with no promise of a future
and the rhythm of the traffic blends with heartbeats of survivors
while the tears of the mothers turn to salt in the gutter
just around the corner where everybody knows
there's gonna be a price 'cause they got another deal goin' down.


As I said, it's beneficial to know one's limitations:-)

Midnite
Posted By: Roy Cooper

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/17/17 12:30 AM

But the thing is if you are not from that culture, you think of it as stupid. You even think two guys talking to each other in the hood sound pretty stupid too, and the way they communicate is way different than us.

it's the rhymes, but also there is musicality to it. There is rhythm to your talking, there is the sound of your voice, a lot of syncopation, and lyrically alot of alliteration, and euphemisms, and hyperbole, I mean they use the same tools as poets and songwriters use.

And then there is the cool factor. Elvis had cool too. To be able to grab a mic and get people to pay attention. Not everybody has the ability to work a crowd, if you have ever played live, you know this

And the real impressive feature is when they can free style, it's no different than improvising on an instrument. So, while I simply don't like it, I can tip my hat to the talents needed to be good at it

Eminem freestyling, make fun if you want, but not many people can do this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ZkiRijI8g[/quote]

Your so right Trent.. but it was worth the effort lol

God Bless Roy and Helen
Posted By: niteshift

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/17/17 09:04 AM

Hey All,

"And the real impressive feature is when they can free style, it's no different than improvising on an instrument."

Must agree. When in a venue a few weeks back, to see the main artist and on a ciggy break, out the front, courtesy of an extension lead was a three piece band playing jazz. Up walked 2 guys and started to rap with the trio. Just instinct. So the trio went into "cool beat" mode, and the rappers stole the show. Just improvised, but they looked around the small crowd and used Q's . i.e. big earrings, skinny jeans, dude smoking a cigarette etc. and made a story out of it for the ever increasing crowd.

We caught up with them later, while they were watching the main act, which was a rock guitar virtuoso.

REAL musicians don't have boundaries. It is only the inept and the musically incompetent that use their own limitations as a means to put others down.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/24/17 12:46 PM

When rap is done well, it rivals any lyrical art form.Probably exceeds most.

But talking emphatically to a meter is not nearly as difficult as singing well up through 2 octaves (or even into 3 for Martina McBride).
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/24/17 08:37 PM

Originally Posted by Martin Lide
When rap is done well, it rivals any lyrical art form.Probably exceeds most.

But talking emphatically to a meter is not nearly as difficult as singing well up through 2 octaves (or even into 3 for Martina McBride).


Hey Martin,

I'll give a nod to yer point....And thanks!!....

And I will respond with apples and oranges....

Oranges first: The Oranges are those few who are blessed with the vocal abilities to hit every high or low note....That ability is something that they are born to be able to do......It is, mostly about their "range"....Very rare and special and a "gift" that most don't possess...

Apples: "Talking emphatically to a meter"....Well, that is something that any common mortal can, and should, and ARE able to do...Dylan....Subterranean Homesick Blues:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGxjIBEZvx0

Not sayin' that we can all do it well...

Just sayin' that we can appreciate those who try...

Midnite



Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/25/17 05:06 AM

Talking rhythmically to a meter is actually a skill and a natural talent versus something you are born with (a vocal range). Now, vocalists can dramatically improve control with lessons and practice etc. no doubt. But great opera singers are born. Rapping is certainly partially about having the right vocal control and inherent rhythm which many seem to be born with, but I have also known people with little natural rapping talent learn and practice and become top notch in the skill. If you aren't born with Opera range, or perfect pitch etc. you can't learn it or practice it without the built in ability you are born with.

It would be laughable to see the great opera singers attempt rapping. I highly doubt any, as disciplined as they are, could do it. Just as a top rapper is unlikely able to approach opera range. It really is Apples and Oranges and some prefer one, some prefer the other. I love them both.
Posted By: Kolstad

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/25/17 11:24 AM

Lots of creativity and skill in rap music.

I'm from a generation where rock music was the peoples music, but as we grew older and entered the middle class, rap became the new peoples music in the meantime.

So I enjoy rap as cultural critique, but I don't have the skills to do it myself, not legit to do it either.. but I do appreciate it.
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/25/17 03:24 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Talking rhythmically to a meter is actually a skill and a natural talent versus something you are born with (a vocal range).


Reinforcing what has already been stated.... wink...

Preface...I have respect for good rappers. 60 minutes did a segment on M&M years ago and it was real clear that he and people like him have a very real talent with words and a mind that can store them up and improvisationally flow them out in a coherent continuous stream on demand. Marco Rubio wishes he had that depth of talent.

But...When I used to take my songwriting hobby to studios, I found that the hardest people to get what I needed from were vocalists...so, to avoid the pain...I started learning to sing myself. I don't know what my range is but it is very limited. Working within those limitations and basically singing to pitch with a little bit of stylization has taken me years and is sadly still a hopelessly lacking work in progress.

Yet, I contend that I could have become proficient at talking to a meter after a one weekend seminar.

After a little practice and technique honing over a few months my life as a White rapper would all come down to natural timbre and having or not having the "it" factor. To that extent it seems a natural talent.

Admittedly, that's the view of an uncredentialed, unschooled (in music) , never paid his musical dues and don't intend to start....amateur hobbyist internet songwriting forum lurker. (though passionate smile ) But I think it's reasonably well founded and realistic.

Martin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/26/17 12:43 AM

Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Talking rhythmically to a meter is actually a skill and a natural talent versus something you are born with (a vocal range).


Beg to differ...

Preface...I have respect for good rappers. 60 minutes did a segment on M&M years ago and it was real clear that he and people like him have a very real talent with words and a mind that can store them up and improvisationally flow them out in a coherent continuous stream on demand. Marco Rubio wishes he had that depth of talent.

But...When I used to take my songwriting hobby to studios, I found that the hardest people to get what I needed from were vocalists...so, to avoid the pain...I started learning to sing myself. I don't know what my range is but it is very limited. Working within those limitations and basically singing to pitch with a little bit of stylization has taken me years and is sadly still a hopelessly lacking work in progress.

Yet, I contend that I could have become proficient at talking to a meter after a one weekend seminar.

After a little practice and technique honing over a few months my life as a White rapper would all come down to natural timbre and having or not having the "it" factor. To that extent it seems a natural talent.

Admittedly, that's the view of an uncredentialed, unschooled (in music) , never paid his musical dues and don't intend to start....amateur hobbyist internet songwriting forum lurker. (though passionate smile ) But I think it's reasonably well founded and realistic.

Martin


You said you beg to differ, then went on to agree with my point basic point, singers are born with it and rapping is a combination of skill learned and practiced along with rhythm and tonality (and as you pointed out, the ability to put strings of thoughts together on the fly, though not all rapping is spur of the moment, some top rappers are better in the studio writing out the rhymes and then riffing off of them in live performances, but I do know many who can rap instantly on any subject. For that matter I know musicians who can do the same thing, one of the best in the world at that is a friend of mine who gets hired to do improv music all over the world on the topics and events of their choice, but that's another discussion). So I don't know what else to add. Singers with great range and perfect pitch are born with it, Opera singers being the most extreme examples. Rappers, who can benefit from natural ability as well, use learned and developed skills through practice and even someone without the same natural gifts as some can learn and practice and find success that way. The skill of improv thinking and word play isn't unique to any genre (or even music for that matter) so it's a bit of a different subject.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/26/17 02:05 AM

Musicians are story tellers. Songwriters are story tellers. Rappers are story tellers. And the good ones are all highly skilled in what they do.

Who is "more skilled" ? Not one over the other I would say. The apples and oranges quote best sums it up.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/26/17 12:58 PM

[/quote] You said you beg to differ, then went on to agree with my point basic point, [/quote]




Ok....Please read "beg to differ" instead to say...."reinforcing what has already been stated"..... wink
Posted By: Barry David Butler (D)

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/26/17 03:51 PM

Actually there is more protest lyrics than in Rock or Pop...
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/26/17 10:46 PM

Originally Posted by Martin Lide
[/quote] You said you beg to differ, then went on to agree with my point basic point,



[/quote] ...Ok....Please read "beg to differ" instead to say...."reinforcing what has already been stated"..... wink
[/quote]

Okee-dokey....

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"...Rumor has it that someone once said that....

And I'll take the time to S'plain why I used that quote...:-)

12 years of being in Catholic schools....As a "Catholic", The Virgin Mary was without sin....

From the Gospels, when the woman, caught in adultery,was brought before Jesus and they wanted his permission to stone her, he knelt down and drew something in the dirt.

Here comes the "Catholic" silliness that a priest shared with me...

Jesus looked up, after drawing something in the dirt, and said: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

A Big Ol' rock came from the crowd and conked the woman on the head, dropping her dead....

And Jesus said: Mom! I told you to stay home!"

Sorry, ya'll....40 years later, I still get a chuckle and a life-lesson outta that old Catholic joke that a priest...One of the good ones!!!...Told me....:-)

Midnite



Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/27/17 11:02 AM

Midnite, I had a good laugh at that one, I must try to remember that one. Of course even Mary had the original sin of Adam that everyone is born with. Good joke just the same. laugh
Posted By: terranceg

Re: The Art Of Rap - 03/30/17 05:31 AM

Opera singers work on their breathing, and diaphragmatic control daily. They study and practice for years, and continue building their sound for life, They study voice and music for years, if not decades.

They are born with the talent, and the tools, but greatness is not reached until they put in the time.

Not many pop or country or rock singers can sing like opera singers either. Doesn't devalue what those artists can do.

Why compare rap to other art forms?† Sure the entry into rap may be easier than others, not needing to learn an instrument, or understand music theory, gives you a very big head start, but one thing is one thing, another is another.

Paul McCartney can't dance like Prince, but who was asking Paul to dance?

As was said, apples and oranges.

It requires vocal talent and a sense of rhythm to rap.† It requires the ability to speak clearly and enunciate, no matter how fast the words may be coming out. It requires street cred, and an ability to resonate with people with similar surroundings.† And many aspects of rapping are inborn, great diction, and articulation, for two. If you talk like you have marbles in your mouth, you will never be a great rapper.

one other interesting thing about the film, was the explanation of how hip hop came around. The music programs were being cut in inner cities, so they had to come up with their own art form that didn't require musical instruments. They made turntables into an instrument, and started using rhymes and rhythm to create music.

Nothing to sneeze at.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/11/17 04:40 AM

Originally Posted by terranceg
Opera singers work on their breathing, and diaphragmatic control daily. They study and practice for years, and continue building their sound for life, They study voice and music for years, if not decades.

They are born with the talent, and the tools, but greatness is not reached until they put in the time.

Not many pop or country or rock singers can sing like opera singers either. Doesn't devalue what those artists can do.

Why compare rap to other art forms?† Sure the entry into rap may be easier than others, not needing to learn an instrument, or understand music theory, gives you a very big head start, but one thing is one thing, another is another.

Paul McCartney can't dance like Prince, but who was asking Paul to dance?

As was said, apples and oranges.

It requires vocal talent and a sense of rhythm to rap.† It requires the ability to speak clearly and enunciate, no matter how fast the words may be coming out. It requires street cred, and an ability to resonate with people with similar surroundings.† And many aspects of rapping are inborn, great diction, and articulation, for two. If you talk like you have marbles in your mouth, you will never be a great rapper.

one other interesting thing about the film, was the explanation of how hip hop came around. The music programs were being cut in inner cities, so they had to come up with their own art form that didn't require musical instruments. They made turntables into an instrument, and started using rhymes and rhythm to create music.

Nothing to sneeze at.


Keep in mind that you can't be taught perfect pitch or opera range. To reach full potential, anything takes practice, but without those types of "born with" skills (especially top end range) all the practice won't matter. Rap, on the other hand, can be approximated at a very high level including hit song success through learning and practice. "No one who is tone deaf or who has limited vocal range can simply practice their way into 5+ octave range for example. For example Springsteen won't be singing opera no matter how much he practices, perhaps contrary to your belief... which is it... oh yeah... TerranceG (any relation to Ali G?) Don't worry, it's rhetorical.
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/12/17 05:05 AM

http://www.perfectpitch.com/
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/12/17 07:31 PM

Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides


You're joking right?
Posted By: Perry Neal Crawford

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/12/17 07:45 PM

I wrote a piece intended to be a rap, but I found I couldn't pull it off. About a third of the way through it I become Porky Pig and can't get the words out or keep the flow going. Here is the piece about the Princess and the Frog.

Frog appears in the spring, lonely now he starts to sing.
Princess hears, by the stream, misty eyes her teardrops gleam.
His lonely calls makes her heart ache, when love is blind, a risk we take.
With keen and peering eyes...the Princess at the stream he spies,
He sees her blowing chestnut hair...that waves and flows with graceful flair,
Both heart and legs at leaping pace, he cannot wait to see her face,
His appetite and hunger whets with every tiny glimpse he gets,
She walks up to the water's brink and then she stoops, to take a drink.
He stands at last with her alone but freezes fast upon a stone.
Now with a start his knees grow weak, his pounding heart won't let him speak.
He feels the aches her form creates; his eyes affixed no breath he takes.
He looks at her and wonders how a creature such as he sees now,
With graceful moves, his senses please and touch them all with gentle ease.
She rises up, and sees the frog and drops her cup down on a log.
He picks it up and kneels to fill the loving cup he caused to spill.
Still on his knees he sees her eyes so soft and fixed with mutual ties.
Growing feelings bid them touch, as hand meets hand in trembling clutch,
She kneels before him, cheek to cheek, and kisses him AT PASSION'S PEAK!
Frog transformed, the legends say, he reappeared a prince to stay,
But truth is told in history's log, of one crazy girl, and one lucky frog.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/13/17 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides


You're joking right?


Brian, I think he's pulling your leg. smile .... well, I hope he is. Geez, just imagine the tone deaf folks who will now "think" they can pitch, because of an online course.

cheers, ( holding ears ) niteshift
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/15/17 10:07 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides


You're joking right?

You said you can't be taught Perfect Pitch. You can. This course was around long before the internet became what it is now. The guy who created it explains exactly how it works. A process that actually makes a lot of sense, but does take work and practice - just like anything else in music.

Originally Posted by niteshift
Brian, I think he's pulling your leg. smile .... well, I hope he is. Geez, just imagine the tone deaf folks who will now "think" they can pitch, because of an online course.

cheers, ( holding ears ) niteshift

I don't mean pitching crap music to music supervisors. wink
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/16/17 01:32 AM

Okeedokee,

I held off before jumping in again after Jody's post...T'wasn't easy:-)

The bottom line? Everyone is right!!!

If I may?

"Perfect pitch" CAN be taught, with a whole ton of effort to those of us who were born "tone deaf"....I am one of them!

But a multi-octave-vocal-range is something that one has to be born with...My Spousal Unit has it and got her "Bachelors College Degree" by singing operas in 5 different languages...And in the process, lost of her joy in singing, because EVERY NOTE, and EVERY WORD(in the various languages) had to be perfect....

As for me? I was born tone-death and with a speech impediment...My "speech impediment"? It all came down to me hearing sounds come in through my ears, but not being able to get them right when they came out of my mouth....

Whoops, enough about me...

Midnite
Posted By: sjames17

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/21/17 03:09 PM

Jody is correct, you CAN learn perfect pitch. There is one caveat though. Its not called perfect pitch when you learn it, its called relative pitch, when its inborn its called perfect pitch. But the end result is the same, can you indentfty this middle c? why yes, I can

I would never buy this program simply cause I dont think i need it, but it can be learned, if you'd like to become a musician's musician

There arent that many practical uses for having perfect pitch, or relative pitch.

One glaring use would be when you are at the guitar shop, and as usual, the guitars on the wall are out of tune, and you want to play it. Knowing exactly what your low E or High E, or any of the 5 strings should sound like, helps you tune it. Or having to tune a guitar anywhere when you dont have a pitch fork or tuner. Although not many people tune by ear any more anyway. its all tuners.

Perfect pitch obviously helps you sing in tune, also helps cover bands hear recordings better, so they can learn what part they need to play. I suppose it would help in a live setting, where you are asked to join a band on stage, and being able to reproduce what they are doing on the spot.

Not sure why the extreme example of being "Tone Deaf" and this course helping them, is the argument though?

Nobody tone deaf should be doing anything in music, period. This is for musicians who want to sharpen their ears, and improve themselves as musicians. Great musicians can still want to learn perfect pitch.

Nobody made the argument that talent, and range, and pitch weren't essential. The only argument made was that no matter how gifted you are, you have to work hard to be great.

The music business is filled with average, ordinarily talented people who worked their tail off...
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/22/17 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by sjames17
Jody is correct, you CAN learn perfect pitch. There is one caveat though. Its not called perfect pitch when you learn it, its called relative pitch, when its inborn its called perfect pitch. But the end result is the same, can you indentfty this middle c? why yes, I can

Unfortunately this is an incorrect definition what Perfect Pitch and Relative Pitch are. Perfect Pitch is also termed as Absolute Pitch, the ability to know a pitch without another reference pitch. Relative Pitch is the ability to determine the relative distance between a known pitch and another pitch.

Both can be learned. Which one is more widely taught? Relative Pitch.
Posted By: sjames17

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/22/17 08:32 PM

That's debatable Jody. If you learn it, you are always referencing other pitches. You cant learn to have perfect pitch no more than you can learn to have blue eyes. But you can learn to do the same exact thing somebody who has perfect pitch can do which is to identify notes

I took interval training in high school music class, those annoying tones that sound like telphone buttons. what interval is this.... ahhh a 5th?

The teacher explained she never had it, I never had it, and that only a tiny percentage of people actually do have perfect pitch, although many claim they do. its rare, but you dont learn ability, you learn how to use ability.

but you can learn to do the same thing somebody else has an easier time with, identify pitch

http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/ab/Absolute_pitch
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/20/s...may-lie-in-the-genes.html?pagewanted=all
Posted By: niteshift

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/23/17 03:08 PM

Just wondering when someone with perfect pitch meets a band that has tuned up/down by a fraction. Does it drive them nuts ? smile

And what's their internal reference for A4, 435.. 440 .... 444 Hz ? I wonder if they can mentally adapt ? crazy

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/24/17 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by sjames17
That's debatable Jody. If you learn it, you are always referencing other pitches. You cant learn to have perfect pitch no more than you can learn to have blue eyes. But you can learn to do the same exact thing somebody who has perfect pitch can do which is to identify notes

You can debate it all you want, there's a difference between the "color" of a pitch compared to the relative distance between notes. How do you know you can't develop Absolute Pitch/Perfect Pitch? Have you ever tried? If you have, why is it that your failure = failure for everyone?

Does it matter if someone can learn to hear pitch color, i.e. absolute pitch? Why are you so against it? I never understood why people who don't have it/develop it are so against it. Is it because they don't understand it?

Originally Posted by niteshift
Just wondering when someone with perfect pitch meets a band that has tuned up/down by a fraction. Does it drive them nuts ? smile

Put it this way, notes sound the same to someone with Absolute Pitch as they do with someone who hasn't developed it. Colors have a range of spectrum, but most blue hues are still blue hues to people that recognize colors. Its a range. Much like pitch and what frequency things are tuned to. Which means Absolute Pitch isn't like A is always 440, but rather a range around it.

As a little history to tuning, it wasn't until humans developed tuners where concert pitch actually stopped slowly getting more sharp, or rather higher in Hertz for A. Mozart's A isn't technically the same frequency A that we have today.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/24/17 02:44 AM

Don't waste any time with Bugsey's SJames17. He's no longer with us.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/24/17 03:33 AM

Hey Jody,

Interesting about range of pitch. I had an old upright piano made in 1909. Got a piano tuner in, and I was commenting on its "full" sound. He said that was because the strings don't hold properly and are slightly "off" relative to each other even when tuned.

On the other side, similar I guess trying to pitch shift backing vocals to create harmonies... too perfect.

I like being vocally imperfect. In fact I'm so imperfect I'm a legend in my own lunchtime. smile

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/24/17 04:09 AM

Originally Posted by niteshift
Hey Jody,

Interesting about range of pitch. I had an old upright piano made in 1909. Got a piano tuner in, and I was commenting on its "full" sound. He said that was because the strings don't hold properly and are slightly "off" relative to each other even when tuned.

On the other side, similar I guess trying to pitch shift backing vocals to create harmonies... too perfect.

I like being vocally imperfect. In fact I'm so imperfect I'm a legend in my own lunchtime. smile

cheers, niteshift



Ha!
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/25/17 01:33 AM

These are just words...be not afraid...


I first heard rap in early 1981. since then it has been my experience that rap is worthless garbage and unworthy to be called "art". I've yet to hear anything artful about it. the very best rappers write at a mediocre level. and that's being generous. without violence, sex and profanity, they would vanish. it may require skill to talk really fast, just as it requires skill to eat eighty hot dogs in sixty seconds, but that's not art. Rappers are little more than pornographic auctioneers. Those that praise rappers rarely quote their work. They can't...it's awful. I just read the review of Kendrick Lamar's new cd on AllMusic.com. AllMusic is generally trustworthy. go to the site and read the glowing review for yourself. I think they quoted one line. It's trash.

In the early nineties, Ry Cooder was interviewed by Musician magazine for an article about Robert Johnson. Ry pointed out that these days people are put on a pedestal for doing nothing. (Compared to Johnson) Nothing fits that description better than rappers.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/25/17 09:44 PM

Originally Posted by couchgrouch
These are just words...be not afraid...


I first heard rap in early 1981. since then it has been my experience that rap is worthless garbage and unworthy to be called "art". I've yet to hear anything artful about it. the very best rappers write at a mediocre level. and that's being generous. without violence, sex and profanity, they would vanish. it may require skill to talk really fast, just as it requires skill to eat eighty hot dogs in sixty seconds, but that's not art. Rappers are little more than pornographic auctioneers. Those that praise rappers rarely quote their work. They can't...it's awful. I just read the review of Kendrick Lamar's new cd on AllMusic.com. AllMusic is generally trustworthy. go to the site and read the glowing review for yourself. I think they quoted one line. It's trash.

In the early nineties, Ry Cooder was interviewed by Musician magazine for an article about Robert Johnson. Ry pointed out that these days people are put on a pedestal for doing nothing. (Compared to Johnson) Nothing fits that description better than rappers.


And yet using your own source AllMusic, which you say "generally trustworthy" gives N.W.A's nasty Gangsta Rap Album Straight Outta Compton, which is among the most vile of all successful Gangsta Rap ever gets... wait for it... 5 out of 5 stars and users seem to agree with their assessment. But hey, don't let facts get in your way when you're hating. So big deal, you're a bitter guy who hates music never meant to please you (nor should any music try to please people... love it or hate it, who cares what any one person thinks, everyone dislikes something that others consider brilliant). I don't even care for their stuff, but it's so easy to disprove your opinion with your own source, I couldn't resist. There's plenty of other 5 star rap albums, but who has the time.
http://www.allmusic.com/album/straight-outta-compton-mw0000653426

Oh and Ry Cooders album from the same era, (he had some poorly rated soundtracks in 1988) 1987's Get Rhythm rated 3 Stars on All Music (though his legion of fans liked it better). Different Strokes.
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/25/17 10:27 PM

Brian, I think your reading skills are fading. I know critics praise rap. That was my point as well as why I quoted Ry Cooder. They praise rappers for doing little more than yelling poorly written obscenities over mechanized sound fx.

If you feel I'm giving rappers a bad rap, by all means, quote some of their work, post links to their melodies and musicianship.. but you can't do that for the same reason critics can't...it doesn't exist. Time magazine's list of the 100 best albums has plenty of rap records from the 80s, 90s and beyond. Read the reviews. They rarely quote the lyrics and when they do, the lines are ridiculous.

You can't disprove my arguments with substance, all you can do is attack my character by calling me "bitter". I'm extremely proud of my work...I just finished my first novella at the age of 51. I've been happily married for nearly 30 years, own ten acres and two houses. Bitter? Please, When I was 13 I never thought I'd have it so good.

Ry Cooder has had a career lasting over 50 years...so yes, he's released plenty of bad albums. He was also a child prodigy who was playing with the Rising Sons as a teen. As a multi-instrumentalist he played on seminal albums by The Stones, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart, The Doobie Brothers and others. He's a superb musician, which is why he was interviewed about Robert Johnson instead of Flavor Fave.

I don't know what you mean when you say rap wasn't created for me. How do you know? You don't even know who I am. And who it's created for is an irrelevant dodge. Rap is just plain garbage.
Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 01:22 AM

Robert,

The experience and enjoyment of art is a rather subjective thing. There is no real way to "quantify" other than to rely on critics to find some kind of consensus that way. But Robert, you've found a way to defy even the critics by elevating your opinion to the only one that counts!

Prince really liked Kendrick Lamar; so do I. I can hear black music history in his work. James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Prince--it's all in there..I connect to it because I can hear the source and I appreciate his Beck-like pastiche kind of funk. I am not thinking "this is not art!" when I listen, but just listening and enjoying something I understand just enough to appreciate quite a bit.

Rap is meaningful to many people, whether you want to call it art or not. We all have slightly different understands of what "art" is. Is your definition better than mine? Does the opinion/definition of a kid who lives in the ghetto count? Is the opinion of "what art is" formed by democratic consensus, or by demagogic autocracy?

Mike
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 01:56 AM

Hey Mike!

Nowhere did I elevate my views above anyone else's or say
that only mine counted. And defying critics is nothing earth shattering. Regarding rap, there's not much to defy with critics. As I mentioned, the AllMusic review of Lamar praises him without ever being specific why. The line they quoted was terrible. That's been the standard with rap since the early 90s.

I saw a review of Lamar's last cd that praised it for containing a history of jazz, blues and soul. They provided a clip. The "history of jazz" was Lamar rapping in a monotone over a drum program and a sample of a jazz trumpet. Wow.

I have nothing against him personally...I had just read the AM review before seeing this post. It's been my experience with his music that he can't write, sing or play.

I've had this discussion many, many times before. Here's what will happen...people will demean my character rather than just doing what should be easy for a forty year old "art" form...just quote a well written lyric or post a link to a well composed melody.

You're right, art is subjective. It's my subjective opinion that rap contains very little that is artful.

Was Prince specific about why he liked Lamar? If history is any guide, I'll bet he wasn't.
Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 07:52 AM

Robert,

Okay, alright..though it's good to actually hear you say it. You've never actually ever said, "I believe that.." or "in my opinion.." but always made strong declarative statements; it felt good to hear you say actually say "yes these are just my opinions" for once, so I'm glad I got you to clarify. smile

Now that we've gotten that out of the way..

Your "argument" isn't that rap is not art, I hope, cuz that's totally refutable in 99% of the definitions of art, that go something like this:

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions and intellect.

I think what you mean is that you don't think that much rap makes good art, deeming it "unworthy," perhaps forgetting that people of different cultures might find some things "worthy" that you with your background don't?

Here's how a debate went on debate.org with your side losing 11-0:

http://www.debate.org/debates/Rap-s...pers-should-not-be-considered-artists/1/

The gist..yes, it can be vile and violent, but it is "culturally and psychologically invaluable."

If Martians had music, we'd probably think it crap, as well, but it would probably be because it was so foreign to us that we just didn't "get it." I think that maybe that's happening here with you and rap, Robert. You are judging it from a baseline of Dylan and perhaps Gaye, and if you do that it's like saying "this apple's no good cuz it's not more orange-like."

I just know that I, personally, am not one to judge rap music. But people who's opinion I trust do like some .

Anyway, I'm tired, and Bates Motel is over and I'm sad. cry

Mike
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 03:37 PM

I think Mike just dropped the mic on this discussion. = )
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 03:43 PM

Well,
I few years ago my number one grandson liked rap music, maybe he still does. eminem was hot at the time. On the other hand either MAB or me said don't mention Rap and Music in the same sentence! I think someone decided they are incompatiable!
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/26/17 11:50 PM

Leave me out of this discussion. I don't really say a lot about rap at all because I just don't care for rapid fire lyrics, and repetitive drum loops. So I am no one to even include in any of these discussions.

MAB
Posted By: tanell59

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/27/17 08:02 PM

@ Jody, the response was neither in favor nor against learning or trying to learn perfect pitch

You presented a challenge to the given definition of perfect pitch.

Your definition is correct, but the other definition given was a "in a nutshell" one

If you learn relative pitch, or even perfect pitch (if possible), you still dont have perfect pitch, you acquired the skill.

* somebody with 20/20 vision has naturally perfect vision. Somebody who has 20/40 does not have perfect vision, but he can see perfectly when given
glasses (training). The end result is both people can see 20/20, just one person has it naturally.† The person wearing glasses can never say they have perfect vision

Im 100% in favor of a musician or songwriter doing anything they feel will make them better. If I thought it would make me a better songwriter Id do it.

I dont have perfect pitch, but Im a pretty darned good hearing musician, I have musicians ears according to an audiologist who did a work up on me one time when I thought I damaged my hearing at a loud concert. I hear most music reasonably well. I find listening to other musicians and music to be more useful than doing pitch training.

I dont see perfect pitch as being very meaningful. There is not alot you can do with it, and you can be a crap musician with perfect pitch, or a great musician without perfect pitch

But if you feel you can learn perfect pitch, give it a shot! Nothing wrong with that
Posted By: tanell59

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/27/17 08:03 PM

Couchgrouch, you won't get a big argument about this from me. I don't like rap, never have, but there is skill involved.

If not, anyone would go and do it, and make millions. I can understand why real musicians sometimes scoff at it, but this is on par with classical and jazz snobs who scoff at pop and rock, thinking that it's not real music or not requiring talent, which is absurd. Let's see how successful Pavarotti would have been as lead singer for the stones...answer, not very.

Is rap high art? Hell no, but this debate about art has been going on forever. Are the sex pistols art? Are the Ramones art? Are all those barely musician garage bands of the 60's and beyond art? Ala Louie Louie.....† † Wooly bully etc.

My answer is yes it is art, it's a form of self expression, so it's art. High art, no, but art nonetheless.

I'm guessing you'd rather listen to Louie Louie or God Save The Queen, so would I,† but that's probably more because I like rock and don't like rap.

The Ramones put a smile on my face, I think they were the best nonsense band of all time.

But if you want to argue about the content, and the exploitation, and the language, you will probably win that one. I don't have much use for rap, I simply don't get it
Posted By: MidniteBob

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/27/17 09:48 PM

"tanell59" is no one other than another "incarnation", somewhere around the 87th, of Bugsey The Troll....

It is truly a shame, because the person has a lot to offer...And he has been sent numerous PM's asking asking him to simply "sign-in" as a real person...But he refuses....

So....Take his comments for what you can get out of them, but please don't think that you are responding to a person who goes by a single name:

Bugsey
Trent B
Toby Barnes
Ben Jones
Desire Inspires
s-whateverJames......And whatever incarnations since the board got updated and new members could join....He keeps signing up under, at last count, 87 different aliases....

They are ALL the same dude.....Pontificating....Often responding to his own posts under different names....

It is a shame, because he has a lot to offer, but prefers to remain a troll...

Midnite
Posted By: tanell59

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/27/17 10:08 PM

Now wait one minute, im not Toby Barnes or Desire Inspire

The only emails he may gotten were from folks from thisvery board telling him to sign back up. He hadn't in years up to a few months ago. Seemingly many like the entertainment and like what he has to say

he probably responds to " his own" threads, because before he can add a new comment, I he gets banned and not allowed to finish his posts. If he wasnt banned, I'm guessing he would have the same name.

It is a shame, he thinks there are some good people here, he doesn't think it matters, what user name makes a point, if the point is accurate, that's fine.

Im not sure the people here get enough credit for knowing who the poster is, it's not like he changes his point of view or opinions, and is very consistent.

He also wonders how a troll is somebody who talks about music and posts music and songs, but somebody who just hangs around and doesn't talk music is not a troll

He also feels it should be obvious, just listen to the music, does he sound like Toby Barnes?

Well, I'll talk to him, see what he thinks about this
Posted By: tanell59

Re: The Art Of Rap - 04/27/17 10:46 PM

One other thing, this "troll" was the only person on the forum to actually download Spotify, and listen..intently mind you, to all the nominees music. None of the so called swell board member guys did as much to even acknowledge these people.

Once they weren't nominated, they didn't care. And to not give credit to deserving artists, is MY definition of a troll
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/05/17 07:32 PM

Mike, thanks for the definition of art. I clicked on the link, then I went cross-eyed. Still waiting for the link to a single good melody, well written lyric or hell, just one good song by a rapper. Rap's been around 40 years...there ought to be ONE. otherwise, a topic with this title has just as much validity: The Art of Armpit Farts.

Brian, I'm beginning to think you don't know what a good argument is. It's something quantifiable...not nebulous intellectual definitions. C'mon, dude...put up. Post a lyric by Kendrick Lamar that isn't a piece of garbage. Don't tell me what other people say about him. Post...one...lyric.


Ps there seem to be some who don't like rap but feel obligated to concede it as "art", just not "high art". Regarding that, Raymond Chandler once said, "There are no vital and significant forms of art, there is only art...and precious little of that ".

Dithering about whether rap fits into an XXXL definition of art is beside the point. It's just rubbish. In my opinion.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/05/17 09:20 PM

CG,

First, who says the most important thing about Rap is the lyrics? And I could post the lyrics to the winning Song of the Year at the Grammy's for many years where the lyrics were clearly not the reason it won. Check the list out, it's full of everything: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Award_for_Song_of_the_Year

One example that comes to mind is Norah Jones' Don't Know Why. Here's the lyric:

I waited 'til I saw the sun
I don't know why I didn't come
I left you by the house of fun
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come
When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away
Instead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand
My heart is drenched in wine
But you'll be on my mind
Forever
Out across the endless sea
I would die in ecstasy
But I'll be a bag of bones
Driving down the road alone
My heart is drenched in wine
But you'll be on my mind
Forever
Something has to make you run
I don't know why I didn't come
I feel as empty as a drum
I don't know why I didn't come
I don't know why I didn't come

Yawn. But as a song, it works even with these banal lyrics. The performance and melody work. Sometimes it is all about the production. Sometimes it is about the attitude and that is where a lot of Rap songs find success. The attitude.

NWA's Fight The Power:

[Intro]
Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. As a matter of fact, itís safe to say that they would rather switch than fight

[Alt. Intro]
W-E-L-O-V-E 108 FM

[Verse 1]
1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missing y'all
Swinging while I'm singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Hook]
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

[Verse 2]
As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the pride's arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothing's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
Cause we don't know the game
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Hook]
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

[Verse 3]
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant [naughty word removed] to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother [naughty word removed] him and John Wayne
Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
Don't worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c'mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

[Hook]
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be

That lyric speaks to an entire community is ways the most brilliant lyric from country music could never begin to. Know your audience and meet their needs/desires/likes. Add to lyric the aggressive Rap performance dripping with testosterone, the driving but very simplistic music just accentuates the rest of the piece. This is more than a song, it is a call to arms to an entire generation of one community, but also connected with youth of all races because of it's infectious chorus and driving beat and attitude.

Comparing "Don't know why":which the Grammy's honored as Song of the Year to "Fight the power" it isn't even close, Fight the Power is a far better song.

Watch the video for context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_t13-0Joyc

Here's Don't Know Why as a comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO4dxvguQDk

That's one simple example of two very famous tracks. It's culturally different, meant for very different tastes. I can appreciate the final product of both, but make no mistake, Fight The Power is a much more meaningful song in context and as a standalone.

For that matter, compare it side by side with the 1989 Grammy Song of the Year (the same exact year of Fight The Power, which references Don't Worry Be Happy in its lyric)

"Don't Worry, Be Happy"

Here's a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, be happy)
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, be happy)

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy
(Look at me I'm happy)

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be Happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me, I make you happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no gal to make you smile
But don't worry, be happy
'Cause when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don't worry, be happy
Don't worry, be happy now

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy

Now there, is this song I wrote
I hope you learned it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy, be happy now

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, don't worry, don't do it, be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Put a smile on your face, don't bring everybody down)
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(It will soon pass, whatever it is)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
I'm not worried, I'm happy

That's not exactly deep either. It's not as meaningful as Fight The Power, yet the mainstream also honored it with "Song of the Year" and didn't even nominate Fight The Power against it. And "Song of the Year" is a writer's award.

So let's get away from the aggressive testosterone fueled hyperbole of NWA and move on to a mainstream rap song like Tennessee. Here's the lyric:

Tennessee

Lord, I've really been real stressed, down and out, losing ground
Although I am black and proud, problems got me pessimistic
Brothers and sisters keep messin' up, why does it have to be so damn tuff?
I don't know where I can go to let these ghosts out of my skull
My grandma past my brother's gone, I never at once felt so alone
I know you're supposed to be my steering wheel, not just my spare tire
(Home!) But Lord, I ask you
(Home!) to be my guiding force and truth
(Home!) For some strange reason it had to be
(Home!) he guided me to Tennessee
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Lord it's obvious we got a relationship
Talkin' to each other every night and day
Although you're superior over me
We talk to each other in a friendship way
Then outta nowhere you tell me to break
Outta the country and into more country
Past Dyesburg and Ripley
Where the ghost of childhood haunts me
Walk the roads my forefathers walked
Climb the trees my forefathers hung from
Ask those trees for all their wisdom
They tell me my ears are so young (Home)
Go back, from whence you came (Home)
My family tree, my family name (Home)
For some strange reason it had to be (Home)
He guided me to Tennessee (Home)
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Now I see the importance of history
Why my people be in the mess that they be
Many journeys to freedom made in vain
By brothers on the corner playin' ghetto games
I ask you, Lord why you enlightened me
Without the enlightenment of all my folks
He said, cuz I set myself on a quest for truth
And he was there to quench my thirst
But I am still thirsty
The Lord allowed me to drink some more
He said what I am searching for are
The answers to all which are in front of me
The ultimate truth started to get blurry
For some strange reason it had to be
It was all a dream about Tennessee
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Take me to another place, take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan
Oh, won't you let me, won't you help me
won't you help me understand your plan
Take me home, take me home, home, take me to another place
Take me home, take me home, home, take me to another place

Here's the song which was a hit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VCdJyOAQYM

I could go on and on. If you don't like the music, who care? Both songs have been vetted by the public and the public approved. I am not a Rap music listener, though I do have both of these albums, I am not their target audience in any way, but I still enjoy the work. There's tons of other examples. For you to suggest that lyrics are remotely the most important part of any song is a joke to start with. Production, the musical hook combined with the lyric hook, the performance, the target audience and how you serve it are all more important that the overall lyric, especially the verses. Once you get past the lyrical hook, the lyrics are an afterthought for most songs. Few people can accurately recant the lyrics to even their favorite songs. But they can recall the groove, the musical hook, the singers voice, the instrumental riffs with pretty good accuracy. I bet if you asked anyone off the street their 10 favorite all time songs and then offered them 1000 bucks if they could write down the entire lyric correctly from any of them, they likely couldn't get any of them exactly right, even though they may have loved that song for decades. Often people don't even know what songs they like are even about. And if you only look at music through the lense of Country music you're way too limited in your scope and understanding of music. Get away from that genre where people tend to care more about lyrics than any other genre, and you'll see that lyrical content beyond the hook is irrelevant to whether people like or love a song.
Posted By: couchgrouch

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/05/17 10:01 PM

NWA's lyric and "music" is garbage. I remember that from nearly 30 years.

Tennessee wasn't as awful as Fight the Power...it's just dull. The simplistic loop, the tuneless, monotone vocal. The "hook" in the chorus only stands out because of the complete lack of melody and musicianship in the vss. And of course, the lyric is a yawner.

Regarding Norah, you're way more impressed by awards than I am. But at least Norah's song has a very pretty melody. "My heart is drenched in wine" is a wonderful line, beautifully sung. There is none of that in either of the rap tracks you posted. If those two tracks are the best you can come up with, that's sad.

I don't think lyrics are the most important part of a song, never have. But rap is utterly musically bankrupt, as demonstrated by your two examples. Lyrics are all that's left. Which rappers are either mediocre at writing, or terrible, as demonstrated by your two examples.

You proved nothing. I stand by every word I said.


Ps...I wouldn't say NWA is powered by testosterone. I'd say that about The Who. I'd say NWA is powered by a complete lack of musical and lyrical talent. They're a joke.
They know their audience all right...so does Larry Flynt.
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/05/17 10:52 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
CG,

First, who says the most important thing about Rap is the lyrics?



Me, for one. I expect that Eminem would agree.
Posted By: Kolstad

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 08:35 AM

Dam* Brian, that was one of the best posts I've ever read here at JPF!!!
Popular songs are speaking to communities of people, regardless of general attempts to judge their musical, literary and poetic qualities.

Truth revealed, context is so important, YES.
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 05:21 PM

Originally Posted by Kolstad


Truth revealed, context is so important, YES.


A contrasting viewpoint...

Context is clearly important. "Folsum Prison" as a time and place comes to mind.

However, one can imagine a fiery orator running for congress in the antebellum South delivering an impassioned speech from some courthouse steps that he had delivered days before to a klan rally. To incite the crowd to support him, his speech might have some "artistic" elements. He might be well received over a wide area, given the antebellum context. He might have won by a landslide in 1858.

Would an enthusiastic and broad reception make his speeches great?

As an orator, Hitler was profoundly effective in post WW1 Germany. He was a painter and could paint a speech against the background of an angry and frustrated German society to fire up a crowd. Were his speeches "great?"

Maybe some historians think so. For me, crowd response is not the ultimate measure of greatness. Something intrinsic in the way that the principles of art apply to a work of art make it truly great...or not.

I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard, "I hope You Dance" on the radio. I was in my car, in Houston traffic, on the loop. The song is sappy and full of sappy platitudes, but to my sensibilities...a profound work of art in the way that it blends the music, with the sentiment, with the actual words chosen. Imo...it has few equals. Not because of how many people liked it, but because of how artistic it is.

https://www.thoughtco.com/elements-of-composition-in-art-2577514

I've heard some rap, that I thought was real good and made nice word choices, had good juxtapositions, and manicured them to the beat ingeniously. But, only a few and I didn't take note of them, to be able to reference them here, because wrap isn't my thing.

But I've heard all sorts of rap that was popular from artists like Jayzee and Kayne West that had all sorts of popularity and build up, but lacked any artistic elements that made it great in any way...to my ear...other than having a broad audience....imho.

Another note on context..."Popular Music" is largely intended to be a "beer drunk." Sometimes, it's even about being drunk on beer. Calling it "great art" is a stretch most of the time.

Disclaimer: the above thoughts and sensibilities are worth what you paid to read them. wink





Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 07:58 PM

I stopped reading once you attempted to compare someone's music to the Klan and Hitler.... surely you can do better than that.
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 08:09 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I stopped reading once you attempted to compare someone's music to the Klan and Hitler.... surely you can do better than that.



Brian

If...you stopped reading, it was to be a contrarian and to hoist yourself up on to a "high horse."

You are smart enough to know that I was not making a direct comparison of rap to extemists but an illustrative point about art.

Using politically correct and sanitized illustrations is not always at the front of my mind. I didnt anticipate that it was required here.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 08:27 PM

It's an old axiom, the first person to invoke Hitler loses the argument. At best it was a lazy attempt at point making. Then adding in the Klan when trying to make a point about a black art form doubled down. No thanks. If you think pointing out something so obvious puts me on a high horse that's a "you" problem.
Posted By: Martin Lide

Re: The Art Of Rap - 05/06/17 09:20 PM

I've seen the recurrent argument on song sites that songs are great if and because they are popular. My reasons for invoking the antebellum South and Hitler is because of the role that collective passions can play in making something popular...and because...people are generally familiar with those examples.

What? ...old axiom?

I wasn't addressing you. I was addressing another commenter and prefaced it with..."a contrasting viewpoint" so as not to seem argumentative.

You...then...introjected youself with a dismissive insult for the purpose of creating and amplifying a side issue into a cliche argument and then mounting the high horse.

Now didn't you?

No..no...really. Didn't you?

Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: The Art Of Rap - 10/18/17 07:10 PM

Originally Posted by couchgrouch
NWA's lyric and "music" is garbage. I remember that from nearly 30 years.

Tennessee wasn't as awful as Fight the Power...it's just dull. The simplistic loop, the tuneless, monotone vocal. The "hook" in the chorus only stands out because of the complete lack of melody and musicianship in the vss. And of course, the lyric is a yawner.

Regarding Norah, you're way more impressed by awards than I am. But at least Norah's song has a very pretty melody. "My heart is drenched in wine" is a wonderful
line, beautifully sung. There is none of that in either of the rap tracks you posted. Iif those two tracks are the best you can come up with, that's sad.

I don't think lyrics are the most important part of a song, never have. But rap is utterly musically bankrupt, as demonstrated by your two examples. Lyrics are all that's left. Which rappers are either mediocre at writing, or terrible, as demonstrated by your two examples.

You proved nothing. I stand by every word I said.


Ps...I wouldn't say NWA is powered by testosterone. I'd say that about The Who. I'd say NWA is powered by a complete lack of musical and lyrical talent. They're a joke.
They know their audience all right...so does Larry Flynt.


Paul Mac seems to recognize the talent some rappers have. I'd say Macca has a good ear for talent, as much as we may not like rap.

There are many kinds of good, not just one

http://www.etonline.com/news/189544...ith_crazy_kanye_west_says_he_s_a_monster
Posted By: RonnieDean

Re: The Art Of Rap - 11/29/17 12:59 AM

I am as white and corn fed as they get.
I ran a public studio and only had a couple rappers come though but I can attest that it takes a special talent like any song writer would except the demands on the spitter are so much higher
I can't imagine even remembering all those words. They just blow my mind. So clever.
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