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Article: The Music In Me: Rap of History Backwards The

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48 minutes ago, LarryMagoo said:

Rap is NOT music....Period....It's a bunch of crap from annoyed Millennials.  If you can't "hum it" it's not music.


it's just a bitch-fest that repeats the same message over and over again! 

I pretty well agree with you on much current rap or rappish music.


Obviously you didn't listen to his links to the Last Poets and Scott Gill-Heron.  That while something of a rap is definitely also music.  I suppose it might not hum so well, but that is because the melodious music is a background for the rap delivery. 


I don't even remember how exactly, but a friend had music of the Last Poets back in the mid-1970s.  I heard it then, and didn't give it much thought.  I thought it was musically interesting, but didn't care for the subject matter.  Nor did I know or hear of anything similar elsewhere.  Now rap or hip-hop as it is done is neither musically interesting nor do I care for the subject matter.


Nice article btw, Mr. Klein. 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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1 hour ago, esldude said:

Rap is NOT music....Period...


Yo, bro u just don't get it! U probably dig this nigga ..what was his name..? Oh yo - Beat Oven! :D


I actually was quite excited when first Run DMC albums were issued. I'm (also) a rocker. Then - Public Enemy with Anthrax guitarist were quite cool. I still think that the potential of rap-rock fusion hasn't been capitalized on (correct English.?) in 100%. The last rap influenced interesting rock band (an important one!) for me was Rage Against The Machine. There were also some nice jazz-rap albums IMO (eg Guru) in the brief acid jazz hype period. Yet there's been nothing interesting happening in hip hop world for years IMO. I don't follow it anymore. They're just still rapping. Yo. Some kids love it. I don't get it. But I'm old and grumpy.

I dig Beat Oven!


A good read, Gilbert!


Sometimes measurable things can't be measured. In such situation one must use a chicken to measure them.


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I emailed Gilbert privately, but should make my enjoyment of this article public. I loved it. 


I purchased my first rap album when I was 11 years old in 1986  Run DMC's Raising Hell. The rap version of Aerosmith's Walk this Way got me interested. 


After that I didn't get back into rap until I heard NWA's Straight Outta Compton in 1988 as a 13 year old. That album blew my mind. As a white kid growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I couldn't believe my ears. Much of the album was a big middle finger to The Man. I loved it. 


After that album I discovered many more rap artists and albums that I liked. Keep in mind that I grew up on Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who. Rap was very different, but equally as good, to me. 


Rage Against the Machine's self titled debut album from 1992 was another mind blower. Rage managed to mix my rock roots with new interest in rap. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. Real instruments, real musicians, real song writers, and awesome music. 


Anyway, I love almost all music. Rap is a genre I've listened to since I was a kid in the late 1980s. My distaste for country music is probably simar to many peoples' distaste for rap. I just don't get country 

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Indeed, the Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron were the originators pulling the call and response tradition of the church to the social justice message of that time, and the time today.  My first album was Sugar Hill Gang, knew every single lyric!  Much like Chris my mind was BLOWN when Rage hit the scene as they pulled so much of what I loved together.  The last artist I was super passionate about was The Roots, those guys still kill it.  Unfortunately what is mainstream getting radio airplay I don't find creative.  BUT the new Kendrick Lamar is straight fire!  Give that a listen if you have not.


Those inevitably posting just to talk the genre down, just remember that there is something for everybody.  Nobody has to like everything out there.


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Rap and HipHop are genres I will never listen to as I don't enjoy the instrumentation nor the lyrics. More power to those that do like it.....I'll never get it. And I like aspects of all this stuff:







 Easy Listening

 Indie Pop

 Inspirational (incl. Gospel)




 New Age



 R&B / Soul



 Singer / Songwriter (inc. Folk)


So don't label me a snob.

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Go back and find recordings of Muhammad Ali from the 60's - he was already rapping. AFAIK, the actual rapping (although not set to music) was already part of Black American culture - but White people weren't aware of it, I think because it wasn't done in front of them. Part of their culture that African Americans kept to themselves. 


I think in terms of music, you'd have to include Dylan as a seminal influence in the development of rap music. First, because there are rappers that acknowledge him. Second, because all you have to do is listen to many of his mid sixties songs to hear a rap done to folk/rock music. 


Gil Scott-Heron: I clearly remember that album being released and getting a lot of "buzz". Obviously it wasn't on AM radio, but it was extensively reviewed/covered in the music press and played on college radio and some FM radio. 


I don't listen to a lot of rap or hip-hop, partly because I find much of it misogynist and glorifying violence. I'm also not a proponent of  using the "N-word" - even when it is done by African Americans. 


Musically some of the music also doesn't appeal to me. But go onto Tidal and look for rap or hip-hop with jazz - you might be surprised by the sophistication and intelligence of some of the music you find. Music that's clearly a direct descendant of the musical tree that gave us the Blues and Jazz.

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10 hours ago, Booster MPS said:

Indeed, the Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron were the originators pulling the call and response tradition of the church to the social justice message of that time, and the time today.  My first album was Sugar Hill Gang, knew every single lyric!  Much like Chris my mind was BLOWN when Rage hit the scene as they pulled so much of what I loved together.  The last artist I was super passionate about was The Roots, those guys still kill it.  Unfortunately what is mainstream getting radio airplay I don't find creative.  BUT the new Kendrick Lamar is straight fire!  Give that a listen if you have not.


Those inevitably posting just to talk the genre down, just remember that there is something for everybody.  Nobody has to like everything out there.



Agree about Kendrick Lamar. 


He was influenced by the artists from Compton as well. It's amazing to see how much great music has come from such terrible circumstances in Compton.


From Wikipedia:

1987–2003: Early life and education

Kendrick Lamar was born in Compton, California, the son of a couple from Chicago, Illinois.[3] His first name was given to him by his mother in honor of American singer-songwriter Eddie Kendricks, of The Temptations.[4] In 1995, at the age of eight in his hometown of Compton, Lamar witnessed his idols, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, film the music video for their hit single "California Love", which proved to be a very significant moment in his life.[5]He grew up on welfare and section 8 housing. As a child, Lamar attended McNair Elementary in the Compton Unified School District.[6] As a teenager, Lamar went on to attend Centennial High School in Compton, where he was a straight-A student.[3][7][8]




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7 hours ago, DRB100 said:

Let's look at this from a pragmatic perspective first and then I will interject my own OPINION.


Rapping isn't singing nor is it really considered Poetry.  If you look at rapping, it's generally not even using a formal language like English.  It typically uses Slang, for which not everyone even knows the meaning of all of the words unless you are entrenched in that.  Take a melody from a song, ANY song with a great melody and sing a Rap lyric to that melody.  It typically doesn't sound right, it typically sounds stupid.  Take any Beatles melody line and replace the lyrics with rap lyrics.  It doesn't sound very good, it typically sounds STUPID.  Rapping actually came from Nursery rhyming, and there are plenty of rappers that actually alter a famous nursery rhyme with foul language rap lyrics.  Two Live Crew did that, so that's essentially their training in learning how to create a rhyme.  So essentially they are basically trash talking based on nursery rhymes.  Pretty sad if you think about it.  Rapping is basically childish, immature, illiterate, and filled with a lot of hatred, misogynistic attitudes and other attitudes against society, the police, because these rappers are essentially street thugs that have spent more time in jail or doing illegal activities than they have studying music theory, how to sing or how to play a musical instrument.  Anyone that puts these a-holes on a pedestal is an ignorant person.  


now, as far as the Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron they were more poetry since they were using the English language and they did study poetry and English composition.  Gil had a Master's degree in creative writing.  he also was a musician that studied blues, jazz, etc. as he was also an accomplished musician that mostly worked with other musicians that also studied blues/jazz, etc.


Now, the stuff now is not even comparable to the music Gil and the Last Poets put out. The Last Poets weren't even that successful.  No one really gives a rip about Gil Scott Heron's music anymore..


Rap has not musical scales, it's more of a rhythmic feel of triplet, or 16th note triplet feel, and that's about it.  With blues, you have blues scales, chord progressions and rhythms.  Jazz has scales and chord progressions and rhythms and it was derived based on blues.  Rap or Hip Hop have none of that, so in order to be a rapper, you don't have to study music, all you need is some catchy rhymes, swear words give it a higher shock value, and rap to a Hip Hop groove on a Roland drum machine and technically that's all that's required for a rap/hip song.   The use of sampling it just telling the world that you are a rip off artist and you have no abilities to create your own music because you probably can't even play a musical instrument.  


Obviously, everyone is generalizing and I'm sure we can take some anomaly and prove that Rap/Hip Hop is music.   As far as the Billy Cobham reference, the rapping portion was a very small portion of the song and if you removed it, the listener wouldn't have minded.  I would have preferred if Billy left it out and I'm sure Billy isn't exactly thrilled about the song since he doesn't perform it anymore.  I don't even remember seeing his band perform that song live when he was on the Magic tour.  Sometimes artists are forced to put shit on their album to appease the record label.    Just like Santana used a rapper on remakes of old Santana hits, but he doesn't tour with rappers.


I view the whole rapper/Hip Hop community as just a bunch of kids that are simply brainwashed by the music industry and most of them are simply clueless as to what to listen to and think is music.  they grew up on it, and that's what they are conditioned to THINK is music.   Most rappers can't sing, can't play a musical instrument and it's just all they can do because it's either put out a rap album promoting sex, drugs, money, expensive cars, hitting women, stealing things, going against society and "the Man", and it's just a lot of juvenile crap to make money.  Most of these rappers are more interested in their RAP Sheet to get street credentials, than they are interested in studying music, learning how to play a musical instrument or sing without having to use AutoTune.


The song rapper's delight, I saw it more as a novelty version of Chic's Good Times hit.  it was comical in nature and it stuck with the disco crowd.  BFD.  It just shows that some dumasses couldn't write and create their own music, so they had to essentially legally STEAL someone else's, put some stupid lyrics and sell it.  It's kind of reminds me of that South Korean PSI that had that stupid hit Gangnam Style.  Just a stupid song that attracted a predominately immature audience.    The music industry is filled with stupid songs that sell.  Achey Breaky Heart is another stupid song that was successful..


Now, as far as taking a Hip Hop groove where accomplished jazz musicians can do something with it that's worth listening to, sure. why not?  But that's not a Hip Hop song per se.  It's a Jazz song with a Hip Hop groove.  But there is a lot of what I feel is lame jazz that has a Hip Hop groove.  it's called Smooth Jazz. to me, most Smooth Jazz is just marketed with the term "jazz" to make it sound plausible, but it should be called Instrumental pop music with jazz musicians that couldn't make it as a jazz musician, so they went instrumental Pop because they had to do something to sell and make money. Guys like  Kenny G, comes to mind.


Unfortunately, the music industry tends to spend a lot of money marketing crappy music, and it's a trend that started to happen in the late 70's and it's progressively gotten worse and worse.  It's a shame, but most kids growing up today aren't learning how to play a musical instrument studying blues, jazz, classical, and other legitimate forms of music that actually have defining music theory behind it, so instead,  they are spending time on a computer, programming, using loops, samples from previously recorded music to create music. 

Too bad, but that's the world we live in.  So, we either speak up and express our frustration to people that will NEVER listen, or ignore them completely and don't buy into it, OR lower our standards and buy into it.  




I'm speechless. I disagree with every sentence. 

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Nothing gets a bunch of white guys riled up like rap music :~)

I vehemently dislike rap / hip-hop, but won't go so far to say "it's not music".


It is music I dislike.  Given I like most music, and go so far as to like even some country (shudder), that's saying a lot.

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Not sure if Rap is music but the Eminem show a couple of years ago at ACL was the best, most exciting show I had seen since Them Crooked Vultures back in 2009 (I attend every year...obviously miss some acts).  Eminem made Pearl Jam, who played the next night, boring.  I have gone back and looked at clips of the "great" rappers...boring. Kendrick Lamar at ACL last year...boring.  I fully expect Chance the Rapper this year will be ...boring.     

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