Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Audacity of Hating on Hip Hop

"Rap is crap" - West Texas Rednecks

I mentioned in a previous post that Hip Hop is my favorite genre of music. It discovered me in the mid 80s via my cousin blasting Run DMC's "Rock Box" and the rest is Waldini history. It covered all areas from street life to conscious rap to regional representation, it was just pure dopeness. However, not everyone shares my love. I don't have an issue with people not liking rap because it's not meant for everyone. What I do have an issue with is when jackasses make blanket statements about the music and sound like idiots in the process. The Honest Man is here to break down what I mean.

Example #1 - "They don't play any real instruments, they only sample"

I get this frequently from so called "true" musicians. Their claim is rap is unoriginal, nothing more than a trend, and not real music because no instruments are used. Hey stupid do you ever listen to anything besides the radio? And do you ever watch anything besides MTV and BET? Granted there are artists who live and die by sampling, not every rapper samples.

For starters, popular acts like The Roots, The Neptunes and Outkast rarely sample. Their beats are either played with live instruments or creating from scratch off a drum machine. And then you have independent artists like J-Live or Del the Funky Homosapien that sample only when necessary too. My point is there is more to rap than the stuff that's played on the radio and shown on TV. But if you have a closed mind then it's pointless trying to get yo dumb ass to open it up and explore.

Example #2 - "They don't talk about anything of substance"

Have you ever heard the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"? Great song but do you know what it was about. LSD. Not shitting you. It has been hailed as a classic. The lyrics make no sense, the composition is very out there but let the experts tell it, this is what true music is all about. Give me a fucking break. Beck put out an album called "Odelay" which had songs like "Devil's Haircut in my mind" and "Jackass" on it. Again great stuff but another what the fuck is he talking about. Oh I get it, I need to smoke that sticky icky, come up with a bizarre ass song like "Shaniqua's booty is lying with Peter in Heaven" and that'll change your mind right? Get the fuck outta here.

There have been plenty of hip hop songs that definitely had a message. "Be a Father to your Child (Ed O.G. and The Bulldogs)", "Brenda's got a baby (TuPac)", "Fight the Power (Public Enemy)" immediately come to mind. For those seeking a current song, peep Big Boi's "Sumthin's Gotta Give." Even with his corny songs, the Fresh Prince put out songs with a message. But don't sit there and tell me that rappers don't talk about anything of substance. If you are judging rap based on listening to what's on TV, then you are completely clueless and uneducated on the message that hip hop brings.

Example #3 - "It's not original like Rock and Roll"

"Higher Ground," By The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," By Robert Palmer
"Hard to Handle," By the Black Crowes
"Twist and Shout," By the Beatles

These songs were hits for the above groups but um they were originally song by r&b artists. Don't try to get Luke Skywalker and claim this isn't true, it's impossible. It's very damn true and just a small portion of songs that were remade into hits for rock and roll bands. You notice these songs happen in different eras and reinforces that yes even the precious rock and roll is not completely original in all their songs.

Yes I'm very aware R&B artists have remade rock and roll songs but you don't hear fans of r&B going a certain genre of music isn't original. Don't be a hypocrite and act like rock and roll is sacred. The artists have remade songs like Jesus turning a two pieces of fish and bread into a bountiful to feed the masses. Yea I said it, I used Jesus in my comparison. You got problems with that ;-)?

Today's Lesson

As my boy Gangsta D frequently says "Get your weight up, not your hate up". In other words, do your history before you make stupid ass remarks in public. I don't want to pull your card in front of your people ;-)

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