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Re: (TV) 2 cents on Rap

Mike took the words out of my mouth. I think my problem with 'enlightened'
music fans (as I would egotistically classify we Television fans) saying they
"hate" or "dislike" or "turn off the radio and mope for ten minutes about the
state of music these days" (sorry Emilie) with regards to *any* type of music
is that it sounds like the exact same things my parents' generation said about
"rock 'n' roll" - it's "simple", "juvenile", "violent", "druggy", "repetitive",
"skill-less", "all the same", "stupid", etc. I'm not saying there isn't plenty
of terrible rap, r'n'b, hip-hop, etc. - but there was plenty of terrible punk,
new wave, pop, progressive rock, *and* plenty of good disco, too (Chic, for
one). It also reminds me of diehard Beatle fans, who are always saying things
like "there is no good music on the radio these days", which might be true for
certain stations of areas of the world, but implies that good music isn't being
made anymore, which just isn't true.

Folks between 50 and 5 understand rock 'n' roll and most of its variations
because they are all around us - TV, movies, radio, etc. - and have been our
entire life. Rap is a bit different - like jazz in the 1920s, it still is
interpreted as being primarily the product of a single demographic group (true
or not) and has only emerged in the last twenty years. Only in the last ten
years has it become ubiquitous in the same way "rock 'n' roll" is - in the
movies, TV, etc. I didn't grow up with it, and most of us on the list didn't.
It's foreign in many ways... like r'n'r was to our parents in the 1950s and
60s. Hence the instinctive distaste many of us have for it - it doesn't fit
into our subconsciously defined ideas of what music *should* sound like, and so
we reject it out of hand. It takes a lot to break that barrier - I've only
begun starting to over the last year.

As an aside... I don't know a lot of rap, but I did buy IT TAKES A NATION OF
MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK a few months ago, and was amazed at how tame that
album seems more than a decade later. Yes, popular rap is filled with violence
and misogyny - but interestingly, the PE album is remarkably 'clean'. As I
recall, it was much more controversial for it's pro-Farrakhan statements and
anti-semitic undertones. But as for swearing, violence, misogyny, it was
nothing compared to what was coming (NWA, Body Count, etc.).

And it's not quite rap, but I think Tricky's MAXINQUAYE is one of the best
albums of the 1990s. 

I've rambled enough! Sorry!


--- MICHAEL CARLUCCI <subterraneannyc@mindspring.com> wrote:
>     Maybe because most of those who don't really listen to rap or
> contemporary R&B, hip-hop and the like hate "Rap" and seem to lump
> all the catagories together. There are big differences in all genre's.
> It's like saying that Smokey Robinson and James Brown both played soul
> music or that Funkadelic and The Temptations were R&B. I've always felt
> that H A T E is a very strong word. How can you hate something or someone
> that
> you do not understand? I may not like what Lou Reed does these days but I
> certainly do not hate him. I have no reason to. I'll give him credit for
> staying alive, getting great guitar sounds, and even still being active.
> Now all he has to do is remember how to sing again like he use to when
> he was in the Velvets. He seems to have for gotten that. Ever since Walk On
> The
> Wild Side he's been talking his way thru his LP's. I'm getting off track
> here.
> I just wish that before people would dismiss Rap that they'd at least know
> it first. Like with classical music. I can't comment either way on classical
> or Jazz really for that matter because I really don't know either genre well
> enough. Neither one interests me enough, but I would never say that they're
> not
> any good or that it's garbage. Have all the neigh-sayers really listened to
> rap music or have they just heard the raps and turned it off saying, Oh I
> hate
> rap music. I'm really curious about this. To lump Lauryn Hill in with Public
> Enemy is ludicrous, they're at different ends of the spectrum. Give me
> Lauryn
> any day over Whitney Houston and her "Aye ye aye ye yah" screechings any
> day.
> At least Lauryn's keeping it at the street level which is what I've always
> preferred in my musical taste. That's how TV, Voidoids, and Patti made an
> impression on me. Street level rock with a thinkman's approach. Not an easy
> thing to do without complicating matters. Sorry for all this babbling. H A T
> E
> words often do this to me. Thanks for the forum. M T C
> ----------
> >From: "Emilie Hsu" <EHSU@debevoise.com>
> >To: <tv@obbard.com>
> >Subject: RE: (TV) rap
> >Date: Sun, Jan 9, 2000, 4:04 PM
> >
> >How about stuff like French rap, like MC Solaar, I hate rap in general (and 
> >by the way, can't stand Lauryn Hill), but MC Solaar used to craft nice 
> >French rap...
> >
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