Is rap art?

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Nick_A
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Nick_A » December 27th, 2011, 2:36 pm

jstarr wrote:Which philosophers would be most likely to embrace rap as art and which would be least likely?
Those who cannot appreciate "Yo momma sucks" as art are deficient in modern education. More money is needed to help these unfortunates and to rectify this problem.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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Fanman
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fanman » January 1st, 2012, 1:34 pm

I think that rap is an art form, as much as any type of music i.e. - classical music, is an art form. It appeals to a certain audience and is designed to please the senses, as all art is designed to please the senses. Based on that reasoning, I woud say that rap is art.
Once a theist, now agnostic.

T-RAY
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by T-RAY » December 11th, 2012, 12:40 pm

Rap is art. It is expression and it's connects to the listener on many levels, some good and some bad.

Supine
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Re:

Post by Supine » December 11th, 2012, 6:29 pm

whitetrshsoldier wrote:You can't spell CRAP without RAP!!! 8)

Seriously, though, rap is just a poem sung to the tempo button on a casio keyboard.

I respect the lyrics from time-to-time, but the music is generally untalented and embarrasing. I normally wouldn't even consider it music.

The only rap I respect is the rap that actually includes musical instruments, like strings, etc., along WITH great lyrics.
I see this was posted many years ago, so, perhaps it's unjust to post a response to it as the authors opinions may have changed. If not then nonetheless... it is still an old post that not necessarily needs critiquing.

But I want to say anyways... I was raised up on rap. And while there is justified criticism of rap or some of its large sub-genres like gangsta rap, I think rap is artistic and possibly did more to unite the various races (within the U.S.) than Civil Rights Movement did with legislation.

I think it has taken some well educated whites far removed from U.S. culture and history to recognize this.

From one ancient city in Italy:

cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/04/tupac. ... index.html
(CNN) -- Music from late rapper Tupac Shakur has been included as part of the Vatican's official MySpace Music playlist.

The seat of the Catholic Church released a list of 12 songs onto the social networking Web site's streaming music service this week when the site launched in the United Kingdom.

Among selections from Mozart, Muse and Dame Shirley Bassey is the slain rapper's song "Changes," which was released two years after his shooting death on a greatest hits album in 1998.

"The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people," the Vatican wrote on its official MySpace Music page.

As of Thursday night, "Changes" had been played more than 4.6 million times on the Web site.

The list was compiled by Father Giulio Neroni, artistic director of church publisher St Paul's Multimedia. He was also responsible for compiling the Vatican's recent Alma Mater album, which combined Gregorian chants and prayers with classical music and the voice of Pope Benedict XVI speaking in five languages.

Shakur, who spent time in prison for sexual assault, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Nevada in 1996.

The lyrics of "Changes" describe Shakur's desire to change a grim life of drugs, crime and violence on the streets.
Bold and underlined my emphasis.

Rap appeals more to me as an art than musicals in theaters. The latter I hate with the exception of Grease and The Sound of Music.

Fleetfootphil
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 11th, 2012, 11:28 pm

Shaggin in the sand is art if you do it right.

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Amygdala
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Amygdala » December 17th, 2012, 4:45 pm

Jeez, some of you guys sure know how to embellish the bad sides of an art form and totally neglect the good, huh? I mean obviously "art" is a subjective word, but I believe it is the duty of the person giving their opinion to look at the subject as objectively as they can. Clearly a good portion of you folks don't know anything about hip hop(and if you do, you certainly didn't provide any examples) and so I feel it is my duty to expand on it so that you can all get a bit of perspective.

I should note here that I am not the most knowledgeable person on hip hopmusic and that it is not a genre I listen to very often.

The first mistake in this thread is that "rap" is not a genre. The "rap" element is the vocal styling done over the instrumental track. It is similar to a singer (or screamer, whisperer, yodler...whatever), and as you do not call rock music "sing", you do not call hip hop music rap.

Hip hop is an ever-changing genre of music that originated in the 1970s and was popularized by a group called the "Sugar Hill Gang". Originally the genre was just something that people who didn't have instruments and participated in the urban culture (breakdancing, going to parties with DJs, and MCing (rapping) over the music that the DJs played). As DJ culture grew, DJs started to skillfully construct new music with existing records with their turntables. The music was essentially tailor-made for MCs to rap over in a party environment.

Hip hop soon evolved in the 80s from simple "good time" party atmosphere based music into "gangster rap" (notice the incorrect genre tag) because life in the areas of these MCs was often synonymous with abject poverty and an abundance of crime and drug trade/use. Hip hop was then denigrated in the media's eyes and branded as "controversial" and was therefore both terrifying to people who didn't get it (or the culture that was emanated from it) and enthralling to those who did (or thought they got it but actually just liked how it sounded). The DJ element also was expanding with the invention of the sampler. With the sampler, someone could load any sound, morph it's timing or pitch, and play it. People took these and would take drum tracks, such as the Amen Break, and sliced up parts from old jazz or blues music and create entirely new musical arrangements. The b-boy (breakdancing) and graffiti elements were still prolific as a part of the ambiance of the music and of the culture.

In the 90s, "gangster rap" was in full swing. By that point, b-boys were phased out of the media interpretation of Hip Hop and the graffiti element was embellished. "Gangster Rap" was no longer called anything other than a vile, terrifying, and bad genre of music and hip hop was only referred to by its real name by people involved in the real culture. "Party" based hip hop was also pulled back into the mainstream as a way for the music industry to soften the image of hip hop overall and to make money off of the undeniable hits that these people could write. The party hip hop became rife with artists that arguably nobody took seriously and was a genre in place solely for album and single sales. On the flip-side, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G came into play to bring a poetic side to the crime-based side of hip hop that was now all the world could pay attention to. When both artists died, "gangster rap" subsided and what I call "shallow hip hop" took it's place. And that leads us to now.

Nowadays, there are two different broad categories of hip hop (this is not backed by anything other than my own analysis, so don't take these definitions as concrete): "Shallow" hip hop, which is a genre whose sole factor of quality is amount of charting singles per album and overall sales, and "Artistic" hip hop, which is an extremely diverse group of genres made by passionate and sincere artists who like to make hip hop music.

Shallow hip hop is the kind of music that is made to appeal to teenagers (12-18). The vast majority of these songs are about sex, drugs, alcohol, or the amount of material possessions one has. There are loud and fast ("club anthem") songs, slow and laid back ("smoking weed" or "love") songs, mid-tempo songs (usually there are no defining qualities other than a mishmash of qualities from the previously mentioned types) , and "emotional" (made to feign genuineness or sincerity that my or may not actually have substantive meaning) songs. These songs are formulaically written, produced by different producers, and feature as many popular artists as possible to form an oligarchical stranglehold of perpetuated ignorance on the airwaves of every popular music and hip hop radio station known to the US. Based on the state of the music industry (which I have plenty to say about and will save for another time), this genre sells better than most other genres and will continue to reign as unchanged as possible until some event happens to destroy the major label and demonopolize the industry.

The other genre is much more broad and artistically based. First, you have artists like Aesop Rock, Despot, El-P and Cannibal Ox from a label called Definitive Jux (El-P's record label) put out intelligently composed lyricism paired with excellently arranged sample based music. Artists like Blockhead make instrumental hip hop music with their samplers or keyboards and make very inventive and cool sounding stuff. Then there are artists like Kendrick Lamar that make great urban-themed hip hop music from a poetic standpoint rather than a "I will kill you, sell drugs, and have sex with your girlfriend" standpoint. Artists like RA the Rugged Man tell stories about their lives with precise lyrical delivery, and artists like Jedi Mind Tricks, Outerspace, Celph Titled, and Apathy make controversial and anger based hip hop usually based around their issues with the current world.

So my summation is yes...hip hop is art. Hop hop is the reflection of the conditions and aesthetics of a culture, and I believe that qualifies it as an art form. Whether or not you agree that it takes a certain kind of talent to compose and/or rap over the music is not the issue, but it is a form of expression by which a person conveys their opinions and beliefs in a way that they feel passionate about. It is similar to writing a novel, making a movie, or recording a rock album, except the variables are different.

Is all hip hop music? I would argue that no, it isn't. Commercial based music like hair metal or shallow hip hop are based entire on a shallow and mass-appeal based image and are almost entirely substance less. Shallow hip hop is usually written by a team of writers around a table who are consulting a flow chart of trends to maximize profit. They try to include as man popular producers and popular featured artists as possible leading to a giant fog of congealed sameness. Because the most profitable demographic is a demographic conditioned in an environment that does not actively teach individuality, the music occupying the airwaves does not reflect individuality due to it's need to be as closely relatable to the listener as possible. Therefore it shares more qualities with a billboard or a McDonalds commercial than a piece of expressive art.

That took a while, but I hope it gives you guys a bit more perspective. Edit:lame, I can't include video examples for any of the music I want to show you due to the new user posting rules. I seriously encourage all of you to check out: Aesop Rock - Daylight El-P - Tasmanian Pain Coaster Despot - Look Alive Cannibal Ox - Pigeon Blockhead - Never Forget Your Token Jedi Mind Tricks - I Against I Jedi Mind Tricks ft. RA the Rugged Man - Uncommon Valor (A Vietnam Story) RA the Rugged Man - A Star Is Born

Belinda
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Belinda » December 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm

Amygdala wrote:
I mean obviously "art" is a subjective word,
This particular notion has bedevilled the discussion about pornography, and now it crops up in a discussion about rap. Art is a human behaviour. Art is simply a behaviour which is not directly concerned with the essentials of life such as eating, keeping warm in the cold and keeping cool in the hot sun, and sex. It is not true to say that art is a subjective 'word'. Obviously rap is an art form.

There is a subjective phrase which is in common use to designate art of which one approves. The phrase is 'a work of art'.
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Fleetfootphil
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 17th, 2012, 11:54 pm

I agree. Obviously, rap can be art. So can tire irons, used pizza boxes and painted elephants. The artist chooses the vehicle, the rest of us are lucky if we get an invitation to ride along. If we refuse a ride with rap, or porn, or with impressionism,as it were, we are the ones who lose out because we didn't allow ourselves to appreciate the view out the new window that someone smarter than us provided. In visual art almost any ism, when new, is rejected before it is embraced.

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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Belinda » December 19th, 2012, 6:14 am

Fleetfootphil, I am sorry but frankly you don't seem to agree with me. Car tire irons and used pizza boxes are not art until someone comes along and makes something unnecessary but meaningful out of them, Rap, by contrast, is an unnecessary, deliberate and meaningful creation from raw rhythm and speech
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Fleetfootphil
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 19th, 2012, 11:52 am

I do agree with that. Anything can be art; tire irons, pizza boxes or deliberate rhythms. It makes no difference. I do see problems with this situation when I go to a park and there is some kind of pole standing there andI don't know if it is art or some functional object I don't recognize. Since it might be art or it might not, I have to appreciate it as if it is without knowing whether it was deliberate or not- or to use the term from another discussion, I don't know if there was intent.

Belinda
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Belinda » December 19th, 2012, 1:10 pm

Fleetfootphil wrote:
I do agree with that. Anything can be art
No. you disagree with me. I said something quite other than that.
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Fleetfootphil
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 20th, 2012, 12:02 am

So, someone comes along and makes something meaningful out of rhythms, or pizza boxes. What's the difference in materials used? The question is how do we tell when someone comes along and makes something meaningless out of rhythm or pizza boxes?

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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Belinda » December 20th, 2012, 7:56 am

If it is meaningful quite apart from banal uses it is art. However for it to be art the pizza boxes have to be made into something that is more than a random heap of pizza boxes, into a deliberate assembly that expresses an idea. If you made a heap of pizza boxes with plenty of glue into a pony with a broken leg, to express your disapproval of transport of low value horses you would be a maker of art, and your artefact would be art.

It is necessary for the receiver of the idea of the art work to have some experience of the idiom in order to appreciate it. This is why many old persons dislike rap, it is outwith their experience and prejudices.
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Fleetfootphil
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 21st, 2012, 12:56 am

Belinda: Nah. Art ain't like that at all.

Mariakaptain
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Mariakaptain » January 20th, 2013, 5:17 pm

I don't think rap is art. I think it's a representational act. It's not art because it doesn't have the elements of music in combination with dance but it uses the rythme to show images through movement and rhyme. The fact that words (in rhyma) follow the rythme doesn't mean that is art.

Of course I understand that rap needs effort and tiredeness and it has its own "art" to be done, in its own way, but isn't an art (like music, dancing, literature, painting e.t.c.).

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