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Is rap art?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
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Bwllspp
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Bwllspp » January 15th, 2014, 5:58 pm

What an elusive and ambiguous question! How does one define "Art"?

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Greta
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Greta » January 17th, 2014, 6:15 pm

The problem is that the word "art" carries a highbrow semantic that is too limited to encompass many forms of contemporary art. "Art" does not imply sophistication or quality. Rap is not fine art, it's folk art. Pollock's work is is art. Merzbow's work is art. Yoko Ono's work is art. Whether it is art you relate to or not is another matter.

There is an assumption that art requires amazing skill like a circus acrobat or motorbike jumper. The assumption is that mastery trumps expression when deciding what is or isn't art, when the opposite is actually the case. Many have scoffed at Mondrian's De Stijl coloured rectangles as something "anyone can do", which of course is the usual criticism of art that people claim "isn't art". Or a monkey could do it. Or their 3- year-old niece could do it. Such people don't notice the design element behind "simple art" which makes for a pleasing or affecting whole.

Another misconception is that art must be beautiful, ignoring over a century of great avant garde work that is strongly evocative without conventional beauty. This is why many people would rank Kenny G over John Coltrane, which is roughly akin to ranking a factory print of flowers in a field over Blue Poles.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

Stormcloud
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Stormcloud » January 17th, 2014, 10:31 pm

Greta, well said - even your contribution is an art form - and a pleasant one.

The washing is all hung on the line nice n' neat like - think I'll get the camera and take a picture. :D

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Greta
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2014, 9:15 pm

Stormcloud wrote:Greta, well said - even your contribution is an art form - and a pleasant one.

The washing is all hung on the line nice n' neat like - think I'll get the camera and take a picture. :D
Thanks Storm! I just read it again and I was in form at the time ... nice to actually achieve eloquence rather than my usual confusing baked garble :)

I've been involved in various pop arts for most of my life and heard many of the arguments, from analysts, artists, musicians and audiences alike. In a nutshell, modernists think in terms of either art vs non-art or good art vs bad art. Post modernists consider art they enjoy and art they don't enjoy.

The least rational position is "art vs non art" because it claims objective certainty over blurred subjective boundaries. However, it is a socially rational position because every man and his dog feels qualified to judge what is and isn't art and safe narrow mindedness is the most common position.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Ticktockorange
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Ticktockorange » May 20th, 2014, 5:07 pm

Art must be defined as an expression of some emotion or aesthetic ideal. To this end Rap is undoubtedly art, and like any medium of art, we have rap designed to appeal to masses and sell, like 2 chains, Lil Wayne etc, this lower form of art is present within any medium, we see books with virtually no contribution to understanding such as 50 shades of grey shift millions upon millions of copies, if we were to take that as the pinnacle of literary art then we must discount books as an art form, walk into any doctors waiting room or company lobby and you will see pretty paintings of fields and cows, pleasant to observe but hardly challenging works of creation. Rap as with any art, has high and low grades.

Take Kanye West, arguably one of the most dynamic rappers of the time, and we can see that like any good piece of art, his music is woven with emotion and ideals. whether or not these resonate with you personally is irrelevant of course, since art is an entirely arbitrary subject, and requires the eye of the beholder to appreciate it regardless of what form it comes in.

If emotion is evoked, it's art. And I challenge anybody to listen to Runaway, and not feel the horrifically intoxicating sensation of arrogance married to deep regret and sorrow.

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Rivera
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Rivera » July 27th, 2014, 6:53 am

Is rap art? My answer from my definition as art would be yes. Art to me is a self expression beyond words like painting, singing, dancing, rapping. like Edgar Allan Poe poem the valley of unrest the word at the end of the first line rhymes with the word at the end of the second line just like a normal rhyme. like they say rap is poetry. I'm a philosopher and an emcee bye the way.

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Ladychristine
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Ladychristine » January 14th, 2016, 2:30 am

“Oh **** did you just dis the feminine gender
I'll pummel your ass then stick you in a blender
You think I like Tori and Ani so I can't rhyme
But I got flow like Ghostbusters got slime
Objectify women and it's ****' on
You'll be dead and gone like ancient Babylon.”
“It ain't no fun if the homies can't have none. ”
― Snoop Dogg

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Greta
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Greta » January 14th, 2016, 6:39 am

Christine, does your post imply yes or no to the question in the OP? It looks like an argument for "no" ...?
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

Granth
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Granth » January 14th, 2016, 7:13 am

It's art if I like it. If it's rap there maybe aspects of a particular rap which has artistic merit. Given that I myself am a subject (because I am always only part of someone's story) then I can only be subjective. Subjectivity is my only experience. I either embrace subjectivity or I abhor it. I abhor it when I am in pain (because pain is a story I don't like the experience of). Are we not all subjects of something greater? If things are interpreted by me as art then it is interpreted as beauty.

-- Updated January 15th, 2016, 12:14 am to add the following --

I am also subject to conditions.

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Greta
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Greta » January 14th, 2016, 8:59 am

Artistic rap with flexible jazz accompaniment - Nuclear War by pianist and bandleader, Sun Ra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6qbSHKzcmI (*language warning)
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

Jklint
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Re: Is rap art?

Post by Jklint » January 14th, 2016, 8:53 pm

Granth wrote:It's art if I like it..
That pretty well says it all and that's what arguments about art really amount to. A feedback of feeling is all that's required to call it art. Actually 'what is art' is the least philosophic of all questions being thoroughly plastic, subordinate to sensibilities and nothing more. Something you throw away when it loses it's charm.

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