Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why Rap / Hiphop Is Undeniably Music


The fact is: rap music and Hip-hop is undeniably 'music'.

Regardless of whether or not woodwind and such instruments are used.

Despite the looping of tunes and the reproduction of other pieces of music.

A clear and easy way of thinking about it is: All hip hop / rap songs are in the 'fusion music' genre, so... Rap / HipHop is music.
Think of it like this, in its most basic forms.
Imagine you have an instrument making noise to fit a beat, producing noise that has a narrow pitch range but has a large focus on being dynamically rhythmic. This is the lead instrument.


Then imagine that that rhythmic instrument track is to be imposed onto a beat, which on its own, although using repeating loops of beats, ensures that the melody in and of those loops of beats has deviation at intervals.

The looping instrumental backing track finds uniqueness in each moment by its unique accompanying of a moment of the first (aforementioned) instrument track.

With the pairing of these two sound layers, every time-slice of a length above half a second is different.

What we have there is a rhythmic instrument sound on top of an instrumental track, tightly composed for 3 minutes. An accomplishment, even if awful to listen to.

The difference between noise and music is:... Artistry. 

Music can be a singular track of noise, harmony is not needed. Music can be monotone. Music can be computer generated, instruments are not mandatory.

I hope that we are in agreement of this: the human voice (not specifically when beat-boxing) is a musical instrument.

From the preceding proposition, a piece of music is apparent. One could imagine scat music, which is factually founded on dexterity-based sentence-less meaningless ramblings. So is logically shit. You could also think of jazz music, with rhythmically focused instruments taking the position of vocals on an instrumental backing track.  

Elementally, a rap song is no different to other forms of music. The average non-ballad pop song contains clichéd but melodic phrases and chants, typically placed onto a highly varying HipHop-like beat. Imagine one that is unintelligibly foreign, so the lyrics are not a factor. The only absence found when comparing an average hiphop song is: a priority focus on a wide ranging melody.

Music is the collection and arrangement of sounds in a definitive production.  How an artist reaches that goal is inconsequential.

Traditional Hip-hop differs from other popular music genres in many ways, but most troublesome are the frequency and importance of dialogue and the methods used for the production of the sounds.

Get Over It..

With the rapper's voice playing the lead instrumental role, making up for what it lacks in melodic variety with meaning, extra challenges are in place for the creator in the form of making what is said pleasing in multiple respects, a tall task of which completion should be rewarded with respect. The prioritising of these respects (aspects) is what sets apart rapper types to more than just the two categories of bad or good.

With a voice as the leading musical instrument, there is great difficulty in putting on a great performance, making those that do happen all the more worthy of respect.
You still won't, will you?

A piano player must play the right keys at the right tempo, usually defined by someone else. A singer has to use their voice with skill and timing, with the words able to be meaningless representations of a melodic tune. A rapper has to deliver a rhythmic poetic script, with no mistakes, a cohesive topic, emotive cadence, messages of meaning, elements of impressiveness and even watch his breath.

You can't do that!!

There's an explanation for the slow-ass lazy flow that's gained popularity.

Have you heard of Hip-hop's concept of 'bars'? It's basically pseudo-uber-punning. The stuff comedy is respected for. Some artists make sure that every line that they rap is a 'bar', which makes them even more loathsome but objectively impressive. Objectivity can be rendered invisible by subjectivity. Every single professional poet can't actually make pieces that are universally appreciated so, with the importance of personal truth, of course a rapper's work won't ever be loved by all.

It's easy to rap badly, as it is to play a guitar improperly. 

To be a good 'Elite-Respected' rapper, like Kendrick Lamar or Eminem, takes a shocking amount of intelligence and dedication. Like sketching (easy) and painting (hard). Most people, due to reluctance, do not know what a good rapper is so, to them, all Hip-hop artists are indifferently the same talentless, skill-less and annoying noise makers. People believe that raping a beat is easy.

Without the words and just the vocal sounds, a rap song is 100% music. With the words, which are the genres lynch pin, a rap song is factually more than just music, it is music +. The leading instrument is playing more than just sound.

Which is likely the main problem, these musicians are actually saying things of meaning and importance - unlike other genres of music, which allow their content to be universally agreeable with clichéd 'anythings'.

Like opera, a rap song must have its opinionated words understood and respected to be experienced / enjoyed fully, creating another barrier for entry.

In order to be accepted by the mainstream, you have to adhere to the rules of the mainstream -- Is how it is supposed to work, but at odd times, and with certain unpredictable things, it doesn't.

To defeat naysayers weak arguments for rap's illegitimacy as a music is easy. As Hiphop industry leaders show, with high production costs and values and therefore more marketability, all that must be done to make a rap song undeniably 'music' is throw as many sounds as possible on the beat and/or use live instruments

So bloody easy... Yet, without such practises, simplistic hip-hop is still undeniably music, simply because of the fact that somebody is playing some sort of instrument (the voice) and not like a wild monkey. You can even do a 'BODYBAG' move by flipping this current angle and questioning wether or not the instrumental track without the vocals is 'music'.

Remember, the key is: the inclusion of artistry within its respective established framework.

So as a summary, you don't have to like it, fair enough, but it is music. Make sure your argument is sound. Not sorry.

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