Crap

I saw a bumper sticker this morning that read:

Go Disco tonight! Help ten musicians lose their jobs!

I thought about it for a second and decided that this sticker was somewhat dated and probably came out of the late 70’s, about the time Saturday Night Fever hit theatres.
For the club/wedding musician, Disco was at least playable unlike the Rap garbage that fouls and clutters the FM radio dial these days.
And though I never personally liked Disco, it’s message was still fairly positive.
It spoke of the silly generalities of the human condition from love to dancing; from Funkytown to the sultry and crowded dance floors where it was Raining Men (hallelujah!) people flocked to nightclubs where there was room enough for both DJ and musicians.
These days Disco is dying a slow K-Tel kind of death, available on cassette and CD from commercials you can only see at 3:15am on some God forsaken outpost channel that nobody watches.

 

Today, Rap music (an oxymoron, if ever I heard one) can be found everywhere.
From TV commercials to movies to scummy kids listening to a boom box at the train station, Rap music soils, spoils and trashes the very roots of humanity while teens pile into record stores to spend their money on CD’s that would be better put to use as mini-Frisbees.

Some critics say the genre has a very short shelf life to which I say, not nearly short enough.
I can’t stand anything to do with this urban cacophony.
It glorifies hate, rape, weapons, drugs, female anatomy, skin color and everything that seems dark and wrong in the world. I refuse to even call it music because in my eyes, the people that write it and perform it are merely bad poets (many wouldn’t know a quarter note rest if it whacked them in the side of the head) filled with enough piss and vinegar they could easily sink the QE2.
It’s not only the music that gags me it’s the image that goes along with it.
Frumpy, urban, over-sized and decorated with more Gumby gold than Tutankhamun’s tomb, these moronic and self-proclaimed rappers have the gall to think what they do is revolutionizing the world around them, that it’s somehow important.
It’s no more important than the dump I took this morning; pestilent and inconsequential.

We live in a world that, on one hand, desperately claims to want racial equality while on the other, permits the creation of this abysmal crap all in the name of personal freedom.
That’s my name for it: C-R-A-P.

Racial equality may never exist and Rap is just one of the many reasons why. To listen to it, you need only two ears…a brain is optional.

My advice to all you rappers (black ,white, yellow and green): rollup your damn baggy pants, straighten your baseball cap, lose the doo-rag and go listen to some Ray Charles.
And for the love of God, please, please, please stop calling yourselves “artists”.
What you do has nothing to do with creativity. I'll get off my soapbox now.

I rant, therefore, I am…

 

~m

27 responses to “Crap

  1. As always, you’ve expressed yourself so well. All the while I was reading your post, I tried to come up with a valid argument to dispute yours. But I can’t. You are 100% correct, but some rap music I just can’t help but like. I don’t know if it’s the cheesy tag line or what. It’s got a good beat and easy to dance to? I don’t know. Certainly it doesn’t make one feel happy or positive about anything in the world. Disco on the other hand makes me very happy. I wasn’t old enough to think it was crap the first time around, but disco really does energize me!!

    You could take your argument here and wind the time back about 40-50 years when the Beatles came to the U.S. Substitute the word “rap” for the Beatles and you have the same argument.

  2. Carnealian-

    “You could take your argument here and wind the time back about 40-50 years when the Beatles came to the U.S. Substitute the word “rap” for the Beatles and you have the same argument.”

    The only difference being the level of intelligence involved. I’m not a big Beatles fan but I do believe that we’ll still be listening to them 50 years from now. Can’t say the same about Fitty Cent…

    ~m

  3. C-rap indeed! Thanks for your insight, couldn’t have said it better myself. A real challenge to all you rap “artists” out there: quit ripping people off and try covering some old Motown classics, with the original music….you’d be surprised at the response. I’m sure a small percentage of you may actually have some talent. Unfortunately, most of the rest of you would get “gonged” by the masses….(man, am I dating myself!) Peace out, michael m!

  4. Here's a quote from a former Beatle on Rap Music

    "Rap music is just computerised crap. I listen to Top of the Pops and after three songs I feel like killing someone. " George Harrison

    My sentiments exactly. I always liked Harrison.

    ~m 

  5. hey dude your a fag, rap is awesome. Go argue with a rapper about his music and you will probably get your ass kicked, queer. Take your argument and shove it up your ass. No one complains about the gay music that you listen to.

    So eloquent, Bennie. And friendly.
    Thanks for highlighting my personal belief that rap is merely “bad poetry”.
    Thanks for reading anyway.
    Excuse me while I go cue up a Manilow CD.
    Judging from the responses above, you’re in the minority here.
    Irony sucks sometimes, eh, dude?
    I’m sorry. Do you even know what irony is?
    FOAD…

    ~m

  6. I could find some merit in this music (I use the term loosely) if it were used to illucidate the desperation of poverty without opportunity. But instead, it is used to glorify racism, hatred and division. Unfortunately, as long as racism, poverty and ignorance remains a cottage industry in this country – we’ll never get past the ‘need’ for this vapid whining. It’s just one of fuels used to keep the fire roaring. You’d think people would see what fools they’re being played for, rather than use it as their anthem.

    Wonderful, Annie.
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    ~m 

  7. Your criticism of rap music is just history repeating itself. The older generation will always criticize the younger generation for reasons that have nothing to do with quality of music. The definition of quality changes over time. Of course, the older generation will have a different opinion of ‘quality’ than the younger. What really worries me is that some of these rants (and I’m not accusing you) are actually jealousy and racism disguised as music criticism. It’s pretty clear that in todays politically correct environment if one can’t be racist in a straightforward way, people often conveniently find a “back door”. And how is Motown better than Rap? What’s the criteria? Is your definition of quality better than today’s 16 year-old? Beethoven was criticized by the ‘older’ generation for corrupting the youth, Elvis was seen by parents as obscene. Don’t you see a pattern? You are the current generation of critics that look back to the past and admire and look to the present and criticize. As a writer you have the freedom to write anything in your blogs: love, passion, hate, and death. Well, rappers have that SAME freedom. Yet you criticize them. You fear what you don’t understand. Break the cycle, the world needs it now more than ever.

    Gene-

    First of all thank you for such a well thought out response to my post “Crap”.
    I will however say that we will have to agree to disagree.
    To me, the music itself is, for the most part, a glorification of violence, sexual innuendo and oddly enough (or not) racial epithets aimed at
    a general public that has grown increasingly apethetic in attitude and acceptance.
    Nothing shocks people anymore.
    When people offer up the “generation” argument I speak from a purely musical standpoint.
    While Rap and Hip-Hop offers the musical community much in the way of polyrythmn and groove, its intent is undeniably negative.
    Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones were all considered by many to be shredding the moral fibers of society.
    Think about the actual content of the material and I think you may see where it is that I’m coming from.
    Musically, it had many of the components needed to formulate a pop song: an intro, verse, chorus, bridge.
    Its main intention wasn’t to hurt but to make sense out of anything from the government to lost love to a bad LSD trip.
    Most Rap material is groove-oriented and tends to be incredibly repetitive; the statement the song makes is more important than the music.
    Musically, I’ve always been open to many different genres and my musical taste will attest to that fact.
    The perpetuation of racial unrest is present daily in much of what I hear from the Rap community.
    There’s nothing good to be taken from it, in my opinion.
    And that’s profoundly sad.
    As far as breaking the cycle, it will never happen until we all realize and accept the fact that we’re in this together be it black, white, yellow or green.
    Again, I thank you for taking the time to comment and actually giving me something to really think about.

    best,

    ~Michael

  8. Here is my suggestion to all of you: educate yourself. Try to get into the culture and music and understand it. Sample some songs at ITunes. Look at the intricacies of vocal rhyming from both word-choice and rhythm, understand the mental prowess it takes to memorize and be spontaneous with that many words on stage in front of thousands of people. (For you writers who actually perform readings on stage in front of people, you should understand this) Look at how DJing, scratching and beat-boxing originated and how it drives the song. Look at the whole picture and not just the negative aspects. Hip-hop (or rap as you call it) dominates the charts on a global scale, it is a cultural movement that can be found in almost every country, it is multi-racial and multi-lingual. It exists in fashion, merchandise, advertising, and how we speak and behave. Here’s a starting point:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop_music

  9. “When people offer up the “generation” argument I speak from a purely musical standpoint”

    Define music.
    -an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner.
    “..the music itself is, for the most part, a glorification of violence”

    “..its intent is undeniably negative.”

    “The perpetuation of racial unrest is present daily..”

    Alot of hip-hop songs today deal with soul-searching, growing up, issues on relationships, and partying with friends. I think you are just focusing on the “Gangsta” rap sub-genre.
    Is there some good Rap that I just don’t know about?

    If you’re concerned that hip-hop perpetuates violence then how about Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”
    “Hey Joe” was far away from Hip-Hop.
    We’re talking a different genre altogether.

    The Beatles “Helter Skelter” and how it affected Charles Manson (he was a paranoid freakshow, music had nothing to do with his actions, you’re reaching here) ,

    and of course Marilyn Manson and Columbine?
    I’m wondering if Ozzy Osbourne had something to do with 9/11?

    “Most Rap material is groove-oriented and tends to be incredibly repetitive;”

    Rap is not anymore repetitive than any of today’s rock or pop songs. (your biased opinion.)

    If anything is extremely repetitive look at dub reggae, dancehall, drum and bass, and techno. These genres are all about repetition yet there are extremely creative artists in these genres and they’ve spawned entire DJ sub-cultures on the world club scene.
    Gene, please don’t get me started on DJ’s. (my biased opinion)

    “the statement the song makes is more important than the music.”

    Bob Dylan, his message was more important than his music. But I don’t give him less respect for this.
    If you could actually understand what the hell he was saying, you’re a better man than I.

    I’m not quite sure where you’re going with this, Gene but I will tell you that from where I stand you’re preaching to the choir. You like Rap and I’m happy for you. I do not.
    You can talk to me until you’re blue in the face and it won’t change the fact that I think the genre is offensive and disturbing. You like chocolate, I like vanilla.
    The thing we have in common is that we’re not afraid to talk about it.

    As I said before, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and move on.
    If you really dislike what it is that I’m writing on my blog, there are many other places to visit.
    It’s my blog, so it’s my way.
    End of story.

    ~m 

  10. “It’s my blog, so it’s my way. End of story.”

    That’s fine. This will be my last post, publish it or not. Yes, these are all opinions, but I think you and the others have sketched pretty broad strokes. You don’t know everything about hip-hop, you don’t listen to it on a frequent basis, yet you criticize it. I don’t really like Jazz but you will NEVER hear me criticize it, simply because 1) I’m not into it and consequently 2) I don’t know much about it.

    If you were to poll 100 actual musicians
    (I don’t mean rappers or hip-hoppers, I mean musicians. There’s a vast difference)
    and asked them how they felt about the Rap genre, 99 of them would say “it’s all garbage.”
    I’m a musician and I’m simply calling a spade a spade.
    You take it as smoke blown up your kilt. And maybe it is…
    In fifty years, people will still be listening to The Beatles and Miles Davis.
    Can’t say the same about Rap.
    btw- If I strongly dislike Klezmer music, does that make me anti-semitic?

    ~m

  11. I really don’t think that you have to be a frequent listener to know that rap sucks. I don’t eat shit but I am fucking sure that I would be right in saying that it probably tastes like shit. Which is exactly what rap sounds like.

  12. Pingback: Attack Ships on Fire off the Shoulder of Orion » Prejudice : Defending hip-hop music

  13. I don’t recall seeing any “rappers”, “hip-hop artists” (I use artists very loosely) playing the guitar, pounding the drums, or tapping the ivories of the piano lately, if ever. Most of the feeble minded are missing the point of this post. It isn’t necessarily the “music” itself. It is the messages and viewpoints portrayed in the music/videos that are not socially supportive.

  14. Saw an interesting news brief on a national news broadcast ticker on a phone poll they did in teenagers from 12 yrs to 17 yrs of age, the findings were that in that age group that listened to the sexually explicit lyrics be it hip-hop or rap there was a 20% higher rate of sexually active kids as opposed to the same age group that didn’t.
    Interesting statistic. I’m sure if the checked those who listened to violent lyrics there would be a result somewhat similar.

    G….

  15. Wow Michael,
    I look away for two minutes and you have the rap/anti-rap debate. The thing that really struck me was that the debater talked political correctness and how it drove your comments – yet the post he made on the other blog was so PC you could puke. I mean, gee whiz Mike, did you have to use such a hateful tone? And wrap your racism up in your post about what crap rap is? Tisk, tisk!

    Clearly, he missed the point. But at least he didn’t resort to rap-type lyrics to argue with you like ol’ Bennie did. LOL.
    WC

    Thanks for keeping an eye out for me, WC… ;)
    And yes, at least he didn’t rap.
    I would’ve had to delete that.
    Boys will be boys, I guess.

    ~m 

  16. OMG did you tell someone to FOAD??!!!
    This is great reading Michael……
    Whilst i’m not a rap fan myself, I do admit to being one of SOME of eminem’s stuff. And for the lyrics, not the music, most of that is rehashed or rewound from other sources i’m sure. Artists they may be allowed to call themselves, but musicians? I’m not entirely convinced on that one..

  17. Ahhh. I see now. Yes, rap is crap. You didn’t see Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkle shooting it up outside discos. Well, shooting guns anyway.

    Rap is violent. It degrades women. It objectifies. It promotes drugs, rape, violence, and lawlessness. Shoot the police. Kill your rival. Put a ho down on the floor and f*ck her. No thanks. Not my taste.

  18. I wish there were a statistical way to look at this, so we could avoid people’s opinions. I think it would further prove the point. Not that this is possible, BUT, if you could somehow perform the following “unscientific” study, I would love to see the results: First take a panel of “judges” (for lack of a better time), say 10 people of all nationalities. Then take the top 200 hip-hop albums of the last five years. At, say, 10 songs an album, that’s 2000 songs. We’ll call this group A. Then take the top 200 albums from all other genres, be it pop (i.e. Justin Timberlake), Rock (Nickelback), Country, Jazz, etc. That’s another 2000 songs, we’ll call it group B. Now let the panel listen to each song, one by one, and put a check mark next to any track that references hate, violence, degradation of women, bragging/boasting, etc. (Remember, this is a PANEL of independent judges from all walks of life, so there’s no bias in the “judging” of what qualifies as violence, etc.). Well after the panel goes through group A and B, I would be very curious to see how many tracks from Group A had check marks for each category, and how many from group B.

  19. Not a big fan of some of the lyrics either, but do enjoy the beats and the instrumentals – and these days its pretty easy to roll your own.

    Agreed, HRB.
    Some of the stuff is fairly creative.
    My positive feelings end there.
    Thanks for commenting.
    ~m

  20. Wow…what a read! There is no positive creativity to be found in Rap/Hip Hop or whatever they want us to call it today. Simply put, it is black youth rebelling, at least in the beginning, and then the youth of other races joining in. There is NO musical talent, as it clearly is not music. I and so many other music lovers have waited so long for this crap to stop…it will no doubt end at some point, but not soon enough. So many talented singers, songwriters, musicians of all the races are waiting in the wings for this maddness to disappear so they can be heard. The bottom line is if it brings in the money, the rappers, the labels, don’t care. A huge percentage of them simply sell their souls and look the other way while their bank accounts climb. They have sold their soul and will retire with money possbly, then they will join in with us and speak of how they really couldn’t stand it but there’s nothing they could do…liar’s all! They have no guts!!

    Don, I think we’re on the exact same page.
    Thanks for reading.
    And yeah, the comments alone are intense.
    ~m

  21. I agree with you, to an extent. Because some rappers can be very poetic; you just have to know where to look. Unfortunately the mainstream rap is what you refer to.

    Hey Bam-
    I thought this post was dead and buried. Guess not.
    I will agree with you as well, some rappers can be very poetic.
    Mainstream rap is where I get off the proverbial bus and start screaming at the people that applaud these gasbags.
    Thanks for the comment. It’s much appreciated.
    ~m

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s