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Old 2007-09-12, 23:57   Link #81
SilentKnight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leedizzle View Post
For intelligent Hip Hop/Rap, who's the judge? I mean does this some specific criteria before a piece of music becomes intelligent? Is it the message it portrays? Is it the flow? The lyrics? I mean does it have to portray a positive message?

Can it not just appeal to a wide, diverse group of people? Shouldn't music just bring people to listen to it and enjoy it?
How do I judge intelligent hip hop/ rap?
Lyrical content:
How complex and intricate are the rhymes? Are they simple one word one syllable rhymes?
bat, cat, hat
Or are they more complex rhymes like:
lyrically, spiritually, critically

How complex and intricate and diverse are the rhyme schemes used? Once again, simple one word rhymes that only occur in single syllables at the end of the line?
cat, hat, bat
Or more complex multi-syllable schemes?
"I hold the mic and use it like a lightning rod
Silent Knight is the undisputed rhyming god"

Does the rapper only rhyme at the end of each line?
"This is how you spit a rap
Yes I know this sounds like crap"
Or does the rapper make an effort to use internal rhymes?
"Better panic and hide when I'm grabbin the mic
Wrote the art of war to rap and the strategy guide"

How clever are a rapper's lines, how much thought did the rapper put into them, do the lines make you think, do they catch you off guard with some witty reference?
Take something relatively simple:
"My rhymes flow like water"
Compared to something real witty:
"My sharp mind can turn my words into weapons
Headbutt a clock and split an hour into seconds"

Message:
I really do hope the rapper has something more to say than "I like scantily clad women, drugs, expensive cars, jewelry, big houses, etc." or "I'm rich, watch me flaunt my wealth." For me, something with a more socially and politically charged message usually leaves a lasting impression and makes you consider what's being said and really just increases its replay value. Even something abstract and out of the ordinary is a breath of fresh air.


and there's a whole bunch of other criteria I use to judge it that I'm too lazy to type up and post so hopefully you get the drift.
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Last edited by SilentKnight; 2007-09-13 at 00:08.
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Old 2007-09-13, 00:29   Link #82
Leedizzle
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The criteria you have listed seems reasonable.

Yes, having complexity in both the rhythm, rhyme, and vocabulary in the song does make the rapper seem more intricate and appealing/intelligent, but can't you say a rapper who can produce/collaborate with others to bring a song that can appeal to the general mass intelligent as well?

Rappers are musicians at their base level no matter how many layers of gold and diamonds they have on. That is what they started with and if they can get what ever they produce out and have lots of people listen and enjoy it, can't it be said that no matter how simple or complex their style may be that they are the smartest among the bunch?
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Old 2007-09-13, 01:10   Link #83
SilentKnight
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For the most part, I wouldn't consider being able to appeal to the masses by putting out music that they'll easily buy into intelligent, at least not the type of intelligence I'm looking for in rap music and definitely not the type of intelligence I can agree with.
Let's face it, most people out there are pretty much "sheep" in terms of music. Entire masses of people will buy into specific genres just to try and fit in with a certain crowd and feel special. Sell-out rappers know that these people will continue to buy their CDs regardless of musical quality and talent. These people will continue to buy their CDs just to fit in with their own little social circle and so said rappers continue to market themselves as gangsters and thugs with little concern for what they produce.
So basically, they're just good at marketing themselves, that's all. I suppose you could say that that is in a sense clever and intelligent since they're making a lot of money by doing little work. But like I said, it's not the type of intelligence I can agree with or support.
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Old 2007-09-13, 02:07   Link #84
Leedizzle
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I always had a problem with the word sellout. I hear it all the time from my more elitist music friends who listen and define themselves to a certain genre of music. This comes more from my friends who listen to punk. It is always around the time when I mention or listen to Green Day. They ramble on about how they sold their souls to the corporate machine.

I think of music as part business and part expression. In the beginning the artist is more expression then business. They create based on that, but as they move further and further along, it becomes more of a business to them. I am a firm believer in that people who enter music and create bands or give out mix tapes and activities like that are always in there to get famous and make bank.

I know that sounds like an incredible generalization of musicians everywhere but that is what I believe. Now, if a musician signs up with a major record label and begin producing songs that are more general and mainstream, I can't comprehend how their fans would begin to call them sellouts when this career move would provide a better living for them and whoever they are with. I always thought that a fan should support the group and if the group begins to detract from their original roots that the fan should equally move along with them or find a new group.

I'm not going to lie here. I'm pretty much a sheep when it comes to music. If it is mainstream I will probably like it. I do not however believe that most people buy their music based on the specific clique they hand around with, except in extreme cases I suppose. Just from my experience of the pasty white kids with the dyed hair and piercings that listen to rock/punk, and the make believe they came from the ghetto black kids who wear do-rags when they actually came from a well off middle class family who listen to rap. Most people buy music because they enjoy that particular flavor.

Now, for your definition of intelligent music, I think most of it has to do with visualization. The examples you said have a layer of complexity that when you listen to it and you catch it, it brings you a certain level of enjoyment. The artist creates a picture and from it you catch the subtle nuances of it.

You can say I'm wrong here if I am, but if the artist can create a picture in the mind of the person listening, isn't intelligent and reaching? An example I can say is 50 Cent's In Da Club. To people who listen to it, I believe they can visualize a club and its atmosphere from just the music. Now the message he portrays might not be family friendly, but most music nowadays aren't.
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Old 2007-09-13, 09:10   Link #85
SilentKnight
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If you have a better term than sell-out, I'm all ears.

When an artist starts off with his humble beginnings and ho-hum small following of fans he makes a certain style of music that they enjoy. What's more is he/she has to actually put effort into it, since all he/she really has is artistic integrity to work with.
Now say that artist signs to a major label and decides to make more general and simple tunes and decides, he/she has the money, there's no longer a need to put effort into his/her music and actually try to appeal to the loyal fans that were with him/her since the beginning. The artist is essentially trading artistic integrity for money and giving all those loyal fans the middle finger and saying "Thanks for supporting me when I first started out, but now that I've got a major label contract I don't really need you anymore. So I don't care if you no longer like my music and you've moved on to other artists, I'll still be rich."

What if initially an anime series like Cowboy Bebop started off with little to no popularity, then halfway through the series it gains primetime fame. At the same time, the storyline and animation style of Cowboy Bebop suddenly becomes Dragon Ball Z? I doubt a lot of people are going to be real happy about it. You're saying they should stay loyal and just adapt to it or find something else?

Or what if say, Mozart decided at some point in his career: "Hell, I'm rich now." And because of that, he went from composing his extremely complex concertos and whatnot and instead began making songs along the line of Mary Had A Little Lamb. I mean, hey, he's rich, why does he need to care?

I can respect an artist that wants to experiment and try to diversify his or her style and take it in new directions. I can't respect an artist who no longer feels the need to try because he/she has already recieved his/her royalty check.

"I am a firm believer in that people who enter music and create bands or give out mix tapes and activities like that are always in there to get famous and make bank."

That's EXACTLY what's WRONG with the music business. Want to know where that trend is going to lead the music business? It's going to make modern music simplify and simplify and simplify and simplify until all we have is some dude banging on an empty paint can in the same boring pattern and getting paid for it because it's considered music.
Why? Because if it reaches that point, artists aren't to going to give the slightest damn about creating a catchy melody, the only thing on their minds is the money and how rich they'll be.

I do not however believe that most people buy their music based on the specific clique they hand around with, except in extreme cases I suppose. Just from my experience of the pasty white kids with the dyed hair and piercings that listen to rock/punk, and the make believe they came from the ghetto black kids who wear do-rags when they actually came from a well off middle class family who listen to rap.

Not most people, but enough to keep an artist in business. There's a whole swarm of middle school level to college level kids who continue to buy certain CDs just to fit in with certain social circles. That crowd of sheep is always going to be there, and as long as that crowd is there, sell-out artists just have to keep churning out the same rehashed crap they've been putting out forever because that crowd of sheep is going to buy it without a second thought.

On top of that 50 Cent is a very specific case. He didn't even go the independent, small-time artist route. He got rich and famous simply by riding on and feeding off of the fame and fortune of Eminem and Dr. Dre.
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Old 2007-09-15, 14:30   Link #86
Shadow Raven 91
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If you don't mind I would like to put my 2 cents in. SilentKnight I completely agree on your judgment of intelligent hip-hop. "How clever are a rapper's lines, how much thought did the rapper put into them, do the lines make you think, do they catch you off guard with some witty reference?"I could not have said it better. I remember back when i first heard Mr. LIf's Phantom From his album Emergency Rations.That's when i realized that alot of the rap i had been listening to was so simple. Since most rappers reley on thier beat to get people listening thier ryhmes become nothing but the same pattern over and over again doing one syllable rhymes like you said. I have noticed that good mc rap over the beats not under them.

"I get on the mic like are you experienced, but I don't play the gituar, I play my cadence." rap by: Vast Air

Good MCs make thier rhymes a seperate instument from the beat. by using differnt metters and rhyme schemes they create a rhyme that is more impressive and overall more creative. In my opion this is what separates the creative MCs from the rappers who just live of thier simulated gangsta status.

Leedizzle I think you make some valid points. But I also think that sell-out is a proper term for some of these rappers. But what do they sell out?

1. the reputation of hip-hop
I serioulsy hate the gerneral idea people have about rap. When ever I tell someone It's my favorite music genre they make really shallow generalizations on what artist i listen to. I know this is expected but come on. hip-hop is a broad music genre. Gangsta-mainstream-women degrading-braging-immoral teaching-commercialist rap is a very small sub genre that just happens to be mega popular at the moment. Due to "sell-out" rappers carbon coping the same trash over and over again this is the only side of rap most people see. It's a shame these rappers have the reputation hip hop in their hands. Do they see it. With all the t.v and radio air time they get you'd think they should. Or has their love of money and fame driven them to not care.

2. The minds of our youth especialy black youth
I get tired of these lame excussives from rapper saying that they don't intend for young people to listen to their music or they didn't think they were influencing anyone. Thats straight Bull. I was in 6th grade listening to this stuff. Lucky my parents were concerned enough to try and shield me from it. I've heard kids younger than that who can qoute this stuff word for word. Wheter they won't them to or not(most likely do ... record sells), kids and teenagers listen to it. I have had friends that imitated and praised this stuff since they were young. Later in life what do you get? violent attituds, complete disrespect for authority, and poor money management. Seen friends fighting in clubs, spending all their money on excess shoes, jewerly, and clothes and just just having the mindset to go to prison just cause somebody called them a punk. This behavior sound familer. yeah you hear it copyed over and over again just to make that green. Again do these artist see the generation they are conforming? or do they just not care. I'm not saying they have to stop making the music but mabey make it harder for younger kids to listen. Mabey an ad campain on parent awarness or mabey make a speech telling younger kids not to listen to their music or mabey that they don't condone the message in thier music. Opps..... I forgot your record label wont allow you to do that because for a little fast cash and fame you sold out to them.

This can apply to any music genre. I don't blame artist for being a little sell-out. We all wont to make money doing the things we love and if you wont to turn music into a business fine. I won't judge you on that. In my opion money should not mix with music to a such high extent. Most people begain writing poetry because they wanted to express themselves not become famouse and rich. It's kind sad that alot of people nowadaze just write music to be rich and famouse.
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Old 2007-09-15, 19:21   Link #87
raikage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Raven 91 View Post
"I get on the mic like are you experienced, but I don't play the gituar, I play my cadence." rap by: Vast Air

Good MCs make thier rhymes a seperate instument from the beat. by using differnt metters and rhyme schemes they create a rhyme that is more impressive and overall more creative. In my opion this is what separates the creative MCs from the rappers who just live of thier simulated gangsta status.
Are you talking about spoken word?
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Old 2007-09-15, 21:50   Link #88
Shadow Raven 91
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Originally Posted by raikage View Post
Are you talking about spoken word?
I am not sure what you mean by spoken word. The first example that comes to mind is MF DOOM. Like the begining to "one beer"

"There is only one beer left
Rappers screaming all in our ears like we're deaf
Tempt me
Do a number on the label
Eat up all their MC's and drink 'em under the table like
It's on me
Put it on my tab kid
However you get there
Foot it, Cab it, Iron horse it
You leaving on your face forfeit
I crush the mic hold it like the heat he might toss it
Told him tell they stole it
He told her he lost it
She told him get off it"

I works better if you are familer to the song. couple of things i'd like to point out. Lines 6+7 don't rhyme but they blend in the song very well. Also lines 9-14 contain widely varing syllables but stays to the beat. I'm not saying this is the only thing that makes a flow creative But i've noticed that alot of good rappers are able to pull it off.

I know i talk about DOOM alot. But like i said earlier i just got alot tracks and been hooked lately.
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Last edited by Shadow Raven 91; 2007-09-15 at 21:51. Reason: forgot quatations on rap
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Old 2007-09-16, 14:03   Link #89
SilentKnight
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Originally Posted by raikage View Post
Are you talking about spoken word?
Not really.

What he's saying is that more talented rappers will let their lyrical content complement the song and add to the overall listening value of it rather than just let a catchy beat do all the work and sacrifice lyrical content altogether.
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Old 2007-09-16, 21:56   Link #90
raikage
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Ah.

I thought he was talking about having the words completely disconnected from the rhythm.
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Old 2007-09-17, 16:13   Link #91
Daughter!
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I don't listen to much of either genre, but I want to get into it a bit more. There's a guy who's not mainstream yet named Lupe Fiasco. He talks about a bunch of different things, mostly having to do with the modern vision of the typical African American and how he doesn't think things that have to do with that are right.
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Old 2007-09-17, 17:32   Link #92
Leedizzle
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I'll admit I have never really heard underground rappers or even really any of the rappers that have been listed.

I did try to listen to Talib Kweli on Youtube. I didn't like it at all really. Perhaps I'm a mindless sheep that love the catchy beats and the words are just gravy.

About the impressionable populace of people, I mean is it really the rappers fault? In Tupac Shakur's song Changes he states that he lives the way that he is responsible for what he does and that he isn't responsible for what ever other black male does. The rapper sings about the life he/she leads that is filled with glamor and glitz, and if someone buys into that isn't it their fault?
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Old 2007-09-17, 23:49   Link #93
Shadow Raven 91
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Your right. it is their fault. Still I stick to what I said befor. They may say they don't want to influence people but they do. They can't avoid it. People, more importantly teenagers imbrace this simulated life style because they were influenced by these rappers. That is just the end of it. Should the artist take full responsibility? of course not. They are not forcing people to follow thier example. Peer pressure in school also plays a big roll. But they can not avoid the fact that they have influence over a generation. I've been listenting to Arrested Development, which is befor my time, and heard thier message. They were mainstream hip-hop and expressed a positive view of life. They influenced thier generation of young Black men and Women to better themselves, not to fall into a love and lust for money and material things, and how to love and repspect one another. Their was even a song about helping single mothers who had children befor marriage. This is what teenagers need to hear. These rapper have millions of fans that idolize them, that want to be them. Almost every guy i meet that wants to rap just wants to so he can "ball" like his favorite rapper. These fans are the olnly reason they got where they are. They should at least try to help them.
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Old 2007-09-18, 18:40   Link #94
SilentKnight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leedizzle View Post
I'll admit I have never really heard underground rappers or even really any of the rappers that have been listed.

I did try to listen to Talib Kweli on Youtube. I didn't like it at all really. Perhaps I'm a mindless sheep that love the catchy beats and the words are just gravy.

About the impressionable populace of people, I mean is it really the rappers fault? In Tupac Shakur's song Changes he states that he lives the way that he is responsible for what he does and that he isn't responsible for what ever other black male does. The rapper sings about the life he/she leads that is filled with glamor and glitz, and if someone buys into that isn't it their fault?
It's both the rapper's fault and the listener's fault. It's the listener's fault in that he/she is so willingly and easily buying into the random nonsense that the rapper is spewing out. At the same time, the rapper is at fault for continuing to target impressionable people and hence promoting and encouraging such a lifestyle and practice.
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Old 2007-09-20, 16:30   Link #95
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I don't necessarily see it as buying into or supporting one lifestyle or another.
I have friends who listen to symphonic metal and power metal, and I know they could give less a damn about dragons and elves. I listen to rap because I find the stories they tell to be compelling, nothing more.

I don't think there's actually been any formal studies in the influence of rap on its target group anyways. I'm sure most urban youth listen to it because they identify with it, not because they think it exemplifies how they should be living.
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Old 2007-09-21, 04:14   Link #96
SilentKnight
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Originally Posted by Papaya View Post
I don't necessarily see it as buying into or supporting one lifestyle or another.
I have friends who listen to symphonic metal and power metal, and I know they could give less a damn about dragons and elves. I listen to rap because I find the stories they tell to be compelling, nothing more.

I don't think there's actually been any formal studies in the influence of rap on its target group anyways. I'm sure most urban youth listen to it because they identify with it, not because they think it exemplifies how they should be living.
Trust me, a lot of rich surburban white kids among many other people buy into gangster rap solely for the image and nothing more.

The Boondocks blatantly makes fun of this among tons of other things commonly seen in commercialized gangster rap.
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Old 2007-09-21, 15:58   Link #97
zakopayne
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Originally Posted by Da_truth View Post
Rap is the best thing to hit the world...Besides cable...

And Jay-z is the best rapper alive.
Very true, i don't even like rap very much but i will listen to cali love and some other west coast stuff. My fav is finnish rap tho, Steen1 and Jonnti and shaka are my favs.

And sage francis is good, ty for posting
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Old 2007-09-21, 17:30   Link #98
Shadow Raven 91
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Originally Posted by SilentKnight View Post
Trust me, a lot of rich surburban white kids among many other people buy into gangster rap solely for the image and nothing more.

The Boondocks blatantly makes fun of this among tons of other things commonly seen in commercialized gangster rap.
The Boondocks is great. It's funny, I hear people say they love it all the time but I don't think many get the message. It also had two Madvillainy tracks, All caps and Strange Ways. I heard Fancy Clown and Raid were there too but i don't remember. All great tracks BTW

I was checking out sage francis on Itunes. I only heard 30 sec. clips but i don't get it. Could someone recommend some tracks?
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Old 2007-09-21, 21:58   Link #99
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Originally Posted by Shadow Raven 91 View Post
The Boondocks is great. It's funny, I hear people say they love it all the time but I don't think many get the message. It also had two Madvillainy tracks, All caps and Strange Ways. I heard Fancy Clown and Raid were there too but i don't remember. All great tracks BTW

I was checking out sage francis on Itunes. I only heard 30 sec. clips but i don't get it. Could someone recommend some tracks?
Runaways Is A good one by him. I like makeshift patriot and broken wings too.

Some other good rap is gorillaz. Great instrumental and i love the lyrics.
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Old 2007-09-22, 11:15   Link #100
Mueti
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Is Gorillaz considered rap...? I don't think so.

Anyway, you should all check out MF Grimm's American Hunger. I took notice of him since Grimm was featured on one track on DOOM's Operation: Doomsday. And I wasn't disappointed, it's a 3-CD-album which was released last year and is great throughout.
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