Friday, July 08, 2005

Gangsta is duh shit, yo

Between Notorious B.I.G. and L'il Kim, there are a few (dead AND alive) hip hop artists making the news this week.

L'il Kim will spend a year in jail for perjury, and the family of B.I.G. continues to struggle to be compensated for his unsolved murder. (oh come on, anyone who would run a label called "Death Row Records" is BOUND to be your guy)

If I didn't so deeply hate hip-hop, rap and gangsta I would be disappointed in myself. This "musical" genre is, in my opinion, and with only a few exceptions, completely worthless. Which, I suppose, explains the popularity of it among today's youth.

I remember being severely castigated by my parents for listening to Zeppelin, Foreigner, Steve Miller Band, Billy Idol and Wang Chung. (hey, how did that one get in there?) Their parents gave them fits about Elvis and James Brown. Each generation of music paints a picture of it's body of fans, and the songs seek to find answers to the issues of those people.

I just don't see rap and hip-hop as a progression along those lines. I see it as angry poetry disguised as music, designed to keep it's consumers angry and obsessed with sex. (wow, don't I sound like a prude?) To me, it's not breaking any new ground, just churning up that which has already been slashed and burned. It doesn't help me understand the plight of today's youth, it makes me wonder why people so willingly support a genre of music which glorifies such violence, and whose artists regularly "pop" each other...

The fact that the music is generally "enjoyed" at a high decibel level and pushing the limits of a pair of 16" 1000-watt woofers, it would appear the listener is trying to be noticed. I guess the vehicular "bling" would be another clue, I saw $1000 spinner rims and expensive paint job on an 81 Ford Fairmont the other day.

Well, here's a piece of advice... if you want to be noticed, put on an old Flock of Seagulls CD.

Then you'll be noticed. And, you will likely know real anger.


Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

For the most part, I agree with you. I do enjoy the occasional Tupac Shakur song, though. He was damn good.

Rob Seifert said...

Yo! Yo! Yo! Sha G! Straight up! LMAO

This is topical for me because just yesterday evening I was walking across campus on my way to the car. I'm walking behind this slow walkin guy and decide to kick it into high gear an move over into the passing lane.

As soon as I get past him he starts shouting (at first I think it's at me) bits and peices of whatever rap song he's listening to, "Ain't nobody talkin to you N*****!...Hey F*** you!...Step up and I'll bust a cap in yer ass!" I'm thinkin to myself wow, I wonder if this guy's sober.

So, I don't look back and I keep walking and chock it up to free speech. I don't get it, I don't agree with it, but if it's working for you, enjoy it. I suppose my reaction might have been different if I'd had one or all of my kids with me.


kdillon said...

This post really caught my attention...having practically been Dave's Brother (even though he never talks about me--I don't drink around him, I guess!) from around 1982 until many years later (after we had worked in radio, lived together, an done a lot of things NEITHER of us ought to post here)I am going to work on a list of music Dave constantly listened to when we weren't on the air...and even when we WERE!
I think I might make some of you surprised!

Gee...why do I write in so many parentheses?! (Hope I spelled that correctly.)

Chris Cope said...

I think that like all music forms, rap/hip-hop has the potential to be quite good (DJ Format; Roll Deep) and quite bad (50 Cent; Akon). It's a matter of what you put into it. I think the challenge for those of us who aren't buying loads of hip-hop records is that the foundation is purely lyrical. It's a bit more of a challenge to walk down the street humming these songs to oneself without knowing the words. And it's hard to imagine people wanting to crank up, say, 50 Cent's "Hate It Or Love It" 25 years from now and going on a road trip. I am regularly arguing with myself over whether melodic-foundation music is indeed better, or if I just think that because I'm an out-of-touch white guy.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Fortunately I don't have a radio or a CD player so I'm safe.

Weary Hag said...

I don't mind hip hop so much. I suppose I take slight exception to the "kill the white boyz n off dere muthiz" type of crap, but to each his own. The biggest problem in my opinion is, as you pointed out so well, they're not keeping it "their OWN." Fans of that genre seem compelled to share it with anyone within 20 miles.

And you're exactly correct about the ages following suit. My parents were outraged when I'd crank up my Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath LPs. (both of which I still enjoy quite frequently!)

Boy I miss reading you when I can't stop by for a few days.

Has anyone else been having trouble with Blogger not notifying in email for comments anymore? I'm always so late and wonder if anyone ever gets to scroll down and see my comments these days. (I left a couple on your past few posts too Dave)

Bernadette said...

Make mine Mozart...but what about your Nelly from the Loop? I taught at the old St. Louis Conservatory many moons ago and drove a couple of kiddos there from St. Charles for piano lessons once a week.

Hoss prefers vinyl--he's so hip it hurts!!

Pete B said...

Not a lot I can add, given I agree with pretty much all of this.
One point I would make though: how did the bastards manage to hijack the term R'n'B? It stood for Rhythm and Blues right through from the term being invented, then suddenly meant something utterly irrelevant to that genre overnight, in the late '90s. Rhythm, yes; but blues?