From: Phoenix, Arizona
...and now some of the real thing
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Yes, a masterpiece. I never knew you had a taste for grunge though. You sneaky devil!
And if you like covers as well...
Gregorian - Nothing Else Matters
I don't! I couldn't tell you another Nirvana song and I wouldn't know another grunge band if they got up, smacked me in the mouth and said "Hi - we are a grunge band".
However, as I hope my posts on this thread show, I like all kinds of music and like what I like regardless of the genre or the artist.
I cannot abide musical snobbery - those people that refuse to listen to some music (or admit liking a song) simply because the singer/group is "uncool".
You get that a lot in magazines and papers where "celebrities" are asked for their top 10 favourite tracks and you can bet 99 times out of 100 the "celebrity" won't name a single popular song in their list. Why? because they feel they they have to be "edgy" or "down with the youth" or "musically sophisticated" .
Total BS and makes me sick
Er... Meds time... rant over
Most "Rap" is one genre I cannot find a musical element that like. So much of it is angry, degrading and down right scary (not to mention a negative influence on our very young). The lyrics can be complicated and creative and points out some social injustices but it belongs in the written poetry, commentary form.
I know what you mean about much of it being offensive, aggressive and thus not a good thing for kids to listen to.
Problem is... some of the actual music is just so damn good!
I have some RAP/Hip Hop on my ipod, including Eminem's greatest hits. That is actually a really, really good album. There is only one song on there that I find really outrageous, while many others are just simply unpleasant to a greater or lesser extent (lyric wise). It does sadden me that so many impressionable kids will have heard that album.
Robert, you say "Problem is... some of the actual music is just so damn good!". What do you find good in Rap music? A lengthy explanation would be great...from a person like yourself that loves music.
Difficult to answer in a way that perhaps makes any sense (except to me!) because I am not musically savvy i.e. I do not play an instrument, cannot read music etc so I do not know a chord from quaver or a crotchet from a er? whatever!
So where to start? First off Rap is no different from any other form of music for me. The tune has to appeal or forget it – and what makes a tune good? No idea – could be a string sound that tears your heart out (like Beethoven’s 6th), a brass section that leaves you in a crumpled crying heap on the floor (like Sarah Brightman’s version of My Heart Will Go On) or whatever. Great lyrics cannot make a song, but great lyrics can make a good song great.
One of the things that I really like with Rap generally is the way that other pieces of music are sometimes sampled to such great effect.
Stan (Eminem) is an obvious example of this. The rapper takes a section from a Dido song (with her gorgeous, oh so feminine voice). The Dido song is actually not one of my favourites from her album but this opening sets the scene for the song so well. Eminem then adds a great bass line that accompanies her singing and Eminem’s rapping for the rest of the song. Stan tells a disturbing story about a deranged fan of Eminem. The lyrics are clever (if dark – especially the treatment of the fan’s girlfriend). Put altogether the song is quite brilliant.
Another example of mixing a Rapper with a beautiful female voice and a great tune is:
Read All About It (Professor Green). Emile Sande provides the great vocals for the incredibly sad chorus. Professor Green sings in a fashion that I, personally, cannot abide in everyday life (white guy does Jamaican cockney) but for this song – where he is clearly angry at his dad, it works. Real intensity in his delivery.
Then there’s No Church in the Wild (Jay-Z and Kanye West). This song features (very briefly) in the recent re-make of The Great Gatsby. The immediate attraction here is the hypnotic bass line and drum machine. Then add in the mix of sounds from the instruments/vocal employed. The lyrics bring out visions of hedonistic behaviour in the “jungle” of the city.
Hot in Herre (Nelly). No long explanation required, just a sexy mutha of a record.
The above have explicit lyrics but Rap does not have to be like that. At the opposite end of the scale but Rap just the same is
Switch (Will Smith). Why do I like this? Simple – just a ball-bouncingly catchy tune that makes even a useless fat b****** like me want to dance. Fun lyrics too.
Then there is Superstar (Lupe Fiasco). Again, no explicit lyrics but a great tune; a melody playing in the background as the guy raps that I find really tugs the heart strings – totally out of keeping with the nonsense he’s singing about but it works!
And of course there are the guys that got it all started. Two names to mention here:
Rapper’s Delight (Sugerhill Gang) Widely thought of as the song that started the hip-hop/rap genre becoming mainstream. Where do I even start with this? Incredible bass line. It’s a Chic disco classic – Good Times - with three rappers talking total sloblocks over it. So damn catchy.
The Notorious B.I.G does something similar with Hypnotise - taking a 70's Herb Alpert classic and, if anything, improves upon it. Although the lyrics here are more offensive than interesting, they do not spoil the song.
From around the same time as Rapper’s Delight we have:
The Message and White Lines (both Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) Sorry can’t pick one from these two. No explicit language here either. Both songs try and convey serious messages set against seriously catchy tunes.
Hope that makes some of sense?? I would love to add You Tube clips to some of these but this is a family friendly forum so won’t do so – but would urge you to have a listen to some of these.
Wow! Thanks Robert! I will definitely go thru your list and get back to you all. You must type 200 WPM!