Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hip Hop - An Alternative View

Thanks to Anonymous (boy, he posts a lot of comments!) for this silly comment to my Hip Hop post:

I have to say...you are dead wrong. I don't like hip-hop. I find it maddenly repetitive and uncreative. My opinion doesn't "betrays a subtle and unacknowledged dismissal of the power, intelligence, and creativity of the mostly-black Hip Hop community." I love Jazz. I love Soul. Both of which were and still are predominately black enterprises. Jazz is commonly considered the only original form of music to come out of America. I just think hip-hop is nothing more than glorified plaguerism. Call it "sampling"...it is still taking someone else's music and talking over it. I don't find that to be original or creative.

Let's take a closer look at this, shall we?

Anon is correct that his opinion doesn't "betrays [sic] a subtle and unacknowledged dismissal of the power, intelligence, and creativity of the mostly black Hip Hop community." There's nothing subtle or unacknowledged about his ignorance and dismissal. It's only surprising that he's willing to say it publicly (albeit anonymously).

The fact that he does supports one of the premises of my original post, that many of those who dislike Hip Hop think there's no "there" there. It's fine to dislike a major art form (personally, I can't really stomach opera), but to dismiss it in its entirety brands you as clueless at best. That's great that Anonymous loves a fifty-year-old musical genre; I wonder if he would be so tolerant of Thelonious Monk if it were 1963?

Jazz is commonly considered the only original form of music to come out of America.

Actually, Jazz, the Blues, and now Hip Hop and Rap have all been tagged as American originals.

I just think hip-hop is nothing more than glorified plaguerism [sic]. Call it "sampling"...it is still taking someone else's music and talking over it.

This sweeping mischaracterization illustrates better than my original post the kind of Hip Hop bashing I described. Thanks for providing a concrete example of the silly anti- Hip Hop rhetoric I've been talking about!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, where does one start in order do get a decent overview of hip-hop? I have SIRIUS radio, which has four or five hip hop channels. I've been brousing them for the last four or five days, and I'm having a hard time finding the great minds you write about. There is some I find interesting, but the huge bulk of what I've been hearing sounds cliche ridden to me. (Not that that's appreciably worse than the majority of popular music.)

Don't just dismiss this. I'd like to know what you consider to be the best of hip hop and why.

I think part of my difficulty in connecting with hip hop is that it's so divorced from my admittedly limited musical vocabulary. With rap, I can't figure out what makes for good musicianship. It doesn't seem to convey emotion in the manner of music I'm accustomed to. A small amount of what I've heard is kind of interesting, at least when it comes to the lyrics. Musically, so far almost none of it moves me.

I do think your immediate equation of dislike of a musical style with racism is assinine. I'm pretty sure I can acknowlege the cultural impact of hip hop without being a part of that culture or partucularly caring for the music it produces. I will grant that I don't know a lot about it, so educate me.

You can berate people who don't share your tastes, or you can be an ambassador for something you are clearly passionate about. It's your call.

--a different Anonymous

Anonymous said...

What? You don't like opera? You're obviously prejudiced against wealthy white people. Anybody who disses opera can only do so because they don't understand the wealthy white culture. There are some enormously creative people in opera and you dissing it proves you've just fallen for the media disinformation program.

Racist.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing subtle or unacknowledged about his ignorance and dismissal. It's only surprising that he's willing to say it publicly (albeit anonymously).

Ah. So all people who have the audacity to disagree with you are therefore immediately labeled "ignorant".

Right. That doesn't illustrate ignorance at all. Pot? Kettle?

It's fine to dislike a major art form (personally, I can't really stomach opera), but to dismiss it in its entirety brands you as clueless at best.

No. That is just some P.C. bullshit that while I am allowed to dislike something I should still have to respect it. I don't respect talking over someone else's music. Want to call it poetry? Fine. Want to call it art? Sure...that term means nothing in this age. Want to call is music? There you are wrong. It isn't. A rap "artist" isn't a musician.

That's great that Anonymous loves a fifty-year-old musical genre; I wonder if he would be so tolerant of Thelonious Monk if it were 1963?

Once again with your idiotic baseless accusations. You infer racism everywhere. That says far more about you than it does about the people you insist on pointing fingers at.