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Thread: Why is hip hop SOOOOO popular for so long?

  1. #16
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    I notice that so much of Hip Hop, Rap, and "Popular" music in general is, today, deeply tied to video. I'm sure theses have been written about MTV's impact on music, making it at least much more visual than it had been in the past. I often get the notion that pop music is currently more visual than aural. I admit I don't listen to much of what is current in pop music (whether it be hip hop, rap, or Ed Sheerin) but I do wonder if the audience for this music actually listens to it rather than mostly experiences it simultaneously as visual and aural. As one with roots in the theatre, I certainly champion the combination of visual and aural, which theatre is. No play, not even those of Shakespeare, was written only to be read (or heard), unless, of course, it is a radio play or closet drama specifically penned for listening or reading, and in such cases the radio or closet play script is different from that of a play intended to be acted visually before an audience.

    I've heard all the Beethoven piano sonatas. I have the scores for this music. I've listened to them many times via recordings, and have even read through the manuscripts on occasion. I admit I have not heard the majority of these performed live in concert where I could actually see a performer moving, nor have I accessed videos of performers doing these works (with the exception of a handful). To me, this is music for pure aural enjoyment (though I can understand the "theatrical" effect of watching a pianist play the pieces -- which can lead one to prefer or not prefer the "antics" of the pianist which can even be wholly aside from one's like or dislike of the music itself, as seeing weak actors performing great play lines and scenes and still appreciating the play if not the acting). But I can enjoy music without visuals, and this remains the sort of music I tend to prefer. With music such as showtunes, I seem to appreciate the "music/lyrics" in a different way when seeing the song performed within the context of the show from those times when I simply hear the music whether from the "original soundtrack" or in, say an arrangement for jazz band or symphony orchestra, with or without the vocals. I wonder if Hip Hop fans can appreciate an orchestral arrangement (without vocals) of their favorite Hip Hop tune; I don't even know if such an arrangement would be possible or make sense. Maybe other posters here have opinions on this.

    In the end, I admit I know little about Hip Hop. I've heard little Hip Hop, but only because that which I do hear does not inspire me in any great way to pursue the hearing of more. My bad, I guess. But I advocate that such "music" is fine for those who do enjoy it. I wonder, though, if those who do enjoy it are highly knowledgeable in the art of "music" itself, or if they even really care about music per se. I know folks who don't care for theatre; they would prefer watching the drama of a football game (which I enjoy, as well) arguing even that the "plot" of a sports competition remains unknown and how can one experience drama when one knows the plot and how the play ends? I've read the Sophocles' Oedipus hundreds of times and seen it dozens of times and certainly know the plot and how the play ends, but still enjoy it. I know how the Beethoven piano sonatas go and how they end, too, and yet I still enjoy starting at the beginning and going through any of them one more time. I know I have heard some pieces of music once and cared never to return to them, or, in some cases, have returned to them on occasion only to have the sense that I am again wasting time listening.

    A lot here to process, but in the end, is Hip Hop truly a "musical" art, or is it more a hybrid art form, one even removed from the hybrid of "song" (which is music plus lyrics) and is it closer to a theatrical art in which the visual and the aural are at equal or at least relative importances? Does anyone really listen to this stuff? Just listen? (And I suspect we could ask the question, too, "Does anyone just read the poetry of this stuff?")

    Again, my ignorance of Hip Hop shows, I'm sure. And I should probably take time to educate myself further in this field, but time is limited and I've delegated my time to other pursuits which I've deemed (through my various life experiences of several decades) to be of greater import. I may be wrong in assuming Hip Hop has little to teach me now, but I know I can still enjoy much in the musical arts, even in rehearing pieces I've heard literally hundreds of times. So … condemn me if you must, but were I more clever, perhaps, I could create a rap about this attitude. I have written dozens of plays, including musicals. I'll rest my laurels on them. Let others rap and hip hop on. I'll none of it.

    Back to Beethoven ….
    Last edited by SONNET CLV; Jan-31-2020 at 22:05.

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    A lot here to process, but in the end, is Hip Hop truly a "musical" art
    No.
    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    I may be wrong in assuming Hip Hop has little to teach me now
    You're not.

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZJovicic View Post
    (...) And they rap when they are angry! So perhaps anger, and "attitude" are nowdays the only socially acceptable ways of self expression. Emotions typically expressed by music, like happyness, sadness or longing, are for the weak...


    30 years ago (1989) rap band "De La Soul" addressed this issue.
    De La Soul were a band that made fun mellow hip hop without the macho aggressiveness of gangster rap.
    In the video they are sent to rap school where the teachers and fellow rap students all are very much into the angry agggressive macho way of rapping and De La Soul are ridiculed for being softies.

  6. #19
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I don't care for the affected vocal style. It sounds phony. I have heard talented musicians and songwriters incorporate hip hop elements into their music which I can enjoy. But the affected vocal schtick without some melodic music doesn't do it for me.
    To which track were you referring? And are you only referring to the rap portions of the song?
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Feb-02-2020 at 13:27.

  7. #20
    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    At $.85 a can, times revenue of $633,000,000*, one may purchase 744,705,882 cans of Alpo®.

    All composers and songwriters should have that problem. Unless of course they are cat people.




    * And counting.
    "One man's symphony is another man's earworm." ~ riffing on a R.A.H quote.

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