James Frank.

Is Hip-Hop a Joke?

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Hey.

So today I was setting up some sound for this "Empathy Week" thing they're doing on campus that basically informs us all about sex trafficking and how it's a really bad thing...that's besides the point.

Anyway, I was setting up sound specifically for this acoustic guitarist who played some stuff as people came in and sat down. I tried steering the quick conversation we had to his music, and asked him if he records any of his stuff. I then tried hinting that I do music myself in my spare time, and I've always wamted to meld electronic and acoustic instrumentation together. He didn't seem to care as I was saying this, but I sorta described my sound as "experimental hip-hop". IMMEDIATELY his eyes glazed over and he basically just lost any interest he had whatsoever, and said something passive-aggressively polite like "well, that's what sells these days."

So that was that; I didn't even bother asking him if he would maybe be interested in collaborating, because I could see the answer on his face already. Instead, my question now is this: what the fuck is so wrong with hip-hop? Do any of you other producers out there feel this heavy stigma coming from musicians in other genreswhy is that, shouldn't we be past that shit by now? It's 2014, we're not in the fucking MC Hammer days anymore. In my eyes, hip-hop has evolved tremendously over the past ten, twenty years, and has more than proven itself worthy of academic praise (ahem, Aesop Rock)...so why the fuck is hip-hop still so far from being respected academically? It really pisses me off when I have to excuse my genre and vainly try to convince people that "no, I'm doing this SMART rap, not that DUMB bassy rap you hear everywhere else."

So, thoughts? Any of you guys find youself dealing with this c

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Hey.

So today I was setting up some sound for this "Empathy Week" thing they're doing on campus that basically informs us all about sex trafficking and how it's a really bad thing...that's besides the point.

Anyway, I was setting up sound specifically for this acoustic guitarist who played some stuff as people came in and sat down. I tried steering the quick conversation we had to his music, and asked him if he records any of his stuff. I then tried hinting that I do music myself in my spare time, and I've always wamted to meld electronic and acoustic instrumentation together. He didn't seem to care as I was saying this, but I sorta described my sound as "experimental hip-hop". IMMEDIATELY his eyes glazed over and he basically just lost any interest he had whatsoever, and said something passive-aggressively polite like "well, that's what sells these days."

So that was that; I didn't even bother asking him if he would maybe be interested in collaborating, because I could see the answer on his face already. Instead, my question now is this: what the fuck is so wrong with hip-hop? Do any of you other producers out there feel this heavy stigma coming from musicians in other genreswhy is that, shouldn't we be past that shit by now? It's 2014, we're not in the fucking MC Hammer days anymore. In my eyes, hip-hop has evolved tremendously over the past ten, twenty years, and has more than proven itself worthy of academic praise (ahem, Aesop Rock)...so why the fuck is hip-hop still so far from being respected academically? It really pisses me off when I have to excuse my genre and vainly try to convince people that "no, I'm doing this SMART rap, not that DUMB bassy rap you hear everywhere else."

So, thoughts? Any of you guys find youself dealing with this constantly?

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Fuck that guy. Sounds like he picked up a guitar in the hope his pussy revenue would go up, and then when he saw all the hip hop kids getting mad pussy he got salty.

But real talk. I remember slug from atmosphere saying he had a phone conversation with tom waits once and was blown away when tom starting asking him about what he thought of kanyes latest album and he was going in to full detail about sample selections and drops etc etc... that's a musician... This kid isn't a musician, clear cut. Don't get pissed off about people like this. Feel sorry for them. I mean imagine how plain and boring their music library's and tastes must be to not even entertain the idea of other genres having something to offer.... It's like eating the same meal 3 times a day all your life.

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It kinda is though...I mean everyone knows Rick Ross was a CO and he still sells millions of records about his "gangbanging" lifestyle....that's some good comedy right there.

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In my experience a lot of people who are into guitar based music, bands, classical, house, whatever don't discern between Rick Ross and Lootpack, hiphop is all the same thing to them, they have decided they don't like it and that is that.

Also everybody is doing music. There are more people 'making beatzzzzzz' than there are buying records and most of them should have stayed fans. No diss to you JF I like your stuff, but I can see why a musician with some chops might wince at the idea of somebody doing experimental hiphop, out of prejudice mainly.

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the thing is, though, that i'm really looking to branch out. i'm also not afraid to wear my roots on my sleeves though, so to me it's all hip-hop -- even though i might not always be producing beats or writing raps...it just sucks to identify with hip-hop as like my "home-base" when it comes to music, but then also realizing the irrational, stigma of stereotypical "rap" or whatever you want to refer to it as.

it's weird; rock eventually became such a catch-all term that it's all classified by specific sub-genres now; prog, oldies, '80s hair metal, '90s grunge, '60s psych, etc...meanwhile, we still haven't collectively made a decision on what the hell the difference is between "hip-hop" and "rap", if there even is one. aren't we due for these kinds of questions to be asked for our community? we're ~41 years in at this point, and we're still looked down upon by these other music snobs...

it's funny, because i bet my musical palette is more diverse than his anyway; i may not be able to play real instruments, but i still know what sounds good and what doesn't. if i would've said i make Thom Yorke-y music he probably would've fawned over being able to work with me; but since i used the "h" word, now i'm just this ignorance-pushing, beer-swilling, women-degrading piece of shit that's contributing to a culture of crime and violence...

which is true, but c'mon -- did you hear that verse i wrote for "My World Premiere" ?

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Oh man, I've had these kinds of reactions a lot, growing up in a town where most people my age listened to hardcore metal or hardstyle and mainstream electronic. The minority that listened to hiphop either liked it as a guilty pleasure or wiggers who acted as if they just flew in from Houston (remember, this all took place in a town in Belgium, so that shit was hilarious), but I think this helped fuel the prejudices towards hiphop back then...

Since I went to college, I only rarely got these anymore. Most people I know also listen to hiphop now and then...

Last time someone talked down in relation to this topic was this guitarist who was bitter because he "mastered his craft" and gets paid less than electronic musicians who "perform live with their laptops" and he made the argument that electronic artists should perform their music live with a band. I then said that price isn't determined by how good you are, but by what people were prepared to give to see it. Then I asked him if he would rather see the original (electronic) artist perform his work or see an interpretation of his work by some random band with more skilled musicians. He then looked at me like he never thought about it that way and shut up, or he thought I didn't get what he was saying and didn't bother explaining what he meant. I'd like to think it was the first option.

However, I think the "it doesn't take any real skill to make electronic music", and by extension hiphop, is a pretty common thought. Also, like you said JF, in hiphop there are no real sub-genres or distinctions, that's what on one hand makes it one of the most versatile genres out there, but at the same time the whole thing is often judged on the basis of a small part of it (the mainstream part) and people are clueless about what else is out there. I also think the use of profanity makes it less respected academically and a lot of people view profanity in hiphop (even in non-radio material) as part of the 'style' rather than the message, due to prejudice, whereas in other genres people will see it as functional and as a part of the message; protest, being angry etc... But mainstream hiphop has become a caricature of itself.

TL;DR version: prejudice because of mainsteam and people are clueless.

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You should pay attention about doing your thing and not pay too much attention to other's opinion about it. Actually hip hop, and music to a larger extent, saved my life in many occasions. Now, I respect every opinion, but that doesn't mean I have to pay attention to any of them. Just keep on doing your thing until you're satisfied about it. That's the key to originality.

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You should pay attention about doing your thing and not pay too much attention to other's opinion about it. Actually hip hop, and music to a larger extent, saved my life in many occasions. Now, I respect every opinion, but that doesn't mean I have to pay attention to any of them. Just keep on doing your thing until you're satisfied about it. That's the key to originality.

well yeah, that's all well and good -- but the whole idea was that i'm trying to branch out and connect with other session musicians to enhance the overall quality of my future output. i'm totally comfortable with my own style, and feel no need to change shit for anyone; however, that doesn't mean i'm not open to collaboration with other people...it's just that like-minded individuals are few and far between, especially in music. oz is looking for his Thundercat lol, and i'm just trying to help speed the process along

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well yeah, that's all well and good -- but the whole idea was that i'm trying to branch out and connect with other session musicians to enhance the overall quality of my future output. i'm totally comfortable with my own style, and feel no need to change shit for anyone; however, that doesn't mean i'm not open to collaboration with other people...it's just that like-minded individuals are few and far between, especially in music. oz is looking for his Thundercat lol, and i'm just trying to help speed the process along

That wasn't the right guy then. There are enough musicians that want to callaborate with others.

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we still haven't collectively made a decision on what the hell the difference is between "hip-hop" and "rap", if there even is one. aren't we due for these kinds of questions to be asked for our community? we're ~41 years in at this point, and we're still looked down upon by these other music snobs...

I don't see how it matters though. Take science fiction as example, shits been around since the 1700's yet 95% of the population still think it's automatically related to space and aliens... People will just see whatever's convenient for them and come to a broad brush conclusion that that's what it must be because that's how THEY see it. All the amounts of genres and sub genres in the world won't help that. If you want to branch out no body's stopping you bro. You can either learn some new instruments yourself, find some other like minded (ie: open minded) musicians who actually have a deeper understanding of hip hop (and there's plenty) or wait until you have enough recognition that other artists already know who you are and what you're trying to achieve without you having to waste your time and breathe trying to make them see your vision...

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It's not just hip-hop. MUSIC is a joke now. The music industry today is a vast ponzi scheme propped up by millions of people all trying to get rich and famous while doing the least amount of work possible. It's barely even worth wading through the bullshit for the real artists out there. 99.9% of what the music industry consists of today is various opportunities to sell out. It didn't used to be like that. You can shit on people for playing real instruments all you want, but at least when people played real instruments the music industry was primarily composed of MUSICIANS, not social media celebrities/event promoters/music "curators" or whatever other nauseating bullshit they've come up with.

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what the music industry consists of today is various opportunities to sell out. It didn't used to be like that.

i disagree. the music business has never been about promoting good music, especially in hip hop.

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I remember watching the 12-12-12 concert, there was a bunch of bands throughout the night (Billy Joel was pretty awesome), then Kanye out of nowhere, no band or anything, just a beat CD and mic. And I thought it was an absolute terrible look for Hip Hop. Now this is an extreme example (that audience was not a Kanye audience, let alone a Hip Hop audience), but it really showed the glaring lack of musicianship in Hip Hop music (and really electronic music in general), which I think is a reason why Hip Hop doesn't get wide spread respect. I don't need the history lesson on Hip Hop's beginnings, that's another thread altogether.

^Now obviously this is a very generalized take on the situation, but you have to think of your average music listener, this is what they are seeing/hearing, and this is why they perceive Hip Hop the way they do.

Now I may come off as a fan boy, I don't care, but The Roots are Hip Hop's best chance at helping the genre be perceived in a better light. These guys are reaching a national audience nightly after putting in the hard work, staying true to their roots (no pun intended), and never selling out over two decades. Think of the 'six degrees of separation' aspect connected to them too, they have the power to shed light on all the artists that I would assume collectively made us love Hip Hop music.

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The people still think its to violent. Because of the cursing and the subjects that they can't relate to. The same reason why Metal isn't accepted.

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i disagree. the music business has never been about promoting good music, especially in hip hop.

Yeah but these things go in cycles. It's a give-and-take between creativity and profitability. Right now, the music industry is in a deep crisis, but instead of taking measures to fix it, aka taking a chance on new talent, they're just getting more and more conservative, using the same played-out formulas and pimping out the few artists left who are proven able to turn a profit.

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James Frank, just out of curiosity, who is this "artist"?

Stop snitching

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Hey listen mister....... What?

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Ok now hip hop is a joke

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