James Frank.

Is Hip-Hop a Joke?

Recommended Posts

no, now it's a joke:

Are you implying that wasn't great? That Blackalicious EP basically got me into music and watching Harry Potter rap it on national television gave me an amazing nostalgia trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I don't mind that. I'd rather it be a Blackalicious song being repped than an Eminem song or a Jay Z song. Hell, this might actually get Blackalicious some new fans and some more money!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you implying that wasn't great? That Blackalicious EP basically got me into music and watching Harry Potter rap it on national television gave me an amazing nostalgia trip.

tbh i didn't even watch it lol, i just read "Daniel Radcliffe" and "raps" and assumed it would be bad...and now you've called me out on my lies.

you're blowing up my spot, Primate!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tbh i didn't even watch it lol, i just read "Daniel Radcliffe" and "raps" and assumed it would be bad...and now you've called me out on my lies.

you're blowing up my spot, Primate!

Didn't check this out since the idea sounded pretty corny, watched it now and it wasn't too bad. Hopefully people will check out Blackalicious after seeing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I have a hard enough time talking normally without even making words rhyme so I'm not going to hate on Danny Potter there

Blackalicious are cool but that song always seemed a bit gimmicky to me. Like I heard it once and thought 'heh that's cool' and then never felt the need to hear it again.

It's good to know Harry Wizzardcliffe is a rap fan too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do I think hip-hop is a joke? No I am a surly golden generation guy who enjoy

Ed passing around underground knowledge. Is it currently

A joke? Pretty much-people are trying to get paid off of bshit.

One thing I believe-hip hop producers have great ears for music.

I respect everyone on this site as mostly there are a lot of diggers on the site who enjoy The more mathematically complex genres and attendant histories.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i could've sworn this topic had more responses in it than this...but oh well.

i just have this funny little dream of reaching out and collaborating with other musicians -- i feel like that's mutually beneficial to all parties involved.

he/she gets exposure; i get a chance to work on creating original compositions/lyrics; we all get paid eventually (maybe)...so what's the deal?

i'm just so sick of these fucking music snobs acting like hip-hop's still just a passing fad.

especially when rock AND jazz used to be marginalized in society at certain points in history.

for them to just dismiss all music that's made with computers is very narrow-minded...and hypocritical, if you include acts like Radiohead in the discussion. it's like they have no issue with Danger Mouse producing a Black Keys track and mixing it with digital means, but God forbid if he decides to go back to his original persona and start sampling Beatles tracks again...it's just utter nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah there should be way more responses. It was a good post that touched on a real issue.

Your idea of collaborating is a great one-but bear in mind that you are brighter and more ethically centered than 99.999% of the individuals that You will be dealing with. There will be people that will have your back, but as you know many of these musicians are only out for their personal gain and rarely do they have funds. I won't begin to tell you about my forays into management and losses I have chalked up owing to my bleeding heart idealism.

You can definitely be a successful producer because you possess these qualities. But it's such an artificial playing field. I had the hardest time dumping some crooner who wanted me to invest myself in him. He kept saying that I had to pay for a good seat at the Grammys and the such. Or some low grade stickup kid with ties to Def Jam who liked to talk about how he had white people as slaves. You have to tread lightly and remember why you are doing this thing in the first place.

There is room to work with the likes of Sting and the police( or whatever the non illuminati moniker is). That was good stuff. Or the next Vivian Mojiica...but then you have to be the rap promoter...shit. You always have to be the promoter.

Don't deal with hipsters. You never hear the successful legends in soul music call out anybody for "not being real musicians."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very true. it's a weird stigma that i think will lessen over time -- i mean, look at jazz. could you imagine the look on the faces of the aristocracy back then if they had been told that it would eventually become the go-to music for fancy occasions? i imagine a day where large groups of refined gentlemen and women sit beside a fire sipping space wine and eating...fucking hologram crackers or something, playing Nicki Minaj on the loudspeaker as they discuss politics and bitcoins.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jazz is the shit-all of it. It's like the lifeblood-like African drums. Funny that you mention internet currency. Ugh. I find it to be a near perfect metaphor for this post (almost) apocalyptic age. Baseless stuff, devoid of substance and govt backing. Shallow like any dude who drives a range rover. That's not what life is about. I'm glad that you brought it up. But I do see people that I run into who treat the sub genre of pop, as though it is a formula to rise up. It's their choice-but, there is something to adhering to pro-black/or what have you teaching.

I recognize how shallow I can be when I lust after Darling Nikki. She went thick long ago-but she may never get back to a reasonable weight. I love thick girls but you'll never hear me say that I want to hit up Aretha Franklin.

So, you are yourself stuck as an observer in a world you don't understand. Reminds me of the Chris Rock diatribe in his "bring the pain" special where he talks about hiding his intellectual inclinations from the brothas that are busy counting crack rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd argue the same about You. It's nice to engage in postmodern dialogue in the Us. The future foretells that You will make a bigger mark.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah man, it's same deal with a bunch of shit like the Beatles, Elvis, etc. All the old people back then thought it was junk, now all the old people today love that crap but hate new pop. I'm sure it will be the same with all the shit like Justin Bieber, Nicki, Lil Wayne, Miley Cyrus, whatever shit is on the radio these days. IMO it all sucks and pop will continue to suck forever as it always has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah man, it's same deal with a bunch of shit like the Beatles, Elvis, etc. All the old people back then thought it was junk, now all the old people today love that crap but hate new pop. I'm sure it will be the same with all the shit like Justin Bieber, Nicki, Lil Wayne, Miley Cyrus, whatever shit is on the radio these days. IMO it all sucks and pop will continue to suck forever as it always has.

it's funny though, because there really does seem to be a progression of pop music getting worse and worse. take that Nicki Minaj song above for example...like, compared to the Mama's and the Papa's singing about doves, it's kinda jarring to hear her rap about getting her ass eaten hahahaha. i understand that our culture's loosening up as the years go by, but jesus christ...where's music gonna go from here?

what's gonna piss us off when we're all grumpy old men? i found this one animation on YouTube that brilliantly speculates the future:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tl;dr whole topic...

My opinion is that most people who are production-deep in hip-hop, who respect the culture and understand its origins also have a deeper understanding and respect for all of the cultures who paved the way for hip-hop, and are not confined to the single genre of hip-hop. Pay respect where respect is due.

Yeah that guy can play the guitar, cool...You should have told him how Madlib, after years of beatmaking, single-handedly picked up multiple instruments and started releasing jazz albums. I bet that's more impressive than anything that guy knows about music.

People tend to be biased toward hip-hop heads and think of them as people who don't have any other musical tastes, how they 'steal' from other artists and can't play a single instrument, while it's the exact opposite (well at least for the small amount of people present on this board). And then shit gets tougher because these elitist bullshit hipsters think that hip-hop is the shit they play on the radio (OH THE MOTHER-FUCKING IRONY!!!!!!).

Bitch it's bigger than hip-hop....I bet that none of those suckers could even tell the drums on a J Dilla beat were made on a fucking MPC-3000, that's how deep he was into music. Those who love and respect the music and are inspired by it and express their love through creating more music THROUGH THEIR OWN STYLE are real artists. He could play all the guitars in the motherfucking world simultaneously, but I am sure that at the end of the day, the people of this forum share more love and respect for the music that paved the way than that guy.

Anyone who listens to hip-hop for the love of it and from a producers point of view should be able to feel what I'm trying to say.

I myself practiced playing the clarinet (cca. 3-4 years), piano (5 years) and guitar (cca. 4-5 years).

God I can't stand such stuck-up people.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, I love hip-hop as much as the next guy, but...can anyone dispute that there are a lot of people exploiting the art form just trying to make a quick buck? In fact, that's 99% of what the hip-hop industry is. So you can understand the resentment of people who take the time to learn the history of music and put in the hours to be able to express themselves on their instrument and then most of the market share is being taken up by Bobby Shmurda, or Jaden Smith, or the latest 17-year old piece of shit one hit wonder.

Of course, this isn't anything new for the music industry, the only difference is scale.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely not a joke, jokes are arts in themselves, so don't be dissin' comedy yo. I get what you're saying, though.

It is mainstream. That's why you, white kid in Denver, know about it. Same thing that happens to everything. After Van Gogh died his doctor friend and his son started making paintings in his style. So before Van Gogh even became known to 10 people he was already "joke". I mean I remember watching Beat Street as a kid thinking "Is this supposed to be funny?" rhyming and getting into dance battles itself is somewhat silly I think.

I also think this is more or less a question revolving around globilzation. Lost tribes wearing pikachu shirts isn't the only effect, sometimes what was once underground and unknown gets swept into culture and laughed at.

Frankly Madlib isn't even that underground anymore, he's been championed by Kayne. Young Chop's been championed by Kanye.

A question I've been wondering is "In an internet age, if you're underground maybe that just means you suck" Run The Jewels did a show at MSG. The new underground is guys like Chris Crocker who sing really awful 3 chord country folk songs. Odd Future made being weird cool again or something. Zeitgest changed and now we're the shitty, dated, beatniks in 1967 who get laughed at by the flower children. FUCKING BASTARDS GO MAKE OUT ON A STACK OF GINSBERG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why it's important to set an example. Kids 2 years younger might shit on you, but if I show my kid brother "Runnin'" and explain how it was made in 95 and it takes separate pieces, first brazillian sample yaddayaddayadda then see his eyebrows raise because he's mentally prepared to listen for the weird string thing and then the clicks, then in 10 years, those kids who were shitting on you are gonna look like REAAAAAL DOOFUSES


"Is hip-hop a joke?"




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is mainstream. That's why you, white kid in Denver, know about it.

this is going in the sig box -- it really is a fucking great point haha. i mean i've always thought of hip-hop as being a completely postmodern thing with no real cultural boundaries to speak of...but yeah, i understand at the end of the day i'm only a white kid from Denver that just so happens to be madly in love with the music.

that's the precise reason why i don't fall into a lot of the tropes most other white rappers do -- my songs aren't about gang violence or drug-dealing or shit that i have no direct experience with. i'm not gonna pretend to be something else just to fit into the narrow perspective most people have of what a stereotypical rapper should be...but yeah, there's absolutely no denying that those ideas of what rappers should be exist and directly affect every audience's perception of what i do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's the precise reason why i don't fall into a lot of the tropes most other white rappers do

That's exactly what a white rapper would say!

The only reason 'rapping' exists is because of piss poor socio-economic reasons like gangs and drugs so you'll always be pegged as not "real" by some. And the idea of "appropriating another's culture that your culture has colonially oppressed for your own gratification" is downright appalling to some of the London-Goth-Lesbian-Feminists I know.

Frankly, I can't afford records, I have to go 50 miles round trip just to GO to the record store. PBW working at a Mcdonalds in the 80s with inflation could get records for cheaper and they were more accessible, and there were more stores and records out there. So digging itself has become somewhat of an esoteric, elitist class thing. I've resorted back to shitty guitars with broken amps trying to write songs, which I'll maintain is just as hip-hop as anything out there because of the ghetto conditions it stems from. In the same way blues stems from just a poor guy and his guitar.

"Dad I said well don't you know that things go in cycles" D'angelo's going back to the roots. The Roots started from the roots. Not a lot of black and white in art, 50 shades of grey, twilight. Vampires

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing that always gets left out, which I've been thinking about recently: Block parties. Dancing. Cutting. Graffiti. That was the atmosphere that hip-hop grew out of. Beats and rapping, which is the formula that hip-hop has been reduced to, was almost an afterthought. Ok, so you pair that with social conditions easily on par with if not worse than any third-world country, where your options are become a junkie, a criminal or enlist in the army, and suddenly a sampler, turntable and some records looks like heaven, a godsend. There just isn't that same pressurized situation today. I respect people who are genuinely underground, in other words, people who are doing it to follow a vision, but how many are left? For most, "underground" translates to "I couldn't become famous so in my bitter resentment I settled for being "underground."

Hip-hop was good when it was dangerous. Dilla was dangerous. You notice in all his raps, he's not talking about becoming a responsible, respectable cog in the music industry machine, he's talking about invading, "fucking up the game." Same with Madlib.

Instagram pics, beefs on twitter, listening parties, Complex magazine? Not dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing that always gets left out, which I've been thinking about recently: Block parties. Dancing. Cutting. Graffiti. That was the atmosphere that hip-hop grew out of. Beats and rapping, which is the formula that hip-hop has been reduced to, was almost an afterthought. Ok, so you pair that with social conditions easily on par with if not worse than any third-world country, where your options are become a junkie, a criminal or enlist in the army, and suddenly a sampler, turntable and some records looks like heaven, a godsend. There just isn't that same pressurized situation today. I respect people who are genuinely underground, in other words, people who are doing it to follow a vision, but how many are left? For most, "underground" translates to "I couldn't become famous so in my bitter resentment I settled for being "underground."

Hip-hop was good when it was dangerous. Dilla was dangerous. You notice in all his raps, he's not talking about becoming a responsible, respectable cog in the music industry machine, he's talking about invading, "fucking up the game." Same with Madlib.

Instagram pics, beefs on twitter, listening parties, Complex magazine? Not dangerous.

None of it got left out you're just getting left of of them. Same as always. Graffitti didn't go underground or disappear. Block parties didn't disappear. Just some time during the 80s things like b-boying were in the mainstream, see: Vin Diesel's breakdance how-to tape. Those were passing fads like a lot of these 17 year old emcees/beatmakers. The DMC scratch contests never stopped, they just were never popular and never were supposed to be. None of the four elements of hip-hop were ever supposed to BE known outside of the 5 boroughs, they just got outside because they were demanded. When the popular demand fades away, the people who were being exploited by the industry still continue to do what they do, albeit with a more cynical viewpoint, most likely, which makes them even more reticent to outsiders than they were in the first place. It's like people who say punk is dead, or jazz is dead. Saying "it's dead" just means your love of it is dead, there's always going to be some 12 year old punk scratching his dad's records because it sounds funny and he's not supposed to - that's DJing.

We're discussing the wrong things in this thread. It's a far more ecnomic debate than a lot of heads are willing to have, this is what the early 90s Brand Nubian concious rap was about.

People rapping about guns are a product of the political environment, there's no point talking poorly of them because they're merely a reflection of their envrionment. The debate to have is a lot more oppressor/oppressed based and the relationships between the two. 5%, 10%, 85%. 85 never know. 10 percent know and use their knowledge for evil, i.e the Eminems who create a violent atmosphere that I believe contributed to neo-con rhetoric being picked up, then after Bush is elected he comes out with his anti-poltical message because he's mad at himself for not speaking up sooner - very selfish, never liked Eminem. Is Jay-Z wearing a 5% Nation Chain at a Brooklyn Nets game (that he bought) really 5% Nation? It's like the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist talking about how he saw a ambassador from Saudi Arabia at the parisian march, meanwhile some blogger's in jail in Saudi Arabia getting lashed every week, "That's not Charlie, it makes me sad". And then 5%, the underwhelming minority, who know the knowledge, and apply it. It's a 5 vs. 95 battle, it's always underground.

I'm going to be straight up, I'm jewish born in Oakland. My father was educated at Berkeley, a teacher, we move out of Cali because we couldn't afford it. Up in Oregon he hasn't had a job in ten years because of the way he looks (Chain smoking old hippie versus all those pretty politican 20-somethings they call teachers). I live in poverty. I live in a ghetto. GHETTOS were originally built for jews in Christian europe where they faced pograms and the likes. Frankfurter Judengasse (Jew Street) was designed in the city's plans in the late 1400s. So that's 600 years of living in a ghetto. Then that means blacks in America are going to be in the ghetto for at least as long as I am unless something changes. It's getting to a point where serious revolution/change is needed because America went to the fucking moon on the momentum of slavery, and the people who built this country are still being disproportionately arrested, let alone shot in the fucking face by a gestapo looking asshole. Black schools get less money because of No Child Left Behind, the kids then get sad because their schools suck, they then turn to drugs and gangs because they're sad, and then white people (JAMES YOU FASCIST) talk shit about them when they just express their environment. Don't be mad at Chief Keef for rapping about guns, be mad at the government for letting a teenage boy be surrounded by guns and telling him "Just say No".

It's easy to say no when you're in a gated Reagan trickle-down community and you only have to say No to crack uh...never. Try watching all your loved ones fall to it, or to guns and gangs, THEN say no. It takes superhuman character and republicans/privilged whites expect that out of children! They're fucking evil! And then someone flies a plane into a building and instead of saying "You know maybe we have been kinda dicks" we just invade another country. Makes me fucking weep

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long story short,

America/THE WORLD has always kept a group of people down to guarantee there is always some sort of adversity. By keeping a group of people constantly facing adversity, it almost guarantees that someone in that group will overcome the adversity. When someone overcomes adversity it creates worth of some sort, in knowledge, power. Something, it creates a stream of strong humans that then have to join the society and their strengths go on to benefit the greater whole.

America keeps black/latinos/asians/irish people down so that when finally an oppressed man or woman gets sick of their conditions, they have to work and expend energy in order to escape their environment. America uses the energy expended by the oppressed to escape their situation as fuel. Black guy wants out of the ghetto so he has to work twice as many jobs to save up. One man working two jobs benefits America, it means a white guy can work half as hard and we're still coming out +.25. (2 +. 5 = (2.5)/2 = 1.25 average productivity)

America/The World is a perpetual motion machine fueled by the blood and sweat of the oppressed and we need a global revolution to tell people to knock that shit off. Chinese, Jews, women, blacks, Slavs, everyone has been used and turned into this oppressed group at some point or another.

1. Treat blacks bad so if they want something they have to work twice as hard
2. ???
3. Profit.

(how the fuck did i get here???)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why "The Underground" pisses me off. If Rick Ross is an ex-cop, drug-rapper, he's obviously "stupider" than you. And by treating a guy that's stupider than you like a clown, you're not showing any sympathy.

Rick Ross doesn't treat people below him like shit, so who's more real him or you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I agree with most of what you said, it's funny how quickly discussing hip-hop can segue into discussing revolt.

The one caveat is that while I agree with about how important the economic angle is (I mean, I brought it up), there are also limits to how far you can go with it, because you take somebody like Madlib, who grew up in random-ass Oxnard, CA, neither rich nor poor, something like lower-middle class, and he just went off and did his thing and made some dope-ass music and created a legacy. So there will always be that x-factor, some may call it talent, skill or will, but a purely economic analysis doesn't address it.

Nonetheless, your analysis is pretty spot-on, and it can be applied to hip-hop or basketball or whatever else.

My point about the five elements was not that those things don't exist anymore, but certainly the original context doesn't. And I really hold graffiti as being important here, because that's way more underground than hip-hop (literally), because these dudes were risking their lives going into tunnels to spray up a tag within a 30-minute window of time – and for absolutely no economic or personal gain, since the paintings couldn't be traced to them, and even if they were it wouldn't help them out any. That was a New York City thing, made possible simply by the proximity of trains and people to see them.

Now of course graffiti exists everywhere, performing a similar if slightly-watered down function.

But my little "reflection" up there is about an ethos or a culture or maybe a moment in time moreso than anything concrete. You take someone like Rammellzee, an eccentric graffiti artist-turned theorist/madman, who wasn't a rapper, but he popped into a studio one afternoon and laid down a 10-minute freestyle that became a classic hip-hop track. So, it was almost like, you just had to be there, and either board the train or not.

So now I'm wondering what the next train is to come into the station. I still think hip-hop is a vital art form, otherwise I wouldn't be involved in it. I'm writing a book (yes, a book) about why I think this is so, and it has to do with a lot of the economic factors you brought up, but also theories about the cultural/musical evolution and how sampling is a kind of short-circuit that gives us access to "musical situations" that the average musician would need to go through a long arduous process to get to. I get behind George Russell's idea that "music is the healing force of the universe" and I'm a bit skeptical about whether or not a violent overthrow is the answer. Granted, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing either – since there's already violence all around us, let's at least inflict it on those who deserve it (CEOs, people who work in finance).

edit: woops, that was Albert Ayler, not George Russell

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Madlib's black so automatically he faces an oppression. It's not 'economic' it's...everyone. Women, jews, anyone can be oppressed. Oppression is a thneaky thnake, I think Marx said that.

In fact, Jaylib's "The Message" is him just listing ways the world fux with dude haha

...

I would just like to say one thing, because I KNEW it would be brought up, it inevitably always does,

When I say serious revolution/change is necessary. I mean EXACTLY that. Revolution, a spin. A turn. A rotation of the mind. Making people believe Revolution needs violence, or that when someone says "No I mean seriously, let's start the revolution" that means "let's get the guns" is a great American propganda trick I believe. Getting guns/violent is part of the old mindframe. You can't use that mindframe to get anywhere new. When I say let's start the revolution, I mean. Let US start REVOLVING our minds. No government can control what you think. YOU control your mind. Your mind is where the revolution starts. Changing your mind IS the revolution. On some Ras G shit. We become the CHANGE (revolution, spin, new mind) that we want to see in the world.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But changing your mind won't change the 99% of wealth that is concentrated in the 1% of the population. But, yes, I agree.

And, as for the oppression thing, "No one dies a virgin, life fucks us all" amirite?? Kurt Cobain said that. Great rapper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now