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Hip-Hopcrisy

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

This title could have easily been, “Take this five gallon bucket, then maybe you can carry a tune. Is this funny, harsh or judgmental? Yes it is, but have you listened to ‘rap music’ lately? So you know what I mean. None of it can be called music in the classical sense of quarter notes and treble clefs, neither is much talent required to perform it. Yet among a certain age demographic, it is all the rage, and I contend its popularity is attributable to dare I say it; a lie.

The first part of the lie is the content of the lyrics. Initially the early rappers made whimsical rhymes about life, love, politics or nothing at all. Today the new breed of rapper and the stories they tell are angry, violent, vile and void of any redemptive qualities. The glorification of gang activity, racial segregation and criminal acts with violence to achieve an end are the prevailing themes. The real ‘war on women’ can be found in the negative descriptions of wives, girlfriends and females in general, whose usefulness ends after performing sex acts. Surely the life depicted in these ‘songs’ can’t be exciting or fun. But those who listen are told just the opposite. If you are not the “hardest (@#%&)” on the block, then you can’t survive nor will you achieve any financial success. The truth of the matter is that none of the performers would choose to live the lifestyle glorified in their rap.

The second part of the lie is to equate a deafening bass beat, sporadic synthesized sounds intertwined with basic strumming of a guitar as music genius. Really, what would Bach say? Not only are the words basically the same, but the ‘beats’ are as well. Boom – boom goes the drum. I’m sure even I could play that. The only redeeming quality of the music is that it drowns out the lyrics. Because the audience has no experience or exposure to actual music, any reference to melody, harmony and pitch is met with questions about their latest CD, or when is the concert. The ability of a song to rattle one’s car windows and the surrounding landscape means we’ve got a real hit on our hands. Are laws regarding noise pollution still relevant?

The third lie and perhaps the most unsettling is the notion that this dribble is somehow the pride and epitome of black artistic expression. To consider an operatic ballad or a simple instrumental tune is less than culturally acceptable, as neither will identify you as a credible member of black society. If a musical contribution does not contain broken language, profanity while rhyming anything with anything and making no sense, you will not be taken seriously. This false notion of identity has crept into every facet of life under the guise of normalcy. Even churches, in their desire to not be left out, have adopted ‘the style’ in some of their hymnals. Will this tacit approval diminish their ability to speak against the lifestyle of rap music? Children are being deprived of learning and experiencing the joys of real music by adults who themselves are clueless. For me there is nothing to be proud of when lyrics cannot be understood, of those that are, they are unflattering at best, and the accompanying ‘music’ could probably be played better by raindrops on a tin roof.

Now before I am attacked for trying to silence anyone, I AM NOT for denying anyone their first amendment rights. By all means express yourself any lawful way you wish. The only admonishment I offer is for one to think about how you sound when you are exercising that right. You may not be as “fly” as you may think. Rap music or so it is called has become associated with a criminal lifestyle regardless of what its origins or what the artists and purveyors may say. It is past time to retire this genre and hasten its journey to distant memory. Sometimes, some things are better left as rapidly passing fads, or even left alone. In this case , silence is golden.

 

 

 

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