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Thread: has hip hop been "aesthetically brutalised"?

  1. #31
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    And US hip hop - which, as stelfox says is actually astonishingly varied anyway - is kinda similar to that. The deliberate repetition of certain topics and themes becomes a frame for developing and showing off other things - a distinctive voice, great wordplay etc. And then there's grooves, sonics etc.
    this is quite ingenious, but sort of misses out on the way the music is heard and used; in other words everything outside the music itself. the lyrics have meanings, of course.

  2. #32
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    Guns and drugs and booty may seem like odd, arbitrary choices for frames
    i mean, how 'arbitrary' is this!?

  3. #33
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    luv ya, tim

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by stelfox
    i tend to find that, although they wouldn't dream of saying it, most music enthusiasts/critics don't like hip-hop very much or know a great deal about it
    Is it just me, or has Rachel Verinder kind of verified this point?!

  5. #35
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    "this is quite ingenious, but sort of misses out on the way the music is heard and used; in other words everything outside the music itself. the lyrics have meanings, of course."

    I agree! My stuff above was more of a mental exercise than a pronouncement of the sum total of the value of lyrics in hip hop. And I tend to find the topics of guns, drugs, booty etc. endlessly fascinating.

    But I do think that - quite apart from being grounded in the actual life experience of rappers etc. - the focused nature of lyrics in street hip hop is useful from a stylistic point of view. It gives the music a sense of coherence and identity which allows it to be much more expansive and daring musically - i.e. if you take what is essentially a bhangra track and put a street rapper over the top of it it will be street rap, because the identity of the music is rooted in the rapper and the stuff he raps about.

    Underground rap makes claims to being much more diverse lyrically, but this very (alleged) freedom contrasts with a limiting sense of fidelity to hip hop's "roots" which is expressed in very similar flow styles, production approaches etc. For the average underground rap track, the "rap identity" is expressed through the sonics (the papery breakbeat loop, the murky jazz or funk sample) as much as or more than the rapper.

    When talking about genre there is always a tug of war between what is "given" and what is "up for grabs" - critics focus so much on the given in street hip hop without noticing how this opens up space for change and deviation in other aspects. And more generally I think people should pay more attention to the way that the relationship closed and open borders in musical styles really drives things. It's a much more useful way of looking at this stuff than in terms of purism and eclecticism I reckon.

    (see also: why it always seems to be functionalist booty music from with functionalist booty lyrics from all the corners of the urban diaspora that ends up being on the forefront of musical innovation)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty south
    i think he means that hip hop is now predominantly in the media and public's mind gangsta shit, when it was new it was so much more....
    Maybe he does, but he'd be wrong. To my mind the public understanding of all hip hop as gansta shit was some time ago. I know people who used to never listen to hip hop precisely because it was all gansta shit - hos and guns. Mostly these people were women, although not exclusively.

    I know almost no one who says that now, inluding people who don't like hip hop. People like Missy and Lauren Hill demonstrated to people that you could be an MC who wasn't all about guns and hos and still have credibility.

    Really, hip hop is too mainstream these days, and that's largely because so little of it is genuinely gangsta, even from the people who used to be.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Verinder
    and fuck it stelfox, i'm not going to sit here as a professional and be slagged off by a bunch of jealous losers.

    otherwise start showing me some proper respect. it's about fucking time people here did.
    This guy is the best.

    If you were so deserving of "respect," you wouldn't get your shit so bent over "losers" failing to give you enough. I'm not sure I've ever read any of your literary gifts to the masses, but if they're as smug and solipsistic as your messageboard posts, I doubt many people manage to wade through them.

    But seriously: why are you giving it away, here?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundslike1981
    This guy is the best.

    I don't think he's joking at all.

    one magazine is not enough... this guy has enough issues to start a magazine stand! (drum roll)

  9. #39
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    I'm not sure I've ever read any of your literary gifts to the masses, but if they're as smug and solipsistic as your messageboard posts, I doubt many people manage to wade through them.
    you ought to read them. one of my blogs is coming out as a book later this year. still gets xxxxx hits a day two years after i stopped writing it. the other two blogs have some good stuff as well. about xxxxx people a day manage to wade through them. three of the most popular music blogs on the web.

    since you asked.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Verinder
    you ought to read them. one of my blogs is coming out as a book later this year. still gets xxxxx hits a day two years after i stopped writing it. the other two blogs have some good stuff as well. about xxxxx people a day manage to wade through them. three of the most popular music blogs on the web.

    since you asked.
    Daily Reminder: x is not a number. Numbers run from 0 to 9.

    You're welcome.

  11. #41
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    you're a real hard man, patronising me on the internet.

    i'll be up in cambridge in a couple of weeks' time. fancy saying that to my face? and see what you get in return?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Verinder
    goodbye troll.
    "Start showing me some proper respect. it's about fucking time people here did."
     \

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Verinder
    you're a real hard man, patronising me on the internet.

    i'll be up in cambridge in a couple of weeks' time. fancy saying that to my face? and see what you get in return?
    Sure, it's a date, I love meeting egomaniacal journalists with a ludicrously over-inflated sense of self-worth.

    Better bring a baggy for yo' teef.

  14. #44
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    goodbye troll. my man will show you to the door.

  15. #45
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    yeah, right. you're probably about 58 years old, 4 ft tall and 6 stone. but i'll come up and open your face anyway. you've been asking for it long enough.

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