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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:57 am 
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I'm guessing this list is meant strictly for rappers only because I don't see people like Mary J. Blige anywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:19 am 
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stereowilliams wrote:
That musical innovation--moving rap music away from funk and disco


Actually, the first artist and song of note to move hip-hop away from pure funk and pure disco was Afrika Bambaataa's April 1982 track "Planet Rock". It was like a mix of Kraftwerk-meets Giorgio Moroder-meets George Clinton-meets James Brown...definitely futuristic. Ever since that release, there had been a slew of electro-funk records in 1983-1985, and everyone from Run-D.M.C. to LL jumped on that bandwagon. The instrumentation used such as the TR-808 was highly influential not only in hip-hop music, but on popular music in general.

I'm a passionate fan of the hybrid hip-hop genres it helped create: electro-funk itself, freestyle (the other "freestyle," probably better termed as "Latin freestyle"), and Miami bass.

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Its true that Bambaataa came first and was instrumental in hip hop's move to a more electronic sound


In reality, hip hop is essentially "electronic" music so to speak...the only thing that generally separates it from being "electronic music proper" is its culture and aesthetic.

Electro-funk, Miami bass and freestyle (i.e. Lisa Lisa, Shannon) are hybrids of both hip-hop and electronic music proper. In the late '80s, "hip house" (a fusion of house music and hip-hop) was popular.

But anyways, you're right--Run-D.M.C.'s harder and minimal brand of hip hop did usher in the "Golden Age of Hip-Hop" and are the bridge between old school hip-hop vs new school hip-hop...which is just one of the many reasons why they're the top rap group of all time.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:18 am 
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J.B. Trance wrote:
I'm guessing this list is meant strictly for rappers only because I don't see people like Mary J. Blige anywhere.


Well, this is a hip hop list, not a contemporary r&b list.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:39 am 
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Mary J. Blige is hip-hop soul.

So therefore, she's both hip-hop and contemporary R&B. And much of contemporary R&B is hip-hop/hip-hop-influenced anyways.

Hip-hop music is more than just about rappers.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:52 pm 
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I feel that's pushing the line and dismissing one of the most important elements of hip hop music: the vocals.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:35 pm 
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I don't agree with artists like Mary J. Blige and TLC being on the list because it makes the list slightly convoluted. They were/are hip-hop influenced R&B acts. I feel that including them would make the list so 'broad' in its parameters of what is/isn't hip hop that it would compromise its credibility. Someone like Lauryn Hill was first predominantly a rapper--(and a brilliant one at that) who sang. The aforementioned artists' influence and innovation lie with R&B--they changed the sound and look of THAT genre to make it more hip hop-influenced. Whereas their impact on rap/hip hop music itself was virtually nil. I think there is a difference between rock & R&B artists that were influenced by hip hop and actual hip hop artists.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:06 pm 
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I disagree. People like Mary J. Blige are both hip-hop and contemporary R&B. Most of contemporary R&B is hip-hop/hip-hop influenced to varying degrees, whether it's New Jack/New Jill Swing to some of "neo-soul." And that's just one of the reasons why hip-hop music has been the dominant popular music for well over a decade.

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I feel that including them would make the list so 'broad' in its parameters of what


But that's just it. Hip-hop is broad to begin with. That's what the pioneers like Bambaataa and G. Flash want people to know about the genre instead of people having narrow definitions of it (connect this to the '40s and '50s rock and roll styles, from doo-wop to rockabilly). After all, it was influenced by a wide range of sources. In addition, early hip hop DJs like Bam were playing a whole stew of musical styles, whether it was mixing soca and jazz records with the Rolling Stones and Kraftwerk at parties.

Rap music is just one of the features of hip-hop music. There's also turntablism and hip-hop soul, for example.

What many hip-hop historians and popular culture music historians fail to understand is the singing element of hip-hop. In the early '80s, hip-hop soul was born with electro-funk/proto-freestyle records such as Planet Patrol and Shannon being primarily created from Bam's "Planet Rock."

Shannon's "Let The Music Play" is certainly hip-hop, a cross of electro-funk and Latin freestyle to be specific. There is no rapping on it. Joyce Sims' "All N All" is hip-hop as well, with no rapping on it. Both records were worldwide hits. Latin freestyle (to differentiate from the "rapping freestyle") was initially called "Latin hip-hop" before it was called freestyle. And Bam and others will tell you that himself.

Hip-hop music is broader than what most people think.

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I think there is a difference between rock & R&B artists that were influenced by hip hop and actual hip hop artists.


R&B is rock and roll. And it's never that easy because some artists are difficult to categorize, and some are hybrids of both genres (Bobby "Blue" Bland in blues and R&B/soul, Frank Sinatra in traditional pop and jazz, and Michael Jackson in rock and pop).


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:13 pm 
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There is singing in hip hop but I don't think its ever more singing than rapping in a hip hop album. I mean, one of the key elements of hip hop music is the rapped vocals. I mean, that's not to say an artist can't be both contemporary r&b and hip hop, like the Fugees, but Mary J. Blige is just in the school of hip hop influenced r&b.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Mary J. Blige is contemporary R&B and hip-hop. Hip-hop music is more than just rapping. "Rockit" and "Let The Music Play" are just as hip-hop as "Rapper's Delight" and "...Fight For Your Right..." are.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:43 pm 
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I just think Mary J Blige is closer R&b than hip hop.

Remember the four, sometimes 5, tennants of hip-hop. Mc, Dj, Breaking, Graffiti, beatboxing


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Yes, those are the fundamental foundations.

But like virtually all genres of music, hip-hop music has evolved. The same with R&B, from its offshoots of soul, funk, and disco. But what do these styles have in common? They're all a part of the R&B banner. The same with girl group and surf rock with metal and punk rock....they're all a part of the rock puzzle.

Records like "Play At Your Own Risk" and "Rockit" to "I Need Love" and the sing-rapping styles are all part of hip-hop, just as much as Bo Diddley, the African Griots, African American spirituals, the "raps" of soul music artists, reggae music and other sources all provided the foundations to the culture and music.

Bam and the other pioneers will tell you that themselves. After all, Bam was the most experimental of the hip-hop pioneers, having the most diverse record collection as a hip-hop DJ and changed the face of hip-hop and popular music forever with "Planet Rock."


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:44 pm 
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Quote:
R&B is rock and roll.


R&B and rock 'n roll BEGAN as virtually the same thing, yes; but it's revisionist to act like the 60s-70s-80s never happened. They splintered off into two distinctly different directions. There is a wide musical chasm between The O'Jays and AC/DC, for example. I understand the history (I wrote a piece once explaining how, if you go by its original definitions/sound Otis Redding is more rock'n roll than Metallica); but I also understand that things changed as time moved forward. For example, modern 'R&B' has very little to do musically with the blues. Most R&B fans today associate the genre with uptempo pop songs and slick ballads--a far, far cry from what the genre was in its infancy.

And to include singers like Mary J. Blige 'muddies the water' a bit too much for me. Especially considering rap music's history has already been convoluted in the way it has been taught. Just because contemporary R&B is hip hop-influenced doesn't mean it's hip hop in the purest sense. For that matter, Justin Timberlake produces hip-hop-influenced pop music--it doesn't make him a hip hop artist.

Actually, I guess it's similar to the term 'pop' music--there is the limited definition of pop and the broader definition of pop. For the purposes of this list, I've chosen to go with a more limited definition of hip hop. I don't think rap music has been canonized properly enough yet to start opening the floodgates for any and every artist in any genre that flirts with hip hop stylings or sound or aesthetic to be called 'hip hop.'


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:52 pm 
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In the late 80s/early 90s, there was a push against hip hop by the R&B establishment and hip hop pushed back. There was a line drawn between hip hop purists and the R&B status quo. That's why acts like the Native Tongues (who were proteges of Bambaataa) clowned 'R&B' rap as 'rap & bullshit.' Even a lame pop-rap act like Kris Kross took shots ("R&B rap is bullcrap.") Public Enemy clowned R&B radio on the "It Takes A Nation..." album. Run rapped on "Together Forever:" 'Biggest rap/no crap/I do not sing.'

It's not that hip hop isn't allowed to be broad, it's that hip hop broadens itself by incorporating other genres into it's sound and aesthetic, not by having it's sound and aesthetic exported to other genres. That broadens THOSE genres.

Bam and Flash incorporated various types of music into hip hop--Blondie and The Clash incorporated hip hop into their punk/new wave idiom. That does not make Blondie or the Clash hip hop artists.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:07 pm 
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stereowilliams wrote:
R&B and rock 'n roll BEGAN as virtually the same thing


R&B was supplanted by "rock and roll."

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but it's revisionist to act like the 60s-70s-80s never happened.


No one here said that the "60s-70s-80s never happened." I don't really get what you're trying to accomplish here.

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They splintered off into two distinctly different directions.


Explain when this supposedly occurred.

Doo-wop, funk and soul are closer to rock than metal and progressive rock. And all of those aforementioned genres have been called and treated as rock from their inception to now. The many primary and secondary sources will attest to this.

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There is a wide musical chasm between The O'Jays and AC/DC


It's not wide because they're all still a part of the rock umbrella, just like punk and doo-wop are. A wide musical chasm would be between the O'Jays and Schubert.

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For example, modern 'R&B' has very little to do musically with the blues.


Modern R&B has its roots in the R&B genres before it. What really makes it "contemporary" is its use of electronics and hip-hop and Michael Jackson-R&B-pop-styled influences.

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Most R&B fans today associate the genre with uptempo pop songs and slick ballads--a far, far cry from what the genre was in its infancy.


Most R&B fans do not associate contemporary R&B with "uptempo pop" or "slick ballads." Those adjectives are reserved more for traditional pop or bubblegum pop or adult contemporary fare.

Music evolves. R&B evolved. It's still called "R&B" for a reason, that's the key word.

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Especially considering rap music's history has already been convoluted in the way it has been taught.


You're not Bam and you're not Flash and the other early hip hop movers. They know what hip-hop really is more than you and I. If anything, they both decry just how ignorant a lot of people are of its roots and history, including these absurd narrow definitions of hip-hop.

You're view of hip-hop music is narrow.

Certainly the funk hip-hop anthem breaks such as "Apache," "Amen, Brother," and "In The Jungle Groove" are b-boy and DJ anthems and all vital to hip-hop culture and music.

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Just because contemporary R&B is hip hop-influenced doesn't mean it's hip hop in the purest sense.


I didn't say all of contemporary R&B is hip-hop, and not all of it is influenced by hip-hop at all. I specifically just mentioned Mary J. Blige, and there are others in her boat.

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For that matter, Justin Timberlake produces hip-hop-influenced pop music--it doesn't make him a hip hop artist.


Yes, each artist is a case-by-case basis. But he's not a "King of Hip-Hop Soul." Mary is equally respected by R&B fans just as much as rap fans for her unique hybrid style.

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I don't think rap music has been canonized properly enough yet to start opening the floodgates for any and every artist in any genre that flirts with hip hop stylings or sound or aesthetic to be called 'hip hop.'


I'm not saying that every song that flirted with hip-hop is hip-hop. There are many electronic songs and a few full genres (breakbeat hardcore, trip hop, etc.), for example, that flirt with the genre, but are not treated as such.

Hip-hop music is more than just rap music.

Take a record like Shannon's "Let The Music Play" or Joyce Sims' "All And All." They're freestyle because of their sound (which was called "Latin hip-hop"), and features no rapping.

Hashim's b-boy electro-funk anthem "Al-Naafiysh" is virtually an instrumental, but it's still hip-hop. Planet Patrol's anthem "Play At Your Own Risk," a favorite with hip-hop DJs, breakers and early fans, is hip-hop, and it features no rapping and is essentially a variation of "Planet Rock."

Here's what Bam and Flash have to say about what hip-hop music really is:

Bam:
http://www.daveyd.com/whatisbam.html

Flash:
http://www.daveyd.com/whatisflash.html


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:29 pm 
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stereowilliams wrote:
In the late 80s/early 90s, there was a push against hip hop by the R&B establishment and hip hop pushed back.


Ever since hip-hop's birth, there was always the establishment trying to thwart hip-hop's growth and popularity, whether that establishment was R&B traditionalists or elite whites who found it to be savage.

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That's why acts like the Native Tongues (who were proteges of Bambaataa) clowned 'R&B' rap as 'rap & bullshit.'


Everyone did not hold that view. And what anyone calls "bullshit" is subjective.

The Jungle Brothers, who were part of that collective, were seminal in the fusion of hip hop with house music (a post-disco genre that was started by black gays) to create hip-house, which was popular in the late '80s and early '90s. "I'll House You" is one of the most influential records of the modern era. Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Queen Latifah, Heavy D, Monie Love, Salt-N-Pepa, Doug Lazy and a host of others jumped on that hip-house bandwagon.

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Even a lame pop-rap act like Kris Kross


"Lame pop-rap act" is subjective.

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Public Enemy clowned R&B radio on the "It Takes A Nation..." album.


Yes, and Chuck D also clowned Elvis and John Wayne. So then whatever he said must be true, right?

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Run rapped on "Together Forever:" 'Biggest rap/no crap/I do not sing.'


This can be interpreted as a number of things. This doesn't necessarily equate with "R&B rap is crap."

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It's not that hip hop isn't allowed to be broad


Hip-Hop IS broad to begin with.

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Bam and Flash incorporated various types of music into hip hop


And they're still hip-hop.

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Blondie and The Clash incorporated hip hop into their punk/new wave idiom. That does not make Blondie or the Clash hip hop artists.


Yes, if James Brown recorded one polka song, that does not make him a polka artist. So while Blondie, for example, aren't hip-hop, they had a hip-hop song in "Rapture."


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