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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:24 pm 
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You're view of hip-hop music is narrow.


Call it what you will. My view of hip hop (for the purposes of this list) is streamlined.

And you're crossing the line from debating to insulting/condescending.

There are those that feel R&B was supplanted by rock 'n roll and those that feel that rock 'n roll and R&B were the same things with those names being used interchangeably in their earliest incarnations. Some people feel that the split came when artists like Buddy Holly/Elvis Presley/Chuck Berry incorporated elements of country into the established R&B style (creating 'rockabilly') and other artists like Ray Charles and Sam Cooke incorporated gospel into it (creating 'soul music.') You speak as if there is a consensus--there isn't really. There are a few different schools of thought on that particular subject.

In the 1970s, as R&B became more slick (in particular, the rise of Philly soul) and mainstream rock became more heavy, i.e. metal and, later on, punk--the divide between what R&B audiences and rock audiences were listening to was widened. And, yes, in American--particularly among African Americans who grew up on 80s/90s R&B, there is a common leaning toward balladry as 'real R&B.' I've had this conversation with many fans and critics. It's a byproduct of the era that they grew up in--they grew up with the music of Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Patti LaBelle, etc. I'm not saying that's 'real' R&B, I'm saying that that's what a lot of people in that age group think of when they say real R&B. R&B doesn't just evolve--it practically reinvents itself every generation.

My basic point is that there is a difference between hip hop expanding it's parameters and other genres being influenced by hip hop. A rock/R&B/reggae/punk/alt act incorporating elements of hip hop into it's sound helps to expand THOSE genres; hip hop is expanded when other styles/genres are incorporated into ITS sound.

And of course calling an artist 'lame' is subjective, but what was the point in even addressing that? We weren't discussing Kris Kross--I just quoted a lyric. Seems petty.

We just aren't going to agree on this, obviously. Sometimes we can be so broad that we dilute the essence of the subject that we're trying to celebrate. I focused on beats and rhymes because I feel that that's the best way to celebrate the genre. I mentioned those artists/lyrics because I wanted to remind everyone that there was a time when hip hop drew a definitive line in the sand for the sake of establishing its own artistic credibility. Flooding a hip hop list with a bunch of singers is not my idea of celebrating the genre. So, we'll just have to agree to disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:35 pm 
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It's still called "R&B" because of race. Let's be frank here, there is a tendency in western popular music to refer to almost any music that black people record that involves singing "R&B." I'm not saying it's the correct approach, but it's the way many audiences view the music. And since the 1980s, what many casual fans have referred to as 'R&B' has been slick urban contemporary ballads and urban dance pop as recorded by black people--and the 'blues' has been virtually erased from the genre. It's ONLY still referred to as 'R&B' because that's what black pop music has traditionally been called since the late 50s and the masses refuse to think at all about how much of a misnomer that term is at this point.

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Doo-wop, funk and soul are closer to rock than metal and progressive rock.
I said that already--I wrote a piece about Otis Redding being closer to what was called 'rock' originally than Metallica. I said this.

And let's make some distinction between music historians and casual music fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:45 pm 
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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.


That's not true. There was a clear, deliberate and subtly racist effort to drive a wedge between classic rock artists and soul singers in the 1970s thru the early 1980s. The emergence of FM radio played a big part in this--they only played guitar-driven hard rock, pop/rock and metal bands and virtually ignored classic soul artists. This continued up through the early era of MTV. This perpetuated the myth that 'rock' only referred to long-haired White guys who played in guitar bands. So, no--these genres were not always 'called and treated as rock' from their inception. In the past decade and a half, there has been an effort on the part of institutions like the Rock Hall and Rolling Stone to right this wrong, but let's not pretend this divisiveness never happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:06 pm 
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stereowilliams wrote:
Call it what you will. My view of hip hop


That's just it, your view. That's certainly not the view of its creators. Your view is in part revisionist history.

Quote:
And you're crossing the line from debating to insulting/condescending.


I'm not trying to insult you, just trying to get you to have a broader perspective on what hip-hop really is.

If anything, in this particular rap sub-forum, you were WAY more condescending and insulting towards the others here, including towards Chemical Ali.

Quote:
There are those that feel R&B was supplanted by rock 'n roll and those that feel that rock 'n roll and R&B were the same things with those names being used interchangeably in their earliest incarnations


R&B is rock and roll, I don't know how many times I have to stress this. This is well-known through the primary sources of its era, from Billboard to Alan Freed to Jerry Wexler (the man who coined the term) to Elvis himself.

Quote:
There are a few different schools of thought on that particular subject.


Just because there are few different schools of thought doesn't mean that they're all right. Many people believed Elvis created rock and roll. Many historians cite "Rocket 88" as the first rock record. Most believed that the Earth is flat. Some people don't even call metal and rap musical styles. Are these schools of thought right?

Quote:
the divide between what R&B audiences and rock audiences were listening to was widened


It has always diversified ever since new rock styles formed, but that doesn't mean they all can't fall under the same roof.

"Free jazz" and be-bop are a far cry from Dixieland jazz and early ragtime-influenced jazz. Does that mean that they can't be called "jazz?"

What about the centuries of classical music evolution, where it started with religious influences to now incorporating electronic influences?

Quote:
real R&B


"Real R&B" is subjective. That's like saying "real rap".

Quote:
R&B doesn't just evolve--it practically reinvents itself every generation.


Reinvention and innovation are key to evolution.

Quote:
My basic point is that there is a difference between hip hop expanding it's parameters and other genres being influenced by hip hop.


My basic point is that hip hop is broader than these narrow definitions applied to it.

Quote:
A rock/R&B/reggae/punk/alt act incorporating elements of hip hop into it's sound helps to expand THOSE genres; hip hop is expanded when other styles/genres are incorporated into ITS sound.


The more soul side of electro-funk is hip-hop because it's still hip-hop. Latin Freestyle is hip-hop and was called as such (specifically "Latin Hip Hop") and for the most part had no rapped vocals. Do I need to pull out more of the many primary sources here, from the pioneers themselves to the DJs, fans, label owners and publications such as Billboard?

Quote:
And of course calling an artist 'lame' is subjective.but what was the point in even addressing that? We weren't discussing Kris Kross--I just quoted a lyric. Seems petty.


Exactly, just like "quality." The idea of you calling them a "lame pop-rap act" right there is condescending. It was unnecessary to call them that and just makes you look really biased.

Quote:
Flooding a hip hop list with a bunch of singers is not my idea of celebrating the genre.


If this was strictly just called a "rap" list, then of course it should just be filled with MCs/rappers.

But throwing in "hip hop" in the title broadens the palette, because hip-hop music includes other genres besides rap music. This includes those famous funk break records that are hip-hop anthems ("Apache"), strictly turntablism artists, the more soulful, singing-oriented hip-hop music a la Latin freestyle aka Latin hip-hop (Shannon's "Let the Music Play," Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's "I Wonder If I Take You Home), to the electro-funk and Miami bass instrumentals with no rapping on it.

And that's the entire point of my discussion. Hip-hop music is more than just rap music, and to say so otherwise is just ignorant and writing off Bam, Herc and Flash, the very pioneers of this who have already laid out just what hip-hop music really is.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:11 pm 
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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.


LOL

U KNOW I mean 'wide' in the context of Western 20th century pop/rock music. Ur just being argumentative here. Obviously, the gap would be wider between the O'Jays and friggin' Sichuan opera, but we're not talking about Sichuan or Schubert or Bhangra or Brahms.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:14 pm 
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When was I condescending to ANYONE who didn't sling curses or insults at me first?

Here's an oversimplified rendering of me point:
if 'hip hop' or 'rap' is the adjective in the way that an artists' music is described (i.e. 'rap-rock' or 'hip hop-soul') then they are not hip hop artists. They are hip hop-influenced artists.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:16 pm 
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Quote:

Exactly, just like "quality." The idea of you calling them a "lame pop-rap act" right there is condescending. It was unnecessary to call them that and just makes you look really biased.


Against Kris Kross? They had next-to-nothing to do with the point I was making? Who cares if I took a dig at them? It was almost irrelevant to the point I was making. Who was condescending to? Kris Kross fans? I don't understand why this is important to this discussion


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:18 pm 
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stereowilliams wrote:
Let's be frank here, there is a tendency in western popular music to refer to almost any music that black people record that involves singing "R&B."


Black artists have recorded in gospel, jazz, blues, traditional pop, classical music...

Quote:
And since the 1980s, what many casual fans have referred to as 'R&B' has been slick urban contemporary ballads and urban dance pop as recorded by black people--and the 'blues' has been virtually erased from the genre.


The "blues" influence is still there and will always be there. Modern R&B is basically post-disco R&B/soul/funk relying on the influence of Michael Jackson-styled R&B-pop, hip-hop, and/or electronics added into the equation.

Quote:
It's ONLY still referred to as 'R&B' because that's what black pop music has traditionally been called since the late 50s and the masses refuse to think at all about how much of a misnomer that term is at this point.


Yes, R&B was initially a catchall term to encompass different black musical styles, but it became synonymous with that rocking jump blues, in which "rock and roll" was added to make it more palatable to white mainstream America. And that's the root of "modern R&B".

Quote:
And let's make some distinction between music historians and casual music fans.


The two are not mutually exclusive.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Quote:
Do I need to pull out more of the many primary sources here, from the pioneers themselves to the DJs, fans, label owners and publications such as Billboard?


Spare me your dissertation. You're not the only person with a passion for music history, Trance. And I've actually interviewed/written about Flash. I'm not some no-nothing; two people can BOTH be informed and disagree. That's why there are 'different schools of thought.' Happens all the time with art. That's part of what makes it art. Our interpretations of its parameters/definitions.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Quote:
The two are not mutually exclusive.


Did I SAY they were? I said 'let's make a distinction.' We both know that casual fans are not always the most informed when it comes to history; so we should be specific in who we attribute these perceptions/definitions/interpretations to and be careful not to assume that there is a consensus when there may not be.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:23 pm 
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You guys are boring; this place is boring


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:25 pm 
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Quote:
to say so otherwise is just ignorant and writing off Bam, Herc and Flash, the very pioneers of this who have already laid out just what hip-hop music really is.



Please.
You're hiding behind pioneers and pretending that I'm insulting THEM just because I don't agree with YOU. I've met two of the three and interviewed Flash numerous times. Stop pretending that you're the only one here who gives a damn about the architects of the genre just because we have opposing views on how they should be celebrated.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:30 pm 
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J.B. Trance wrote:
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.


stereowilliams wrote:
That's not true.

stereowilliams wrote:
So, no--these genres were not always 'called and treated as rock' from their inception.


I've never said there weren't any detractors.

However, there are many primary and secondary sources that would dispel their beliefs.

R&B/soul records of the '50s and '60s were called "rock" by the music industry. This is common sense if you look at the primary sources of the era like Billboard and other many publications.

The reason why there was a split, if you really studied R&B music, is because of the prevalent racism that's institutionalized here. Those people wanted to obscure rock's origins and make it appear as if white people created it. That has no bearing on rock music's real roots and history. It's like someone trying to diminish the cruelty of the enslavement of black Americans and black contributions. The fact is, slavery is a painful history in the States, and blacks have contributed many ideas and inventions.

FM rock radio is a format. They're catering to a specific demographic.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:32 pm 
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U KNOW I mean 'wide' in the context of Western 20th century pop/rock music. Ur just being argumentative here. Obviously, the gap would be wider between the O'Jays and friggin' Sichuan opera, but we're not talking about Sichuan or Schubert or Bhangra or Brahms.


The point is that the O'Jays are as much a part of rock as the Ronettes or the Ramones or Lynyrd Skynyrd. That's not a "wide chasm."


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Artists
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Look at it this way:

If I decided to put together a list of the 100 Greatest Pop Artists of All Time, I could take a couple of approaches. Pop in the broadest sense could include everything from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Marvin Gaye to Michael Jackson to Nirvana to Coldplay. That wouldn't be wrong at all. Pop in the more limited sense could refer solely to dance/teen pop a la Frankie Valli, The Osmonds, Michael Jackson, Madonna, etc. That wouldn't necessarily be 'wrong,' either. It's a question of approach. One is a broader approach, one is more streamlined. I took a more streamlined approach.


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