I wasn't expecting to speak up on the subject of rap music, but I suppose
a quick post can do no harm. Those sour on "rap" but still open to
possibilities might check out the following hip hop.
Rick, in particular, who remarked:
>I simply hate the repetitive rhythms.
might check out
Blackalicious' "Blazing Arrow," a recording with a historical sensitivity
to African American music's rich rhythmic variety, and it's influence
on rock music.
Or he might listen closely to the relationship between a repetitive
rhythm (rhythmic ostinato?) and the metric organization of the lyrics
in the rhymes of MC Pep Love, featured on Hieroglyphics' album "Third
By the way, it is often in precisely that relationship between the metrics
of speech and the musical meter that very serious rhythmic sensitivity
is shown by an MC. A good MC strives to seamlessly shift the relationship
between the beats of the poetry, the rhyme scheme, and the plain old
beats. (That's slang for ya).
Speaking of poetry and beats, the poems featured at the end of Illogic's
album "Got Beats?" are worthy of consideration, as is the album itself.
In this context we shouldn't forget Mos Def's classic "Black on Both
And if listmembers believe that even a humane fellow can make the
occasional reference to "blunts" and sex, as well as use as a bit of
vulgarity (by the way, these references defy the typical - and accurate,
when it comes to "industry rap" - stereotype of rap as misogynist and
vulgar), they might check out Common's album "Resurrection." Common is
pretty universally recognized as the rapper's rapper.
I could go on. The point is that there is a rich tradition of hip
hop that goes almost entirely unrecognized in the commercial mainstream.
That tradition shows plenty of rhythmic sense, as well as a verbal agility
and plain old wit that puts the clever "c'rap" to shame (I mean that in
a friendly spirit).
And, to connect things up to classical music, I'll give you a "classical
Hieroglyphics, on the album "Full Circle" samples a bit of classical
music, removes it from its harmonic context, thus giving it a jarring
and almost funky quality, puts a beat behind it, and let's rip.
Who knows? If you get the album and identify the sample for me, there
may just be some points in it for you.
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