Monday, May 01, 2006

The Plague

There is a plague upon our nation. A cultural plague. Its name? Gangsterism. Why is this thing so terrible? Well, for a number of reasons. Rap is not music. You might be saying to yourself right now, "well, of course its music! everyone says so!" but this is not true. Music needs to go under two certain criteria. one, is it needs to have a beat, something rap has. But the next thing, which is the most important criteria, is that it needs MUSICAL notes, which is music. Rap is missing this. Therefore it is an artform, and a very simple one at that. Therefore rap is distracting us from true musicianship, and is encouraging an artform that takes little talent to do.

And as if destroying the very name of music wasnt enough, there is more. The lyrical content. It is complete garbage. It tells you to F*** that B**** and toss her dead a** out the window. Now isnt that just heart warming? I mean, who needs "god bless america"? And that is only the least of the terrible words that they say so fast, we dont notice it at first. But as we listen to it constantly, the subliminal messaging gets ingrained into our kid's heads. The conclusion of this point? Rap is mind control for the innocent children of america.

And maybe that is the reason why the public is welcoming this poison that is seeping through this countrie's veins so warmly. The grammy for "most original song" went to some rap song called "its tough being a pimp" or something like that. Something that isnt even music goes to something that for one is completely unoriginal. When will this end? Our countrie's fads come and go, favorable or unfavorable, but this is just going to far. Its been spreading too fast for too long. Disney just took a Mary Poppins Classic "supercalafragalisticecspialagoshist" and turned it into a rap, and promoted it all over.

We have to do something. People need to speak out against this. we need a plan, to return american to some depth and valorous philosophies. I do have one, here is my myspace profile, in the about me section I poured my heart and sould into. It is the eventual mindset of every human being in the course of life. Myspace.com/jaysonwilson - take a look and let me know what you think.

36 Comments:

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Victoria Wells said...

I agree that some rap music is inappropriate, with a lot of profanity and gross topics. But it most certainly is music. Also there is a lot of appropriate rap. It's just a different type of music that some people don't like. I personally feel that's it's letting a whole new group of people into the music world, that don't have to have beautiful voices, but intelligent minds so they can express their feelings in music. You are somewhat narrow minded on this topic.

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Nice to meet you, but... wrong. Well, partially wrong. Gangsterism, or Thug life is a plague on us all, and rap music just happens to be more deeply afflicted than other parts of society. Pimping has been elevated to equate a modern priesthood, and has replaced drug dealing as the preferred activity to build 'street cred.' But the problem is not rap. That is like saying that guns casue crime. Simply not true. If you wrote a rap yourself, you probably wouldn't glorify criminality, and neither would I. Rap itself is a tool, an just like the screwdriver used to threaten me to give up my bike at age 9, it is a tool being misused.
Maybe it could be said that the spoken word is not music, but the vocal intonations used in rap along with the track or even live music in the background clearly prove that rap is music. I understand your attitude about it's negative consequenses, and back in the mid-to-late-80's I had the same opinion. I'm from Chicago, and House music was huge here, so rap got little attention. The only attention it did get was the news coverage of a concert fight or something else negative. In those days, the messages in rap was nowhere near as negative as the grand swath of they are today.
If you want to reassure yourself and be in tuned with your optimistic side, I can give you some examples of rap that don't fit the negative bill. Now, I'm not talking about the Fresh Prince, or some Disney drivel, I mean rappers who are deep into the game, but are not really about crime.
Some examples of people who are talented rap records but not tied into the negative include the following:

Passing Me By - Pharcyde Check the video
http://www.nobodysmiling.com/hiphop/showvideo.php?rid=1951&path=pharcyde
Freedom - Jurassic 5 (Ode to Freedom)
If you only knew - Jurassic 5 (Anti-"Keepin it real")
Bonita Applebum - Tribe Called Quest (Classic Appreciation of a woman)
Sharp Shooters - Talib Kweli & Dead Prez (Second Ammendment Defense)
Jesus Walks -Kanye West (Grammy winnner for Best Rap)
I used to love H.E.R. - Common (Laments negative portrayal in rap)

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

I think the above analogies are flawed. Rap is usually bad. It's just a fact. Saying so is NOT like saying guns cause crime, it's like saying that terrorists cause crime. Terrorists are bad, whares guns are not.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Let me help you here. Did you look at the video above? Just because lots of people use rap to put emphasis on the negative doesn't mean you cannot use rap to put emphasis on the positive.
Guns are not bad, but terrorists using them is a bad thing.
Rap is not bad, but pimps using them is a bad thing.

Defending your house with a gun is good.
Using a rap to teach the periodic table is good.

Understand that it is only the abuse of a tool that is bad, not the existance of a tool itself.

Take a look at the video I left a link for. That is not bad. You may feel the same way, about some girl yourself.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger PlaidBaron said...

Appearently rap used to be used for trying to get rid of drug abuse. I wonder what happened because all rap is today is a constant stream of curses, voilence and drugs.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Victoria Wells said...

All rap? Did you even look at BeeJiggity list! Your Stereo typing again PB!

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger PlaidBaron said...

Sorry about that. I suppose I should have said MOST rap. I have to admit there is a bit of clean rap.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Hi, PB. Well, it seems you have stirred up a pot here... once again! :)

PB, I hate, absolutely hate to disagree with you, but I must say that Victoria and BeeJiggity do make a valid point. I detest rap too, and wrote a long comment on Victoria's post as to just why I detest it, but upon rethinking it, that doesn't mean it's not "music." It's not music to you or to me for the simple fact that we find the beat irritating and the words to most of it offensive. But guess what, I also detest Opera. I can't listen to all that screetching (and that's how my ears hear it) for the life of me. It gives me an actual headache, just like rap does. But I can't say that Opera is not music. That would be ridiculous of me. Do you see my point?

Like I said on Victoria's post, parents should be made to take parenting classes before they give birth, and learn to actually supervise what their children are watching or listening too. The real problem is we have so many children running around the streets with no direction because they have no actual parents interested in giving them direction. That's the only thing that will ever fix the gangster problem in this country.

Blessings! :)

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger PlaidBaron said...

I never said it wasn't music...I just said I didn't like it.

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Cody O'Connor said...

For starters, I like how this blog has turned into something more than just politics in America. We have now entered discussions that go deeper into American culture, and it really is an interesting turn for this blog. It really is a good alternative to nonstop politics. Although we still of course discuss that here too, I like how we dive into all aspects of this country. Maybe I'll write something up tonight. Oh, and good post Jayson, and also there are some good comments, you both have some good points.

Maybe blog America is making its comeback?

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger PlaidBaron said...

I hope Blog America is making a comeback. It's about time.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

I stand by what I said before. Rap is stupid. It has nothing to do with the subject matter. It's just a dumb style of music. In fact it's not even music. It's justa beat. There's not even a real rhythim. And just because SOME has good subject matter, all the famous ones (i.e. the ones that people actually LISTEN to) are bad.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger BushCheney08 said...

alright, its looking like the topic "rap is not music" is being defeated with my absence, so I have to intervene.

"I agree that some rap music is inappropriate, with a lot of profanity and gross topics. But it most certainly is music."

First of all, you just said that it is music, without any sort of evidence backing it up. If I didnt state my evidence before, I will now. Music needs one criteria. MUSICAL NOTES. something that rap does not have. its poetry with a beat, it is an artform and a simplistic one at that.


"Maybe it could be said that the spoken word is not music, but the vocal intonations used in rap along with the track or even live music in the background clearly prove that rap is music."

what word did I just hear? backrounds! excactly! which means if you look at the main event, its not vocal notes, which clarifies that it is poetry with backrounds. so no, its not music. because its either completely music or its not music at all. there is no "half mark"

and when you said vocal intonation with speaking I kind of chuckled to myself, because vocal intonation is a choral music term. it means hitting the center of the pitch, so that the harmonic parts come together. It just shows that you really dont know what your talking about. I do however, I have been in 4 musicals, 2 plays, band for 3 years, choir for 1, taken various dancing and acting workshops, and im currently taking private vocal lessons, and I plan to major in music. So yes, when it comes to labeling what is music or not, I DO know what im talking about, and you do NOT.

And one more thing. I am aware that there is some good rap, and that rap is a tool, yes it is. but the point i was trying to emphasize with this post is that the rap that is big, the mainstream rap, the rap that 80% (at least) of rap fans listen to, is snoop dogg, eminem, 50 cent, ect. which is the horrible stuff. So im just saying that sinful subliminal messaging is entering our kids minds through the mind numbing, brain pulsing, mind control that is rap.

I have never lost a debate on this subject and I do not plan to. why? because this topic is so ridiculously clear that i am right. Its like a cigarette addiction. Most people know its bad for them, or they will in due time, but they do it anyway. because it feels good, and its addicting. same thing here.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Victoria Wells said...

Your comparing rap to cigarettes? That's weird last time I checked rap didn't give you cancer! It is a matter of opinion whether rap is music or not, you think it isn't and I think it is. Like all opinions there is no right or wrong.

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

Like all opinions there is no right or wrong.

Okay this is the one statement everyone uses that drives me nuts. Are you saying Hitler wasn't wrong when he said all Jews were evil? That was his opinion after all, and opinions, according to you and lots of others, can't be wrong.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger BushCheney08 said...

wow victoria, that was really lame. Rap doesnt give you cancer?!?! I had no idea! what a scientific breakthrough!/end sarcasm.

Apparently you dont know what an ANALOGY is. And also, is that all you've got?? just because rap doesnt give you cancer doesnt mean it cant be compared to something that is similiarly addicting. that was the connection I was making, NOT that they both gave you cancer, you freaking moron.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

Aren't you both being a little excessive? My only points are that a.) it is a fact that rap is generally glorified by thugs and b.) opinions CAN be wrong.

Other than that why does it matter so much whther rap is good or bad. It's stupid whther it's good or bad in my opinion, I don't care if anyone listens to it though.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Victoria Wells said...

There is no need for name calling. Let me word it diferently. In THIS subject there is no right or wrong opinion and there is no amount of evidence that will convince me otherwise. I think rap is music along with another few million people, while you think it isn't, and I'll admit there are probably a few million to back you up too.

If you want evidence that rap is music then all you have to do is listen to rap (which you've probably haven't done in a while), good, bad, I don't care I haven't listened to a rap song yet, that does not have musical instruments backing it up. You probably don't care.

Your argument would probably include how there's no singing, and musical notes. But just as you don't care about my evidence, and will probably say it doesn't matter, I say the same to you...

(Notice I did not call anyone a freaking moron.)

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

'08: "So yes, when it comes to labeling what is music or not, I DO know what im talking about, and you do NOT."

'08,
Take the chip off your shoulder, and exhale. Whether or not you lose the arguement is not the point. There are a few topics to cover here.

You deny that the spoke part of rap is music. Fine. I can concede that point. Now you have to concede the point that there is music under the words of the artists who speak. So there is an art form which combines poetry and music, and it is called rap. Can we agree on that? Either way, the issue here is not about the classification of the art form. It is about the use of that form to promote negativity.

I am confused about what you are ranting about. I think we can all agree that we don't like a lot of the messages on the pop music charts. We can even single out rap for being the place where a heavy amount of that negativity has converged. But do youself a favor. Leave room open for people you may be able to convert. Otherwise you sound like you just want to scream about something. If that's the case, then disable your comments section.

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

RE: cigarette addiction

There are no healthy cigarettes, but this is a healthy rap. My favorite line:

"I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan and I shouldn't have to run from a black man."

http://dreamchimney.com/raps/selfDestruction.php?player=real

Check out the video, if you can accept the challenge. Get back to me when you can sign a legally binding contract.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

There is no need for name calling.

Excuse me? Where did I name-call anyone?

If you want evidence that rap is music then all you have to do is listen to rap (which you've probably haven't done in a while)

Well actually I have listened to it, and it's awful.

(Notice I did not call anyone a freaking moron.)

Nor I, you're confusing two people and including them in the same arguement.

Anyway, my point is I don't care whether it's music or not really, it's just a fact that the successful rap is vulgar. I've never even heard of the examples you're all citing. Why? Good rap seems silly to people.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Dark,
You say you have never heard of the examples I cite. I'll correct you and remind you that I cited Kanye.

As for some others:
Tribe Called Quest- Legendary
Common - Marquee rapper of the positive vibe. Gets heavy rotation with videos like "Testify", and "Go" with John Mayer.

Why would you expect to know who the non-negative people are when you don't even look at who is on the scene?

Good rap only sounds silly to wannabe thugged out suburbanites trying to 'keep it real.'

Just because you don't know the good stuff is there doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I just found out that there is a 170+ year old tortise that was once owned by Darwin. (Still alive---and now you know too) Does that mean she didn't exist yesterday?

...no

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Victoria Wells said...

I'm not talking to you darksaturos, I'm talking to BC08.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

I'll correct you and remind you that I cited Kanye.

That was the guy who said "George Bush doesn't care about black people," wasn't it? How is that good? It's such a dumb lie.

As for some others:
Tribe Called Quest- Legendary
Common - Marquee rapper of the positive vibe. Gets heavy rotation with videos like "Testify", and "Go" with John Mayer.


Sorry, never heard of them.

Why would you expect to know who the non-negative people are when you don't even look at who is on the scene?


If they're popular I wouldn't have to look.

I just found out that there is a 170+ year old tortise that was once owned by Darwin. (Still alive---and now you know too) Does that mean she didn't exist yesterday?

...no


Not my point. My point is that if I've never heard of them they're obviously not successful. Therefore the bad ones are.

I'm not talking to you darksaturos, I'm talking to BC08.

Oh okay. I got confused because you stated my arguement, then moved on to BC08s. I figured you were confusing the two. Sorry.

 
At 12:36 AM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

[I suggest you open this window to full page to read.]
Dark,

I've been fightiing to keep from using your age against you, but when you say things like "if I've never heard of them they're obviously not successful," you make it hard to keep from calling you names. Yet I still resist.

Then you say "If they're popular I wouldn't have to look," and destroy your whole arguement. I thought this was about whether rap was negative. I didn't know that it was about whether rap was popular. Saying that is like saying that poetry is negative. How many of the greatest poets have you ever heard of? Me neither. That doesn't mean that the best paid poets (Rappers) who you have great popularity are proof that poetry is negative.

I will agree that tons of the most popular rap is straight outta hell, looking for new recruits. But there are other tons to listen to.



Non-Gangster SUCCESSFUL Rappers you have heard of who nobody makes fun of include:
Queen Latifa {Grammy Winner} (Forgot she raps, huh?)
De La Soul {Grammy winners} {Platinum Album, Gold Album}
(Yes old, but if you never heard of them, you should never speak on this again.)
Busta Rhymes {5 Platinum Albums}
Mos Def {Grammy nominee}
The Roots {Grammy winners} {2 Gold} (you've probably never heard of them--- That's okay)

If you haven't heard of them check out on Wikipedia.


As to Kanye, he (like most of the entertainment industry) is a poor lost liberal Bush hater. That doesn't mean his music is negative. While he's not the best example, he has done some cuts that are really nice. His success revives the tradition of fun, party music and rap that was not about pimps, drug dealing, and criminality.

Oh Common has a Gold and Platinum record. His latest album also recieved 4.5/5 mics from the Source Magazine, aka the New York Times of Rap. (Tribe Called Quest got 5)

There are other rap artists who have created a whole scene that has flown under your radar. I guess that's why they call it "Underground hip hop."

Lemme school ya', boiiiieeeee!


From VH-1:
A Tribe Called Quest
Three Platinum Albums
http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/tribe_called_quest/bio.jhtml

Without question the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s, A Tribe Called Quest jump-started and perfected the hip-hop alternative to hardcore and gangsta rap... Tribe confronted numerous black issues -- date rape, use of the word nigger, the trials and tribulations of the rap industry -- all of which overpowered the occasional game of the dozens...

Second album The Low End Theory was, quite simply, the most consistent and flowing hip-hop album ever recorded.

A spot on the 1994 Lollapalooza Tour showed their influence with the alternative crowd -- always a bedrock of A Tribe Called Quest's support -- but the group kept it real on 1996's Beats, Rhymes and Life, a dedication to the streets and the hip-hop underground.





Now lets go on over to Amazon, and look some average joes' collections of the top rap of all time. Start here:

Not a Negative on the List
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/D5UEYKQYX7LQ/ref=cm_bg_guides/104-6993673-8951919

Real Hip-hop
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/1I5JMYOLSFSC/ref=cm_bg_guides/104-6993673-8951919

5 Mics
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/JOB8FEZP0Y44/ref=cm_bg_guides/104-6993673-8951919

Or Here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/ZAQ8GY5JGT71/ref=cm_bg_guides/104-6993673-8951919


After looking at those lists, I forgot some other non-criminal rappers:
Eric B. and Rakim (greatest rapper of all time IMHO.)
Big Daddy Kane
Public Enemy (Political activists. I don't like their politics, but they are anti-criminal.)
BDP-W/KRS-One (More Political Activists. Commie to his soul, but a positive rapper)
Gang Star


(You reminded me of how much good stuff there is that I still need to buy! thanks!)


Just the same as all art,
RAP IS AN ART FORM THAT CAN BE USED FOR GOOD OR BAD.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Robert M. said...

"if I've never heard of them they're obviously not successful," you make it hard to keep from calling you names.

Boy that's rude. You must have been listeneing to rap before posting.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Dark:
You must have been listeneing to rap before posting.

Bee:
AAAH, I was tempted, but I did resist the urge to call you names. That doesn't get us anywhere.


Have you checked out any of those lists yet, or did you watch the Pharcyde video, or the "Self-destruction" video? What did you think?

When you do check 'em out on Amazon, listen to a few samples, and come back with what you think!

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Oh, forgot to mention this one.

Common is on the cover of the June 2006 Ebony Magazine. He's the younger guy with the beard.

"unsuccessful..." feh!

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

Common is on the cover of the June 2006 Ebony Magazine. He's the younger guy with the beard.

"unsuccessful..." feh!


Um, yeah unsuccesful. No one has heard of ebony mag either.

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

You are kidding about never having heard of Ebony magazine, right? You must really live in an all white area to never have heard of Ebony. Do yourself a favor, and "Google" them. It more readers than:
Rolling Stone,
Golf Digest,
Car and Driver,
Penthouse,
Harper's Bazzar,
National Geographic,
Muscle and Fitness,
Vibe,
Motor Trend,
Popular Science,
Men's Fitnes,
Electronic Gaming Monthly,
and Money Magazine.



PROOF:
http://www.magazine.org/circulation/circulation_trends_and_magazine_handbook/16133.cfm

Besides, what do you think of my links?

Other non-violent Successful rappers: Black-Eyed Peas.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Robert M. said...

You must really live in an all white area to never have heard of Ebony.

I live in Maine. There are maybe 20 black guys here. So yeah I kind of do. And I don't think that a magazine specifying a whole race will be popular throughout the whole of America.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Robert M. said...

It doesn't even matter, I'm just saying I don't like rap. One of you here already said you can't have a wrong opinin, so why is my opinion so wrong here? Why are we argueing over opinions?

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger BeeJiggity said...

Dark:
I live in Maine. There are maybe 20 black guys here.

Bee:
Fair point. No offense taken, but I'm in Chicago, (and I'm black) and your comment was surprising.



Dark:
It doesn't even matter, I'm just saying I don't like rap.

Bee:
Good point. I have not problem with that. I only wantned to make the point that there was a whole scene of rap music that was not about gloifying crime. The problem I had was with the oversight of that fact. That was for '08 to respond to. He started this thing, and then vanished into the ethers!

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Robert M. said...

Fair point. No offense taken, but I'm in Chicago, (and I'm black) and your comment was surprising.

Makes sense. Cities seem to be a lot more diverse than most states even.

Good point. I have not problem with that. I only wantned to make the point that there was a whole scene of rap music that was not about gloifying crime.

Ah well, yeah that makes sense. As I said I wouldn't know, what with not really listening to it.

 
At 7:22 PM, Blogger BushCheney08 said...

"There are other rap artists who have created a whole scene that has flown under your radar. I guess that's why they call it "Underground hip hop."

Its getting quite irritating that no one is catching my original point. My point is that the MAINSTREAM RAP which is 95% of what anyone has really heard, is filling the charts with crap. Groups that go under MY radar obviously dont get any attention from any media, which means they dont matter in contribution to society in a large portion. That is my point. the majority of rap IS being used for evil, and that is why im obviously against it.

 

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