Monday, June 15, 2009

Rant #31: Rap Crap

My son enjoys rap music, and he really enjoys the four-letter-word-laden, sexist, racist and anti-everything kind that is popular among kids today. I don't really know why he likes it--I have asked him the question, and he never really answered, other than saying that "I just like it, I don't know"--but I suspect because he knows it is something "dirty," and as a 13 year old, he is attracted to doing something his parents don't approve of.

Have any of you heard some of this garbage? I have told him many times that I don't care how much money these guys have--and they have plenty--that this music really isn't music; it is gutter garbage.

Now, I sound like an old fuddy duddy, but if I do, so be it. This is not music, and although there might be a beat that the kids like, I still think they are attracted to the subversive nature of the lyrics (if they can understand them).

I would say that record companies should police this garbage, but again, that is a free speech issue. I guess even people with these mentalities have the right to say what they want in this country.

However, the way they say it is what bothers me the most. They appear to be completely inarticulate, and must resort to using one curse word after another to get their point across. And don't get me started about the constant use of the N-word in many of these songs!

When I was a kid, plenty of people spoke up through music about things they thought needed to be addressed. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Marvin Gaye, from Phil Ochs to Stevie Wonder, sang about things in their music that they felt were important. I am not saying that these people were saints, but they used music to articulate their thoughts--and they did them in at least a somewhat understandable tone (nod to Bob Dylan here).

These rappers today, "articulate" their thoughts through hatred. It's not the way to do it.

And before anyone gets on the racist bandwagon, I feel as strongly about Paul Wall's lack of real musical ability as I do 50 Cent, and the same goes for Eminem, whose popularity boggles my mind.

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