Brian Andreen Rap and Hip-Hop
During the lecture we discussed Hip-Hop and rap. The initial discussion revolved around what hip hop and rap are. On this topic one of the presenters made a very nice quote that ‚Äúrap is the literature of Hip-Hop‚Ä?. This portrays very nicely how the presenters were saying that Hip-Hop was a lifestyle and rap is a part of that.
Another interesting topic that was brought up was that their does not really seem to be any literature of America. I think the presenters were correct in that we could not pick a genera or set of authors who write ‚ÄúAmerican literature‚Ä?. On this topic I think the presenters were 100% correct in that popular music is the literature of America. It represents the culture and beliefs and attitudes of most Americans as it reflects their beliefs.
I disagree with the statement that modern rap is a dilution of real rap as the presenters put it. Rap is a type of music and thus through it opinions and causes can be represented but that does not make rap a part of those causes. When the music rap was introduced to mainstream culture the music form was adapted to represent the more mainstream beliefs and customs of the majority of America. This does not mean that it was diluted, it means that it changed to represent a different belief system. Also even though rap often ignores social and political issues I do not believe that it is due to a dilution of what rap is, but instead is a reflection of mainstream culture not caring nearly as much as the initial producers of rap about those subjects.
I also disagree with classifying graffiti as art. It is possible that some people consider it so, especially those making it, but I do not believe it makes it art. It is vandalism and should not be looked on in a positive light.
I also think that people who create hip hop define what hip hop is and that is what causes the gap between academics and rappers. Academics try to define something that I believe changes continuously with time. This means that once they have a definition of what Hip Hop is they are placing a constraint upon something that will not be able to be defined by that definition days or years from its conception.
I also believe that a large part of the fall of the popularity of rap as a social tool was caused by the producers of it not adapt to social changes. They sung about important issues but as these issues became unimportant to most America they did not changing what they were singing about, or at least saying it in a different way. This made their music loose its effectiveness.