Hip-Hop Discussion - Ned Rupp
I thought this weeks panel discussion on Rap/Hip-Hop was extremely interesting, and I thought Professor Tate and Professor Riviere did an excellent job in thoroughly answering all of the questions which Anthony asked them, many times going above and beyond what was asked. Both of the Professor's showed that they knew a lot about hip-hop culture, and you could tell that they were passionate about it in the way that they answered the questions. I have been listening to "underground" hip-hop almost exclusively for the past six years, and a lot of what intrigues me about the genre is the lyricism, or as Professor Tate likes to call it the "rap poetry", part of the music. I enjoy listening to hip-hop that makes me think. Slug (from the Minneapolis based Atmosphere) is a "rap poet" who intrigues me because his style of lyricism revolves heavily around complex metaphors, and the human psyche. Most of his rhymes cannot simply be taken at face value; they have to be dissected, a lot of the time extensively, if you really want to understand what he is trying to say. I actually LEARN stuff when I listen to Slug; I rarely learn anything listening to KDWB or B96. Because I focus most of my attention on the lyrics in hip-hop songs, I agreed with most of what Professor Tate had to say. I really liked his analogy of radio-rap being the Stephen King novel of the genre. If I want to be entertained without having to do too much thinking, I can pick up a Stephen King, or a Tom Clancy novel. If I want to be entertained, but have to actually think about what I'm reading, I'll read F. Scott Fitzgerald or Toni Morrison. I do listen to mainstream rap, I admit it. The thing is, when I listen to it I am almost always at a party or something similar. That is another point that I think Professor Riviere brought up. She said that conscious hip-hop will never be mainstream because you can't dance to it or bump it in the club. Also because the majority of people are too stupid to understand what conscious rappers are trying to say, but that's a whole other story. Anyway, thanks to this discussion I am going to try to take a class from either Professor Tate or Professor Riviere this summer because they clearly know what they are talking about, and I want to learn more from people who think about the culture similarly to me.