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RAP: Yes or No?
Yes
18%
 18%  [ 3 ]
No
62%
 62%  [ 10 ]
Plastic wrap?
18%
 18%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 16

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electricpanda



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ AsA - I'd been inclined to agree with him, actually (depending on the situation, of course). Just because something is offensive doesn't mean you can't analyse the why and how of it's offensiveness. It's not like he's asking you to revel in it, just question it.

Actual rap songs? I don't know too much about all of their songs, but the Hilltop Hoods have a rap song I actually like (which is unusual), called http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFCWHshsw_MThe Hard Road. Maybe it's just the really strong Westie accents, but there's something endearing about it, considering it's about how dropping out of high school ruins your life.

Another possibility is M.I.A, who I'm quite fond of but has quite a harsh sound. However, her songs are influenced by her growing up in North Sri Lanka (her father was a member of the L.T.T.E). It's interesting stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iG4b9GKX9Q&feature=related 20 Dollar swears twice at the start, but lyrically and politically speaking, it's her most interesting song.

I'm sorry, I don't know much about rap. :<

EDIT: Fixed the links!
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Last edited by electricpanda on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Asa



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's more than I know, that's for sure.

You guys are amazing and wonderful, thank you!
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JackAce



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
This guy just says, "Oh, that's really interesting, why don't you write about it in the assignment?" He doesn't understand that some things are offensive - he just doesn't understand at all. This would turn out the same way, he'd say "Write about how this offends you."

Shocked I had almost given you the exact same advice...

Nobody's asked you to like the songs you've been assigned, just to react to them.
So, you hate them... Good for you! Now all you need to do is produce a reasonable explanation why you hate them.

And I don't think your teacher actually doesn't understand that these songs are offensive. I'd expect he knows full well - and has specifically chosen them for this exact reason.

The big question is basically: "Does the offensive nature of the lyrics outweigh any artistic quality the songs might have?"

Your answer is quite obviously: "Yes it does!"

Now all you need to do is explain why... Rolling Eyes
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Asa



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's also the matter of my religious limits. It's not just that I find some things offensive. Something are beyond the limits of what I deem appropriate, and I shouldn't have to be forced into them. I do agree that you can't get out of every assignment that's unpleasant, but some of the things he assigned this year were gross. In my opinion. Some people in my class thought they were only a little bit weird, which makes me sad for the condition the world has come to.

But that's off topic.
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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd add to what JackAce said, in that I am aware while Mos Def is a rap artist, I know he's also involved in a fairly new poetry movement as well aside from his music, so perhaps the teacher wants to look at new movements as they happen.

I was also required to contrast and compare violent films at my university - one of them, I did not enjoy at all, I'll admit. But at the end of the day I just girded myself up and picked a section of the movie I thought I could analyse. (I had to speak about the yakuza as a reflection of certain sectors of society, if you're wondering. Wink
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
There's also the matter of my religious limits. It's not just that I find some things offensive. Something are beyond the limits of what I deem appropriate, and I shouldn't have to be forced into them. I do agree that you can't get out of every assignment that's unpleasant, but some of the things he assigned this year were gross,


Well, the interesting thing is...in life, there are plenty of offensive and inappropriate things that you can't choose not to be exposed to. Not that it is a good idea to do so purposefully in a class. Squee'll bets this professor really shouldn't be doing this given your brief description of the course. The reaction you have to these situations, however, is definitely something that IS a good thing to be aware of. Perhaps asking not what you are offended by or why you are offended (easily-enumerated and totally right reasons Squee might add), but instead asking how you are offended, and what is the nature of your reaction. Even if the assignment is incredibly stupid, you can still take out something constructive from it, even if the professor never has to know about it.

For example, reconciling the following two very true quotes for your own life is valuable time spent, and is not something that even has to be told to anyone but yourself:

"No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense."—Thomas Carlyle

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Just thought Squee would put a positive spin on things. That, and Squee just like typing long-winded forum posts. Twisted Evil
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PurpleCactusPlant



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

electricpanda wrote:

Another possibility is M.I.A, who I'm quite fond of but has quite a harsh sound.


M.I.A is awesome. I love the afro/Brazilian/SE Asian rhythms that she puts into her music, and her topics are completely off the wall - she talks about the everything from her life as an immigrant (she is a refugee from Sri Lanka) to the 1992 London rave scene.
Very cool too that she goes into remote areas of third world countries and records snippets from local kids to put into her music.

K'Naan (originally from Somalia, now living in Canada) is another really awesome rapper. He does a lot of charity concerts for the UN.

I wouldn't judge rap based on what comes out of the US - you get very different sounds and stories from all over the world. I watched a story about a Brazilian rapper who loved listening to American rap music, but never having learned English, he had no idea what the words meant. One day, someone translated some of his favourite songs into Portugese. His reaction: "I thanked God that I did not speak english."
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your help and support, everyone.

I am coming to realize that American rap is somewhat horrifying, which I knew, but that it's apparently alone in it's horrifyingness is somehow worse... a perversion of a corrupt music style. Or rather, everyone else has raised it up somewhat, whereas in America is has sunk lower and lower.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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electricpanda



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
There's also the matter of my religious limits. It's not just that I find some things offensive. Something are beyond the limits of what I deem appropriate, and I shouldn't have to be forced into them. I do agree that you can't get out of every assignment that's unpleasant, but some of the things he assigned this year were gross. In my opinion. Some people in my class thought they were only a little bit weird, which makes me sad for the condition the world has come to.


He sounds a bit like my Media teacher - is he into the whole, "All TRUE art is either disturbing or abstract!" thing? Because that's what my Media teacher's like. My classmates and I have come to this conclusion because he showed us two film that dealt with nubile teen girls having sex - they were both excellent films, in my opinion, but the similarity of the content, one after the other? Raised a few eyebrows.

Oh, and the last part of my tiny knowledge of rap - in terms of the actual ojective quality of the songs, do not listen to European rappers. They are AWFUL. The best European rapper I know of is MC Solaar, and he's... not terribly flash, even by U.S rap standards.

@ PCP - I agree, M.I.A is awesome. But a lot of people I know absolutely cannot stand her because her sound is so harsh and disparate (which is part of why I love her). This includes most of my family - the last time I played it, I ended up cracking it at my Dad for being 'intolerant of my opinions' or something along those lines. In my defense, I have copped a bit of flak for having more esoteric tastes in music, and I tend to be a bit touchy because of that. And listening to M.I.A means I'm probably in a bad mood anyway XD
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daydreamer_girl



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Thank you for your help and support, everyone.

I am coming to realize that American rap is somewhat horrifying, which I knew, but that it's apparently alone in it's horrifyingness is somehow worse... a perversion of a corrupt music style. Or rather, everyone else has raised it up somewhat, whereas in America is has sunk lower and lower.
Maybe you can mention something like that in your paper? Like, how our society has become so desensitized and whatnot as compared to anywhere else.

And what does that show of our society anyway? How we view women? Or even men? How prevalent drugs are today...Sneeze...I can go on and on. This reminds of stuff I learned in class. I'm going in for social work.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world has been this way for a great part of history and that people have a problem with the prevelance of drugs is a relatively recent occurence. As much as we find beauty in art we find horror, songs of slaughtering our enemies, glorifications of battle and decay - rap is just a recent incarnation of it.
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
I am coming to realize that American rap is somewhat horrifying, which I knew, but that it's apparently alone in it's horrifyingness is somehow worse... a perversion of a corrupt music style. Or rather, everyone else has raised it up somewhat, whereas in America is has sunk lower and lower.


I think that ‘horrifying’ is a bit extreme. Granted, the more explicit and polarising works tend to get a lot more press these days, but I think it’s unfair to marginalise the works of one genre – any genre – within one country so completely. It's not fair to a lot of hard-working artists who put love and effort into their craft.

Plus, I like Mos Def very much as an actor – I don’t listen to his musical works, or rap in general very much – and while it has little to do with the topic, I think his film work is very good.
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daydreamer_girl



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, we could say mainstream, because that's the stuff that gets out there to the public's eye. If one would want to find "good" rap, you'd have to look for it, but that's if you're willing. And I put good in brackets not necessarily to say that I think all rap is bad (although I am biased that I really don't like rap), but, uh...jeez I forget what point I was coming to now. I'll let you define what I said by how you want to.

I do have to say though, I tend to respect earlier rap artists. I like their sound better (generally). And I remember hearing a song that had actual instruments which I thought was cool. I detest the computer sounding sounds and especially the songs that use child tunes like "do your ears hang low" paired with cheap sounding computer dings.

Sorry to all those who like rap -_-; I just tend to gravitate to more positive, "clean" and upbeat songs.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The songs that people have given me here that I disliked less (it's really not my cup of tea, and I can't honestly say I liked them) were all from around ten years ago, or a very little-known artist. About my use of the word horrifying: Yes, I think it is a bit extreme, but I have a much higher standard than mainstream stuff reaches. I like to say that though my ears are not pure, my brain is, and I get a punch to the gut every time I hear things like that. I guess I'm naive, I suppose, but when this is the stuff that's raking in millions, I despair for the society that breeds it. *shrug* I know that I'm much more conservative than your average person, but this is what I believe.

Even when the content is good, the style still turns me off.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Er, I don't think you quite got my meaning. I'm not talking about conservatism and morality, and I'm not taking a cheap shot. I'm not even saying that you have to like rap! Far from it - I'm not a huge fan myself.

I'm just saying that personally, I think we should be careful about hanging a label on an entire genre, because there's so many twists and turns within a genre, it would be an unfair generalisation. In the grand scheme of US-based rap, comparatively VERY little is actually about criminality or sensual themes. I certainly don't think it's fair to say that this means all society has gone up the creek either. Music is not simply a QED of society.
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