What's with the idea that contemporary hip hop and pop lack melody?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lc1995, May 12, 2019.

  1. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I've seen it repeated a lot on this board. I do have criticisms of contemporary hip hop, but most of the songs that are popular have catchy melodies for sure. And the singing/rapping thing is very popular.



    That's a recent rap hit, I don't love the song but it sure as hell has a melody. It's the same thing with a lot of the stuff that's out.
     
  2. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example : Rap Made Me A Girl

  3. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    I don't know if this is gonna get many converts but I wish this thread well
     
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  4. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I'm not saying anyone should like it, but my point is that it's untrue that contemporary hip hop has no melody.

    I would post more examples if I weren't on my phone
     
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  5. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I would not call that melody. If I can't hum it, I don't consider it a melody.
     
  6. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    That just means it's fast
     
  7. winders

    winders Music Lover

    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    Most Hip Hop songs do not have a melody. Most have questionable lyrics. No, I don't like Hip Hop or Rap......
     
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  8. Maltman

    Maltman Somewhat grumpy, but harmless old man.

    Location:
    Vancouver Canada
    I guess we have different definitions of melody.
     
  9. wes4usc

    wes4usc Forum Resident

    I agree with the OP that contemporary hip hop songs have melodies. That is not my criticism. My problem is that they all have seem to have the SAME melody.
    The same problem with many (not all!) modern pop songs .... they all sound the same !

    And to me all monotonous as hell.
     
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  10. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    For the purpose of this discussion,
    perhaps a definition of melody
    should be settled on (?)
    There are several variations given
    at online dictionaries, but most seem
    to infer a certain degree of subjectivity
    as to an interpretation.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  11. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    The more you try to embed us
    The more we will abhorred it

    To each his/her own
    Some people hates polka, others hate bluegrass, others hate black metal, others hate hip hop. Don't try to convince.
    I have enough to have to hear it everywhere against my will
     
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    because the structure of music has changed...
     
  13. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    Probably because beat over-powers or buries the melody much of the time.
     
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  14. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I don't think it's the melody that's monotonous, it's the lyrical content and production
     
  15. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    Gawd that's a terrible song, but it does indeed have a melody. If you replace the rapping with a musical instrument, Bingo! melody!

    Obviously, there are some people here who just can't get over the fact that it's rap, such as:

    How many times are you going drag a thread down to tell us how much you hate rap? We get it. We got it. Now, move on to some other thread with music you do like. You say you have a right to express your opinion. You've expressed it. Now, move on!

    Thank you!



    I'll bet you can't even make out enough of the words to know if the lyrics are questionable.
     
  16. winders

    winders Music Lover

    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    I bet I can.....and I stick by what I said. Hip Hop/Rap is the only genre of music of which I having nothing positive to say. When beat and rhythm take over and melody and harmony are massively minimized or removed completely, I am not going to like it. That's where we are today with Hip Hop. Then there are the lyrics. I've tried to listen to it. I wanted to like it. But it just wasn't going to happen.

    By the way, that track in the first post has a beat and rhythm but I don't hear a melody.
     
  17. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    I'll bet you can't even make out enough of the words to know if the lyrics are questionable.
    And i'll bet you haven't heard a tenth of what's out there.
     
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  18. winders

    winders Music Lover

    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    You are so correct. So what? Are you so insecure in your preferences that you cannot stand people not liking them? It's as if you think my dislike of Hip Hop is an attack on you. Grow up!
     
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  19. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    Oh, i'm very secure about my tastes in music. But, I don't have to go around bashing stuff I don't like. I'm not saying that's what you did, but others do that.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  20. Joker to the thief

    Joker to the thief Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Couldn't you make the same argument about the blues (no disparagement, it's my favourite genre) or any form of call and response music?
    Can you really not hum that? I'm not saying you have to like it, but it clearly has a hummable tune, in fact it's been auotuned to death to make sure it has one....
     
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  21. winders

    winders Music Lover

    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    No, not at all. For example, "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters has a very recognizable melody. I love Blues and Soul!
     
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  22. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Accentual multi-metered verse or prose (which is the closest in describing rap style singing from a music theory POV) is not usually considered melody but a part of poetry. The sound of the voice as a musical instrument contrasted against overly simplistic and repeated harmonic semitone movements places the emphasis on the words being said, not the melody. This simplistic style of melody only functions as rhythmic infrastructure to basically vocally riff on top of.

    The artist wants the listener to hear the words more so than the melody which is primarily what I hear from hip-hop/rap. Whether it's considered music really doesn't matter. If it sells, then folks like it for what it is. It's a sound just like everything else we listen to.

    Closest explanation of what I hear from rap according to wikipedia...

    Dactylic pentameter - Wikipedia

    Dactyl (poetry) - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  23. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    That might have a melody, but it's not an surprising or expressive one - far from it. Not helped by autotune, the first studio tool expressly designed to suck any individuality out of a human voice.
     
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  24. Joker to the thief

    Joker to the thief Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    It does, but you weren't talking about how recognisable the melody was, you were talking about the melody and harmony being minimised. Mannish boy is a simple and repetitive melody where the rhythm is the dominant and most important element (the same as in most blues, and even more so in early work-song derived blues). Mannish Boy is no more complex than the rap example linked to by the OP. I'm not arguing that the OPs example is a better song (I don't like it whereas I love Mannish Boy), but from a structural point of view...
     
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  25. Yannick

    Yannick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    It's all about perception of the listener, I think. Christina Aguilera's "Dirrrty" sure does have a vocal melody, but the lead instrument is a siren sound, so the song is somewhat simplistic melodically on the instrumental side of things. There are people which want instrumental melodies more than vocal melodies in the music they enjoy, and vice versa. Also, for some people, the melody of the voice in spoken word is enough of a melody to interpret it musically (like in the track from the original posting) whereas for other listeners, it is not.

    For example, you couldn't tell me that a song with shouting as a vocal over a siren sound with a beat as instrumental backing was melodic, but that is a somewhat extreme example anyways.
     
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