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

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

  1. the inescapable limitation of hip-hop as music is its reliance on loops for background tracks. I don't consider myself easily bored by music, but I have a low tolerance for hearing the exact same thing over and over again with total machine precision. Strangely, I really like live bands that are capable of approaching that with their grooves. But it's that little bit of imprecision that makes all the difference- and the way a tight band is able to subtly shift dynamics to keep the ensemble intact. It's like a group consciousness servo mechanism that conveys the reality of minds working in concert amidst the proceedings, instead of a machine. Even a cricket has more consciousness than a machine.

    On recordings, cueing and layering can amelioriate the predictability of looping to some extent, but it's never impressed me in live performance. The unpredictability quotient in rap is entirely on the part of the rapper. Which is why the form of rap that I respect the most is freestyle rhyming, battle rap. My view is that the artistic value of rap is mostly as creative verbal wordplay, acting, performance. Taken solely in terms of musical value, I recognize a good beat when I hear it. But it doesn't feature very highly for me as an art form.

    I think that both rock and rap music have an unfortunate tendency to narrow the music tastes of the audience. Speaking as someone who grew up on the standard top 40 pop/rock format, it took me a long, long, time to not be utterly bored- like, unendurable- by musical pieces that lasted longer than around 6-7 minutes. And I'd often find myself checking out, or unable to follow, the developments in compositions lasting longer than around 3 minutes. I'd enjoy "the good parts", sometimes fast-forwarding to them. But I didn't get who the whole thing fit together. It took a lot of practice to learn the art of immersion (I think being a good audience is to some extent an art form.) Deep music is an acquired taste. It's often sensitive to the surrounding environment in ways that the shallow stuff can override or disregard. Which is sort of the opposite of commercial values that seek to make their products as accessible as possible, often by relying on gimmicks. Rap genres like trap are popular for the same reason that blockbuster action films are popular- triggering instant gratification chemicals like adrenalin, and feeding vicarious fantasies. There are some entertaining blockbuster films. But-narrow. If that's all you know how to appreciate, there's a tendency to think that anything not partaking of the same tropes and dramatic devices is "boring."
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Jason Penick likes this.
  2. lol, Edgar Varese, say. A lot of people do not consider that music. I do, but...it took a while to unpack.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  3. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Hip Hop mostly has the same sing/song child like chanting melody. Much like nanny nanny poo poo.
     
  4. the weak stuff does. That is one of the rhyming schemes- I've even heard it used effectively, but only by taking it out of those boundaries a ways.

    But there are definitely many more rhythm patterns than that. Contemporary rap music doesn't sound like that at all- the rapping is often jittery and staccato. I think it's annoying, someone nattering away like that. But that's part of the charm for the people who like it, I guess.

    another clip by the tenured reference historian

    <lol, he really has no use at all for the newest
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    D.B. likes this.
  5. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Monkees Apologist

    Location:
    Michigan
    I feel like a lot of the anti hip hop/rap posters who post blanket statements about the genre on here lack any sort of flexibility. For example, for the most part I don’t like country music. But I love what people like Mike Nesmith and The Byrds have done in the genre. See what I mean? Refusal to try or seek out results in ignorance.
     
  6. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I don't know about that, that is quite the sweeping statement regarding a genre much more diverse than that
     
    Panama Hotel and lc1995 like this.
  7. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA
    Same here man. Hard to refuse a good honky tonk beat I'll tell you that.
     
    D.B. and RedRoseSpeedway like this.
  8. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I am seeing a lot of people in this thread who are unable to go "I don't think this genre is for me but it has its artistic value for those who enjoy it", instead they insult the genre without really knowing/understanding it. If you think it all sounds like "nanny poo poo", you don't know the genre. If you think it is all singing about "bitches and limos", you don't know the genre

    Hell I am not even a hip-hop fanatic overall. But the level of dismissal is akin to a grandma calling rock n' roll nothing but repetitive noise.
     
  9. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Monkees Apologist

    Location:
    Michigan
    Absolutely! When it’s on it’s really on
     
    Bobby Boogaloo likes this.
  10. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Monkees Apologist

    Location:
    Michigan
    I agree. I only like a small part of hip hop/rap but I’m not the one making outrageous statements like some people on here are
     
    HotelYorba101 likes this.
  11. TMS61

    TMS61 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Norway
    I agree, most Rap are as musical as Morse code:
     
  12. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA
    Good tune. Songs like this and Better Now remind me so much of country blues like what Charlie Patton did. It's really an old style that has translated well into modern production.

     
  13. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA
    Pedal steel is incredible here
     
    RedRoseSpeedway likes this.
  14. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    Location:
    United States
    No, it's not above critique. But, when people flatly come down and assert that it's worthless or crap, that's not a critique. That's a subjective value, an opinion. When someone dismisses a whole genre of music because it doesn't have much or any of an element of music they feel is the most important to them, that is not a critique. Again, that's a subjective value judgment.
     
    Carl Swanson and Bobby Boogaloo like this.
  15. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    Location:
    United States
    What I find offensive is when contemporary artists write new lyrics for older classics. I still cringe when I hear The Whispers song "A Song For Donny" being sodomized by some 90s R&B singer.

    That's fine. At least you aren't bashing it, calling it crap or garbage.
     
  16. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    Location:
    United States
    That is not intrinsic to hip-hop music. Much hip-hop is made with real instruments and real musicians, and isn't always sampled and tweaked to death. For example, Kendrick Lamar goes out on stage with a live band.
     
  17. Taken in the grand sweep of hip-hop, live bands play an insignificant role. If I'm wrong about that, I mean, post some clips. I've heard a few live performances of rappers backed up by bands. Not very many. And very little of the hip-hop that I've heard backed by live bands is close to the level of musicianship displayed by the Roots in Dave Chappelle's block party film, which is the best example of a meshing of a live band with hip-hop that I can think of. Even at that, when a good live band is in gear, the rapper has a way of turning into the least interesting part of the proceedings, to my ears.

    I don't know if that would happen with Kendrick Lamar, but since my ears aren't fast enough to catch his lyrical content the first time through, I suspect it would. If I knew his words by heart, I could follow the narrative, and I imagine that his performance might engage me more (what I've seen and heard engages me enough to have the opinion that whatever it is that he's doing, it's not nothing.). But I guess that's what being hardcore hip-hop fan is about, and I don't claim to be that.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  18. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    Location:
    United States
    And it would be nice if people would stop painting hip-hop with a "grand sweep". If people did that with rock music, you all would have hissy fit!
     
  19. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Say it again for the people in the back.
     
    Grant likes this.
  20. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Baja Virginia
    Thank goodness rock bands never did that.
     
    lc1995 likes this.
  21. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    yeah I thought it would go this way.....
     
  22. Grant

    Grant Audiophile and Music Fan

    Location:
    United States
    It's such a shame. This community of ours is supposed to be for music lovers, and audiophile music lovers at that, but so many people hate and disrespect whole musical genres they don't like or make fun of and denigrate female artists. It just shouldn't be like this. How does this happen? It happens so much, and in such a way that makes one wonder if there isn't something more lying underneath the surface. Could it be insecurity? Your faith in, or the success of your chosen music, is so fragile that you have to bring down someone else's music to bolster your self-worth? Is it a hatred of a class of people or a culture because it is different from your own? Is there a misogynistic element in the way some have to insult female artists?

    I love music. There may be some types of music I like less than others, but I like many kinds. I like lots of music with melody, I like predominantly rhythmic elements, and I absolutely love harmonies, especially those with multiple singers. I like rock, metal, pop, soul, funk, disco, jazz, blues, EDM, classical, some rap, some country, a bit of reggae, maybe some forms of opera...it's all good. As a music lover, I find it hard to segregate myself from different types of music just because it may be from a culture, generation, or gender I am not part of. C'mon! What's wrong with some of you? Music is music. Rap is music. Deal with it! Even I may get sick of it after a while, but it's not going anywhere any more than rock is. One may be more popular nowadays, but, so what?

    At one time I hated country. But, I allowed myself to grow out of that adolescent mindset that dictated that I had to relate to something in order to understand it or like it. I matured to the point where I could understand the culture and people who made the music. I still may not like some of it, but at least I understand it rather than constantly make ignorant comments about it.

    Yes, some rap has a melody. It's in the cadence of the rapping. Some rappers rap in a way that could mimic a melody.
     
  23. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident


    right on, that's the way to do it....I had a lot of friends who played hip hop, not really my thing so much but I don't mind it, I like jazz, soul, old rock more but I get why people like it...
     
  24. winders

    winders Music Lover

    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    Wow. People hate and disrespect Hip Hop/Rap because they don’t like it and think it does not, in general, utilize melody? Maybe you need to step back and re-examine your position on this. It seems that you conflate dislike and negative criticism with hate and disrespect. Who denigrated female artists?

    It seems to me the defenders of Hip Hop in this thread are the people that have been disrespectful. Those people are the ones calling people names and making comments about age and now race and gender. I have never said or even once suggested that Hip Hop/Rap is not or should not be enjoyed by people other than myself. Just because I think it takes music in the wrong direction does not mean I think everyone should think that. You defenders are the ones showing insecurity. You could not let people express their opinions and disagree with your counter opinions without telling them that they needed to think the same way you do or they were wrong.

    I am a music lover too. Have been since I was too young to walk. That doesn’t mean I must love all music and it doesn’t mean me disliking a type of music and saying so out loud makes me ignorant. I would rather listen to silence than listen to Hip a Hop/Rap. That doesn’t make me a bad person or get me kicked out of the music lovers club. It’s just the way it is. I hold no malice toward people that like or love Hip Hop/Rap. That’s their gig. I don’t expect my preferences to be theirs and they shouldn’t expect theirs to be mine.
     
    Jason Penick likes this.
  25. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    Not hip hop, but does this count as "having a melody"?

     

Share This Page