Origin of Rap Music and its Dependance on High Technology
To link modern rap back to traditions such as jump- rope songs or the dozens is to take the art form out of its cultural context; her analysis cements rap music into its cultural milieu, excluding any exploration into historical, transactional connections between rap and past oral traditions. If we avoid looking at rap culture as a means to an end, or as an outgrowth of cultural and political circumstance, we can focus on the music itself, and aka such connective jumps more easily.Hip-hop’s link to technology is overly apparent, but its essentialness link to literate communication and thought may not be as significant as some would believe: “Rap lyrics are oral performances that display written (literate) forms of thought and communication. ” (Rose 88) Rose’s assertion is true, for the most part; but to what extent rap music depends upon literacy for the creation of its sound and culture is debatable. The fact that rap artists write lyrics and subsequently orally perform the texts is not sufficient grounds to sever the link between AP and non-textual royalty completely.Rose deems rap “a far cry” (Rose 88) from oral epic poetry; by breaking down dismissive assertions such as this one, we can expose an element of hip-hop culture that possibly transcends literate technology and the age of mechanical reproduction.
In her book, Rose overlooks the “cipher” culture within the larger rap m USIA community. The term cipher essentially means a group of people freestyle’s rap lyrics one after another, in a kind of competition–freestyle’s rap lyrics involves stringing verses together improvisational.The rappers try to maintain the lyrical flow by rhyming the consecutive verses as best they can, striving for the tightest “off the top of the head” rhyme. Freestyle sessions on urban street corners were essential to the beginnings of rap music, and the freestyle element plays a major role in today’s hip-hop culture, as verified by Virginia rapper Mad Skills’ 1996 lyrics: Buck the bull*censored*–in the cipher *censored* is true The rhymes get spit and the ass’s get tapped Some innings don’t have jack?some innings Got contracts Representation keeping broth’s tighter Peace to Masc. who did time in the cipherRap music freestyle provides an interesting point of reference to royalty, in that its production involves techniques similar to those used by epic poets from pre-textual oral cultures. In Walter J. Ones book Royalty and Literacy, Eng details a study done by linguistic scholar Mailman Parry’, and later extended by Lord, of the memorization and recitation of Homeric epics before the poems were committed to text.
The question these studies attempted to answer was ‘how could these long epics be memorized without a text? ‘.Eng explains one of the answers found in the study: “With [the epic tote’s] hexameters vocabulary, he could fabricate correct met racial lines without end, so long as he was dealing with traditional materials. ” (Eng 58) Epic oral poets had massive stores of ready-made, metered lines, and e equally massive banks of cliches and adjectives used to extol the virtues of the IR epic heroes. Since rap freestyles are improvisations, memorization and meter – fitting have little or no impact on the composition of the lyrics. What concern ins freestyle artists most is rhyming the last syllables of the verses.To maintain lyrical I rhythm and rhymed verse, rap artists have an infinite store of urban slang and cliches that can be used to fit their rhyme schemes. Use of this array of vocal bulbar applies to freestyle and written verse.
While try Eng not to break from their largely self-established rhythms Resembling the methods of oral p outs, rap music culture has established a vocabulary of slang and cultural refer once that is specific to the rap community, and is utilized freely by those with in it for artistic expression, as well as everyday communication.Rapper Punisher, in a freestyle done at a fast pace, exhibits the use of this type of extended communal language: I’ll make it last with the cough got If not I’ll blow your spot If not–Joey Crack please load the clock Let these innings learn the hard way The word to God way The mother*censored*in murder mob way In addition to this extensive, community-specific vocabulary, rap acts such as Biz Marker and Dads VEX bend words and shatter established syllabic in order to f it their lyrical objectives.By using the extended language provided by rap culture, striving to fit lyrical or rhyming needs becomes a less formidable roadblock KC in the composition of written or freestyle rap lyrics. Boasting or fluting” by epic heroes is characteristic of oral epic poet rye from many oral cultures. This reciprocated verbal bragging is usually manifested in a competition between the hero and his adversary, battling to see who ca n boast the most effectively.These poetic exchanges serve the purpose of enforcer icing the hero’s Olympian stature, and of illustrating his skill in confrontation through the verbal battles. Walter Eng likens fluting to the Caribbean/African American verbal game called the “dozens”–an exchange in which two men ping-upon g insults of each other’s mother back and forth.
The thematic evolution of rap lyrics has led to rap artists often boasting of their own prowess in their rhymes.Cool G Rap paints a glamorous self-poor trait in his first solo album: And once again it’s big G Running the number rackets Wearing Apple jackets Fast loot tactics I’m well up in the millionaire bracket Jacuzzi and saunas And eating steak at Banishes Bentleys limousine A front yard stream That’s full of piranhas Rappers extol their capabilities while laying their competitors to rest– boasting about anything and everything, including lyrical skills, material lath, what weapons they claim to carry, their sexual activity, their ability to sell drugs or commit crime without going to prison, and the list goes on.With rap themes so often alluding to survival and individual prominence in urban life, rappers have, in a sense, become their own epic heroes. This theme applies so widely that the prolific rap artist often comes through as a prolific man in his lyrics. * P* In Black Noise, when Rose refers to specific rap lyrics, it is done most often to Stress the importance Of textually, authorship, and technology in the music. “Rap lyrics are a critical part of a rapper’s identity, tryingly suggesting the importance of authorship and individuality in rap music. ” (Rose 95) Rose illustrates her point by using a dated L.
L. Cool J song as her reference.In the lyrical excerpt the rapper’s identity is repeated several times, with boas ting strung throughout the rhyme. The lyrics complement what Rose has to say about authorship and individuality in rap songs; but in today’s hip-hop world, such extreme egocentricity and identity propulsion in lyrics has become increasingly looked down upon and disregarded. Artists have a stronger sense of working WI thin a community today, I believe, than hey did three or four years ago. Indeed, rap artists often work to establish an identity through their lyrics, but tee actual authorship may not be as significant a motivation for this tendency as Ross e assumes.A characteristic of oral cultures and oral memory noted by Eng is the tee indecency of these cultures to slough off obsolete or dated components of tradition in order to “make room” for changing trends and information.
As hip-hop cult re moved from the ass’s into the ass’s, certain elements of the culture were pushes d aside and forgotten, while others were remembered and maintained. In rap’s pa SST ten ears we’ve seen Performances come and go, gangster rap reach its apex, R UN D. M. C. ‘s Aids make way for Simi n Weekend’s Timberlands, and KIRKS One’s 198 5 “mm” updated by the Beatings 1 993 “Reign of the Etc. But little from the pa SST ever completely eludes the memory of rap culture. Rap has a strong sense of tradition for an art form created less than twenty years ago.
Rose alludes to t he ability of sampling technology to assist in maintaining the past in rap music ‘s present. Rap acts of today sample lyrics by Rake that were released ten yea RSI ago; although Rake hasn’t made an album in four years, earning his sampled v choice today is not seen as a “revival” of a hip-hop image, but is taken for grant De as a continual interspersion of past and present.When rap artists perform for audiences, the link between the oral perform menace and a memorized text becomes blurred. The Dad’s will have the instrumental s from the mass-produced albums, but rappers rarely recite lyrics from the record deed songs verbatim. A rap artist might recite the hook, if the song has one, an d stick to a considerable portion of the “original” lyrics; but (like oral poets ) he will spontaneously toy with the lyrics–how much and n what ways depends I argyle upon the performer’s mood and the audience on a given night.At a Tribe Called Quest show in 1994, rapper Fife was performing a popular track, but at a break in the track he substituted the album lyrics with something like “I’ll buy urn the house down like TTL. ” This lyrical alteration was a reference to a then- recent incident in which a member of female pop band TTL set fire to the mansion of her ex-romantic interest and N.
F. L. Star Andre Orison. The reference was MIM dilate recognized, and the audience responded accordingly. However, with rap acts often falling into the web of chart-minded labels and management, rappers a re less able to Stray from their recorded product.When a rap act Sees one Of TTS records sky across the pop charts, their awareness of audience familiarity an d expectation reaches new heights as well. When the “text” of a song becomes IM printed on the minds of millions of people, rap acts become reluctant to break t hat chain of familiarity and identification.
Mass- production technology often m taste rap’s oral expression into the readable, marketable form of a standardize d text. The notions of identity and tutorship in rap are largely attributable t o the wide-scale image marketing that characterizes the modern music industry.