Black Entertainment : HAS THE GREAT INSTRUMENTAL LEGACY OF BLACK AMERICA BEEN DESROYED BY HIPHOP SAMPLING?

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Isaiah, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Firstly, let me initiate this post by saying that it was my generation that took great R&B records, and began the trend(now a full-blown phenomenon)of rapping over the instrumental breaks in those records... That was the early 1970's, and we "stole" that artform from the great African American DJ's, like Frankie "the Chief Rocka" Crocker, who broadcast over AM-RADIO, WWRL-1600, and later at WBLS-FM, 107.5 NEW YORK... Frankie Crocker, of course, had "stolen" this idea from the countless Black legends of the airwaves, who started this trendof hip, smooth, rhythmic eloquence way back in the 1940's, when African Americans showed white radio station owners that there was a tremendous, untapped and neglected, economic market in Black America... Those great smoothies and fast-talkers like, the Great Al Benson of Chicago, Eddie O'Jay of WLIB New York, and Hal Jackson of Washington, paved the way for "Hollywood" Crocker and The Cool Gent Herb Kent of Chicago, to become legends whom they name streets after(smile!) Jack "The Rapper" Gibson of Atlanta, Georgie Woods of Philadelphia, and Douglas "Jocko" Henderson of Baltimore/Philly/New York, are absolutely legends in the business of radio, and it was these cats whom the early rappers patterned themselves after. It was these wizards who first began the practice of rapping "over" a record, and on instrumental breaks...

    Back in the day, they rapped over music made with REAL instruments, and albums oft contained tremendous instrumentals, such as those made by MFSB, the Salsoul Orchestra, Love Unlimited Orchestra, Grover Washington's classic, Mr. Magic, or Kool&TheGang's, Summer Madness... Brothers often used those riffs in their street presentations of the baby they were bringing to birth, and they often played the entire record - not just short verses of the song... Back then, also, there was no shortage of Black Musicians to fill our lives with their gift... As a lyrical riff from Kool&TheGang said, "we're scientists of sound, mathematically puttin' it down!" Today, with so much use of sampling, and the absolute trashing of Jazz and the Blues by African young folks, I wonder if there are competent musicians around to continue the great musical legacy of African Americans???

    This aint no riff on young folks... It is about comparison and contrast... No generational thing here, as I know my parents hated Earth Wind & Fire and The Jackson Five like I can only tolerate my children's music... I'm just wondering if our community has lost something precious because of our dependence on machines and fast-food music??? If we go back to those albums which most of Rap is sampled from, you begin to understand that a little piece of a pie can never quite measure up to the WHOLE Pie, which would include wonderful instrumental music made by and for African people... I hope I didn't ramble here, as my question is, have we lost something special by not producing the great musicians in our communities, as we once did???

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    you make some very good points indeed. I will say this though. Like yourself I grew up listening to classice r&b in the early sixties while in grade school. So I Know what you mean about musicianship. On the other hand rap developed as an alternative music genre, and was an outgrowth of hip hop in general.

    Rap was initially supposed to be a "fringe" form of music from the streets and basketball courts. DJ's garnered as much and sometimes more notiriety than the rappers themselves. I think the shift from the focus on R&B came because at this time the late 70's rap was thought of as something new and innovative, and in many ways it was.

    Subsequently the record companies caught on by the early 80's and slowly but surely rap became mainstream. Much of this was done with the assistance of the black A&R man and woman. So I would have to say that black people let it get to this stage, for better or worse.
     
  3. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think Hip Hop and All Music Genres suffer from one problem.

    Folks is trying to make money.

    Yall old folks had Radio, we have MTV and VH1. Thus a musician did not need an image; for example, yall had alot of Ugly Singers in Comprasion to todays musicians. Curtis Mayfield was pretty boo boo looking in comparsion to say Tyrese. But the thing that mattered back in the days was content. Good Music sold back in the day, now if you lack image and good music you will polietly be shunned away by todays consumer.

    It is a very sad state indeed, Music companies are no longer ran by muscians, they run by people with MBA's and CEO's. These folks want dollars, they do not care about quality of music. Thus the decline of music across the broad, not just in hip hop alone.

    For Example:

    As Ugly as Curtis Mayfield was he would not make today simply because of his image. If you are not handsome or a beautiful you cannot sell, period.

    Compare these artists:

    Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Kelly Price - Plus Sized great voices.

    Alicia Keys, Ashanti, and Beyonce - Personally Jill and Angie and Kelly could destroy them in singing, but since they lack the image, these three aformentioned artists sell more records.

    MC Lyte, Bahamida, Monie Love - Great Lyricsts.

    Eve, Trina, - Simply sell more records because they show leggs and booty. They cannot even compare to the above three as far as content, but they lack image, thus if they were out now, they would have it bad.

    Q-Tip, Slick Rick, Krs-One - Hip Hop Greats by far.

    Nelly and 50-cent - Will probably sell more records than those three combined not because of their content, but simply because of image. Both of these artists are double platinum, the above 3 I think never shared this glory.

    That is just the plain truth as I see it, it is even like that in my industry of film so I feel it also.
     
  4. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm not really familiar with as many old school songs as some others, but I will say this, rap is crap nowadays. It's not even as good as it was in the 90's. I think that there is just a lack of creativity, because there doesn't have to be any for these guys to go platinum. Our expectations are so low now that anyone who comes out with a record is getting paid big. All these cats with the bling bling goin on aren't doin all that much entertaining. They sell because we don't expect anything out of our music anymore. It's a shame. We know on every album they are gonna sample tracks like crazy, so it doesn't shock us anymore. There have been so many rappers and singers that release their first single totally shredding an old school track, and like idiots we buy it, then we buy the album and find out that the musician has no talent. IMO black music is at it's worst right now because all we have is clowns on tv rapping and singing, who have absolutely no talent at all. Come on: Nelly, Ludacris, J-Kwon, Big Tymers, T.I., Chingy, All the ROC, Petey Pablo, Murphy Lee, Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent, Twista, Ying Yang, Lil Jon, Eminem, Lil Flip, Cassidy, D12....need I say more. These are the guys taking over hip hop right now. That's sad.
     
  5. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  6. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    45 is old dude. Sorry.

    I have to agree to disagree, I think modern music is driven by more of a dollar than it was back in your day.
     
  7. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The bottom line is it's on us as black people, we created it but we let it break us. We support it but we let the industry disrespect us by dumbing us down. It's all up to us
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Manasiac, awight, we'll do that(smile!)

    But others may want to consider that not only has the technology improved considerably, but African Americans have fought the good fight to have our culture presented in media long before the technology... I mean Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye were all considered handsome and sexy men, and Freda Payne, Betty Wright, and Candi Staton were considered beautiful, sexy women, but none of that meant their images were going to be accepted in American media... We forget that even Berry Gordy was reluctant to put his artist's faces on the covers of Motown albums - not because he thought Gladys Knight was ugly, but because he was trying to sell those albums to white folks...

    In any event, Nelson George, in his book, THE DEATH OF RHYTHM AND BLUES, lays out the HARVARD PLAN to take over Black Music by buying up all of the small labels, and turning them into the huge recording conglomerates we have today... That plan was drawn up in the late 1960's, and was prompted by the huge sales seen in Black music long before the media technology... Fact is, Black music in the United States had put it's stamp on all popular music in this country by the late 1950's, and had proven its ability to make loads of money for all of the independent labels of that time, including Motown.... So, no, the profit motive does NOT prevent people from creating great music, their lack of musicianship prevents that(smile!) Fact is, if you're great at anything, it increases your ability to make mo' money, no?

    Hopefully, the "ugly" young people, who have to depend on making great music to get over, will continue the tradition of our community has of turning out wonderful musicians... Hopefully, groups like The Roots, and others, will see that the world is hungering for a return to the making of sounds on an organ, piano, saxophone, conga, cowbell, and shekere... That's what I continue to like about Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean music, the fact that they have not reduced their music-making to a dependence on machines and technology...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  9. MANASIAC

    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    True at Brother Isaiah And Sekhemu and you guys are not old, you are just Dusty :). I would prefer to be old with wisdom than to be dumb and young with nothing.
     
  10. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    FIRST OFF, i believe you cannot correlate good music with live instruments. as a producer/emcee my self (u can peep my tracks at www.headrise.com) i love the fact that electronics has made music production much easier and efficient. for example if you want to start a live band, u would need a drummer, gutarist-, sound man, keboardist ect. My INSTRUMENT of choice is the AKAI MPC 2000, this is an industry stndard in hip hop. what this has done is allowed me to literally have the sound of a live band (percussion keyboard,bass, any sound i want) sitting on a desk in my bedroom at my finger tips. i can cut an entire album BY MY SELF, in the comfort of my own home! its beutiful.

    i record my music directly into a computer, using Pro tools software. this is much cheaper then buying $3,000 , mix boards, or paying $50 t0 $100 an hour for studio time. I ask this, is an anciet hunter that hunts with a bow and arrow, better than a modern hunter using a gun? would u rather drive a hoarse and carrage than a car?

    times change, how many older cats can operate electronic music machines, or computers? probably any of them if trained,and vice versa. but they are from a different time.

    also true sampling is music, no not taking an entire song and duplicating(like wack *** diddy) but, using small sounds here and there and Rearranging them to your own sequence then adding ur own drums and other original sounds . many hip hoppers including myself considered old records instruments!

    what seems to happen when people discuss hip hop/rap they focus on the mainstream. thousands of truly talented artists underground and independent never are heard because of money makers greed as brother mansiac pointed out. ...........>>>> cats like def jux, the roots, dead prez, mf doom & mister grim, talib kweli, most def, booya tribe, krs 1, heiroglyphics crew, del tha funky homosapien, poor righteous teachers, godie mob last but not least THERIOUS A.k.A Levels<<<< and many others im forgetting.

    if i could quote rapper rev. run "two turntables and microphone were just like a gutar and drums to me"

    if i could quote producer eric sermon "im the man that made marvin gayes wife 200 grand"...

    think about that...todays instruments are electrionic, and quite frankly i love the sound of electronics. i have much respect for the older generations of live musicians that paved the wat for us...support indipendent rap

    peace on the planet
     
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