Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by Isaiah, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 8, 2004
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    Just another observation on my part... Hope it causes just a little controversy(smile!) But before folk bite my head off, please read what I have to say...

    Firstly, the music(RAP-NEO SOUL) we hear today has it's foundation in the Blues-Soul-Gospel... For the preponderance of it's history, Rap has consistently borrowed bits and pieces, snippets if you will, of the great music created by Barry White, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Isaac Hayes, to name a few, and looped the verses of their songs over and over to create a rhythmic base to rap over... Rappers have essentially treated these classic songs as if they really had no value other than the beat, or the arrangement. I have heard some of the younger generation of rappers saying these songs were nothing until they sampled them, and "made them" popular. They have no idea that these records were mad popular in their time - the whole record(smile!) They also have zero concept that it is the former popularity of the song, and the public familiarity with the riffs, that gives their "song" a flying headstart where the original song had no such advantage(smile!)

    I consider their mangling and cutting up of these great songs a defacement and a disrespect of their own cultural legacy... I also find their bragging about how they pulled these songs out of obscurity the words of the appallingly ignorant... To not know the names of Barry White, James Brown, and the great Curtis Mayfield, while you are virtually "STEALING" their riffs ad nauseum, is also disrespectful to yourself, as well as these great artists...

    Yeah, I know that many of the older artists have weighed in on this more than 20 years ago, and said that as long as they get paid, it's all good, but I think they were being politically-correct. Many of you at this board are poets and writers, and you know that you wouldn't like it if someone just stole entire passages from your work, and trashed the original as just some old "obscure" caca that the plagiarizer says nobody knew or cared about... You'd be like, "really?!"

    On the real side, my beef is with the newer cats... The old classic rap acts mainly started out as club D.J.'s to begin with... They knew who made what, and what was popular... They were grounded in the history of these songs, thus, a Sugarhill Gang knew just how popular Chic's Good Times was in 1978-79... Rapping over that riff gave the song instant credibility, and that's why they used it... Unfortunately, it might've inadvertently started a whole sordid history with the sampling - in fact, it [email protected](smile!)

    I just wish young folk would familiarize themselves with the music that gave birth to rap - which is more a spoken word artform than it is music... If you aint making music, then what is it??? Those artists of the 1960's and '70's made the greatest popular music in history, and based on those samples that are copiously used by the newer artists, I don't think that fact can be argued... Their diverse musical arrangements, which included great brass, string, and percussion combined with the greatest vocals the world has 'bout ever heard, is still incredibly fresh and exciting... And they didn't just sing sweet love songs, either... They sang just as raw as a modern-day rapper about the socio-political ferment of their times, and unlike these rappers, they offered us inspiration, and a prescription for change and uplift:

    We, The People Darker Than Blue - Curtis Mayfield
    We're A Winner - Curtis Mayfield
    People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
    A Change is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
    Respect - Aretha Franklin
    What's Goin' On - Marvin Gaye
    Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
    Message to The Black Man - Temptations
    Someday We'll All Be Free - Donny Hathaway
    James Brown - Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud
    Color Him Father - The Winstons
    Only The Strong Survive - Jerry Butler

    There are many many more songs from that period that emphasized something different, something uplifting, but most importantly, as an 8 or 9 year old, I could relate to what James Brown was saying, but so could my father, then in his 60's!!! That is the difference today... Young people make music for themselves, and themselves only... They either cannot, or just do not, think about including other generations in their musical galaxy... They exist in the world by themselves, they arrived here on planet earth by immaculate conception(smile!)

    As one who was but a teenager when Rap burst on the scene in the mid '70's, I've got to admit that I cannot any longer find my person inside it's millieu... That's a complicated way of saying I can't relate to it anymore(smile!) I'm tired of the same old head-bobbing beat, which really doesn't vary in any way... Everything is thump, thump, thump, and that's because the beats are coming out of box, and not from a musician who knows how to play notes on a drum... That's another story, I guess, but it is where my head is on this genre..

    But rather than hammering Rap and HipHop, I would rather to extoll the virtues of the music from which it got it's sustainence in the first place... Would that young people would listen to more of the music of that period if they really want some fresh ideas(smile!) would that some of the neo-soul groups would actually listen to the Delfonics, the Main Ingredient, the Stylistics, the Temptations, and find out what some real harmony is all about... And meditate on what Donny Hathaway was saying when he said your Young, Gifted, And Black - and that's where it's at... Classic Soul and Rhythm and Blues, the greatest popular music ever made in this country...


    MANASIAC Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Mar 10, 2004
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    Technical Analyst
    ATL SHAWTY! Mr. Coli Park
    All I can say is Amen to this Brother I. I only ride to Classical Soul and R&B all the modern stuff is trash to me, with a few exceptions.

    I am so shocked you made a post like this Brother I.
  3. soul?uest

    soul?uest Member MEMBER

    Aug 10, 2004
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    Thats really deep...

    I realy feel you on this one, am in my early twenties, but i always think i was born too late coz i should have been there when all the great classic soul & R n B was being played,I have made up for all that by collecting classic albums and doin some research on music of the 60's and 70's. I totally agree with you there is no rhythm in todays music which is mainly commercial and has no texture except for a few, i feel neo-soul is really the sound of the past only with better equipment, so its keeping soul alive, thanks to the likes of Jill Scott, Maxwell, Jaguar Wright and other related artists. :spinstar: