36
Genre of music that, on this site, is unfairly described as "inferior" to rock (or vice versa). Unfair, I say, because rock and rap, and all of their infinite subgenres, work off a different set of rules, so it's moot to put them side-by-side and declare one superior. Oh, and by the way, I've heard rumors that other forms of music exist besides rap and rock. Correct me if I'm wrong.

But, since everyone seems intent on comparing them anyway, no one seems to have mentioned the following:

It's useless to criticize rap as requiring next to no musical skill. True - it's harder to play an instrument proficiently than it is to flow well. But if you judge a song by how difficult it is to perform, you're forgetting that, ideally, music is a form of self-expression. If a song moves you, it won't be because, for example, the guitar solo is really fast (although technical skill can definitely augment emotion). Remember, none of the Beatles were great musicians. It was the quality of their songs that connected. The same goes for the best rap. MF Doom probably can't play a C major scale, but who gives a shit? He writes memorable, intelligent songs. Oh yeah, guess who else does? Eminem.

Also: the whole rap-as-poetry thing really bothers me. The fact that rap's focus is on the lyrics rather than the music doesn't make the words better, or worth any more. Even if they're working with different cultural languages and different cliches, rap lyrics are no more poetry than rock lyrics. Sorry - most of the raps about growing up in the projects (Jay-Z's "The Blueprint" comes to mind), no matter how vividly described, tend to be pretty trite. No more trite than the vast majority of all rock lyrics in any subgenre, but in no way of deserving the heading of "poetry." I mentioned MF Doom before. His lyrics are usually pretty great, culture-jamming and funny and thoughtful. But they're not poetry. Keats is a poet. Tupac is not. He might have a message, but to trash Tupac a little, it's not an especially original message, and the fact that his medium is rap rather than rock doesn't make his words "street poetry" any more than Lou Reed's. Same deal goes for the old school greats. Chuck D's a pretty good political commentator, if a little preachy, but no one calls the Clash poets. So stop. Oh, and for my money, no rapper has ever approached poetry in pop music as much as Bob Dylan, who arguably recorded THE VERY FIRST RAP SONG IN 1965 with "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Don't believe me? Go listen to it.
Rap VS rock on Urban Dictionary? NO YOU DI'INT.
by OMG-unit September 26, 2006
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37
1. A, once, type of in-your-face-'poetry' that required some talent to do now dominated by 'gangstas.' These 'gangstas' and their gangster rap raped music with thier lyrics about doing whores, killing cops and doing drugs.
2.Most rappers aren't real musicians.
1.Kanye West vs. 50 Cent
2.You can ask most rappers to play a simple Bb scale and their wouldn't know the first thing to do.
by ken chi August 15, 2006
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38
A genre of music that is stereotyped way too much.
There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between MTV Rap and true rap.
Crappy, artists like 50 cent, soulja boy, hurricane chris, D4L, Dem Franchize Boyz are all MTV rap artists. They have no real talent, their lyrics suck, and they have no vocal talent. Don't judge rap by these crappy acts, real rap takes skill and intelligence. True rap artists are, Rakim, Wu-tang Clan, Tupac, Gangstarr, Eminem, Chamillonaire, etc. They actually have lyrical talent, they are clever, and contribute to the hip-hop industry.
Rap can be broken down into sub-genres based on where it where it was created. Crunk,created in Atlanta, played through out the south. Chopped N' Screwed, originiated in Texas is when a DJ slows down a record and muxes it. Hip-Hop was born in NYC, Harlem, The Bronx, Brookyln, Queens, all have there fair share of rappers. Hip-Hop focuses more on the poetry aspect and is used to reflect live in an urban enviroment. Hyphy is from The Bay Area, Northern California. Oakland, Vallejo, San Jo, San Fran, Berkly, Richmond, etc. all part of the Bay. Hyphy is about going crazy and not caring what people think. Gangstar rap is from southern California, Los Angeles and Compton. It is more agressive and focuses on life in the hood. Chicago, Detroit, and other midwestern cities have contributed to rap as well. ******REMEMBER******** there are many many different types of rap, and MTV IS NOT RAP.
Rocker: Dude, I hate rap, they're just ghetto retards

Me: What type of rap you hate? And your probablly talking about Soulja Boy or Dem Franchize Boyz, have you ever listend to Rakim, Wu-tang Clan, or Tupac?

Rocker: There is more than one kind of rap? And who is Rakim?

Me: Exactly my point. You just focus on MTV mainstream rap, the same could be said for rock. There is more than one genre and MTV doesn't show you what true rock is, just like it doesn't show you what true rap is.
by Jersey Kid January 24, 2008
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39
The art of creating a song comprising of verses composed in a rhyming style. Whilst many other definitions have already been assembled, it is my duty to inform y'all, these other definitions have been made by retards with mono-syllabic minds and hence unable to contemplate the obvious talent and subtle genius it takes to create a good rap. So fuck the haters, this shit imma lay down is for real.

Whilst rap is, in its mainstream form, known as music discussing the joys of drive-by shootings and blazing up, there is a lot more to it than that although this sub-genre (otherwise known as gangsta rap) has produced some of the best music ever to enter anyones ears. Fact. What many don't understand is that not only is it hard to compile a rap with meaning and metaphors discussing the rappers own experiences and subtle messages for fans, it also takes skill to rap (or spit). rappers must have a good flow which they must fit to the beat and change if necessary, varying tempo and style on-the-go. They must also focus on breath control to enable stutter free verses and add emphasis onto lyrics more prominent or important to the theme of the rap song.

The best rapper ever is widely considered to be 2Pac mainly due to his incredible deep and expressive raps relating to all spheres of modern society with thoughts on racial issues and politics and also because of his emotional delivery and ability to alter his flow on a whim. Rap has also evolved since his day with mainstream rap falling short with more reliance on beat than substance with latter day rap group G-Unit, though good, on the verge of falling into this category.

In other words, rap is a true music form and requires just as much skill as rock (given the fact that raps are usually far more complex lyrically) and certainly anyone who disagrees totally has not thought it through, and are bound to get capped once they diss any of ma niggas with they hatin. Fo sho.
The most successful rap artists? Tupac, Notorious B.I.G, Big Pun.

You know who they be.
by JJP0003 January 28, 2007
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40
A wonderfully creative form of music, that sadly, is on its way to ending up like hair metal of the 80's. There are a lot of similarities. Record labels find they can cash in on this new sound so they creat a formula of mainstream watered down shit. Every song and artist is not much different from the last. You're a p-i-m-p, I get it, ok, your gangsta, yes I know you gotta hustle baby, I've seen your mercades Escalades, lay off the cristal, enough with the girls' asses already, shut up about your goddamn grills!!! Crunk!? What fresh new hell is this? You know how the old "if it aint broke dont fix it" thing goes. I'm suprised rock fans can't see the paralells. Nu-metal, Good Charlotte, Limp Bizkit, Avril Lavigne (didnt she appear on Nickelodeon? That's not hardcore...) crap rules the airwaves but definetly not the hearts of true rock fans, who prefer bands outside the mainstream who stay completly true to the music. I'm guessing. It's the same way with rap. Many who stuck by it in its infancy are appalled at the state its in now.Also, there are very talented and intelligent rap artists who are just sorta underground. If rap continues to be for the most part unoriginal, sooner or later, it WILL go the way of heavy metal, and be replaced in popularity by some other type of music, whatever that may be. It will be in the state rock is today: not quite dead but very weakened, its "artists" just getting lamer and lamer. K-Fed, anyone?
I used to listen to rap, but each song is just like the last one....and grills are retarded.
by h8theh8rs September 01, 2006
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41
to me, rap is a way of expressing one's self. so is rock. and i guess country is too (even though i personally dislike it). rap can talk about a certain life style, but it's not all about a thug's life. country expresses their loss of their dog, a pickup truck, or a woman with twang. another way to express themselves. and rock, which also takes another approach. if you are a rock OR rap lover, you will know that Jay-z (considered a grand daddy of rap) and linkin park ( a great rock group) made multiple remixes of their songs TOGETHER!! i think that you cant just say you hate rap or rock because they have different things to talk about. you'll never hear a group like green day talk about shootin up the block with their 9mm hangin out the caddy window. nore will you hear a rapper like paul wall talk about loosing their girlfriend that they loved. its just not the way they are, its different life styles.
there are blacks that sing with the gorillaz, and then there is eminem, bubba sparxx, and paul wall... which are main stream white rappers. its not about color, but about diversity and life styles.
by big ol' stud June 10, 2006
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42
Contrary to much popular opinion, rap is a musical genre; it is a very beautiful, creative, and innovative musical genre. As many of you know, rap music is part of the 4 elements of hip hop, which include rapping (emceeing), DJing(scratching, sampling, and mixing), graffiti, and breakdancing. Rap is neither superior nor inferior to any other genre of music because it is a distinct form of artistic expression. It seems very strange that there seems to be a mutual dichtonomy between rock and rap. They are not mutually exclusive or diametrically opposed to one another because they formed for the same reason. Whether one wants to admit it or not, both rap and rock formed as a rebellion from popular culture and both serves as a voice for a particular generation. Many individuals in the 60s were speaking against rock as an illegitimate art form just as many individuals today speak against rap music. Just as rock music is not one-dimensional, neither is rap music. Just as much as person would not call all rock music satanic, neither should a person call all rap music a genre that promotes misogny and thug life. There are many stereotypes associated with rap music that should be eliminated

1) Rap appeals only to poor African-Americans
It has become an established fact that African-Americans are not the largest consumer of mainstream hip hop. It's well known that white suburbanite teenagers are the real supporters of mainstream hip hop.

2) Rap degrades African-American culture
Many people need to realize that it's very ignorant to judge the book from its cover. Anyone can piece together some current rap artists from 50 Cent, Nelly, and the plethora of Southern rappers and generalize. But even the most logical person will note that this is very faulty reasoning. In the words of an underground rap duo in Atlanta, Mars Ill,
"The subculture remains the same but it seems that the earth is reversed." It's very unfortunate that the worst form of rap music is advertised the most. Perhaps the root of the problem lies in the fact that most labels in rap are owned by rich Jewish individuals who would rather promote a certain image in the name of profit rather than the art form. The roots of rap music are very deep and if one searches for it, they will find true rap music. Some examples would be Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Black Soil Project, Company Flow, Bigg Jus, El-P, Mars Ill, Nas, Deepspace5, Tunnel Rats, MF Doom, Aesop Rock, Orko Elohim and etc.

3) Rap music is an inferior art form because of its simplicity
The person that makes this argument must also think that writing poetry is extremely simple too. The person that makes this argument must also believe that free styling is very easy. Any true musician will see that freestyling in rap music is the equivalent of jazz improvisation. Both takes an extreme level of skill and a particular niche. Now it is true that there are rap songs that are very remedial (see mainstream Southern rap), but true hip hop takes talent and skill. A great rap artist can tell great stories of personal experience in poetic form (such as Nas), comment on social and political issues (such as Bigg Jus), and speak a profound message through the music.
In general, people hate (and even fear) that which they don't understand; rap music is no different. Many people can't relate to rap music for whatever particular reason, so they immediately attack it or demonize it. How great is the hypocrisy... even jazz music was critized heavily, as it departed from classical music. Many people thought jazz music to be a false duplicate of classical music, but as we now see, jazz music is one of the most respected genres of music in America (since it is the first true purely American musical art form). Whether or not it relates to you, that doesn't mean that it's an inferior form of music.
This song embodies the current state of affairs of rap music. Every genre of music has its pros and cons (even jazz has Kenny G). This song is called "Sphere of Hip Hop, Part 2" from Mars Ill.
Verse 1: manCHILD
Yo it's this and it's that
It's hype and it's flat
It's white and it's black
It's abandoned and it's packed
It's backpackers, it's wack rappers
Beat jackers, chip stackers
But thank God it's microphone masters
It's after, it's before
It's rich and it's poor
It's local open-mic nights, it's international tours
It's four tracks then demos, it's six-fours, it's limos
It's drug-free, it's indo
It's wives and it's bimbos
It's what I love and what I loathe
It's battlin', doin' shows
It's turnin' on radios and hearin' about cars and clothes
It's the rise, it's the fall
The boo's the yes-yall's
It's all in together, it's now and it's forever
It's day and it's night
It's wrong and it's right
It's full-blown promotions and it's "Don't Believe the Hype"
It's five mics, the limelight
It's eternal, it's fi-nite
It's obscure genius and record deals when you can't rhyme right
Yo, I chase it and it follows me
It's popular, it's a mockery
It's "My Adidas", my advice, my radio, my philosophy
It's permanent, it's moving
It's showing, improving
It's in everything we're saying, it's in everything we're doing
It's hell-bent, heaven-sent, it's what you represent
It's "F the Police" and it's "Eric B. for President"
Yo, it's evident, it's hidden
It's your freedom, it's your prison
It's the Sphere of Hip-Hop, and it's the place where I live in (yo)
Verse 2: ManCHILD
Yo, it's off and it's on
It's pros and it's cons
It's dusk and it's dawn
It's word up, it's word is born
It's word life
It's blunt but it still cuts like a knife
It's primetime, it's outta sight
It's "You gotta fight for your right"
It's aight and it's outstanding
It's sitting and it's standing
It's come clean, explicit content, Wal-mart banning
It's fans sing the lyrics,
It's loud, but most can't hear it
It's in demand, it's on clearance, it's the cameo appearance
It's "The Breaks", it's "The Show"
It's Doug E. Fresh, it's Kurtis Blow
It's your words, it's your cadence, it's your style, it's your flow
It's the beat, it's the kick, it's the snare, it's the street
It's the way that I speak, walk, sleep, pray, and eat
It's concrete schoolyards, hard-rocks, it's hard-knocks
It's Freaky Todd, it's Big L, it's Biggie Smalls, it's Tupac
Yo, it's a cappella scratches,
It's old and new-school classes
It's Third Bass, "The Cactus"
It's age-old and it's matchless
It's peace and it's anger
It's your friend, it's a stranger
It's the b-boys, graf painters
It's the 36 chambers
It's the DJ, turntablist, the maestro, the producer
But don't forget it's the 1980's pop singer Lupa
It's true and it's false
It's play and it's pause
It's perfect, but it's flawed
It's hot and it's raw
It's hold it down, it's stay fly
It's what, where, when, and why
Yo, it's hip-hop, and I gotta rep it till I die
by Gabriel J. Williams, Jr. March 12, 2006
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