We've all been subjected to rap attacks. Each shares the following elements: 1) It invariably strikes when the victim is nursing a killer hangover. 2) It inevitably strikes at the longest stoplight known to man. 3) Groaning shock absorbers sing harmony off-key. 4) No amount of cajoling, obscene getures, indeed nothing short of gunplay will deter the offender from blaring hip-hop @ a decibel level roughly comparable to an avalanche. 5) The driver is a white punk on ginkgo biloba.
And you think it's loud,obnoxious and grating beyond belief in your vehicle. Jst imagine the ambiance inside his! And yes, I'm using the male pronoun because I've yet to encounter a gal who'd purchase such a powerful car stereo much less crank it up to ten. (I'm reminded of Nigel Tufnel's classic line from This Is Spinal Tap: "This one goes to eleven. That's one more, isn't it.") Thankfully his doesn't.
Music critics draw arbitrary distinctions between rap proper, hip-hop, gangsta rap, East Coast vs. West Coast and Dirty South. Yet to the uninitiated, and @ this ear-splitting decibel level, it's all the same thing---not so much a menace as a persistent nuisance. Blacks and Eminem churn it out and white dweebs lap it up like Monica on her knees.
So there you languish, trapped inside your ride with 200 decibals of profanity-laden rhymes stampeding through woefully overmatched defense mechanisms to burrow directly into the very core of your being. Though not generally prone to violence, your subconscious thoughts turn to homicide. You wish you hadn't left your handgun in the nightstand. Then again, it's probably just as well since you're not overly keen on becoming your burly cellmate's latest plaything. Just as the state frowns upon offing of its citizens, however loathsome they may be.
Peering around at your fellow stranded drivers enduring the torment in stoic, bristling silence, a sense of solidarity permeates the air. It's a solidarity borne of a common enemy, much as Americans of all stripes pined for Osama bin Laden's empty head on a pike after he singled out innocent toddlers for death. In unison y'all contemplate bursting from your minivans to descend upon Rap Man with mayhem foremost in your minds. But no one dares make the 1st move because, again, there's that pushy cellmate problem to consider. And for all your false bravado, you're sissies at heart.
Oldsters like me have been predicting, perhaps too hopefully, the demise of hip-hop for years. We were all but certain it would collapse uner the weight of its own greed. Yet there it remains firmly ensconced, blaring from hoop-Ds, emanating like poison gas in a Kurdish village from ghetto blasters and hollering from the TV. There's no telling how many woofers it's shredded. It's infuriatingly loud, profane when not unintelligible and always in-your-face. Indeed, rap is inescapable short of joining an Inuit tribe and hunkering down in an igloo. So you might as well resign yourelves to a lifetime spent with it. Or else squeeze off a deadly accurate head shot @ Rap Man and hightail it with threadbare tires a-squealing. Who'd ever suspect you? Or for that matter, blame you. Not me, that's for sure.
Note: Nothing in this post should be construed as advocating the murder of any actual person. It's satire, stupid.
Would you be happier or at least content, if they blasted FRANKIE VALLE and the Four Seasons? I would. Come on Anna, big girls don't cry.
by Lockheed at December 13, 2002 11:53 PM
Um, Anna, was just reading your SNOWMAN piece, and was touched. I wonder, do you keep a mask in a jar by the door? Why don't we get a picture of your face? I'm assuming its a pretty, but sad jaded face. Well, if it snows again, please, gather thy three children and make a snow angel, and if you need funding to self-publish your text, I could help.
by Lockheed again... at December 14, 2002 12:08 AM
Lockheed you're freaking me out in a my-horoscope-is-half-true kind of way. I do have three kids and we have built snow angels. And yes, my face is sad and jaded-looking. As to the burqa, I'll explain in due course.
by anna at December 14, 2002 10:21 AM
Obviously you live in an urban evniornment. Get further south or out in the Midwest and it's a Ted Nugent or Quiet Riot attack. Would you mind if someone was blaring that, or is it just rap you hate?
by mg at December 14, 2002 11:44 AM
Allow me to clarify. I like a lot of rap. Tupac rocked. It's just the volume level that get's to me. And around here it's rap they're blaring.
by anna at December 14, 2002 1:57 PM
Anyone comparing the minor annoyance of loud music to the monstrous acts of Osama bin Laden deserves no respect in my book. You need to sit down and think long and hard about your priorities.
by red_beard_neo at December 14, 2002 11:47 PM
Rap and hip-hop have obviously evolved into viable art forms. However, as a practicing musician, no one will ever convince me that it is any more than an endless loop of Downes Syndrome beats with words sprinkled on top. I love how Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Eminem tell their stories, but "musically," their product is a farce. It takes zero talent to come up with the so-called music that accompanies their rhymes.
by douchenation at December 15, 2002 2:27 AM
By the way, anna's rant in no way suggested that loud music was on par with the "monstrous acts of Osama bin Laden." I am by no means a scholar, but I could glean this from a cursory reading. Walk the plank, red beard--your knee-jerk response is consistent with other chronically-offended leftists nation-wide. It's called hyperbole--get a clue (not that she needs my help).
by douchenation at December 15, 2002 2:36 AM
Yeah, yeah, what douchenation said---hypebole. No I wouldn't equate terrorism w/ loud tunes.
by anna at December 15, 2002 1:01 PM
The heyday of hip hop is over. Almost everything coming out today is total crap. The message is gone, the political anger is gone. Most of it is just overgrown children bragging about their cars, how many women they sleep with, and how big and bad they are. Fuck hip hop. It's over.
by Adam at December 16, 2002 6:11 AM
I beg to differ Adam. It's like every form of music: you often have to go digging to get the good stuff, cause the media likes to shove the empty, unchallenging stuff down our throats.
I really think the problem is a cycle of the mainstream not expecting more and the media not giving them a reason to.
by Linz at December 16, 2002 8:36 AM
The heyday of hip-hop should be over, but it seems as if it is stronger than ever. I'm no socialist, but this "bling-bling" shit really turns me off. Sure, Led Zeppelin was the first band with a private jet and all the toys, but how many of their songs expounded materialism? Zero. The reason is they weren't consumed with marketing an image, they were fucking serious musicians. Chuck D. (Public Enemy) must cry himself to sleep every night. Remember, hip-hop "music" is just one aspect of the hip-hop culture; there's also the clothing and the vernacular. The message--if there ever was one, is certainly dead, though.
by douchenation at December 16, 2002 4:11 PM
Hip-hop is not dead. This is just like how people say every couple years that rock is dead. Hip-hop and rock are still relevant - they are the only forms of music relevant to today's youth. Ragtime is dead. Rock and rap aren't.
It is just silly to pick one rock band and say that because they didn't sell out, rock didn't. Do you honestly believe that Zeppelin, singing about wizards and mountain tops, was more relevant than today's rapper singing about clothes, and cars and girls? If you do, you are an idiot.
Because Eddie Vedder's uniform was a flannel shirt instead of gold rings and FUBU, Pearl Jam is somehow a better band than The Roots? Come on.
by mg at December 16, 2002 5:00 PM
Y'all have convinced this oldster. Does Run/DMC have anything current out? Oh wait, one of them got shot. But seriously I liked their rhymes, though I couldn't name a one aside from the Aerosmith thing.
by Anna at December 16, 2002 6:26 PM
No, I don't believe that Led Zeppelin is more relevant because they sing about wizards, etc.--nor did I write that. They were just used as an example. I believe they are more relevant AS MUSICIANS because, simply put, their main focus was exploring music and all its possibilities. Musical tastes are subjective, but I feel MUSICIANSHIP is more objective. If you are interpolated by hip-hop, enjoy it! (And I guess I deserve to be called an idiot after suggesting your parallel between Dick Cheney and Letterman was stupid?) It's not just hip-hop--the Sex Pistols, and most punk rock artists, are examples of bands I can't listen to because the music is secondary to the message.
The argument I thought I made clear in my post was that commercial hip-hop is heavily-reliant on materialism--and few, even within that community, will dispute this. If Eddie Vedder wore Armani suits onstage, I'm sure his attire would not be the topic of the song. Why should it be? If you're interested in songs about designer threads and Range Rovers, then by all means enjoy it--I never said I thought less of the people who listen to it. Eminem is probably more relevant now than Kurt Cobain ever was, but (I feel) he produces an inferior product.
by douchenation at December 16, 2002 7:10 PM
Wow...I just read the post MG responded to again to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Dude, you really misunderstood what I said. Sorry.
I said I was turned off by materialism, and did NOT suggest rock never sold out. In fact, no genre was favored at all. Zep was ONE band used as an example because of their ubiquity--if I had used King Crimson, a lot of folks wouldn't know who the hell I was referring to. No hard feelings?
by douchenation at December 16, 2002 7:20 PM
Sorry dude, didn't mean to snap.
Musicianship is an interesting arguement. Because some composes their songs on a computer, does that mean they aren't a musician? Does anyone remember the TV show Fame (not sure if this was also a storyline in the movie, too). They let the one kid who does a lot of synth work into the program and he is treated by a pariah by all the "real" musicians. Finally, he wins over his professor with the brilliance of his work.
I think that djs like Shadow, Cold Cut, Fatboy Slim, and producers who drop beats like Dr Dre, Timbaland and Missy are as good musicians as anyone in mainstream rock today. They just happen to play different instruments. I'm sure when the electric guitar was invented, people looked down on it, but I can't imagine anyone today who'd say that Eric Clapton is a musician.
by mg at December 16, 2002 7:31 PM
I am the wrong person to ask about computer-generated music, because I am more of a purist. There is a threshold at which technology becomes too intrusive--and that threshold is, of course, subjective. I cannot listen to people scratching records back-and-forth under a needle--that's just me. I am also repulsed by techno. To me, that stuff is just too cacophonous (techno) and simplistic (turntables). [Also, good point about the electric guitar--surely it was not well-received by all]
See..I'm not so bad!
by douchenation at December 16, 2002 7:53 PM
Look, I'm sorry, but Nelly, Ja Rule, and their ilk are to hiphop what Nelson was to metal - a bullet to the brain. They're selling well, but what they're doing is total crap. There ARE people out there who are still making hip hop music that means something, but the Dirty South (Ying Yang Twins? Have you HEARD these idiots?) and bling-bling killed hip hop. Almost everything worth listening to is underground these days. You listen to hip hop radio and you'd never know that this is a music form that has a 30 year history. Here's a post on the subject that I liked a lot:
by Adam at December 16, 2002 11:51 PM
Oh, and to ramble on and on, I like what Timbaland and The Neptunes are doing, but there's a serious problem when the entire scene is dominated by two producing teams. We've been reduced to future-shock and booty music, and it's making me ill. We need to remember that when "Slow Down" came out it was a huge radio hit. Can anyone imagine a hip hop song about reducing violence and drug usage getting on the radio today? Or being blasted from an SUV?
by Adam at December 16, 2002 11:55 PM
My 2 cents:
I definitely agree with Linz-- you have to dig to find the good stuff. I'm not very well versed in hip hop, but I tend to like everything produced by Dan the Automator. Why isn't his stuff on the radio more often? Oh right-- I tend to dislike everything on the radio that's classified as "hip hop" or "rap" (besides Eminem).... that would just put the quality-o-meter over the top and *everything* would get all screwed up.
by Leaffin at December 17, 2002 11:19 PM
I want to kill you
by Gorge W. Bush at February 26, 2003 1:54 PM