Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rapping Isn't Fundamental

When I did ironic little rap ditties (diddy's?) for 50 Cent's Vitaminwater,, Gawker and such I thought I was on to something new and different. The future. Hip hop's untapped potential as both an art and a more compelling form of communication. Like cellphones and twitter, Hip Hop was a new technology to deliver whatever message you wanted: Like, Eat at McDonald's!, or, buy khaki pants!, or, we love black people!

But just like watching a movie on your cellphone, you realize in execution the premise doesn't totally satisfy. turns out some of the things that make the cellphone convenient (i.e. it being small) undermines your ability to totally indulge the movie. Likewise, a rap's rhythm, pacing, style that make it artful undermine its ability to function as effective, direct communication (make your point and stop internal-rhyme-scheming already!).

As a hip hop enthusiast and champion, i always thought if you had flow and make some good punchlines, you could convert anything into the form and the young urban kids would bob their head and be like, yeah, i feel you. And even the white-people-rapping pandemic of the mid-2000's didn't persuade me otherwise. Those people just weren't good.

But now it seems, most people can at least kick a few bars without totally embarrassing themselves (right, Miley Cyrus!). And it's just like, eh. Not bad, you have competency ... but why are you doing this again? Anyrap, that's what I thought after seeing this journalism school graduation video...

It's like, don't stop on my account. Go, have fun! Rap! But i don't know, it's like seeing an interactive exhibit at a museum or something; I nod at the proactive gesture of edutainment more than i feel viscerally engaged by it. knahmean?


  1. Hey, I'm a long time follower of the blog - a lurker if you will who watches and listens without commenting. Anyway, I just wondered - when are you going to impart your wisdom on the Tiger Woods saga? Pretty big issue quite pertinent to the theme of the blog I would have thought.

    Eagerly anticipating TAN's take on the subject...

    Thanks, KUTGW.

  2. While I can understand your lack of enthusiasm for the kind of watery "just about anybody can do it" rapping that this video represents, I do approve heartily of the journalistic ethic that this rap conveys. I love me a free and fair media, and it looks like these kids want to be part of that. Let's hope they don't let go of those dreams.

    Also, I love your blog, TAN, and as a longtime reader, I care much what you have to say on various topics. But I'm not burning to hear what you have to say about Tiger Woods. I just want that tired, sad, not really that important story to go away.

  3. it's a good point/distinction to make; i'll prob add "art-over-artists" tag cause it's a good example...

    the vid/song's an art/exercise that makes me love the people more than the *product/art/thing* itself. i don't necessarily want to hear their next project but i'd have a drink with them, maybe check their twitter, certainly wish them well and admire the sensibility. it's artists over art in this case.

    i got hot fire on tiger, still determining usage ...

  4. Anonymous1/04/2010

    dude you ain't on twitter!

  5. MissyEmX1/06/2010

    T.A.N...I was watching Nicklebacks video rockstar when I saw someone looking soooo much like you... Are u in that video or do I need my glasses to be checked? Haha!

    Look at 1:40!

  6. Anonymous1/30/2010

    Lovely post!
    Pls check our web , you will find a lot of big and sexy ass you like.
    Thank you!


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