Hip Hop

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richidoo

Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #20 on: 17 Sep 2020, 01:48 am »
I've tried to listen to hip hip over the years. The dark lyrics and feel of the music always turned me off. Very early hip hop music that was in mainstream pop chart was fine and enjoyable but the real hard core stuff that has taken over now is hard to take.

One hip hop song that I love is Bouncin Back by Mystikal. But it's written by Pharrell Williams and has a lot of pop influence in it, so I don't even know if it's really hip hop or not...  :lol:

I think the negativity is the point and purpose of modern hip hop, and I don't need or want any more negativity in my life. I can see how some people can't get enough negativity, and I can see how others think that hip hop is not negative, but the most beautiful music ever made.

I keep trying to find something in it, I listen to Billboard hip hop chart every once in a while. It is very eye opening to say the least. I don't want to become that desensitized to be able to tolerate listening to that all the time.

RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #21 on: 17 Sep 2020, 03:21 am »
There is a lot of rap music that is negative. It can be very graphic in many ways and violent. The best artists typically have a message or a story. It's not just negativity for the sake of it...though that type of rap music exists too. Some people are entertained by that in very much the same way people are entertained by graphic action and horror movies. What's funny to me is that people will praise a crazy action movie. But when an artist comes out with a lyrically controversial song in rap form, people have problems with it.

That said, negativity is definitely not the point and purpose of hip hop. Not at all. Again, keep in mind hip hop is a culture. Read this when you get a chance. I think it'll help contextualize what I'm saying. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop

I like that you're at least open to trying to listen to rap and hip hop, however, rarely is the Billboard hip hop chart a great gauge for quality. Sure, there might be a gem here or there that is both progressive to hip hop culture and palatable to a mainstream audience, but most of it is absolute garbage. It's pop music made purely for selling records. If someone asked me what the top rap song on the charts was last year (let alone last week), I would have no idea. You know why? It was probably irrelevant to begin with ; A flash in the pan. There are a lot of rappers who are in it just to make a hit or two then they're done. This is not part of hip hop culture and I'm not a fan of it, but I can understand why people do it. It's industry culture. I can see how people are entertained by it and I can see how it generates money, but this is not real substance. That's the main differentiator (to me personally) between rap and hip hop. Hip hop music has substance that rap music doesn't necessarily have.

Even if you were shown the way to good hip hop music, I wouldn't expect you to like it. Different types of music click with different types of people. I liked The Fat Boys from the very first time I heard them in the early 80's as just a kid. It clicked immediately. For some of my friends, rock music and metal clicked with them. It's interesting how that happens.

richidoo

Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #22 on: 17 Sep 2020, 04:02 am »
Very interesting. Thanks RDavidson! I agree with your points.

Music industry treats every genre the same. Do whatever it takes with no scruples to make the money. It cheapens all music to the point where there isn't much new music that's worth listening to, and that affects hifi industry too.

I see some recommendations in this thread, but what are some great and historically significant hip hop albums for a beginner to listen?  Like jazz and classical noobs ask "where to start."

RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #23 on: 17 Sep 2020, 04:41 am »
Oh man...that's a tough question, but I kinda saw it coming and was actually thinking about it before your post. To me, the best place to start is probably in the rap / hip-hop "golden age" i.e. the 90's and early 2000's. Listen to some Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul and perhaps The Pharcyde for starters, especially as you're looking for positivity, if not fun. Heck, throw some Beastie Boys in there! :D The Mos Def album mentioned a couple of times is an absolutely solid recommendation. Listen to the Fugees, if you never have. A couple of obscure "underground" recommendations that I'd throw in that shortlist are Blackalicious and Jurassic 5.

Hip hop is very nuanced, as most longstanding music genres are. One can pick albums based entirely on mood. What's interesting too is that hip hop music is very regional. Different regions or even cities have their own sound. Lyrical content can even be very local...to the point of being specific to neighborhoods and streets.

vilding

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #24 on: 17 Sep 2020, 06:56 am »

I see some recommendations in this thread, but what are some great and historically significant hip hop albums for a beginner to listen?  Like jazz and classical noobs ask "where to start."

I'd say: Eric B & Rakim - "Paid in full", Gang Starr - "Hard to earn", ATCQ - "Midnight marauders" (but really all their albums...), De La Soul, "Buhloone Mindstate", OutKast - "ATLiens", Common - "Like Water for Chocolate", Kendrick Lamar - "To pimp a butterfly".

Highly subjective list and all gangster rap excluded. :) I could go on but I'm gonna stop myself there...  :lol:

Letitroll98

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #25 on: 17 Sep 2020, 12:23 pm »
From a Google search:
"The standard answer is that hip-hop is a culture with four elements* – deejaying, MCing, graffiti, and dance – and rap is a form of popular music that grew out of Hip-Hop culture. In this view, hip-hop is deep and cultural. Rap is superficial and commercial".

Additional reading suggests there's a debate within hip hop about going too pop or too commercial.  Different opinions converge on rap basically dying out as a genre by itself and being only a component of hip hop.  Not my opinions as I know nothing about the subject, just trying to understand.

circleman

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #26 on: 17 Sep 2020, 01:49 pm »
I find Slick Rick a fun listen, including his vocals on Morcheeba's Women Lose Weight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_jGgZ35W5s




RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #27 on: 18 Sep 2020, 02:24 pm »
Well said!


+1 for Mos def. Listened to "Black on both sides" just the other day. :)

I think hip hop today is superexciting and there are a lot of great artists and producers out there to check out.
I really like Lil Simz, Big K.R.I.T, Westside Gunn, and of course, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. There are tons more of course.
I also like the more jazzy things coming out like the different offerings from the likes of Robert Glasper.
Check out his "Black radio"-albums and August Greene, which is Glasper, Kariem Riggins on drums, and Common on the mic. Dark stuff, but sooo sooo sweet.

Yeah, there's some truly great hip hop these days, but most of the time you have to seek it out. Most wouldn't know where to start. So much of today's rap is just snare hits with a lot of autotuned vocals. And the rappers are just that. They're rappers, not lyricists whatsoever. In the mainstream right now, the only lyricists that come to mind are Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and probably Drake. As far as underground stuff, there's are many more active and truly good artists.

With all that said, no hip hop group I know of has been more consistently good for such a long period as Atmosphere....who has another album coming soon. They're one of my all time favorites. It may also help that they're from the midwest (Minneapolis) so I can relate to the songs a bit better than other hip hop. Their most "commercial" album is "You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having" which is also a good intro for someone who has never listened to them.

RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #28 on: 18 Sep 2020, 02:34 pm »
I'd say: Eric B & Rakim - "Paid in full", Gang Starr - "Hard to earn", ATCQ - "Midnight marauders" (but really all their albums...), De La Soul, "Buhloone Mindstate", OutKast - "ATLiens", Common - "Like Water for Chocolate", Kendrick Lamar - "To pimp a butterfly".

Highly subjective list and all gangster rap excluded. :) I could go on but I'm gonna stop myself there...  :lol:

Yes. Highly subjective. I like De La Soul's "Stakes is High" most. Really all their albums are good, very similar to A Tribe Called Quest in that way. I think The Roots needs to be added to your shortlist. :D
"Things Fall Apart" and "Illadelph Halflife" come to mind first. Since you brought up Common I'd also add Common Sense "Resurrection."

VinceT

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #29 on: 18 Sep 2020, 07:21 pm »
I use to listen rap in the 80s and 90s.
Some of the hip hop from the early 2000s was good.

Like other genres, the newer stuff just doesn't sound as musical to me and can't really get into it at all. Def the oldschool stuff like NWA, PE, Run DMC, LL Cool Jay, etc. was great and is still fun once in a while.

richidoo

Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #30 on: 18 Sep 2020, 07:51 pm »
This morning on a lark I asked Alexa "what is the best rap music?" expecting it to say the usual "I don't know that one."
But instead, it said "Playing rap music on AmazonMusic"
I'm thinking, OK buckle up.
But it played something that I really liked the groove and the sound of it, and I found it easy to ignore the lyrics.
I asked "Alexa what album is this?"
"Hypnotize, by Notorious B. I. G. from the album Life After Death."
Huh. I've heard of him, maybe it's because all his music is good like this, so maybe I will like him. "Alexa play this album"
I don't know what song it played but within 5 seconds even over the noise of scrubbing dishes I couldn't ignore the lyrics about killing people or whatever it was.
"Alexa Stop!"   haha

mcgsxr

Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #31 on: 18 Sep 2020, 07:51 pm »
I’d recommend the Netflix show The Evolution of Hip Hop.

For those of us old enough, it’s an amazing journey through history and how and where great artists came from.

Along the way I’d bet you uncover a sub genre worth digging into.   

RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #32 on: 18 Sep 2020, 08:09 pm »
This morning on a lark I asked Alexa "what is the best rap music?" expecting it to say the usual "I don't know that one."
But instead, it said "Playing rap music on AmazonMusic"
I'm thinking, OK buckle up.
But it played something that I really liked the groove and the sound of it, and I found it easy to ignore the lyrics.
I asked "Alexa what album is this?"
"Hypnotize, by Notorious B. I. G. from the album Life After Death."
Huh. I've heard of him, maybe it's because all his music is good like this, so maybe I will like him. "Alexa play this album"
I don't know what song it played but within 5 seconds even over the noise of scrubbing dishes I couldn't ignore the lyrics about killing people or whatever it was.
"Alexa Stop!"   haha

Notorious B.I.G. was a rap legend and lyrical genius. RIP. He and Puff Daddy produced many hits. Some, like "Hypnotize," were massive commercial successes. However, as you found, much of his catalog can be characterized as gangsta rap, which definitely isn't for everyone. That's the NY street life he came from and rapped about. But it was his intelligence and talent that got him off the streets and into music. His greatest hit is the song "Juicy." I LOVE this track. It is a hip hop masterpiece.

vilding

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #33 on: 18 Sep 2020, 10:35 pm »
Yes. Highly subjective. I like De La Soul's "Stakes is High" most. Really all their albums are good, very similar to A Tribe Called Quest in that way. I think The Roots needs to be added to your shortlist. :D
"Things Fall Apart" and "Illadelph Halflife" come to mind first. Since you brought up Common I'd also add Common Sense "Resurrection."

Yeah The Roots should been there... Without a doubt! ;)  My bad!


With all that said, no hip hop group I know of has been more consistently good for such a long period as Atmosphere....who has another album coming soon. They're one of my all time favorites. It may also help that they're from the midwest (Minneapolis) so I can relate to the songs a bit better than other hip hop. Their most "commercial" album is "You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having" which is also a good intro for someone who has never listened to them.

I think it might be time to really check them. Remember listening a lot to an Atmosphere album early 00's, but then I kinda lost them. Can't for my life remember the name of the album now...

RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #34 on: 18 Sep 2020, 11:40 pm »
I think it might be time to really check them. Remember listening a lot to an Atmosphere album early 00's, but then I kinda lost them. Can't for my life remember the name of the album now...

It was likely "Lucy Ford" or "God Loves Ugly." Both are great albums. I think "God Loves Ugly" is a fan favorite and perhaps their best. It's certainly an underground classic. However, "You Can't Imagine..." came out in 2004 and as I mentioned it got some commercial attention, so it's possible you heard that album then. They've released so much music including compilations like the "Felt" albums with Murs. In fact, they have yet another album "Felt 4 U" coming out soon. On pre-order. :thumb:

rajacat

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FullRangeMan

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #36 on: 20 Sep 2020, 01:42 am »
In the 1970s popular singers as Michael Jackson  was cited as too comercial music and poor music but it sold a lot, in the 80s and 90s the fever spread tô 100% bussines music, I really wonder what "músic" we will be listening in 10 years.

vilding

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #37 on: 20 Sep 2020, 11:28 am »
It was likely "Lucy Ford" or "God Loves Ugly." Both are great albums. I think "God Loves Ugly" is a fan favorite and perhaps their best. It's certainly an underground classic. However, "You Can't Imagine..." came out in 2004 and as I mentioned it got some commercial attention, so it's possible you heard that album then. They've released so much music including compilations like the "Felt" albums with Murs. In fact, they have yet another album "Felt 4 U" coming out soon. On pre-order. :thumb:

Lucy Ford's the one! Have to revisit and explore further.

I’d recommend the Netflix show The Evolution of Hip Hop.

For those of us old enough, it’s an amazing journey through history and how and where great artists came from.

Along the way I’d bet you uncover a sub genre worth digging into.   

Cool! That's definitely going on the list! I loved The Get Down. Cheezy and Netflixy but really endeering and kinda exciting. :)

vilding

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #38 on: 23 Sep 2020, 11:13 pm »
Thought I'd drop this little contemporary gem in here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB-S8wL-AKY


RDavidson

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Re: Hip Hop
« Reply #39 on: 24 Sep 2020, 04:46 am »
The Tiny Desk Concert series is great! Thanks for sharing this. I don't know how, but I kinda forgot about it. :oops:

Folks, even if you're not into hip hop, check out the series. It spans a few different genres including indie rock and country. Good stuff.