So MTV edited out Eminem being a bitch...

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by You Killed Jesus, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member


    I guess the fact that the definition uses Princton University as a source means nothing...

    Personally, I never heard anyone claim rap isn't music before today, although some have called it bad music

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    . You quoted a definition, so I gave you one that you can look up on the net...
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  3. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    If you feel that only the Oxford Dictionary can claim what music is, then that's your deal.

    The music industry and it's artists accept Rap as a form of music, that's all the confirmation I need.
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  5. Phrenetic :D Registered Senior Member

    Eminem threatened someone? Never before in my life have I heard such a dreadful affair!
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The only problem with modern definitions

    The only problem with modern definitions is that they reflect modern values. Now, normally this isn't a problem.

    However, a friend of mine recently pointed out that a lot of "folk" artists are using electronica sounds in their creations. In a few years, electronica will be a natural part of folk and nobody will have to think about the unpleasant days of when there were no pulsing beats or electronic sounds in folk music.

    In the meantime, I do remember in fifth grade my teacher saying of the beginnings of pop-culture rap that rap was nothing more than he learned to speak as a child, and that it was nice to finally hear rap set to music.

    In this case, you have offered definitions for what rap has become, a term that offers no distinctions, considers itself a sales genre, and declines defining marks.

    A rhythmic fill might be considered melodic in a minimalist piece. I, for instance, will never assert that Rhys Chatham's "Guitar Trio" is melodic. Quite the opposite: it is designed to be a-melodic, or, quite simply, a rhythmic exploration of tone. But, yes, by introducing a new definition, a song intended to have no melody suddenly has a melody.

    Presto-chango. It's magic!


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  8. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    Re: The only problem with modern definitions

    You have a right to your opinion tiassa, and we could argue this endlessly. Throughout this thread I have stated what rap is, I only used definitions to counter when others said that "by definition" it wasn't music.

    We'll just have to disagree on this subject.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Fair enough, Static

    Please do me a favor, though, and spend some time in the future reflecting on the essential something and what the commercial world tells you something is. Yes, I know that rap has a certain amount of melody. Strange, though, how its advocates always talked about rhythm, even after a lack of melody was pointed out. I remember that really weird whining synth-noise that became popular in rap for a few years after Kriss Kross had it in the backtrack of one of their songs. People made jokes about it then: a melodic element had finally been added to rap. Lots of people went on to use that sound; Dre, Ice (Cube, as I recall), and a bunch of people I never paid attention to. To this day, one of my favorite rap performances is a song whose title escapes me because the guy sat down with a guitar and recorded a melody beneath the vocal track. Thankfully, there is some musical quality in the rap industry to be noted, but since we are talking in such basic terms of pop-culture, it should be pointed out that while a rap occurs in the song "Thriller" (by none other than the eminent MC-VP), the song is not a "rap song".

    The end point being is that technically, you're right about your definitions. But that's only because "rap" has been changed in people's minds from the spoken words to the music that goes with it. It's a commercial definition.

    And in this world when commerce tries to tell art patrons what is good and what is bad, and does so with conflicted interests (profit margins, for instance), I do take a strong stand when people ask for artistic legitimacy in such an environment. It disturbs me to see otherwise-intelligent people accepting compromised terms from someone who doesn't care about you but rather about your money.

    Rap in general has never experienced its Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall or White Album or Smile (note, the rest of pop music hasn't experienced its Smile yet). People might tell me that this or that is good, but the best I can say of most rap is that it is very good for its genre. It hasn't established its full musicality yet. Of course, to the other, when rap does achieve its full musicality, I expect some fans to call it "fake rap" or "not real" or something like that

    In the meantime, people do get close. Take a look at rock and roll, for instance. Going from "Rocket 88" (Ike Turner) to "Money" (Pink Floyd) is an interesting, arduous tale. Accepting that when history recycles itself it does so faster, I'm expecting that supreme statement of rap to come in the next couple of years. Who knows, Eminem might be the one who makes it. I admit that it would be a pleasant surprise.

    Here, I'll even give you the basic breakdown of me and rap:

    • First rap heard: Vincent Price in "Thriller"
    • Oldest rap familiar: Sugarhill Gang, "Rapper's Delight"
    •_First contact with rap in the mainstream: Run DMC
    • First acceptance of rap as art: Public Enemy (it had to be pointed out to me by a heavy metal band I listened to)
    • Favorite rap album owned: Sir Mix-A-Lot, Mack Daddy
    • Best rap album owned: Arrested Development, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of .... or Beastie Boys Check Your Head
    •_Worst rap ever heard: LL Cool J, "I Need Love" or Black 47 "Time to Go"
    • Favorite rap ever heard: Roger Waters, "Perfect Sense Part II" (MC Marv Albert)
    • Best rap ever heard: Beastie Boys, circa Check Your Head
    • Latest rap acquired: Gorillaz, "Rock da House"
    • Latest rap of interest: Nappy Roots, "Po' Folks" (I think is the title)
    • Rhyme currently playing: Kid Sensation, "Two Minutes"

    A couple of notes for you.

    I've had twenty years to consider rap as a commercial art form and it has never sold me on its credibility. There are occasionally groups which show much promise, but I learned back in the 1990s that it really is flash-in-the-pan. A couple of the selections on the above list are, admittedly, odd. "Testarossa" ... well, I can't tell you what, technically, is the "best" rap I've ever heard. Never bothered to buy a Public Enemy album since I could hear it almost anywhere I went. They had some cool ones, but I can't recall any of the titles. I mean, as much as I like the Beastie Boys, I do worry about the state of the rap genre when three skinny guys from New York with whiny voices are the paramount of musical accomplishment in the genre. They hit, for me, almost twenty years ago, and nobody has met the challenge since.

    I'm all to accept a difference of opinion, but I will make myself clear on one point: If people want me to accept the artistic value of something, they should note it in language that does not reflect the genre itself, but the art of the the object. In this case, I have been insulting to Eminem's fans merely because, well, they chose to speak that poorly. I mean, the topic was it's own with only one pseudo-defense of Eminem (he says what other people are afraid to, which was dealt with in due course) until someone came along and defended Eminem's conduct,

    • I find it strange, that people are attacking Eminem for defending himself against what was said about him.

    Honestly, that I wasn't a fan of Eminem's fans to begin with wasn't too big a problem to me. Even the typical "he says what other people are afraid to" line is like water off a duck's back. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that about various foulmouthed artists. But in Eminem's defense, I see a lack of intellectualism that speaks poorly of the people defending him. No, I don't think you're as stupid as your comments make you out to be, but I would very much hope that someday you will shake off this commercial malaise which compels you to justify that kind of behavior.

    It still reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons: "We are watching Fox ...."

    Honestly, the problem is that a lot of people cease their artistic development with the pop culture. So that at thirty, their expressions of what they appreciate in music sound like they're still thirteen. It really bugs me to see people insisting on staying in that dead zone. It means that talented musicians and actors who work hard will have to take a back seat to the aesthetic appeal of a culture that would prefer to turn every art form into a sexy-contest and leave the people who legitimize the industries with their labors of love to starve.

    Remember, You are watching Fox.


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  10. justme Registered Senior Member

    tiassa doesnt seem to read other peoples posts..

    sorry i made a mistake, i took another look in the album booklet, and dr. dre is indeed executive producer like i said, but executive producers for f.b.t. productions are jeff bass and mark bass, i guess this was what the link you gave was referring too, still strange they didnt mention dr dre as executive producer..
    no YOU think you are so right, while you know nothing, you DONT read other people's posts, i will tell you this AGAIN, and back it up with some links if you don't believe me..eminem has produced most songs on the eminem show and did mixing, and he's executive producer and producer on devils night..
    what does the word pussy or cunt itself has to do with everlast

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    , its like static76 said, it are all just diss words...and do i have to remind you of how you said the song without me is gay?? oh wait wait just for the hell of it i'll quote it for you:
    oh my tiassa?? *points at tiassa* HOMOPHOBIC!!!

    well i really dont believe you are homophobic, so you dont have to defend yourself, you just used the word 'gay', which means happy, and it means a homosexual, but it also means something you don't like, something that is lame, it's often used by people, and in that context it had grown to be a meaning out of its own, absolutly not referring to being a homosexual anymore..its the same with the words faggot, homo and bitch...
    AGAIN, you DIDNT read static76 and mines post before...people did listen to eminem BEFORE he blew up...before he ever got played on the radio, before dr. dre even knew about him...he had fans and he had people supporting him as an underground rapper in why did they choose to like eminem, if they could have listened to the pop on the radio and choose one of those limited options??
    AGAIN you didnt read my post before...i will quote it for you again, and maybe you can do your absolute best to read it...AND remember it this we go, this is about the song you had took the margot kidder line from:
    even eminem himself says that at first (like with his first album infinite) he wasnt so good, he putted words together that rhyme..(just like you said), but he grown and keep hammering on one sentence from a very old eminem song like you do doesnt proove your point and only shows you have lack on prooving your point with more examples and with newer material...
    AGAIN (im getting so tired of this) you didnt read my post very well before...i dont even feel like looking at up and quoting it again, you can reread the thread and find it yourself...i said that eminem has reacted MANY times to his critics..he ALWAYS defended himself against the critics and reacted on it...actually it finally quieted down (especially after the performance with elton john), till moby started to talk...i guess eminem got to tired to repeat everything he said before and didnt feel he had to go over it again and again and again..
    look up in this post and read the links...
    and you got 2 songs from static76, where i said i totally agreed with, but yet AGAIN you didnt read it...
    well i guess it is taste, i think it is GOOD and has QUALITY, you think differently, and thats no problem, but then again, i actually listened to his albums and you didnt and still you think you owe the absolute truth and know everything about his songs and lyrics

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    , if you would have actually listened seriously to it, i might listen to you..
    look to what i previously said in this post about the margot kidder line...and i measure his words on their rhyming value AND what they mean..he got something to say in his songs..sometimes he uses the words to make his fans laugh, sometimes he uses them very seriously to tell about his life, or just to state his opinion ( i kinda said this in another post already), but it arent just empty words that happen to rhyme..
    AGAIN...i dont listen to eminem because he's cute..i told you before that i didnt even like his music at the beginning, because i only knew a few singles of him which i happened not to like..if i thought he was cute i would have bought it from the first time i saw him on tv wouldnt i, according to your theory , so your stereotyping of eminem female fans doesnt fit to all female fans, maybe some are like that, but every artist has a couple of fans like that, they surely arent ALL like that..i wouldnt ever buy albums of people i think look cute..because the music itself has nothing to do with looks and LISTENING to an album (which you do with your EARS, not with your EYES) from someone you think is cute, but dont like his music, would get pretty boring.. i see lot of cute guys who happen to sing, but that doesnt make me buy their albums...the gay friend i have by the way is a GIRL, so no she doesnt want to fuck eminem

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    , but still she should be offended by his lyrics right, because they are so homophobic like moby claimed them to be?? but she doesnt feel offended...

    cant find a quote so fast and i need to hurry up because its bed time for me

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    but about what you said about defending eminems 'threat' of violence..i said already that i thought it wasnt smart of him, it was stupid, and he could better not have said it, but i dont saw it as a threat because he looked calm, and just went on with his speech after he said that, without showing ANYTHING that would suggest he was actually going to do what he just said (hitting a man with glasses), this you can hardly see as a threat, because as wordnet 1.7 says as a definition of threat: 'declaration of an intention or a determination to inflict harm on another'..i guess this a general excepted definition..and looking at the vma's its obvious eminem had no INTENTION to really act on what he was more like static76 said trash talking then really something he said and was planning to do..there is a BIG difference between this...and if it was really a threat of violence, than according to your theory (because you said eminem should have taken moby to court about the things moby said about eminem to proove him wrong), moby should have filed a complain with the police and let the judge see if it actually was a threat..and knowing that the judge would see that eminem didnt act on his threat, because the little girl kept booing…and still eminem didnt go in the audience to hit the man with glasses..and that he just went on with his speech obviously not serious about the ‘threat’ he made, because he didnt show any intention, i doubt if the judge will think its a threat...dont you think i will make a great lawyer when i finished my law study

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    ?? oh no wait i am dumb and a kid and not intelligent..i forgot for a second

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    oh and again, im not justifying the thing eminem said, i think it was stupid of him, and better left unsaid...i just dont see it as a real serious threat of violence like you do..
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Poor Eminem, libeled by a newspaper!

    It's cool. Part of what I'm after is that people take a hard look at the artistic things they like. I do it all the time. It helps keep the individual perspective on the art or artist in check.
    Eminem's role in the mixing was to assist a guy named Steven King, it would seem. That stage usually involves the artist telling the mixing engineer what he wants and then sitting there while the guy does it.

    That was a good album review, though. In relation to "Hallie's Song", though, I'm suddenly put in mind of a song Tommy Lee wrote and performed for Motley Crue, dedicated to his child. You could almost write the same comments about that song.
    Specifically, it employs female-associated words as insults. Just like employing gay-associated words as insults. In other words, if you want to insult a man, call him a woman or a homosexual. Like your next portion:
    Think of it this way.

    • George W. Bush, Jr. is such a woman.

    Now, I am not claiming that Mr Bush is actually a biological female. Rather, I'm using the word "woman" to indicate someone who is weak-willed, incompetent, stupid, and who whines pathetically.

    In that case, "woman" is an insulting condition.

    Is it easy enough to see? What else do I need to explain to you? (Seriously, and without sarcasm I ask that.)
    Do you ever do the club or underground scenes? Ever get out and watch and listen to the plethora of bands on the underground and club circuits? For instance, Floater, who plays to rooms of 300 to 5000. They are well-respected on the west coast. They turned down a record contract because they weren't going to take their 75-minute masterpiece, cut out all the slow songs, write new material, and present it as a 59-minute heavy-metal album of collected airplay-ready singles. This is a question most face when they are offered a record contract. However, if Floater had a Chris Cornell or a Lemmy Killmister to go on television and go to MTV and go to record executives to create a stir for them, they could rule the nation.

    In this sense I take my hat off to this hard-working, well-respected band that has found its niche in a local scene. They would rather win your hearts, not have someone tell you to like them.

    Without the intervention of Dr. Dre, how far would Eminem have gotten?

    Therein lies an interesting question.
    From the looks of the review on the page you offered, it seems that there is some question about that genius:

    • His "show" this time is all snarls, not cutting satire; Marshall Mathers is on the defensive now ....
    • On the tracks, Mathers is at the ol' crossroads. He and Dr. Dre are starting to repeat themselves on the likes of "Soldier," "The Business," and "The Drips," and The Eminem Show lacks the overwhelming, single-minded force that The Marshall Mathers LP had.
    • The best moments feel unique, yet somehow isolated from one another.

    Of Devil's Night ... the reviews are not the kindest.

    However, just for kicks:

    • The D12 boys drop rhymes like: "Niggas want pussy and I want cash / So Ma, get out there and start selling your dirty ass." Each member is as indistinguishable by his equally calculated obscenities as the next is by his identikit Eminem-derived style.

    This tells me very little. It does tell me that the reviewer finds the obscenity calculated for imitation in quest of popularity, and it tells me the reviewer finds that a difficult point. I'm aware of this degree of criticism. It's what people think about when they put things in the context of an art statement.

    • In fact, the beats that Dre contributes to 'Devil's Night' sound like they could be prototypes designed back when he was still finding his way out of the G-funk hole and developing that now familiar sample-free sound.

    And this, for instance. All it tells me is that Dre is not producing his best work toward this process, giving filler material essentially, in order to carry the project to completion. It's a very small statement.

    • The alleged humour of Eminem is nowhere to be seen, buried under irritatingly childish (the number of references to onanism are no coincidence here) nonsense that makes Fred Durst sound like Seamus Heaney

    I liked this criticism because it's funny. But this is merely a reviewer's tastes. Who cares if Eminem makes Fred Durst sound like Seamus Heaney, except that Marshall's lyrical genius is supposed to be the high point? In fact, the only reason a criticism like this matters at all is because it strikes after the heart of Eminem's credit: his lyrics.

    • As executive producer, Eminem contributes many of the productions, revealing a paucity of ideas that might give an indication of what we can expect from his next album.

    Now this, while still subjective, is an important criticism. Is Marshall "holding back"? Is this the whole of what he came up with? (I'm looking for Dotmusic's review of The Eminem Show just to see what they think ....
    Dre, in February, had to "finish up" Marshall's album? Well, there is, indeed a hint at Dre's EP status. But my question here would be Why isn't Marshall "finishing up" the project? At any rate, that article wasn't the review I was looking for. I'm not finding a review of The Eminem Show at Dotmusic ... ah ... here it is. I like this review:

    • Marshall Mathers III knows this, of course, which is why the title of album three tips a subtle, knowing nod to the ultimate reality project, The Truman Show. But if he was being truly honest, he would have found some way to twist a pun out of Groundhog Day. Because, like Bill Murray's character who's doomed to live out the same nightmare again and again (and like Jim Carrey's who is stuck in a suburban purgatory), Marshall is trapped within the character of Eminem.

    I mean, this is just a high-minded potshot by a critic, but it's pretty funny because some people understand exactly what degree of artistic integrity the critic is swinging after. But therein lies the presumption of The Truman Show connection, which, frankly, I've never heard of before, and I would hope for Eminem's sake that the critic is inventing that comparison. I mean, a pompous critic is one thing, and well-known. However, if the point derives from Marshall's own words, the critic has a huge point.

    • Consider the evidence. In 'Cleanin Out My Closet', he unleashes an astonishingly corrosive torrent of hatred towards his parents, saying "I've got some skeletons in my closet/and I don't know if no-one knows it", but the fact is we've heard the story repeated for years now. Other themes: loathes his wife (check), feels persecuted by critics and the authorities (we know), is the voice of white America (heard it), is here to save hip-hop (yep), blahdeblahdenananana (uh-huh).

    You'll notice there's almost no qualitative assessment of the song. In that sense, it is safe to say the critic did not find the song groundbreaking. But the rest of the point is unfortunately valid. Nobody's going to deny that people feel this way, but there is nothing really new about the basic messages he's spewing. Admittedly, his manner of expression is considerably lowbrow, so there's that artistic merit. But I think that little capsule makes a good point.

    • This isn't laziness on Marshall's part, though. He literally has no choice but to bounce off the same ideas, to attack the usual suspects. "I've created a monster," he says on 'Without Me', "no one wants to see Marshall anymore". On 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood', he's more explicit. "No one puts a grasp on the fact that I sacrificed everything I had," he says referring to privacy, dignity, stability, happiness, sanity even. "If I could go back/I never would have rapped."

    Critics aren't all naysaying. If you say something is good or bad as a critic, you're obliged to tell why.

    More importantly, though, who says Marshall has to keep rapping? Or does the critic have him wrong, too?

    • Make no mistake, no one on this planet would last five seconds being Eminem, let alone Marshall Mathers III. The world he inhabits is a twisted, cruel, horrific place, even if what we see of it is simply entertainment.

    This is a great note. In addition to pointing out the trouble of Marshall's life, the critic does make a wonderful point about how people see it as entertainment. However, I would wonder at those who would peddle this apparent hell as entertainment. Fair enough?

    • On 'Superman', his attitude towards women is appalling, but this isn't dumb, kneejerk sexism, it's ingrained, full grade misogyny. He f**king hates, mistrusts, undervalues and fears every girl on the planet save his daughter, always haunted by his mother and ex-wife.

    Now that is a broad criticism, but it does point toward a psychological process that many can sympathize with. But the anthrax on the tampax makes me wonder if there is any particular reason for any of it.

    Perhaps my favorite (so far) critical assessment of Eminem's talents:
    It's as much an indictment of the buying public as it is of Marshall himself.

    We could, of course, always pretend that Eminem exists in a vacuum. But what I see in these couple of reviews of the albums you pointed out is generally a couple of fair reviews. One cannot point out the work of Eminem without considering the controversy. Therein we see part of the secret of commercial art.

    Thank you at least, for getting me up to pulling up reviews. It was very informative.
    O ... kay ....

    Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm completely that fucked up. But given that it's over one year later, don't we find Marshall's determination to keep this up just a little obsessive? And then when Conan O'Brien showed the comic-dog tape, I was on the floor laughing. People are defending this dude? O-kay. What-ever.

    I mean, seriously:
    Tired of repeating himself? Apparently so.

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    I did. I even read the review that was included.
    I see Static mentioning "Stan" on 9.4, your mention of "White America" on 9.5, repeated mentions of Eminem's lyrical response to Moby without citation (Static), a repeat of "Stan" from Static on 9.6, Mentions of "Stan", "Cleaning out My Closet" and "I Remember" on 9.9, and a couple of lyrical expositions scattered in there.

    Having just reviewed the whole of the topic yet again, I come up with two original mentions: "Stan" and "Cleaning out My Closet". At no time were either song held up to be the songs I should listen to any more than the issues people took with my lyrical examinations proclaimed such a song.

    So perhaps you could point out those two songs and the post(s) in which they occur. It would be helpful. It's entirely possible that I've missed it. What, with the claims that a contracted form of two words mean something other than the term it contracts, minimizations of Eminem's conduct, contrary claims that Eminem is not rock and roll and that Eminem can save rock and roll ... ad nauseam.

    If I missed it, take some pleasure in that fact and then point the damn posts out please.
    Once again, the poor excuse that not buying something suspends the right to have an opinion about it?

    It seems that you are paying attention. If you weren't, why would you have written so many posts?

    The flip-side of that is that no, I don't "owe" (own?) the absolute truth on Eminem. But since his fans want his lyrics to be taken in an artistic context, I would hope they could provide a coherent example of how to do that. So far, it hasn't happened. He's lyrically talented, but that first album wasn't up to snuff. Contracted words mean something different from the word sequence contracted. Has rhyming value and meaning, but nobody can tell me the meaning. Hello?
    Well, what does it mean, then?
    So what does the Margot Kidder line mean?
    Would you rather I lie and misrepresent fans? On the one hand, you're upset because I haven't listened to--experienced--the whole albums the way you want, and on the other hand, I don't see that it matters since you wish to replace my observations and experiences with fluff.
    I'm glad someone brought this up.

    • The lesbian is generally safe from desiring a man like Marshall
    •_Would Marshall object to having homosexual intercourse? What about a threesome with two girls? (Social double-standard, you know; one of the reviewers pointed out that the new album deals with social double-standards, so why not?)
    •_I would be very curious to read your friend's assessment of Eminem. It would be fun, and educational.
    Please see the St. Augustine Record article included above, and then consider e-mailing Eminem's organization, since that particular libel would be one they can sue over in order to set the record straight.
    O ... kay ...
    If you say so. In the meantime, please see the St. Augustine Record and then notify Eminem's organization about the libel committed against him.
    If Eminem's posse got hold of him, he probably would have. In the meantime, Eminem got booed for his words, and that seems to be enough so far.
    I await your response, then, to the horrible libel printed in the St. Augustine Record.
    Frankly, no. Respond to the apparent libel printed in the St. Augustine Record and we'll see.
    Well, I'm not a big-time pop star. If I say those things to people in this town, I get arrested.

    Maybe the rules do change when you get famous, eh?

    Once again, just for kicks:

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  12. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    Re: Fair enough, Static

    tiassa, I glad you admit that rap has a certain amount of melody. Rythym is definately the most significant aspect in rap music, but it varies from song to song.

    That "whining synth-noise" wasn't even close to being the first melodic element in rap music. And I'm sorry, but if you think of Kris Kross (who barely had rapping skills, and zero lyrical content), as trend setters you're way off...

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    Melody was used way before these guys, check out an old LL Cool J album, for instance. This makes me wonder.., what did you find so melodic about the "whining synth-noise"?

    Alos, what "rap" are you reffering to in "Thriller"?? You don't mean Vincent Price's talking???

    Rapping isn't "spoken words", it is best describe as rythmic speaking. The "Flow" of a rap song is predicated by the rythmic pace and vocal tone of the rapper. The "flow" that a rapper like Nelly, is vastly different from that of a 2 Pac.

    A rapper's flow must also be on pace with the beat, similiar to a singer. A rapper that's "off-beat" is easy to spot.

    I've been a fan of Rap way before is was commercially successful. I have my own opinions as to what I find good, just as you do. I think alot rap today sucks, and recognize commercial creations like a Ja Rule or Nelly.

    Once again, we could debate the "artistic legitimacy" of rap music, but I doubt we'll change our opinions on the matter.

    Rap just isn't your cup of tea, we all have very different tastes. I never liked "grunge music" either, but once again we all have different tastes.


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    No wonder you don't respect rap, if you think Vincent Price's talking was a rap...

    The structure of his lyrics may have been poetic like that of rap, HOWEVER, he was merely speaking the words, he had no "flow" at all. His pace was independent of the beat, and he spoke with no rythym.

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    All good choices.

    LOL! Can't say that I was ever a big fan of these two. Both Sir Mix A Lot and Kris Kross, had some of the worst lyrical content in the history of rap. Kris Kross's "Jump, Jump" chant was weak IMO, and Mix a Lot's, "Baby got Back" is one of the chessiest rap songs ever.

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    Their style of rap was good for parties though, and I enjoyed the beats to the songs.

    Good choices.

    LL is one of the best rappers ever, BUT your right about the song "I Need Love". That is one of the sappiest rap songs I've ever heard. I never heard of Black 47, maybe I'll check out this song to how bad it is.

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    Never heard of Roger Waters before, so I can't comment on him.

    I think you vastly overrate the Beastie Boys, in my opinion.

    I'm sorry to tell you this, but I doubt anyone other than yourself, thinks that the Beastie Boys are the paramount of musical accomplishment in the rap genre...

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    Many artists are ahead of them like Public Enemy, De La Soul, A Tribe called Quest, Nas, and Outkast just to name a few...

    I was responding to your statement of.."Man, Eminem really is afraid of real musicians."

    You said he was afraid of "real" musicians like Moby, and I explainded that his feud is because of what Moby said about him. Nuff said...

    "No, I don't think you're as stupid as your comments make you out to be"?????LOL!! My feeling is that any comments that you disagree with, you will find dumb. You arrogantly assume that I like his songs because I'm "compelled" to by "commercial malaise", when you have no clue.

    When you say that commercial rap like "Kris Kross" and "Sir Mix a Lot" is your favorite rap albums owned, you show a complete lack of understanding for rap music. You chastise me for liking what you deem "commercial", BUT your favorites are regarded as the epitome of commercial rap, by the rap industry. The irony of your statements are hilarious...

    You obviously haven't read my posts outside of this thread. If you did, you would know that I despise the Media today.

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    Once again it's a matter of taste when it comes to music. The world doesn't center around what you find appealing. I live in LA and know far better than you about the struggles of today's actors, as I have many friends in the business. There are alot of talented musicians all over the place, looking for their big break because of record label greed, I never disagreed with this. My problem is that you lump Eminem in this category when I don't.

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  13. ChristCrusher Registered Senior Member

    i wish i had time to site here and block quote my life away sentence after sentence.

    however, since i do not, i will address one point, and then post my concluding remark with a picture.

    point- just because a website called '' defines something in one manner, does not make it inherently correct. there are thousands of opinions and inaccuracies passed off on the net every second. to boot, you ran a definition from that site for 'rap music' not rap. try arguing the actual point in contest. further, you clearly can not read, as Salamander said the Oxford Dictionary of MUSIC , which is clearly not the same as the Oxford Dictionary. Considering she is a classically trained musician, as well as a music instructor, I would speculate (do you even know what that means? doubtful) that she knows of what she speaks, whereas you do not.

    in conclusion, here is a picture of static (in 'posto' that i found on the web this afternoon.

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  14. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    ChristCrusher, crawl back into whatever fucking hole you came out of and troll another board, you piece of shit! Are you too stupid to realize that when I said,.."If you feel that only the Oxford Dictionary can claim what music is, then that's your deal."...that it was in response to a quote RIGHT ABOVE these words, that pointed to the Oxford Dictionary of Music. Your the only one who couldn't understand such a simple thing.

    Anyway, I'm done with your trolling. Your only purpose on these boards is to insult posters, and that picture you posted shows that your one sick fuck. You are the reason we have the ignore function, and I think I'll use it now.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I heard it in KK before I heard it anywhere else.
    You mean like, "I Need Love"? Which song would you say is LL's best melodic exposition?
    It moved in half and whole steps. It wasn't particularly melodic, but it's the primary thing I can remember from that period.
    In fact, I am. It meets any definition of rap you wish to put up there, and, furthermore, is credited as a rap in the album liner notes.
    There is atonal and arrhythmic music. Why can there not be arrhythmic rap? Because nobody has done it well, yet?
    I have no issues with the artistic legitimacy of rap, but rather with the terribly low standard set for artistic legitimacy in rap.
    I can't be said to own much grunge. It was my hometown music for a while, and we also have to stop and think about that movement. I'm not a proponent of grunge. Nor am I a proponent of heavy metal. Nor of rap. I prefer good music, artistic integrity, and innovative thinking. During the "grunge" rage, I had the fortune of being in Seattle and Oregon, never far removed from the music that would first save me from corporate pop culture and would then plunge me headlong back into it. Grunge, incidentally, was a horrible label, which was applied variously to Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Goodness, Nirvana, Mudhoney, AiC, and others. Specifically, Nirvana is the cornerstone of grunge, but grunge is Silverchair, Toadies, and a host of bad prog-pop that got signed during the corporate feeding frenzy. If you ever happen across the movie Hype!, there's a great bit in there about a band called Seaweed being interviewed on MTV while not having released an album or played a show for a couple of years.

    It's one of the problems I have with corporate pop music labels. Rap as presented by the pop culture definitely isn't my cup of tea. But rap, when it is performed with artistic integrity is as legit as anything else. As with grunge, I hold rap to the standard the genre itself sets. Industry standards are quite low, in general.
    I think you just undermined yourself.

    • The VP rap meets definitions of rap
    • The VP rap is credited as a rap on the liner notes (and still is)
    • The VP rap was produced by Quincy Jones

    I think it qualifies as a rap. You see, I have a problem with the standards of rap, and that's my problem. However, in order to maintain higher standards, you have to cut out parts of what rap is.

    Furthermore, if you think there was no rhythm in Mr. Price's reading of the script, you're most likely responding to a limited definition of rhythm.

    I am almost compelled to find for you the specific rhythm Mr. Price used, since it will be evident in the history of poetry and prose both. However, I have to admit, spending two days reading tables of hyphenated words adorned with proofreading marks just doesn't thrill me. I hope you can understand that. My first guess, and this based solely on memory, is that Mr. Price is reading the script in iambic pentameter, which makes sense. all things considered. (the FUNK of FOR-ty THOU-sand YEARS)
    Nobody on his end ever pretended that it wasn't.
    Have AIM? I might need to send you that one directly. As soon as I get my .mac account organized, though, I'll be happy to post it on my currently-unused homepage. (Right now, inexplicably, the only thing there is "Doctor Jeep" by Sisters of Mercy, and I can't figure out why.)
    Roger Waters is the second lead vocalist for Pink Floyd (after the decline of Roger "Syd" Barrett), and is also the impetus behind The Wall, and is currently putting together a ballet, of all things. Nonetheless, the Marv Albert interlude, comparing war to a sporting event, is quite hilarious and touching. (Live it's a hell of an experience, with twelve thousand people singing. But when Marv Albert asks that people please rise and sing the global anthem, oh, they do.)
    Because they can compose, perform, and produce better albums than most? They're the most prominent musical force in rap today.
    Whatever you say. You're obviously the expert. One of the things that impresses me about Check Your Head is that it is both a musical rock album and a rap album. But as far as musical production within rap, I must necessarily disagree with you on that one.
    I still think so. Real musicians have more credibility than popsters. That's why the threat instead of a more credible response.
    It has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. It has everything to do with how one disagrees with me.
    I can't remember ever saying that I had any real appreciation for Kriss Kross. Please point that out for me?
    Yeah. Mix-a-Lot sure was a vital force in the OG movement. Beastie Boys, like Nirvana, get a pass on that; I cannot hold people responsible for doing work so good that others have to imitate. And, as we see in the case of the Beasties, nobody can imitate them.

    However, I'm not particularly worried about my tastes as a teenager (Mix A Lot, circa Swass; Beastie Boys, circa License, &c.) In the meantime, very little of the Beastie Boys press is about controversy because the writers have something better to discuss: musicality. Musically speaking, even Paul's Boutique has something to it that is admirable. Notwithstanding, of course, that it is the only album of its kind, and there will never be another. It is illegal now to make an album like that. Too bad; Paul's Boutique would have been a wonderful standard for others to aspire to, but the issues involved are that important.
    I don't see what that has to do with anything. I despise Apple every now and then, but I ain't gonna go out and get a Windows hunk just because of that. And, furthermore, I generally despise the main stream of commercial media. So, being that we both do, and if Sir Mix-A-Lot somehow stains my credibility, then what can we say of you?
    That sounds about as useful as a veteran who says Kent State was justified because "I served in the military, damn it, and until you do you don't have a right to criticize."

    That you live in L.A. and therefore know far better the struggles of actors is so tenuous that I could easily say that you live in L.A. and are therefore that much more knowledgeable of bad music, as demonstrated by your appreciation of Eminem.
    Maybe you don't get it. What sells sells. Eminem was a "safe" risk because of the history of controversial lyrics and the stewardship of Dr. Dre.

    Now imagine that you are lyrically respected. And you get signed on your merits. And then you don't get to make the album you signed to make because they want you to put your talents in the backseat and give them another Eminem-type record. Living in L.A., then, I'm sure you've noticed how studios produce films in thematic groups in order to steal each other's thunder, and how in Burbank television shows often rearrange their plots in order to steal each other's thunder. And in light of that, I'm sure you've noticed how the pop charts are always rehashes of the same in attempts to capitalize on what has come before. Aside from the controversy, I don't see Eminem as particularly innovative. Well, actually, aside from the controversy, I don't see what's so important. I don't see the controversy as innovative. But if I put fifty songs in front of you and those are the only songs I let you hear when you go to clubs, listen to the radio, or watch MTV, we can reasonably assume that at least one will spend some time as your "favorite". Does it make that song "good"? No. Hell, its merit might be that it's the least annoying thing out there.

    Think of it this way: you're Epic (becomes Sony). You have two bands. You really really like one of these bands. The other isn't particularly great. The one has made a great album. The other has made an album that strives to be mediocre. The one has made a rock and roll album that you can't figure out entirely. The other has rehashed the style that is currently selling like gangbusters. For whatever reasons, you only get to push one band.

    Record companies are businesses.

    Think of it in terms of business decisions. DGC had Nelson, and promoted them in their day instead of others they could have had. Why? Because innovation is a risk at that level, and it's best to bet safely on what's already selling.

    I don't take issue with the fact that people can hear a song and like it. But in there, I also recognize that with some artists, there's a very good chance that the reason you heard the song in the first place has something to do with somebody paying someone else to make sure this album got played and another different. Even if it's at a party at your friend's house. "Where did you hear this, Bob?" Oh, heard it "on MTV"/"at the club"/"on the radio"/&c.

    Take the song Who Let the Dogs Out? by Baha Men. I knew it was making ballpark circuits, but the "official" story that I caught on a VH-1 "one-hit-wonders" special notes that it was, in fact, in Seattle, at SAFECO Field, that Who Let the Dogs Out? became famous. (Sorry, guys ... if we could have helped it, we would have. We were just glad it wasn't Gary Glitter anymore.) Tell me something: Wow. Of all the songs you could have attached to the cutest superstar on the west coast (Alex Rodriguez), why this one? Of all the people who heard the song and liked it, I wonder what they would say to some other song that they might have heard that wasn't played over and over again for the cutie swinging at the plate?

    But come on--that was a coordinated effort across industries to make a commercial product successful. I can remember endless remixes of "Boom! Shalakalakala!" a few years ago related to basketball. Really, with the phrase popping up in video games, on television, and so forth, the song needed no musical merit; it was a fun word that people liked to say.

    But what should I say to anyone who thinks these songs got popular on their musical merits?

    You know, the Macarena I can explain. Spend twenty years composing music and you're bound to have a catchy one. Or, write a rap song and think of a way to sell it that has nothing to do with performance or composition quality and you've got much better odds. But for those guys it was pretty much "for the music". After all, they really didn't put too much effort into extending their fifteen minutes of fame. But my problems with the Macarena are different.

    I mean, when Al Gore gets to make the best joke about your song, ever, believe me, I notice.

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    But I could probably remix "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror with a backbeat and a couple of funny sounds and make it popular. I was talking to a friend of mine about recording a rap single just for the hell of it yesterday. Between a G4 iMac belonging to a friend of mine with the right software suite onboard, and the gear in my basement, my roommates and I realized that all we needed now was a DJ, and we have several friends with turntables for scratching. Now, whether or not we feel like going forward with it is another thing. Just to show a bunch of people how easy it is to record a rap single is no reason to go recording rap singles.

    Incidentally, I must correct my Last Rap Acquired ... I was pressed to think back to the last album I bought that had rap on it, and came up with the Gorillaz. However, I just came across a copy of the Elemental Records NorthWest Post-Grunge compilation, which strangely includes a few pre-grunge bands (Hitting Birth, Rhino Humpers, &c.) But I did come across Five Fingers of Funk's Watchyassworth, a very very musical rap worth mentioning. Technically, I think that is the last rap I happened to acquire insofar as acquisition date is concerned.


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    (PS--Seattle/LA ... Grunge? Nirvana? Pearl Jam? How about "metal"? Dokken? Motley Crue? Should I point out that, living in Seattle, I know far better than you about good music and the trials of hardworking, dedicated good musicians? I mean, come on, LA has a spotty history to the point that the industry would move people from California to Seattle so that they could call themselves a "Seattle band". You may get to claim to know actors better, but Seattle is consistently better music. I mean, we ridicule the band Heart in this town a little bit because their 1980s phase. But Seattle's musical representation is consistently better than most, so it would seem that, based on your logic, I know far better than you about good music and the trials of the people who make it. Now then, should we dispense with such notions, or shall we make them part of the running discussion?)
  16. ChristCrusher Registered Senior Member

    here, since you obviously can not read/ integrate a thought pattern, let me put it in picture form for you.

    Salamander referenced this:

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    you keep talking about (something similar to ) this:

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    get a clue, tard.
  17. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    LA vs Seattle

    Fair enough, but they weren't the first.

    Off the top of my head try "Jingling Baby" by LL.

    It is a reach to say that it was a rap, but I'll concede that by strict definition is was a rap.

    See, we can agree on some things.:bugeye:

    Actually, many bad rappers have produced arrhythmic rap songs. The problem is they suck.

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    Rap without rythym just doesn't sound good, it's like a singer who is off key.

    I like the Beatsie Boy's musicand have been a fan for years, but they're not the most prominent musical force in rap today.

    Outkast, Dr. Dre, and DJ Quik just for starters, are more prominent and they have composed, performed, and produced better albums than the Beastie Boys. But then this is a matter of opinion.

    Your right my mistake. I saw Mack Daddy and thought you were reffering to Kris Kross.

    Mix a Lot wasn't really part of the OG movement, though I can see why you thought this.

    Also, nobody could imitate Public Enemy, N.W.A., De La Soul, or OutKast, though many have tried.

    LOL! True. I guess I did sound like one of those veterans.

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    But I only slipped this in because you keep making references to Seattle.

    Maybe your the one that is missing the point, that Eminem was signed because of his lyrical skills. There is no conspiracy here, Dre liked his style, so he signed him.

    The problem with your argument here is that you don't think Eminem got signed by Dre on his merits. When he won the Wake Up Show's Freestyle Performer Of The Year award, and finished runner-up in Los Angeles' annual Rap Olympics, that's when he got signed. Your assertion that Dre picked him up for controversy is wrong. There are MANY wannabe rappers who thrive on controversy, but they won't last if they suck.

    As for the rest of you point, I totally agree. TV networks pick shows based on targeted demographics and how much money they can pull in from advertisers. Fox is the perfect example of this.., just about every hit show on TV get's copied by the Fox network. The funny thing is that I agree with you on most of the things you say, I just don't think that Eminem fits into the commercially made artist category.

    I have to say that I have really enjoyed this debate with you tiassa. I honestly agree with your take on commercial driven music, I guess we just disagree what falls into that category.

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    I think we have hijacked this thread and taken it way off topic though, even if it did make it more interesting.

    This is my last post in this thread, because I'm frankly sick of discussing Eminem..

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    Some of our tastes and musical interests are different, and I say that's a good thing. Life would get very boring if we all liked the same things. I really respect the fact that you care for the hardworking artists, who haven't had their shot at fame(Though, I believe Eminem was one of these artists).

    Anyway, thanks to you and justme for the good debate..
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  18. Phrenetic :D Registered Senior Member

    Re: Marshall ...

    After rereading this, I see that I am not one of those "spunkheads". I download his music and I do not wear his hair. I do like listening to his songs though - and not because "everybody's doing it". I also listen to many other genres of music. I can only speak for myself; others might listen to his music just because their friends do. My guess is that they do actually "feel" his music: that perhaps his words do hit home for them.

    What is your point? That Eminem is a controversial hypocrite? Controversy and hypocrisy are not unheard of in the United States.

    And what about the girl pop stars (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera...) and their loyal followers?

    To conclude: it seems as though I am not one the millions of pop loyalists who have sold out for the mindless bliss of the bandwagon, but I wonder how many people really are? This last bit specifically relates to Eminem and his fanbase.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    In a strange way, I rather did enjoy it. Thank you.


    Fair enough.

    Oh, and of the Aguilera fans ... don't get me started. Unfortunately, Eminem himself got me started, so to speak. Without the VMA tantrum, I might never have said a word about him.

    As to the point ...? Well, I think it has something to do with the bit about collective tastes. If I say I find Eminem a particularly disturbing expression of collective taste, please understand that I think most (American, at least) expressions of public taste are somewhere between mildly disturbing and downright distressing. At some point it becomes ridiculously too complex. But given my bleeding leftist heart, it's sort of a double offense to me. Not only do I dislike the crass consumer economy Americans are coming to depend on, but every once in a while, the expressions of taste defining what that consumer economy is supporting ... well, somewhere in there was the original point.

    For instance, to examine a notion that was ugly in my day: Filthy music makes you behave filthy. By the gods, how many times have I heard that?

    Turns out it's at least partway true, but we knew that when we were telling the PMRC where to shove it. But to follow on that vein: if the issue was, say, rebellious youth--Oh, the music is making them turn into hellions!--I'm all for it. Give the rebel yell. Shout at the devil. Tear down the walls. Don't take it. Wanna rock. One of the most delicate and difficult things to relate is a shocking association between certain catalysts and a result that lends credit to organizations like the PMRC. Beyond that, I end up in a tirade about Eminem again. Suffice to say that there is a general sense of a beeotch generation going around, and while Eminem is not to blame in any way for it, I do find the whole of it--original subcultures, artistic derivations, and direct expressions--rather distasteful for its refusal to communicate combined with its lament of not being understood. Throw that all in with the above and that's even more toward the point.


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  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Jingling Baby? Are you sure about that?

    You should hear William Shatner rap.

    Trust me. It's better than when he sings.

    (Hey! Mister Tambourine man, play a song for me ....)
    That was sort of my point. Nobody can explain the appeal of "Baby Got Back" until they've seen that many people shaking the same asses they're already drunk off. That's one of the things about music that I hear on the occasions that I get dragged to dance clubs. Some of it you can only like if you're drunk and hitting on someone. The guy I know who was actually mistaken for Eminem a couple of times picked up his Marshall habit because it sounded good on Ecstasy and lots of booze. I'm not sure that would increase my appreciation for it, but that's beside the point. More to the point, nobody ever pretended "Baby Got Back" was anything more than a novelty.
    One man's opinion? Okay.
    Would he have won if he rapped a knock-your-socks-off tribute to the posies in spring?

    Okay, so I had a couple more things to say ...

    Oh, and of "Jingling Baby" ... of course it's got melody. It's got very melodic samples of other songs .... (Sorry, but I just had to point that out ....) Oh, and that weird sound in the background that I most remember from Rob Base and EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" ... not quite the same but I always did wonder about those kinds of trends. Maybe that's why that whining noise in Kriss Kross stands out in my mind.)

    thanx much,

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  21. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member


    Never heard of Roger Waters before, so I can't comment on him.

    Roger Waters was the bass player for Pink Floyd. He wrote much of the lyrics/music. I find it odd you haven't heard of him especially after you make this statement:

    I live in LA and know far better than you about the struggles of today's actors, as I have many friends in the business.

    Anyone who admits to not knowing of Roger Waters is the same as admiting they know nothing about music. His songs span decades and are heard repeatedly every day. He will most likely go down in history as one of the most talented and prolific songwriters of our time, and way ahead of his time.

    Will the same be said about Eminem ? Not a chance. He'll either be forgotten or end up on Hollywood Squares.


    Roger Waters is the second lead vocalist for Pink Floyd (after the decline of Roger "Syd" Barrett)

    Shine on you crazy diamond.

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  22. static76 The Man, The Myth, The Legend Registered Senior Member

    Sorry Q, but I was never was a fan of Pink Floyd, therefore why would I know the name of it's members? Why would I learn the member's names in a band I didn't care for? I'm sure many don't know the names of the members of Public Enemy, or the Beasties Boys, BUT that wouldn't mean they could comment on rap music.

    Frankly, this is why this thread has gotten pointless. You quote a line where I say I can't comment on Roger Waters, and you proclaim that I must know nothing about music. What is the point of this? I guess this negates my knowledge of everything concerning music, because I committed blasphemy and didn't learn the names of Pink Floyd (A band I never cared for).

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    My appreciation for John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Clapton, Jimi Hendrix(my personal fav), Doors, Ramones, Public Enemy, and Outkast, means nothing to you.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Hey, Static .... okay, I didn't expect it to be THAT long ....

    Just a couple of things, I promise.

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    A fair question, and about the only things I can offer in response are a couple of simple points:

    • Some of us can't help it. I mean, really, is Lance Bass really "news"? The best part of that whole episode was the human factor. First the mission captain says he doesn't want Bass, but if he has to have a celebrity, he wouldn't mind Cindy Crawford. And then Cindy Crawford says, "Only if it doesn't conflict with my schedule". And the whole time, this twit from N'Sync is all over the news. Not MTV news, but the news. So sometimes we have no choice but to learn the names of people in bands we don't like. (I changed the channel a few days ago when CNN was going to do a feature story on the love life of Justin Timberlake post-Britney.)

    • You know, I have a vague appreciation for Mozart. I have a quiet affection for Rachmaninoff. I don't like a whole lot of Bach, and I find Beethoven annoying. I know their names, though, and a little bit about them. And, yes, Roger Waters will be remembered for The Wall, the definitive creation of the "rock opera" idea that people have tried to imitate since and have failed miserably. A short list of imitators: Styx, Kilroy Was Here; King Diamond, The Portrait, Abigail, Them, Conspiracy, The Eye, &c; Savatage, Streets: A Rock Opera ...
    Hmmm ... this sound familiar:
    It's just that, in light of that, I find it strange that you list so many well-known bands while referring to musical knowledge.

    Take a look at the list: it almost looks like an order form from Columbia House.

    It's not that I disapprove, but if you've heard the Doors, have you heard The Seeds? ("900 Million People Daily" is 10:22, and not easily obtained through Gnutella; however, Neil Norman, apparently the ONLY scholar on the band I've ever heard of, points out that the Doors heard The Seeds. And, in light of the organ sound in "900 Million People Daily" is very familiar. Or John Lee Hooker. I like his work, too, and both the blues Kings. But I think of Pinetop Perkins, Nolan Strock, Deborah Mc(Something), and a host of good blues that I hear on independent radio whose albums I have trouble finding even in Seattle's most respected blues stores. Like the Deborah Mc(Something) who released a rehash of a standard called "Raid This Joint". It was a great interpretation, and while people know what I'm talking about, it's hard to find a web reference or even a copy of the album. Miles Davis? I've got a couple of albums sitting on my shelf, and Bitches' Brew mp3'd. But I also think of Yvonne Cannon (R&B/jazz vocalist) and Rockin' Teenage Combo (instrumental jazz), or a band called _____ (it's an alphabetic name, but "ABC" is the only thing to mind, and that's definitely not it) that I saw play El Matador in New Orleans, who had played shows with Seattle's BeBop & Destruction. I feel badly, for instance, that compared to RTC, Ollie (original drummer) made more money playing in Gruntruck (grunge, anyone?)

    Nonetheless, while I'm sure your tastes do include bands of the main artery, one does wonder. I suppose it's also a matter of external influence. Someone mentioned Spin magazine, earlier, which I found telling. I find Spin to be a schill to the pop culture, but that's not a huge point for argument. Rather, I read Mojo, Q, and Tape Op for my music press, largely because the musicians in my company read them.

    A short list of names: Robert Poss, Kevin Shields, Alan Mulder, Tony Williams, The Wrecking Crew, Phil Specter, Carol Kay, Jack Endino, Terry Date.

    Can anyone connect The Melvins to My Bloody Valentine? The connection comes through the band Wire. A member of The Melvins worked on a side project called Tomahawk. Tomahawk also includes a member of Helmet. Helmet also featured a guy named Robert Poss, who played in a side project which would cover a song by Wire. My Bloody Valentine covered "Map Ref 41N 93W". Now, it seems like an interesting game of "Kevin Bacon", doesn't it? Until you stop and look in at these characters. In that little grouping are two who set studio recording standards (Poss, and Kevin Shields of MBV), The Melvins (the loudest band in grunge, and loudest band I'd ever heard until they opened for Tool), Jesus Lizard, considered seminal somehow by their fans and also many critics. Music itself is rich, rich history in progress. Part of what bothers me about the pop culture is that when I hear what I call "real musicians" talking, or read their interviews, they are talking about musical ideas, not blowing ego smoke or raising controversy. There may never be another Pearl Jam tour because it was never supposed to get so big that people should die for joy; I sat there and listened to Eddie proclaim "This is the last time we ever do this". Nonetheless, an album is coming from the band and we all hope they tour. But you'll notice that the band never tried to defend their place. They merely showed that they were appalled, they mourned their lost fans, and they made some very personal decisions about music and money. And if they never tour again, and only play the shows their conscience moves them to (e.g. Bridge School benefit), I cannot protest.

    In the meantime, I might recommend the film 24 Hour Party People, only vaguely historical, but still a riot. And I'm not even a fan of goth or acid house. If you manage to catch it on a big screen, be careful. The film is made to make you feel like you're on drugs, an effect both stunningly successful and annoying in places. I don't know how that effect will play out on DVD. But it's a great movie that takes a peek inside The Factory of British lore (Joy Division, Stone Roses, &c.) Or watch Hype! What amazes me about that film is how whiny the musicians are. But you hear a constant refrain from the musicians about their music, and how badly pop culture screwed up everything in their town. And they've got a point.

    The simplest difference is explained thus: Remember the pop-metal of the 1980s? Remember bands like Cinderella? Cinderella is important to me. Until their particular blues-exploitation albums, I didn't pay much attention to the blues. And then one day I caught Tom Keifer in an interview talking about Muddy Waters. After that, I tuned into the last alternative music show on commercial radio at the time in Seattle, a blues show on a now-defunct radio station. Since that day fifteen years or so ago, I've built a certain appreciation for blues. Why? Because the one time one of my pop heroes talked about music in a manner that didn't equal something like the time King Diamond was asked his favorite three albums without further comment (Uriah Heep?), he taught me something. Yeah, this sprayed, glittering, scratchy-throated pop diva actually hooked me on blues. Most fans of pop culture don't seem to pay that kind of attention.

    The best explanation is that most of what's going on in pop music has little if anything to do with music. Think about grunge for a second. Why was it so ferociously accepted by the pop culture? Because in 1992, the pop culture was amid a drought of several years: Paula Abdul radio pop and rap were the only things you could hear. People were so happy to hear rock and roll on the radio again that they flocked to it. After all the technical wizardry of making these divas sound reasonably good on tape, all anyone wanted was three chords and some beer.

    We may differ on whether Eminem is part of that negative pop culture, but I really don't see any signs that he isn't. For instance, a recommendation: if in response to charges of lyrical impropriety, brutism, and absolute idiocy, Marshall was to express himself in certain terms, he would gain credibility. If he starts talking about where he lifted his beats and samples and why those are important, and how he put them together for a desired effect ... if he starts speaking the music, then more of the musical community, including those who dislike his product, would come to his defense. They may hate what he says, but they'll defend his right to say it once they figure out there's a legitimate reason to be saying it. In the meantime, it's his right to say it, but nobody's going to help boost his sales by feeding the controversy. That's what's so dumb about the Moby conversation. Asking Moby what he thinks of Eminem right after someone proposes that Eminem should be the "King of Rock and Roll" is a pretty dumb thing to do. Moby, like many others, would not have said word one if the question had not been put to him. I wonder what Marshall would have done if it was, say, Tad, who gave him shite. And on that note, I do miss Wendy O. Williams, who could teach Marshall a thing or two about handling controversy. Seriously, if Marshall dropped the bitch-homo-pussy-faggot routine and started stripping down and blowing up Cadillacs or chainsawing Harley-Davidsons onstage, I'd be more inclined to see it, even though it would be a knockoff routine. Why? Because naked people blowing things up is hilarious in its own right, and if you're going to go out for ridiculous entertainment, it ought to be dedicatedly ridiculous. There is no excuse for half-assed professional immaturity.

    It's not like I have no ties to the pop culture. But there is a mentality in this country that popular equals good that transcends mere musical tastes. (Look at the Iraqi Bush War situation ....)

    And I reject that presumption. I even go so far as to resent it. It's all well and fine for people to like what they like, but I'm getting tired of the aggrandizing of taste. I like Phillip Glass compositions from time to time, yet I don't call them symphonic. (Deliberate minimalism is a standing artistic mode; I don't call Glass scores anything more than they are: scores by Phillip Glass. I'm a huge fan of Band of Susans' exploration of Chatham's "Guitar Trio", but I'm not going to pretend that it's anything other than 13 minutes of one note in a tonal/rhythmic exploration. I did, in fact, enjoy "Baby Got Back", as well as others ("Sprung on the Cat"), but nobody pretended they were anything other than novelty. (And when the Justice Department began surveying Mix-A-Lot as a possible dangerous person--because of the song "My National Anthem", which was sandwiched between "Beepers" and "Gore-Tex" just for reference, Mix-A-Lot did not get up and make excuses. He told people to think what they want and then went on with his business. And then he floored those critics with "The Jack Back". As I recall, nobody really took issue with the song because it was so clear: stop f@cking with black people. Yes it was violent: don't shoot at a black man just because he's black; he might also be better-armed than you. Seemed clear enough to most.

    And in that sense, there is a line to be drawn in all art. Crossing that line should not equal censorship, but material that will be considered "controversial" also involves other ideas. Take Eminem: maybe he's got a point, but his expression isn't good. I'll explain what I mean by that. Take books. Many have been censored, burned, &c. But the paucity of the censors is that they don't realize how ineffective they are. And here I'm not talking about the "Harry Potter" sorceries or the strange process that made Madeline L'Engle a communist lesbian (?!). Think instead of Brett Easton Ellis, who gained infamy after his book was rejected by three publishers who intended to sign him. He did the whole controversy routine. They're not ready for my level of expression, &c. Of course, the publishers all had a good line, too. "It's not the book per se, but the fact that this is not the book we agreed to when we began negotiations. This is not the book he claimed to be selling us." In the end, American Psycho sold many copies, raised many hackles. Today, Brett Easton Ellis is old news. He didn't last because there wasn't enough artistic merit to it. At no time was it a "good book" in any literary sense; that is, I know people who think of porno films that way. Okay, I tell them, it's a good porno, but is it really a good piece of cinematic art? And part of the reason Ellis is old news, in addition to the lack of merit in American Psycho is that his other books suck, too. "Less Than Zero" was better in movie form, and "Rules of Attraction" ... well, it had an interesting narrative perspective, but not a new one. And it was a horrible novel to boot. Ellis went by the wayside because he had no artistic merit. There are a lot of bands that raised hackles to similar degrees as Eminem has. Not many of them are around today because they haven't the artistic merit to continue their fame. As for Eminem--we'll see what comes.

    I promise you: so long as one remains that close to the pop culture as you have expressed, one is missing certain fascinating, fun, enriching, enlightening experiences within music.


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