Point of View
We asked Australian saxophonist/drummer,
to answer the following question...
Is There Any Intrinsic Musical Value In Rap?
by Willy Qua
The question "Is Rap Crap, or does it have a respectable place in
man's artistic endeavours?" ... I'm not sure.
To be honest, I can't stand 99% of Rap, and the only two Raps I've ever
liked weren't by one of my black brothers, but a funny Jew, and a
funnier Englishman (The Hitler Rap by Mel Brooks and The Gambling Earl
Rap by Peter Sellers circa 1955)
I personally can't understand why anyone listens to that chordless,
melody-less, monotonous bullshit, the normally ultra creative Negro race
seems to have embraced. There would be 40 million Negroes in the USA and
rather than hear one talking on a CD, or a film clip, a person can
actually go and find one, and talk to him for NOTHING-and likely sound
just as good!
(By the way, before I'm accused of being a racist, save your breath! I
am! By choosing only the best, the slave traders inadvertently created
the seeds for a 'super' race. Add that to the treatment dished out to
the ones that survived the journey, we can see how Negroes, as a race
are such world beaters in what they attempt, particularly in sports and
However, as far as my own taste is concerned, they've taken a giant leap
backwards with Rap. The giants of modern music-the guys that took the
baton from the European Masters of Classical, Romantic and
Impressionistic movement, namely the Tatums, Armstrongs, Birds, Dizzys,
Coltranes, etc, would be fuming if they could hear what their
descendants have done. Just when these geniuses elevated the essentially
improvised Negro-spawned music of Jazz to the equal of anything the
European Masters achieved, along came the Rappers.
These 'Rappers' have discarded melody and harmony, leaving the sole
element of rhythm, used in the most pedestrian an uncreative way.
The subjective abstractions of Art and Music make it far more difficult
to appraise than the time and motion activities, such as sport. With
regard to the latter, man's speed, strength, and creative athleticism,
can be fairly easily measured, even without a stop-watch. In diving, the
jump turned into the belly flop, the belly flop into the elegant Swan
Dive, and that to the Somersault, to the triple somersault with twists
etc. Each successive achievement more complex than its predecessor.
Astonishingly, Popular Music seems to have gone in the opposite
direction. Rap seems to be about one step away from sitting around the
fire and clicking sticks with each other.
On the other hand, Rap has two things going for it that are totally
undeniable and therefore tend to validate its existence, regardless of
my otherwise perceived lack of value: Incomprehensible as it is to me,
some people actually like it! It makes people happy. Neither myself ,
nor Clarence Darrow , could mount a case against that.
Secondly, Rap exists by the very factor that makes it obnoxious to me.
As musically prehistoric as it is, nothing else sounds like it! Compared
to the music of Beethoven, Debussy, Coltrane or Jarrett, it's 'boof-head'
noise. So, the secret with me that prevents me from killing one of these
guys is that I no longer compare it with the above gentlemen. Instead,
rather, by its uniqueness, I concede, Rap has a place in the catalogue
of humanity's endeavours. In other words, we can't have everyone as good
as Coltrane. (Personally, I still hate it! lol)
© 2009 Willy Qua
Editor's note: If anyone is
offended by any of this...
As an aside, Willy said "No one takes me seriously and nor should they!"
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