Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Troy

11 Poets Speak on Mental Slavery #consciousentertainment

Recommended Posts

I never understood why lyrics like this are not more popular in popular rap--at least among Black folks.

 

 

One of the poets (OhSoCoy) messaged me on Facebook with the link.  Oh how I wish I could have help people just post this stuff here I would have more time and the site would be richer.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree totally. Funny enough the decline of conscious Hip-Hop is a myth, but it is accepted because the mainstream is dominated by ignorance and party music. I was thinking about what happened in Hip-Hop yesterday and I've chalked it up to the movement to silence the 5%. In the late 80s  and early 90s, Hip-Hop was dominated by lyrics founded on 5% philosophy. As the mainstream began to remove the ability for those emcees who brought consciousness to the artform the amount of emcees who are/were 5% decreased dramatically and so did the lyrical content. This is definitely a longer discussion, but I was wondering if anyone else saw this occur? By this I mean, the reduction of 5% in Hip-Hop coinciding with the decline of Hip-Hop.

 

I just reread what I wrote and had to amend what I said a bit. The decline of conscious Hip-Hop is not a myth, it's reality when you compare the number of positive artists in the mainstream in 1990 vs today.

 

I just added this to my social group as well. I'm going to start doing that a lot more and maybe it will improve the search qualities.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rap and hip-hop are officially mainstream.  A frequent category on Jeopardy! is "pop culure" and there are always questions about these subjects.  A couple of days ago, the final Jeopardy! question had something to do  with what rapper co-opted a historical event in entitling his latest album.  One of the contestants, a bespectacled middle-aged white guy got the right answer:   Jay-Z (Magna "Carter")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm okay with it becoming main stream, I just hate the silencing of the music. Early 80s = Crack Killed Applejack, White Lines, White Horse, The Message. Mid to Late 90s = Stop The Violence Movement, Human Education Against Lies, Early 90s = New Black Panther Party, LA Peace Treaty/We're All In the Same Gang and since then the voice of the people has been silenced. Becoming mainstream is a logical progression, but the systematic removal of the 5% and conscious emcee from the mainstream is the problem.

 

All music is co-opted but strains of the original form remain on the air and in the top 40. Not Hip-Hop... Hip-Hop has been co-opted (See Macklemore) and the emcee who speaks truth to power is basically muzzled (Lupe, Talib, Pharoah Monche, Jean Grae). Speaking of Jean Grae the removal of the female voice coincided with the removal of the conscious emcees. In the late 80s early 90s, Queen Latifah dropped Unity, Ms Melody was a part of BDP and MC Lyte made strong songs that were lyrically incredible. On the West Coast Yo Yo started the IBWC movement and empowered young girls. Since then, we have Trina and Nikki Minaj. No one even knows who Jean Grae is. It's sad and unfortunate that we allowed mainstream to do this to the music by continuing to tune in instead of tuning out and forcing change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"We discard facts like broken rubbers" --Yeohzer, The Gift

 

I was not previously familiar with Jean Grae, but I see Lil' Kim on "Black" sites all the time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy, I'm a virtual encyclopedia of Hip Hop. I can bring up a lot of artists that should definitely be in the mainstream but have languished in the underground. Jean Grae has been around for a long time, but has never broken through and she even stated that this last album would be her last. I feel her pain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was another Brother, Nah'Sun, who used to post here every so often, though he said he was more of a lurker.  He also new a lot about hip-hop.  It would have been interesting to read an exchange between the two of you on the subject. 

 

Nah'Sun also spoke about all the good rappers out there. One he mentioned when I asked for an example was someone named Liquid Lux (sp?).  Are you aware of this artist?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't consider Rap, per se, as music.  It's spoken word and I have always believed that it is a throw-back to the African griots, and a verbal form of improvisational jazz. Music soothes the savage beast but rap incites it with its hypnotic cadence.  

 

Not surprising, I never got into gangsta Rap or Rap as political commentary.  I like the carefree  renditions like  "It was a very good day" by Ice Cube and the "I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind" by Snoop Dog.  And I do like Lil Wayne's rhymes because I think they are very clever.  He a good punster, too, and I love puns. Tthey tell me Kanye and Jay-Z are masters of the art, and I assume this is true.

 

My generation goes back further than the Temptations.  It goes back to the extremely melodic ballads of the 40s and 50s which compile the "Great American Song Book", old standards as interpreted by vocalists like Nat Cole and Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughn - Frank Sinatra and Nancy Wilson and, of course, Billy Holiday. And the thing about these songs is that their lyrics are so exquisite that they stand on their own without a melody. Compare the zeitgeist of that era with its music and there is a correlation. So, music does define a generation. 

 

I remember when I first heard "When Doves Cry" by Prince.  It left me cold.  No base line;sung in a monotone; cryptic lyrics. Of course, my kids loved it.  Guess why?  Me, I preferred "I wanna be your lover" and When you were mine", naturally. Prince, however,  is in a class by himself.  But he's a  terrible rapper, IMO.

 

Music is the universal language.  For me it is divinely Zen.  It fills the spaces between the lines. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once got into a debate with a music professor who said that rap wasn't music. I explained to him that it was that type of thinking that prevented the connection of rap to classical music and prevented people from actually accessing classical music and jazz. When one considers that scatting, (hidee hidee hidee ho) is considered jazz, then it seems logical to consider the call and response cadence of Hip Hop as music.

 

I also challenge the idea that Hip-Hop incites. All music incites. The Nazis played Wagner while murdering Jews. A lot of the crescendos in classical music are more driving in sound than rap could ever be.

 

But I get what you are saying. Music is definitely the universal language and like literature... if you want the new generation to appreciate the classics, you have to introduce them to the writing that is contemporary but is connected to the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL. Why would it make a difference as to whether or not Rap is music?  Does calling it music anoint it as being legitimate? I make the distinction, because Rap is not sung, it is spat.  Likewise, scat.  It is not vocalized, it's scatted.  It's gibberish, albeit entertaining gibberish.  And is "call and response" a component of Jazz? Or something exclusively associated with swing musician Cab Calloway?   :lol:

 

Yes, orchestral classical music can incite when it becomes synchronized with personal emotion.  Rapping incites because of the power of suggestion that its lyrics fuel. And you can believe HItler was rapping while Wagner was being sampled. :angry:

 

I think it's enough to acknowledge that Rap is a genre. Appreciating classical music and jazz is an acquired taste and developing an affinity for it is an individual pursuit that I don't think liking Rap will give rise to.  But, that's just me  B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man you are really killing it with the emoticons!

I think for those of us raised on Hip-Hop, who have called it music, it does give it some legitimacy when professors who teach music acknowledge Hip-Hop as 'music'. I think we long for that sort of acceptance. While it doesn't make or break the genre, being accepted is always important. (right?)

 

In regard to jazz, YES call and response is a component of Jazz. I didn't say it is exclusively associated with Cab, I only used him as an example just as I would have used Ella as an example since they are both considered important voices in Jazz. Call and Response is a critical component of jazz and it is the play between musicians in quintets and quartets that make jazz tie in so well with Hip-Hop.

 

Showing how jazz artists call out each other during their solos allows me as a former instructor to draw a comparison to a Hip-Hop emcee who interacts with the deejay and his audience. Where you had the lead trumpet or sax carrying the solo in jazz, it's the voice in Hip-Hop that carries the solo. I think one of the coolest attempts at authenticating Hip-Hop as music was with Buckshot Le Fonque (Branford Marsalis' group). I think when people place Hip-Hop into a box (I get that it is your opinion)  it completely ignores the groups like Roots or Stetsasonic or Spearhead. What's really important to me is that making a connection to jazz through the call and response connection allows me to introduce younger people to jazz. Introducing my students (when I taught) to jazz allowed me to introduce them to the Harlem Renaissance and show them how  the poets and writers derived a lot of their style and culture from the music and that today's artists and writers are no longer connected in the same way which is why the Black community is struggling and fractured.

 

Another reason I brought up call and response is because when people discuss Blacks and music the discussions start with field songs and call and response and this continues through the creation of blues, gospel, rock and roll and has continued with Hip-Hop (are you starting to get the feeling I've planned this discussion out for a while? lol) I do understand what you are saying about emcees not having to carry a note, but in the same sense couldn't we argue that Free Jazz isn't music sense it doesn't have musical qualities outside of the fact that it uses instruments?

 

The idea that orchestral music only incites when synchronized with personal emotion kind of implies that rap is emotionless except for its lyrics. But I get this discussion and I kind of agree so I won't try to counter this one.

 

It is not enough that rap is considered simply a genre. Hip Hop is an acquired taste and once people are introduced to the correct songs and music they will begin to build  an affinity and appreciation for the artform akin to what people have done and do with both jazz and classical. If you'd like I will put together a playlist of songs you should listen to that will definitely give you pause enough to consider Hip-Hop beyond just Snoop and Lil Wayne who are way down at the bottom as far as I'm concerned. Just say the word and I will work on it. I'll do my best to put together a list with as few samples as possible. :-) One emoticon

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny Chris I just requested a Playlist on another conversation.  I'm sure Cynique, myself and many others will appreciate the list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, I was under the impression that hip hop was a life style and that rap was the "music" of this lifestyle.  Are there examples of hip hop music other than rap,  - renditions that will be distinguisable from R&B?

 

I don't associate scatting with call and response.  Jazz scatting is a solo exercise. Also jazz combo musicians traditionally defer to each other for solos.  And I take "call and response" literally, so I don't apply this term to couterpunal jazz  performances.( I suspect you will be miffed if I make reference to Mel Torme the white guy who is considered the consummate jazz scatter, and white Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker as skillful purveyors of inter play between instruments.)  I would agree that they are examples of white musicians who have stolen jazz and made it there own.  But that's because black people didn't guard and support their own creation.  (Could this be because jazz is too cerebral)  Rap, however,  is certainly reminiscent of free-wheeling BeBop ala Charlie Parker.  

 

My brain is hardwired to be in sync with the music I grew up listening to.  Political statements in the context of frenetic spoken word performances just don't resonate with me or do accounts of life on the mean streets.  Ironically, reading rap verses does appeal to the poet in me. I regard music as a gateway to relaxation and reminiscence. It's not something I want to work at; it's something I want to enjoy.   I love 4-part vocal harmony because it is a human chord.  This form of singing is almost a lost art but it's music to my ears. I took a class in musical appreciation in high school to get an easy credit.  I became familiar with all the old classical favorites way back then and that was enough to sustain me when it came to this genre.  

 

BTW,  I use the emoticons so I will not be taken too seriously because I have been known to come across as hostile to some folks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get it, I'm just standing up for my generation of music. I will put together a list and it will probably surprise you Cynique. I'm actually getting a lot busier now so this may take a second. Hip-Hop is a culture consisting of 4 facets and the music is a part of that so my use of Hip-Hop is speaking towards the music. I'm going to get to work on that list because I think it may open a lot of eyes in regard to how diverse Hip-Hop really is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Chris if you get a sec answer Cynique question, "Are there examples of hip hop music other than rap,  - renditions that will be distinguisable from R&B?"

 

It is an interesting question.  I know terms like R&B don't mean very much as they are purely marketing terms, but I would be hard pressed to describe some form of music that did not include rapping as hip-hop.  Conversely I would image any form of music that did not including rapping could very easily be called something else.

 

Looking forward to your list Chris.  The last thing I brought was Gregory Porter and that was some time ago so I'm looking forward to hearing some good contemporary music.

 

Kalamu ya Salaam and his son used to do an interesting Blog called Breath of Life.  Each week they would write about new music, old music and a cover: http://www.kalamu.com/bol/ it was discontinued over a year ago

 

Cynique, I would have never guessed that is why you used emoticons so liberally.  While I know people have perceived you as hostile in the past, that is more a reflection of them than you.  I would rather you risk being taken seriously than too lightly.  Seriousness should not be confused with hostility either

 

I guess I grew up online during an era when "hostility" was more frequently dished out.  People were less likely to mince words.  Today people would find that offensive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't find Cynique's commentary hostile at all. I think we are having a fantastic debate and it's forcing me to dig in the crates a bit.  As far as are there albums that are Hip-Hop that don't contain rapping. There are a lot of them out there. I would consider Madlib's reworking of the Blue Note Catalog as one of these. I would also say that while people lump Erykha Badu in with Neosoul she is and was actually an emcee first and when you listen to Baduizm you are listening to a Wisdom "Drop Knowledge". In English that means that Badu is or was a 5% which makes her connection to Hip-Hop very evident although she is singing. This is why I say that you can't really place Hip-Hop into a box and not consider it music. Here on this video is the Pharcyde with their song Runnin, and throughout the song they are actually singing the hook in harmony.

 

To further reinforce this I would like to add that Queen Latifah on the album Black Reign actually sang the lyrics to Winki's Theme - an ode to her brother, a police officer, who died in a motorcycle crash on the bike she gave him. Which brings up an issue that I often express to people who place labels on Hip-Hop. Rappers can often do what musicians or singers do, but singers can't do what emcees do. They can, but they aren't very good at it although with practice, just like singing, a singer can emcee and vice versa. So I guess if the songs appear on Hip-Hop albums then it can be classified as Hip-Hop by default right?

 

 

This also kind of moves me to a discussion on Bone Thugs n Harmony. This group made it a point to use harmony in their emceeing and the songs were complex melodic rhythms which flies directly in the face of the comment that emcees don't sing.

 

 

With The Roots (the band on the Jimmy Fallon show) you have a group that plays all of its own instruments. Which means they are musicians first, and they represent the Hip-Hop culture better than anything you could listen to. But they can also jam out with the best rock band or r n b band in the world. This song shows Black Thought the emcee actually singing as well as rapping which happens often. This song is called Silent Treatment.

 

 

To go back to the question about whether there are forms of Hip-Hop that don't include rapping, there is no finer example than the instrumentals and albums made by DJs who are mixing and using the turntable as an instrument. While most would argue that DJs don't play music, what they do is a skill that is refined and studied like any instrument. I guess it doesn't play notes, but emcees have been featured in compositions at the Kennedy Center which has begun to change the way people view DJs and Hip-Hop. Black Coffee, an African DJ, actually did a complete set with an orchestra. This is a perfect example of how Hip-Hop can bridge the gap and allow access into classical music.

 

 

Consider Lauryn Hill's Miseducation album. That is probably consider one of the dopest Hip-Hop albums of all time and it contains Lauryn being an emcee as well as a singer. Hip-Hop is a musical artform that blurs the lines of artistry and has to be considered music.

 

 

Think about it, the last jazz album that Miles Davis made was Doo Bop. It's fusion, but it is definitely a Hip-Hop album.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hoPqFiH6sg

 

I'm still working on the playlist but some of these songs would be on that playlist so that should excuse me if I don't post it. Especially this last one that should feel like it was made it 60s. Pharoah Monche's Push. He sings the entire first verse and doesn't rap until the end. It's a perfect example of how musical Hip-Hop is.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I would be wrong if I didn't add Mos Def to this list with Umi Says and Casa Bey (which was on the Ecstatic and album he played a variety of instruments on and performed on Austin City Limits):

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one popped into my head last night as another example of Hip-Hop that does nto sound like R&B. It's clearly country and something Nelly continues to do with great success.

 

 

Wyclef is also an emcee who blurs the line. This is mainly due to his Haitian heritage and ability to incorporate the sound into the music. Here he actually performs Gone Til November with a backing symphony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Chris, the criteria for being hip hop music does appear to be very blurred.  I have a problem with you using hip hop and its bastard child, rap, as interchangeable when making your point.  To say that hip hop is musical does not make rap, music.  And it's like  you determine a song to be hip hop if the person performing it has a MC in front of their handle, or  otherwise identifies themself as belonging to the hip hop nation.  To me. such music does not stand alone as being hip hop, and the only reason it can make such a claim is because a rapper is fronting it.   (BTW, I always thought Lauren Hill’s was striking a blow for feminism rather than hip hop.)

 

Or, is this to say that rappers can’t sing. I’m simply contending that you can’t sing and rap at the same time, so when a rapper breaks out in song, he/she is doing this between rapping. I repeat. Just because music is played or sung or sampled in the background  when a rapper is rapping, does not mean the rapper is singing. As you allude to, when a person sings, a musician can listen to the melody and score it with notes on a staff so that another musician can read this and play it on an instrument. Can this be done with rap spitting? Or record scratching? I would think that rap purist would not want it classified as music. Art form? yes; Music? No. 

 

I know, I know, I’m getting technical. Which is a no-no in the hip hop culture with its “keeping it real” pretensions. (time for an emoticon) Just because I don’t take hip hop as seriously as you do, doesn’t mean I’m dissin’ it, however.  This is a generation gap, of course. I’m disappointed with the younger generation of Blacks for marginalizing Jazz and the Blues to embrace the minstrelcy of hip hop that includes the babbling of rap.  But I still take pride in the diversity of black musicRap on.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really trying to understand your position here. All people when discussing Hip-Hop the music, use the term Hip-Hop to discuss it. Trust me, I am well versed (obviously) in the four facets (rap, emceeing, turntablism, b-boying) to discuss these all day, but it is much simpler to just say Hip-Hop because I actually make a distinction between rap and Hip-Hop often because I consider rap the songs that have the minstrel aspects you speak of. But how in the world is the younger generation marginalizing Jazz when I've given you several videos that counter that discussion completely.

Mos Def's use of Afro-Jazz inspired rhtyhms in Umi Says, and even Miles Davis movement into Hip-Hop with Doo Bop clearly show how the music is accepted by the artists most people love and admire, but it is simply looked down upon by people willing to place a label on all Hip-Hop (rap) as bad. There isn't one bad song that I posted above. Not a single ignorant, outlandish, disrespectful song. The reason I am saying that you have sad it's bad, is because I can only interpret "minstrelcy and babbling" as bad.

 

Yes I do declare a song to be Hip-Hop when an emcee is performing it. Why, because he's an emcee first and when you read any interviews or do any research on those artist the first thing it states is these guys are rappers. An album like Desire by Pharoah Monche (the video Push linked above) makes a real effort to convey empowerment messages in the form of song and emceeing and the album uses live instrumentation as well as samples, but rap can be melodic.

 

How can you say the younger generation marginalizes jazz when, if you want to be serious, which we are, the younger generation is actually bringing jazz to the forefront while the older generation belittles and despises their methods for accessing and learning about the culture (when I say younger I'm talking about rappers like Common, Talib kweli and even Kanye). When you think jazz today the reason a lot of people are aware of be-bop, cool, straight ahead, free jazz is because of Guru's Jazzamatazz series. It is also due to DJs like Madlib reworking the Blue Note catalog to critical praise.

 

As far as your questions about rap or singing just look at the Wyclef video I posted. He's singing primarily, just as Nelly is singing primarily, just as Monche is singing, also the Bone Thugs song is all harmony and singing, but it is rapping and I don't think you can deny that.

 

Scratching/DJing has been incorporated into symphony/orchestra music. Is it based on notes and chords? No, not yet. However there are processes taking place that allow a DJs scratches to be converted to notes and be played by a guitar and turned into musical notation (which means that it is music right?).

 

What you are doing is basically what most people who are not interested in understanding Hip-Hop music. You are creating your own justification for what your opinion is about rap/Hip-Hop regardless of if I post rappers who sing their lyrics. I think the semantics of rappers rap, not sing does not allow for the discussion of a Bone thugs, or Crucial conflict or a Wyclef who often sings their raps. I do get what you are saying, but I think Hip-Hop music (rap) is still in its infancy in regard to music and when it hits 50 years or so people will begin to recognize that it is music even in all of it's mumbling glory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do get where you are coming from though. If a singer sings acapella there are notes. If a rapper raps acapella, there aren't any notes. When they do rap with musical quality and notes that can be assigned it is singing, not rapping. I get that. That is a technical thing that can't be argued, but I've never seen where people separate the music from whatever is happening with the frontperson. When a band plays, it's a band whether the frontperson is rapping or singing. I get so passionate because rap/hip-hop is the only genre in music where people go out of their way to ignore the live band and instrumentation behind the frontperson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just scanning the posts... I would like to add an analogy... Rap is to Scatting as Jazz is to Hip Hop..... Not perfect, but similar.... As far as Jazz, is less of a marginalization as it is access , distribution channels, education, and of course cultural changes... However, when exposed, one will find that Jazz opens up a new world for a younger generation...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Cave (love the name btw).  I completely agree with your point:

 

"As far as Jazz, is less of a marginalization as it is access , distribution channels, education, and of course cultural changes"

 

But man your description of the lack of access is the very definition of marginalization. 

 

For example, I simply was not exposed to jazz until I was in college.  No one listened to it at home, none of my peers listened to it or talked about it, I did not hear it on the radio (did I say I grew up in Harlem?).  I was still discovering the music well into my 40's.  I clearly remember the first time I heard Nina Simone's I was at a Jazz Festival in Amsterdam and they were playing Feeling Good I was like wow-- who is that?! later after discovering I Put a Spell on You, MIssissippi Goddamn, etc , etc. I was just floored I could live a lifetime in the U.S. and not be exposed to Nina Simone. 

 

It sound strange to say this but Jazz in the U.S.is marginalized as well as poetry.  Literacy is being marginalized right before my eyes.

 

 

 

Would anyone here classify the video that kicked off this conversation as hip-hop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would consider it Hip-Hop/spoken word which on the surface appears to be the same, but definitely is not. Poetry/Spoken word often has meter and cadence but unlike Hip-Hop the musical qualities of the voice are not the same. Which is why I always classify anything vocally set to music as ... music :-)

 

I now realize what Cynique was saying in regard to marginalization. I took that a different way until you two used marginalized in a sense of access. What I do like is that you both have created an opportunity to stress how important Hip-Hop is to other genres. Your introduction to Nina Simone took a lifetime, a kid who listens to Common has already been introduced to Nina Simone and has purchased an album because of this:

 

 

And that is why I take this discussion so seriously. By discounting rap as not being music, you close the channels of analyzing the artform and introducing students to other forms of music. While we know that all forms of music have been removed from schools (this is why we homeschool our children and they actually take music at a college), Hip-Hop provides an opportunity no other music does, it allows for the introduction to artists who would have been forgotten. The problem lies in another discussion, the control of Hip-Hop by the mainstream and corporate America. Kids are not getting the intros from Common or Guru (RIP). They are being fed streams of what Cynique was saying, babbling bullshit. They are not buying albums by Robert Glasper who is one of the best Jazz artists of our time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=---lgL1khi0

 

They aren't picking up Esperanza Spalding. These Hip-hop raised jazz artists are there, but not in the mainstream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee Whiz Chris, to me, the only reason that selection by Nellie can be associated with hip hop is that HE is on it. If the CW singer was singing it alone, then the last thing that would come to my mind is that the song was a hip hop one.

 

There are rappin singers and singin rappers. But a song is a song is a song, and a song is music and rap is rhythm.  But not to worry.  They can co-exist. 

 

I would be interested in what people who are actually of the "younger" generation have to say about all this.  I think a lot the Millenials would be hard pressed to give a coherent defintion of hip hop.  Ironically, I think they would be a little more articulate when it came to Jazz and Blues and would probably describe it as old school music that old folks like - not music that the majority of them will become converted to via hip hop.   I think what attracts them to Rap are the beats as much as the lyrics, which they may be able to rotely recite, not really concerned with the content.  As for the ones of the Gen-Xers, rap and hip hop are just taken for granted, not something they are fixated on, and a lot of them of are into the love songs that I would not consider hip hop. R&B is still alive and well and smooth jazz has a respectible following.

 

 I cherish the past, but I don't think you can go home again. Straight ahead  jazz will remain esoteric and music in general will just be something people download and hum along with while texting and keying and posting when they're not watching prime time soap operas and reality shows on TV. 

 

But good music is good music and as long as we have ears, it will never die.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that we can agree on altogether. Good music is good music. That's how you move through a conversation. This could have never happened on Facebook... I had to say that, lol.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're a gentleman and a scholar, Chris.  No only that, my initials are CDB, too! 

 

What are your thoughts about this scat video? 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the compliment and I'm changing my initials! LOL. Just kidding. I think like minded people always share something in common outside of the mental ability to verbally joust without frustration. You're ability to inspire dialogue is a treasure and something you should package and send to all students in high school and college (and adults but that is another topic). Like I said, this type of lengthy debate may happen on Facebook, but this is one of the best transfers of information I've been involved in a long time. I thank you for that.

 

I have always aligned rap/Hip-Hop with the Black vernacular and scatting is in the tradition of Black Vernacular which began with songs like "We raise de wheat" and old songs in that vein. Basically field songs that were 'broken' up due to the work being done, that later were sung in meetings with humming replacing the drums. While no one else gives scatting that reference point, I was working on a Hip-Hop book and I used a variety of Negro Spirituals to make my point about how some words mimicked sounds since the instruments were taken away. I drew a connection to beat boxing as well.

 

Anyway, I think the ability of Mel Torme and others who imitated instruments in scatting is amazing and very similar to rappers spitting off the top of the dome. It's freestyle at its finest. It's amazing how Mel Torme acknowledged  Ella in this song. Can we say that Mel is the original blue eye soul singer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique, in reaction to your interest in hearing what the younger generation thinks I've asked OhSoCoy to join the conversation and invite some of the other poets in the video to do so as well  I agree it would be interesting to read their perspective as well.

 

Obviously Chris I agree with your assessment on the type of conversations that happen on Facebook.  I would also add the issue of who owns the platforms where our conversations take place.  It makes a difference on many levels. 

 

I just purchased Robert Glasper's Black Radio

 

 

Again I could have downloaded the album from a bunch of sources.  I don't really understand how Google (youtube) can get away with posting the entire album, making it freely available to anyone who wants it.  Of course, they are not alone in pirating music, but it seems to me a major corporation would ensure they don't do this. 

 

I guess Google figures it is better to make money off the music (But if I have to look at the guy twirling that pizza again I'm gonna kill someone).

 

Perhaps Blue Note Records (Glasper's record company) don't mind their music being freely available.  Free publicity, sort of like the radio.  When I was a kid I used to wait for a song to be played on the radio so that I could record it on my tape recorder.  I guess technology just make it easier to do the same thing today.

 

It would be interesting to see how folks like Glasper make money.

 

I purchased the album (the music files) from iTunes for $5.99.  In 2014 you almost feel like a sucker since, seemingly, most people just download the music for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Artists today, don't make any money unless they are signed to a major label and sell huge numbers. The only way that musicians, artists, writers, any person creating makes money is by getting out and hustling. I think there is one truly successful recording artist that controls every aspect of their music and more people should follow their format. That group is Foreign Exchange (Nicolay and Phonte - who was a rapper in Little Brother...). FE+ is one of my favorite groups. They are not under a major umbrella. They own their own imprint and are releasing artists like Eric Roberson, Zo!, and others under this imprint. Oh, another artist who has taken control of his own destiny is Talib Kweli and his Javonti Media. Most artists that have labels, don't really have labels. They have deals with the larger companies and receive dividends.

 

Interestingly enough, the artists are not the people uploading their music to Google so they are not even earning the ad revenue from the posts like you just listed above. The person who posted is earning money on the artist. It's crazy when you analyze it. I know this is going to come from left field and make you say what else is he doing... but I produced a single last year with a rapper in San Diego. I put the money behind it, paid for the video, paid for the production, the beat, and the contract with Tunecore. I actually allowed the artist to keep all publishing. Before doing all of this, I made him take down all of his FREE music from Facebook, Soundcloud and any other place he had music. My goal was to release the song and then track the growth. Unfortunately, I fell on financial hard times and had to pull the funding. The artist, immediately put all of the free stuff back up and the song is not being downloaded because he failed to at least try to follow through on the marketing plan I'd put in place before pulling funding. I honestly think the marketing plan would have worked. Here is that song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmsuucRCz9Q

 

I made this point to state that musical artists have bought into the idea that they have to put songs out there for free to make it. They have no understanding of signing up with BMI or a catalog company and submitting their catalog so that when they submit it to iTunes or Amazon to sell that it can be also licensed out to Pandora or other streaming radio stations who are all currently working on how to pay artists per play on streaming radio. The more material artists give away, the less likely people are to buy it, except when it's a trendy item that everybody just has to have.

 

What artists need to do is use a Tunecore or similar program to get their music on every platform, remove all of their free stuff, unless it's their own website or youtube or soundcloud that can be monetized. They can then place the listener in a position to buy the free stuff that they hear. Unfortunately so many artist feel that they will get a break because of their performances they don't understand how to capitalize on what they do. If you make music, you should make it available for purchase before giving it all away.

 

By the way Glasper, like Jose James, and Gregory Porter are constantly touring. That's how they make their money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting comments, Chris.  The video was well done. 

 Troy, did the young people who you  promised would share some thoughts with us, bail? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris one correction to your point about who profits from uploading a musician's music to Google's YouTube: Sure the person who uploads the video makes money but Google makes the lion's share from that video upload, as well as the millions of others that were uploaded in the same fashion.  THAT is why Google facilitates--no encourages the pirating. 

 

But people don't care as long as they are getting the free music.  No one thinks it through.  Gregory Porter remains obscure and P Diddy is almost a billionaire.

 

Yeah I was like, "Damn! What else is Chris doing and why is he being so low key about it?"  Of course I was into the lyrics.  Again it was the question the initiated my post.  Was that Chris Brown in the video?

 

I see there are other artists creating these lyrics like this but for a multitude of reasons they never reach a large audience.  I guess your story is just one many examples Chris.

 

Cynique, I asked OhSoCoy to comment here and to ask her pals to do the same.  She eagerly agreed.  I can see now that OhSoCoy even created an account.  But obviously she has not commented.  I don't know why. 

 

As a side bar, I'm growing tired of asking people to comment here.  It is another one of those chores that contributes to making running this site less fun.

 

The crazy thing is that commenting here was one way authors made a name for themselves -- this discussion board is still read by influential people.  People like Kola Boof recognized and exploited this fact to the max.  Other authors benefited without knowing. 

 

For example, during the national Black Writers Conference a Brother who has been industry for decades expressed concern about our very own CDBurns opening a bookstore.  The person never commented here but the comment made was indeed noticed by a prominent figure in the industry.

 

I still plan to mention this conversation in the eNewsletter I just don't know the angle yet.  Of course the conversation would have been more interesting if one or more of the young artists in the video contributed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...