Tuesday, August 08, 2006
A Walking Memorial

About terming it a ‘synth rap revolution’. That was a bit of hyperbole on my part, but it does not diminish that since about the time that Lil Jon was getting on magazine covers accompanied by his favorite synths, this rap shit has been changing. It’s true that Cash Money was doing synth stuff as well, but with Lil Jon it became a bit more pronounced. Take for example his team up with the Youngblood’s “Damn”. What many pointed out during his ascendancy to the top of the pops, was that he was using synths not generally associated with hip-hop. Thus, it can be said that he was innovating the game in a way. For instance, Jimi Hendrix wasn’t the first guitarist to use feedback in a recording, but the way that he flipped the script with it, was in fact innovating.

In regard to a false sense of epic-ness, I should hope that producers need not be phenoms in order to make music of quality. In our world of indie-rock, going back to its punk rock ideals, there is something inherently noble about making music without being a musical prodigy, so I believe that criticism is a bit misguided and unnecessary. (The Ramones, Pavement, The Raincoats, The Jam, Lo-Fi rock by design really.

What’s wrong with infusing hip-hop tracks with a bit of the baroque? Is it loftier to sample the Patton soundtrack than to do it with an SR-10 or a Korg Triton? It sure is cheaper for one thing. The sense of ‘false epicness’ is a term particular to the one who said it, so it seems that’s a matter of personal preference. Do movie soundtracks, which often operate in a minimalist framework, also reek of ‘false epicness”?

I also find it a misnomer to say that TI and Rick Ross are seen as deities, when to all of us in the know (and I’m including school age kids too) ask “who produced that?”. The Runners appear in the video for Hustlin’ (albeit ever briefly) and producers often have the rapper exclaim their name somewhere near the track or the producer does it him/her self. This a Nitti Beat!

If the southern drawl is something inferior to the sharp diction of the rappers of the Bay Area, why not throw out Delta blues. At its core another genre of “sloppy” vocal style and crude instrumentation (while I don’t find “What You Know About” crude at all). I do encourage those who decry TI’s lyrics to be stupid and senseless to actually rap them along with the song. Once I found myself rapping to the beat and realized what an impressing effort his flow is on the track. True, the lyrics may not be full of any consciousness expanding, but then again neither is Spank Rock’s “Put That Pussy On Me”.

One thing that southern rappers aren’t appreciated for is their penchant for actually flowing over the beat with no lyric sheet. BIG did it, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, etc do this, but for southern hip-hop this is pretty much a standard practice. In their genesis, Houston screw tapes were always “flow only”. Riding the beat to the degree he does in this song, is actually something to marvel at. Which, again is my personal opinion. It has been written that speech is higher than writing because it is actually closer to the original thought. In a sense, if this is seen as a worthy view, the ‘south flow’ has something going for it.

As far as ringtones go, sure, record companies want to sell music. If “She Loves You” came out in a time where one could download a ring tone, rest assured that it would indeed be everywhere as well. Does the popularity of a song take away from the quality of said song? The first time I heard the ‘synth washes’ of “What You Know”, I felt it was something special. A force feeding wasn’t necessary. Also, as one who never listens to the radio, neither song has been force-fed down my throat.

When I listen to say Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada, the fact that many times the pianos involved don’t sound ‘real’ isn’t really bothersome. They are after all, sounds that build a musical composition. Spank Rock sounds no more “authentic to me” than the synths in the Lil Jon produced “Yeah”.

As far as emptiness in material goes, Spank Rock does indeed mention that they “accumulate money from state to state…(and something about a) Bentley…”Briefly, is Lil Jon’s need to “Fuck those pussy ass niggas” any more primal than Spank Rock’s need to “Put That Pussy On Me”?

I’m in the park now and it’s getting dark so I should go. Forgive any grammar mistakes, etc.

Posted by heightsy on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 at 5:29 PM |

Reason # 1 why Katie never argues with Rob: Because Rob takes every single thing Katie says and twists it to mean something completely different than Katie ever intended.

That said. ..

False Epic. A phrase I wasn't so sure of using, but went on and did it anyway. I wasn't implying that anyone had to prodigious here-- I was more referring to the fact that the song was structured to give the listener the initial impression that THIS SONG IS HUGE AND IMPORTANT- THEREFORE YOU WILL LIKE IT. Which was supposed to tie into the whole music manipulating our minds point (that's why it lead that paragraph? oh!). And yeah. It sounds like the swell of a movie soundtrack or something-- which was great thinking on the producer's part, as it has most definitely garnered a huge following, but I just find the style and reasoning behind it to be particularly tiresome and deceiving.

hip hop vs baroque. YOU of ALL PEOPLE know better than to accuse ME of ALL PEOPLE of having a problem with using any sort of classical/jazz/whatever music in hip hop sampling. The only thing I ever said I had a problem with in terms of the music here is that it was a)heavier than I cared to hear, and b)used synthesized substitutes for real instruments. And I thought I stated very clearly that this was a personal preference, and i'll state here again -- i will QUOTE here again-- "fake sounding strings, piano, chorales, etc, especially if they're intended to sound real but just don't quite" is like nails on a fucking chalkboard to me. Therefore-- producers who ARE NOT trying to emulate *real sounding instruments* in their music, namely orchestral and chorale sections, either by using actual instrumentals or by completely not trying to do that at ALL are completely excluded, see-->Spank Rock and pretty much every other producer in the world who knows better than to pretend to be fucking Beethoven on a Korg. There is plenty of wonderful hip hop out there in this world that uses either actual instruments or at least sampling of those instruments, which YES it's more expensive, but it's not like T.I. OF ALL PEOPLE MAKING MUSIC IN THIS WORLD can't afford it, now, is it? And as far as movie soundtracks go, I can't stand them for the most part either, I think they're cheesy, repetitive, unoriginal, TERRIBLE for the most part, but that's going to take us off the deep end into a whole new argument about a whole new genre, and we don't need to mix this up anymore than we already have.

T.I. and Rick Ross are huge. It's obvious you don't listen to the radio, and therefore you don't hear the shit that is pumped into radio-listeners ears. I would've totally backed up your statement about people being interested in the producers a month ago before I started torturing myself by listening to Houston rap radio on a regular basis. Totally completely. But the dj's on the rap station in houston would have every single one of their listeners kneel down and suck off T.I. or Rick Ross in a collective world-wide worshipping session if they could. And the listeners that call into that station would do it too because they would do or say anything for free tickets to DJ SCREW FEST I fucking swear.

I did NOT say anything about southern drawl in general. I said HIS southern accent was WAY over-emphasized (NOBODY fucking talks the way he raps in that song unless they're from backwoods mississippi and were raised under a barn, YOU KNOW THAT). And what I said about his sustainment of that drawl was particular to the parts in the verse where I guess, as you say, he "rides the beat", which is apparently a total preference thing, and something I most definitely do not prefer in T.I.'s case.

And the ringtone thing wasn't so much a popularity detracting from quality thing as it was supposed to be emphasis for the whole point of that paragraph that the song is HUGE because we've all been brainwashed to think it's this really great song (because, like, OMG, it has BIG SYNTHS!)

And in terms of Aphex Twin and BOC, 2 musical groups I find completely irritating and boring to listen to partly because of the composition-with-shitty-sounding-fake-instruments. Spank Rock isn't SUPPOSED to sound like a fucking orchestra, or sound more "authentic" than lil jon. When did lil jon come into this anyway. Who said I hated lil jon?? Although Snap ya FAENGAZ is a bit of a headache, "Yeah" was fucking amazing.

And you're completely making shit up there at the end with trying to say that I implied anything about content of spank rock being any better than whatever the fuck you're talking about. Infact, I wrote a personal blog a while back that very blatantly spelled out that I rarely have any sort of connection/care with lyrical content in music period, so that's pretty much a non-issue and rob just trying to make katie look stupid for thinking put your pussy on me has more merit than say rick ross and his HAY GUYZ I SELL DRUGZ message. or even the other way around. because I think pretty much all the lyrics we're throwing around in discussion at the moment are pretty fucking meaningless for the most part.

Phew. Did I cover it all? I don't know. Who cares!

I sent you a pleasant text today. let's hug.

okok FINE rob.

and yeah, you can have my babies also, sure. just don't come begging me for child support after the fact.

"the whole point of that paragraph that the song is HUGE because we've all been brainwashed to think it's this really great song"

Hmm. I might have to do a post on this.

the point of *that* being that it's not a really great song at all. it just *sounds* like it should be. therefore we like it regardless.

i know this can be much better explained by someone with actual writing skills.

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A group of kids with WAY too much time on their hands.