Rap is Not Music

Posted in: Musicouching by Shivang on June 7th, 2010 | 47 Comments

Here’s why.

                                        Rap— Music??

Well a lot of people consider rap to be music , but when you think of it, it really isn’t. What is rap, other than reading this really quick and having a few people behind you screaming “yeah” or “oo” or “aah” or something of that sort? Now you may feel, that I can even describe rock,pop or maybe classical like that too. Maybe I could say classical is a fool playing some instrument and singing along. Well the fact remains that even if I do describe it like that, the “fool” is playing an instrument and SINGING, the face that he is doing both counters him being a ‘fool’. Which means that it CANNOT be described like that. You CANNOT say that a rapper is singing, or that *rapper* sings well. For 2 reasons:

1) It is never said, because usually even people who like rap say : He’s a good rapper. Never that he’s a good singer.

2) Rapper really do not sing.

Give me on example where a rapper went beyond his normal voice. If you’re having a problem understanding what I just wrote, here’s what I’m trying to say:

Go hear any rap . Now tell me if he changed his voice (went high or low) at any 1 point. you won’t find any. Now listen to the rapper talk in an interview and tell me if his voice in the interview is the same as it is in the song.

If both your answers come as yes its the same and yes he doesn’t change at all, well then , it proves my point that rap is nothing but having a conversation but saying it quickly.

Sometimes people hear raps which are relating to their feelings. At that point of time you are not enjoying the rap , no , you are trying to hear something which is saying the exact same things you have in mind. Next time when your tense or depressed , listen to some rock or classical (The reason why i chose these 2 is that they both are radically different from each other, yet they are music) or anything that falls in between.

Now I do not have the power to tell you to stop listening to it,

though I can surely advise you to venture further to some real forms of music,

which have REAL rhythm

which have a REAL chorus

which have REAL singing

which have GOOD background music (Not yeahs and Oohs)

14
Liked it
47 Responses to “Rap is Not Music”
  • Brenda Nelson June 7th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Rap originated because some people were too poor to afford instruments so used their voices instead… some RAP is okay.. but most is just gotten to a level of stupid, and not even remotely related to being musical

  • slowslow June 7th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I would rather listen to Rap anyday over country. Rap isn’t really music, but country is talking with some changes in pitch. It’s the most annoying thing ever!

  • Shivang June 7th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    @B Nelson : Yep and usually it is the majority which represents the genre. And in this case , like you said its simply stupid.

    @slowslow : Isn’t changing pitch music? Its done to prevent the song from being extremely plaintive. There is soo much to music!
    Scales,Keys,Pitch . According to Music Theory, some notes sound better next to others.
    Rap is just the same tone going on and on and on..

  • SHAY June 8th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    LISTEN TO LUDACRIS – IN 20 BARS HE CAN CHANGE HIS VOICE PRONOUNCE WORDS IN DIFFERENT TONES AND PITCHES AND REALLY PUT EMPHASIS ON HIS LYRICS – RAP IS POETIC AND CLEVER ESPECIALLY THE UNDERGROUND RAP – IT IS SPOKEN WORD POETRY BUT ANY RHYMES OVER A INSTRUMENTAL IS CONSIDERED MUSIC SO STOP BEING SO NARROW MINDED.

  • Shivang June 8th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    that is just 1 out of a million. Any besides you’re completely wrong about rhymes being considered music over instrumental.
    Instruments were made to be played as music. Rap on the other hand is blurting things out which make absolutely no sense. I would give you an example of one by Nicki Minaj but sadly it has too many abuses in it. U can check it out, the song is called:
    Baddest B*****s

  • Daren June 8th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Yeah’s n Ooh’s is like 30 years ago in maybe a couple of raps
    you really are to narrow minded….

    which have REAL rhythm ? you say Rap doesnt got rhythm ??? have u listend how many nowadays music is influenced by rap rhythm’s Guess not.

    So if there’s no singing its not called music ??? Then what are instrumental song ? Ofcos rap is music…u wanna call its sports ???

    Look i listen 2 all kind of music frm Country, Raggea, Funk, Pop, HipHop to Classics…There’s music that i like or music that i dont like….still its called music !

  • Shivang June 8th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Yeah and Ooh is used A LOT still. U can find it in any rap!
    If rhythm is reading this out really quick then i’m wrong.
    Then at the same time, the speeches I give in school aren’t sports so they must be music.. and studying isn’t a sport , so even hat must be music.
    Close minded is different from telling the truth. Dude, I’m a 15 year old, I’m not some 80 year old dude who hasn’t heard of rap ever. I’ve been hearing rap since i donno when , and I don’t consider it to be music.
    Instrumentals have rhythm,change of pitch, different keys,scales and octaves. There’s a lot. Rap has just saying things quick.
    I personally do not like Country much, but that doesn’t mean I’m saying it isn’t music.
    A lot of rap songs also have lyrics which are absolutely close to meaningless if not actually meaningless.
    Go listen to Nicki Minaj, or listen to Lil Wayne scream yeah or any of the others.
    Then maybe you’ll see. Anyway, this is my view and a lot of people agree to it too.
    Give me one song which is influenced by rap’s rhythm. U wont be able to cuz it has got NONE.

  • nigger June 9th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    what kind of disgraceful website is this?
    i bet you\’re all christians

  • Shivang June 9th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    lol what kind of a person are you?
    I can tell your stereotypical

  • Legall June 9th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    RAP = Rhythm And Poetry. What kind of rap MUSIC do you listen to anyways? Lil Wayne and whoever the hell Nicki Minaj is both SUCK… Try listening to Eminem or Immortal Technique, and really listening to them. Plus, the way I see it, you’ll never change if all you hear when you listen to rap is “yeah’s” and “Ooh’s”. Listen past all that stuff and really listen to what they’re saying, and then you’ll understand why it really does take talent, and alot of it too! Thank you SHAY. You are the closest thing to smart on here.

  • Legall June 9th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    And plus, you can’t judge all of rap music just because a few singers suck. Just like I don’t judge all of country just because all the people that I’ve heard suck, I know that it takes talent, and I still classify it as music. And thats what I think you should do also.

  • Shivang June 9th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    If i’m supposed to look past the yeahs and oohs (Which btw, form a major part of what i’ve been hearing) , then you should look past every thing about this article to suit it to your liking.
    then, Lil Wayne is supposed to one of the best rappers , you should really look up on that and Nicki Minaj is famous too! Very famous. She is a part of Young Money.
    And FYI, eminem plays on the emotions of listeners a lot, all he ever does is cry in his songs and fit in more than 10 abuses in a single sentence, if abuses and crying is music to your ears then no wonder u cant stand country or anything else. Also, country is not the only form of music, i dont know why its being targeted so much.

  • Bo Russo June 9th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Rap sucks for the most part.

  • steez. June 9th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I\’ll tell you what. YOU write a rap. rappers easily have to be able to keep rhythm and use flow.

  • zoeyclark June 10th, 2010 at 5:52 am

    couldn’t agree more. the only rapper I canm tolerate is Kid Rock and that is when he forgets about the rap and just sings rock. Aerosmith’s duet with RUN DMC rocks too,because well, it comes with AEROSMITH!

    : )

  • Alex June 10th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Some of you people actually need to go and listen to what the rappers are saying in the songs besides the “yeah’s” and “oohs”. You need to understand that those are there because if your rapping the whole time with no chorus (yes the words yeah and oh can be used for a chorus) it’s going to usually be a boring song. The problem is that when you here what they say you here stupid things that don’t make sense, when in fact most of the things you here are either metaphors or similes to what the song is actually about. So the problem isn’t the stupid lyrics it might actually be that you aren’t smart enough or thinking quick enough at that time to get the metaphors in the song. Yes even Lil Wayne does this (and one thing about Wayne you might need to know, he’s not righting any of this down it’s all just in his head, let me see one of you do all the rapping he does without writing any of it down).

    also you need to know that they’re not rapping towards most of your type. They’re using slang that you probably don’t understand and is going to be seen as stupid to you (you don’t think that asian people are stupid just because they speak a different language do you?). so when you here a rhyme, line , or whatever that doesn’t make sense it could make complete sense to someone else that knows the slang their using. So please don’t judge just because of that.

    And lastly for whoever said that it’s not music because they aren’t singing or using an instrument. Well they are also making the beat for the song which i’m guessing you would consider music. Rap is like poetry on the move, it’s poetry at a much faster pace with music going along with it. So I can’t make you think that’s music but I consider that music I don’t know about you.

    Sorry for the huge rant but ya I hate when poeple don’t consider rap music. Wha do you need to discount what somebody else calls music is it helping you no so just let other people be happy.

  • husker97 June 10th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    B Nelson your an idiot rap developed when slaves started using hymns to send sublimenal messages to one another. They would find double meaning in words in the song to tell each other about things. Now rap just comes up with their own metaphors and similes like alex said but it comes from what they did back then.

  • Shivang June 10th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’m happy so see that you guys think the same.
    And alex, That’s not something worth appreciating in Lil Wayne, music should surely come from your heart , but it should also be prepared well when you want it to be taken forward. You could say that yet Lil Wayne is so scucessful well then why is he still? I dont understand that and so I give my perspective in this article. My friend, while some agree with it some don’t . Fact is i’m trying to state my point to all those believers so when others say they dont consider rap, they have to start looking through their eyes.
    Btw, I’m just 15. Most kids my age love rap, I walk a different path and so i thought I should write this different article as well.

  • secor June 10th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    you asked for examples, I’ll give you the names of rappers who constantly do this:
    mos def (who actually does sing sometimes)
    drake (not a fan but he sings too, kind of sucks at it though)
    talib kweli
    one be lo (onemanarmy)
    common
    chuck d
    et cetera et cetera

    now you said something about rappers not playing instruments, what about rappers that produce their own music? it’s nearly the same thing, maybe you don’t need the actual ability to play the instrument but you need an understanding of the basic principles of music.

    please stop being ignorant people, what you hear on the radio is just that. I’m sure that people who really consider themselves lovers of music rarely find what they want to hear on the radio. go deeper, PLEASE!!!

  • Michael June 10th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Who ever wrote this ‘article’ needs to learn something. Music in and of itself is the expression of the artist. No matter if you like it or not, it is music. You should look into the history of rap and see why it started. The reason there is no singing was because it was a motion to put a new face into the general public; to create something new in order to get attention to their cause.

  • Amanda June 10th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Would you consider a drum to be musical? If one plays drums aren’t they musicians? Drums don\’t change pitch…

    rap is simply a different type of music, yes music. Not everyone can rap well and I believe that it takes talent whether you like it or not. Let\’s be tolerant instead of bashing things we obviously don’t understand.

  • secor June 10th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    one more comment
    rhythm, chorus, singing, background music, SHUT UP!

    about the production thing, if you dont consider that real music consider the roots, an example of a rapper rapping before a band

    you don’t know what your talking about, hiphop is written in verse, which must have rhythm, read a poem thats not read or sung aloud to music FOR ONCE(meaning any music with lyrics). any english teacher will tell you that a poem is not a poem if it doesnt have rhythm

    chorus? shut up. this is getting redundant, you mean the same thing when you mention singing. and by the way, every rap song doesnt have a rapper on the chorus, sometimes its a singer, sometimes theres no chorus and thats because sometimes its more about what an artist is saying rather than conforming to the so called rules of music.

    singing, covered that

    background music? i dont wanna say you’re retarded, but that’s kind of difficult. i’m sorry, i know arguments dont come across as arguments as much as insults when you do actually insult the person… anyway, you dont mean background music (based on your explanation of why it doesnt have bgm), you mean background vocals. once again you’re being redundant, you failed in pointing out 3 DIFFERENT things. well you’re wrong anyway, no there aren’t always background singers, and yes sometimes its just the rapper ad libbing, but thats why they call it ad libbing.

    you’re questioning that validity of rap because it has different rules than other forms of music. not every genre conforms to the same rules.

    heres some specific songs to disprove your little theory:
    q-tip – johnny is dead, i believe, life is better
    mos def – workers comp., umi says, rock n roll
    black star – KOS (determination)
    jean grae – dont rush me (cant remember specific titles)
    saul williams – 1987, black stacey, wine
    aesop rock – shere kahn

    nobody who doesnt like rap will listen to any of this, its deeply saddening. those who dont consider rap music probably dont like rap anyway. im deeply offended by closed mindedness and the lack of thought put into these kind of arguments against rap.

    thanks for not listening…

  • Terra June 10th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I think you should educate yourself more before you post things on the internet. You look very ignorant. I’d understand if this article was called “Why I Don’t Like Rap” because that is your opinion. Actually learn a little about the fundamentals of music before claiming to know them.

    They are called “rappers” because they rap, duh. Who said that a song is not music unless someone is singing? i.e classical, techno etc…

    And where do you get the idea that rap songs do not have a chorus? Just about all of Eminem’s songs have a chorus.

    Tech N9ne changes his voice constantly, so does Eminem. You should learn more about pitch.

    I also recall lots of other types of music that have “oohs” and “ahhs” in the background: oldies, country, pop.

    I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but the human voice is an instrument. Would you say that a bass, for example, in a choir is not really singing if he is only required to sing one pitch within a song? That is what you define as rapping.

    Also, you should proofread. I can’t take someone seriously when they misspell basic words.

    My point is that you need to have solid reasons, especially when claiming that something is a fact.

  • Mike June 10th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    @Shivang:

    You completely missed SHAY’s point earlier.

    SHAY: “IT IS SPOKEN WORD POETRY BUT ANY RHYMES OVER A INSTRUMENTAL IS CONSIDERED MUSIC…”

    Shivang: “Any besides you’re completely wrong about rhymes being considered music over instrumental.”

    SHAY was referring to singing rhyming lyrics over music, not rhymes being considered more musical than instrumental pieces.

    Rap is a very minimalist form of music. Singing has been paired down to speaking rhythmically, and the instrumental part has been stripped back to a beat and maybe a really simple electronic melody.

    I’m not a fan of rap (I likes my metal), but I do appreciate it. Granted there is a lot of c-rap out there (*cough* autotune *cough*), but there is also plenty with artistic merit (as can be said for all forms of music), so say that it’s not music is pure closed-mindedness.

  • Reece June 10th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Rap is just modern day poetry… I was never a fan of poetry.

  • Shivang June 11th, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Legal and all the other,
    Its my view and If i don’t consider rap then i will keep the title of ‘Rap is Not Music’. Also, if you do not like it, I couldn’t care less. If you like it, still I couldn’t care much. Point is, I wrote it and you read it and you understood my idea and you strengthened your own.
    This is not a debate. I wanted to write it , so i did. Maybe I’ll write something which you might like one day too. Again, the point is, its absolutely no use ARGUING about it. I will not change my view and all the others who agree or disagree with the article will not change their views either. So stop wasting your time and maybe write something which people will read.
    I sure was successful in doing that! Look, people who didn’t believe in it , read it and people who did, read it feeling that they’re not the only ones.
    I managed to get all of you thinking about it. That is enough for me. I am not here to change mine or any other person’s perspective.

  • Alex June 11th, 2010 at 3:17 am

    “And alex, That’s not something worth appreciating in Lil Wayne, music should surely come from your heart , but it should also be prepared well when you want it to be taken forward. You could say that yet Lil Wayne is so scucessful well then why is he still? I dont understand that and so I give my perspective in this article.”

    Okay so you don’t get why someone who is smart enough to come up with good lyrics without writing them down is successful, well then you probably shouldn’t even worry about this argument in the first place then. And yes I’m fine with the fact that this is your opinion, but if thats all it is then you shouldn’t be writing an article about it as if it is an actual truth. You should at least be posting this in some message board where everyone will agree with you because that seems to be the only reason you posted it to prove your opinion right and hopefully get others to think like you, heres the problem everybody has different views. So if you want agreement then post this on some other music board that doesn’t like rap music.

  • TwiKnight June 11th, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I’m only seventeen, come eighteen in a few months’ time, and I so hate rap. I truly agree with you that there’s no music involved in it, music as in melody and rhythm combined. If you’re only reading it out loud, might as well call it a poetry recital instead of professing it to be a sort of music. It’s demeaning. The vague presence of a beat does not make it music. Call me ignorant or stupid, but this is how I view modern music dominated by things like rap to me. Seriously, music is not the same as it was known to be before our generation were even born. Do not get me started on the themes rappers and singers these days use in their music.

  • Shivang June 11th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    heatblast , I know right? I mean really. If I were to give a speech and maybe say it a bit faster with no articulation and add a yeaa , or an uhhn or something then it would be rap too, or maybe I should say the speech in a normal way and then say its slow rap or something.

    Alex, I AM DONE. I have said what I had to say. It is totally my wish where I am to post it, like i said before and I will say it for the last time. It’s my opinion and it’s my decision. I could write it where I want and I can write what I want, what you want to hear or read is the least of my concerns. Not everyone in this world shares your views. And really, go listen to some rap and be satisfied with it. Your comments are really not required.

  • Nicholas June 11th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Rap is an artform and it is a way of expressing yourself poetically through music. I’m not even a fan of Rap but it IS music. Music is an abstract anyway, as long as you put your heart into something and you want to make it musical, you are making music. Being closed minded to others is what keeps YOU from being an artist.

  • Legall June 11th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “This is not a debate. I wanted to write it , so i did. Maybe I’ll write something which you might like one day too. Again, the point is, its absolutely no use ARGUING about it. I will not change my view and all the others who agree or disagree with the article will not change their views either.”

    If it’s not up for debate, and you don’t care to hear what people have to say about it, then why would you make an article on it? Why wouldn’t you just keep it to yourself? Or do you just need some form of attention? The way I see it is, you are the very definition of closed minded. And maybe if you had given me some evidence of Rap not being music, I would of reconsidered. You only published this article to hear people agree with you, and that’s why you’re stupid.

  • Josh June 12th, 2010 at 5:18 am

    and by the way, for anyone saying rap takes no talent, i challenge you to create a beat and try to “talk faster” in time with the beat while actually managing to say something. i’d bet my life that most of you elites would find it incredibly difficult.

  • Paul Evans June 12th, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I couldn’t agree more. You can read my views at:
    http://musicouch.com/music-making/rap-a-sickening-phenomenon/
    Whether or not you agree with me, thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to read it.

  • Chrismus June 12th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    You obviously know nothing about rap. It’s an art form, its about singing in the same way concert band music is about singing; its not. That doesn’t make it bad. Rap isnt about the singing, or the chorus. If you listen to rap , you’ll find that the background music is far more than “aah”s and “ooh”s. good rap has strong instrumental background melodies, and the vocals have some of the most advanced rhythms i’ve heard in modern music. to me, rap is about the rhythm, the ‘being there’ that the sheer spontaneity of the vocals and they rhythm of the piece as a whole offers. You need to open your eyes. There’s a world of music out there that your bigotry and prejudice against a genre with as rich a history as rock or jazz will not let you see.

  • David June 12th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I can say I have met plenty of your musicians ranging in all styles and Hip-Hop/Rap musicians have been the most open to genres of music and will DIG! Labels such as stones-throw have even gone as far as reissuing gems from the 70’s that are extremely rare and underrated.

    Thanks to Hip Hop I started listening to Jazz/Funk/Soul from the age of twelve(20 now)from all over the world. Anyone who thinks beats are easy to make look up Pete Rock’s “They Reminisce Over You” then listen to it’s sample Tom Scott’s “Today”.

    As for the vocals..they don’t need to be sang they probably couldn’t be sang they are to filled with content a brilliant example of a monotone MC with soul.. Aesop Rock-”Daylight”.

  • sisler June 12th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    omfg. THANK YOU JOSH! Took the words outta my mouth.

  • Jono June 12th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    This is the most ridiculous piece of garbage that I have ever read.

    True; not all rap has singing in it, but since when was music just about singing?

    You have zero factual base to the semantic vomit you have insulted yourself with.

    Of course, some rappers suck. So do some singers, and some guitarists, and so do some writers…

    The fact of the matter is, you’re an idiot. An imbecile. A 19th century moron.

    Obviously you’re entitled to your opinion, but here you are not expressing an opinion; you are trying to define music, and doing it explicitly wrong.

    Music is defined as “an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner”. Now, tell me, is that not rap?

  • JEG June 12th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Music is perception. What we percieve as music is music. It goes far beyond any one person’s definition. I do not like most rap, but to say that it is not music is a flawed deduction. Also, rap does have certain rhythmic and melodic tendencies. Not most “popular” rap, but a lot of other stuff. And if people like how it sounds, who are we to say it’s not music?

  • Musemadness June 13th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    i didn’t have time to read allll the comments but pretty sure telling someone else their taste in music (whatever your definition of the word) SUCKS wont get you anywhere except in a fite.

    what i’m getting from the article is this:
    Rap is NOT music by definition. (says the author)
    Rap is a kind of prose/poetry and is sometimes set to music to make it more atmospheric and memorable.
    Rap can relate to people through words and rhyming like a song can or like a poem can.
    I PERSONALLY think Rap is Between music and poetry.
    why?
    *****percussion instruments are musical instruments and they make music from rhythm not pitch (depending on which 1 u speak of) *****

    Sooooo………..
    Rap is poetry said quickly to a rhythm usually over a backing beat/track. not sung/ played. that said a lot of rappers do not possess the ability (unless honed) to play a musical instrument either.

    so their ‘art form’ is sort of in the inbetween of music and prose. i’d put it in the prose category.

    THEEND

  • Dustin June 21st, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Honestly, don’t bother writing about a topic you don’t know squat about!

  • Thatdude June 24th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    @Jourdan Smith: looks like you did well in English class too, lol.

    and to some things up a bit. Rap isnt music, its modern Poetry. the idea of rap is to speak really fast and create rhymes at the end of phrases. i am not saying i can rap, in fact i fail at rapping. and the guys who do rap are very talented. but it is not music.
    i am probably going to have like a million people comment and tell me im wrong. haha :)

  • Luis Fernando Acevedo August 8th, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Music is art, it speaks of creativity and originality. Rap mostly repeats a few chords endlessly, thus nullifying the creative and most important part of music. Rappers CAN NOT sing. The lyrics are offensive and vulgar. Art in its many expressions IS NOT, this denies art. Rap is the antithesis of art. It’s garbage.

  • Prof. Emily R. Pickett May 11th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I would like to address a point mentioned in this article. It states that you cannot say a rapper is singing or is good at it. If you actually did your research and came across Drake, you would realize just how wrong you are. He sings quite a bit (look up Cece’s Interlude if you don’t believe me) and he is pretty good at it. Rap is a genre of music, and I can respect your opinion if you say you do not like it, but you cannot say it isn’t music.

  • Prof. Emily R. Pickett May 11th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I would like to address a point mentioned in this article. It states that you cannot say a rapper is singing or is good at it. If you actually did your research and came across Drake, you would realize just how wrong you are. He sings quite a bit (look up Cece’s Interlude if you don’t believe me) and he is pretty good at it. Rap is a genre of music, and I can respect your opinion if you say you do not like it, but you cannot say it isn’t music.

  • Prof. Emily R. Pickett May 11th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I would like to address a point mentioned in this article. It states that you cannot say a rapper is singing or is good at it. If you actually did your research and came across Drake, you would realize just how wrong you are. He sings quite a bit (look up Cece\’s Interlude if you don\’t believe me) and he is pretty good at it. Rap is a genre of music, and I can respect your opinion if you say you do not like it, but you cannot say it isn\’t music.

Leave a Reply
comments powered by Disqus

 
 
Powered by Powered by Triond