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What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?

olddude 18 Jul 08 - 07:39 PM
Alice 18 Jul 08 - 07:47 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 18 Jul 08 - 07:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jul 08 - 08:03 PM
olddude 18 Jul 08 - 08:07 PM
Barry Finn 19 Jul 08 - 12:47 AM
Art Thieme 19 Jul 08 - 01:21 AM
glueman 19 Jul 08 - 02:26 AM
quokka 19 Jul 08 - 03:18 AM
Ernest 19 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM
gnu 19 Jul 08 - 04:07 AM
Waddon Pete 19 Jul 08 - 05:03 AM
Michael S 19 Jul 08 - 12:39 PM
gnu 19 Jul 08 - 01:36 PM
Azizi 19 Jul 08 - 02:59 PM
Azizi 19 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Jul 08 - 03:10 PM
olddude 19 Jul 08 - 03:16 PM
Azizi 19 Jul 08 - 03:24 PM
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Subject: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 07:39 PM

Ok, I have been reading all the threads on defining folk and trad etc. My question is this, then is the god forsaken RAP crap considered the NEW FOLK by definition?
Jayus I hope not but it does seem to fit a textbook version don't you think, an argument can be made here. For the love of God someone tell me I am wrong then


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Alice
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 07:47 PM

the new folk is straight edge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 07:54 PM

I've heard many people, including Pete Seeger, call it "folk". It isn't something that I listen to or enjoy, but with so many traditions and styles that fit under the umbrella of "folk music", no one can be expected to enjoy all of it.

It seems that most people only think of ballads that can be traced to a British tradition to be "folk music".


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 08:03 PM

one lot sticks their finger in their ear, the other lot shakes his finger at you.

its easy for a trained eye to spot the difference.

Anyway if you won't let Seth Lakeman join your lot - the finger in the ear gang, why are you getting pissed off cos he's gone over to the finger shakers.

In a couple of hundred years the finger obsession may have lost some of its relevance and venom - we can always hope.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 08:07 PM

and I apologize for being so fiesty. I don't like Rap but I am sure lots of people do ... so my apologies if I offend anyone. It is all about personal taste in music I guess


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 12:47 AM

It's not lyrical IMO, it's not even musical. It's got beat & "rime & rhythm" for sure, it's some form of protest but that doesn't mean it's any more than protest poetry with a beat (see Rap's ancestor's from the 70's the "Last Poets") & a musical backup.

The only one I think that ever came close to inner city folk was Laura Nyro

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 01:21 AM

Utah Phillips was fond of saying, "THE PAST DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE"!! It is still here with us. And those older, other ways of defining FOLK are all here with us for as long as we who went through it are here to keep new people from diluting our message and re-inventing history so it sells better to modern people! As long as Mudcat and the old books last, people will be able to find out what folk was all about to us who were there then.

No, rap wasn't there then. It was called signifying in the '60s. It was done by people on the street. Then Oscar Brown jr. took it and brought it to some major record labels, but he never had the success with it that he should've. Around Chicago, Roy Inman and Ira Rogers did it on the folk scene--in clubs too---but it wasn't rap yet---and you could make out the words easier even if you were white.

No, the past didn't go anywhere! It's hid again though. Say, maybe some of you ought to go to the Library Of Congress and bring back the old ARCHIVE OF FOLK SONG! It does seem that we need to start collecting work again!!

They say that history repeats. It's too bad it seems to cost three times as much every time around.

Art


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: glueman
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 02:26 AM

Rap is poor kids with aspirations upwards, Folk is privileged adults with one eye on the gutter.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: quokka
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:18 AM

I seem to recall a documentary series called 'Get up, Stand Up' on the history of protest music and it talked about the connections between folk, rock, reggae, blues and rap in the context of political protest. A very interesting series, maybe English? Can't recall exactly who made it.
Cheers,
Quokka


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM

No, IMHO it is a subgenre of Pop.

Folk implies the use of acoustic instruments while the rythm background in Rap is computer-generated.

Now if they`d use bodhrans.....

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 04:07 AM

Alice... straight edge link... "... whose adherents abstain from alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use."

Folk? >;-)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 05:03 AM

Good thoughts in your post Art. I concur!

Not going to fan the embers of any debate here, but I know what folk means to me and I'm comfortable with that.

Time for a cup of tea!

Best wishes,

Peter

(But if you pushed me I would have to say that Rap won't be folk until a painter sings it halfway up a ladder in 50 years time having learned it from his father, who learned it from his father before him!)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Michael S
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 12:39 PM

Personally, I need to remind myself not to confuse the music industry definition of folk with the historic definition of folk. We all know that, originally, folk was not this genre or that genre. It was just the (mostly) non-commercial sounds of some race, some region, some occupation. The sound could have been anything--ballads, blues, gospel.

So why not rap? I'm no rap expert but I think at least initially the whole culture was pretty much of the street, with an older heritage as several people here point out. As I see it, the confusion about "Folk or not?" stems largely from the fact that the music industry machine is so voracious today. It notices a great deal and if it senses some commercial potential in a sound it'll glom on to it--then discard it if it doesn't work fast, or make a billion bucks if it does. I guess that didn't happen quite so quickly in 1900.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 01:36 PM

The first time I heard rap was....


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 02:59 PM

It's important not to confuse gangsta rap and other music industry promoted forms of rap with the entire genre of rap {hip hop} music.

Here's an informative online article about the history of rap music taht was written by Davy D:
http://www.daveyd.com/raphist1.html

Here's a longish excerpt of that article:

"Nowadays if you ask most people to give a definition of "rap", they're likely to state that it's the reciting of rhymes to the best of music. It's a form of expression that finds its roots imbedded deep within ancient African culture and oral tradition. Throughout history here in America there has always been some form of verbal acrobatics or jousting involving rhymes within the Afro-American community. Signifying, testifying, Shining of the Titanic, the Dozens, school yard rhymes, prison 'jail house' rhymes and double Dutch jump rope' rhymes are some of the names and ways that various forms of rap have manifested.

Modern day rap music finds its immediate roots in the toasting and dub talk over elements of reggae music. In the early 70's, a Jamaican dj known as Kool Herc moved from Kingston to NY's West Bronx. Here, he attempted to incorporate his Jamaican style of dj which involved reciting improvised rhymes over the dub versions of his reggae records. Unfortunately, New Yorkers weren't into reggae at the time. Thus Kool Herc adapted his style by chanting over the instrumental or percussion sections of the day's popular songs. Because these breaks were relatively short, he learned to extend them indefinitely by using an audio mixer and two identical records in which he continuously replaced the desired segment.
In those early days, young party goers initially recited popular phrases and used the slang of the day. For example, it was fashionable for dj to acknowledge people who were in attendance at a party. These early raps featured someone such as Herc shouting over the instrumental break; 'Yo this is Kool Herc in the joint-ski saying my mellow-ski Marky D is in the house'. This would usually evoke a response from the crowd, who began to call out their own names and slogans.

As this phenomenon evolved, the party shouts became more elaborate as dj in an effort to be different, began to incorporate little rhymes-'Davey D is in the house/An he'll turn it out without a doubt.' It wasn't long before people began drawing upon outdated dozens and school yard rhymes. Many would add a little twist and customize these rhymes to make them suitable for the party environment. At that time rap was not yet known as 'rap' but called 'emceeing'...

Rap caught on because it offered young urban New Yorkers a chance to freely express themselves. This was basically the same reason why any of the aforementioned verbal/rhyme games manifested themselves in the past. More importantly, it was an art form accessible to anyone. One didn't need a lot of money or expensive resources to rhyme. One didn't have to invest in lessons, or anything like that. Rapping was a verbal skill that could be practiced and honed to perfection at almost anytime.
Rap also became popular because it offered unlimited challenges. There were no real set rules, except to be original and to rhyme on time to the beat of music. Anything was possible. One could make up a rap about the man in the moon or how good his dj was. The ultimate goal was to be perceived as being 'def (good) by one's peers. The fact that the praises and positive affirmations a rapper received were on par with any other urban hero (sports star, tough guy, comedian, etc.) was another drawing card.

Finally, rap, because of its inclusive aspects, allowed one to accurately and efficiently inject their personality. If you were laid back, you could rap at a slow pace. If you were hyperactive or a type-A, you could rap at a fast pace. No two people rapped the same, even when reciting the same rhyme. There were many people who would try and emulate someone's style, but even that was indicative of a particular personality.

Rap continues to be popular among today's urban youth for the same reasons it was a draw in the early days: it is still an accessible form of self expression capable of eliciting positive affirmation from one's peers. Because rap has evolved to become such a big business, it has given many the false illusion of being a quick escape from the harshness of inner city life. There are many kids out there under the belief that all they need to do is write a few 'fresh' (good) rhymes and they're off to the good life"...

-snip-

In my opinion, this entire article is well worth reading by those people who are really interested in understanding the history of rap music.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM

I think that the author of that article mis-typed a word. Here's my best guess correction of that sentence:

Nowadays if you ask most people to give a definition of "rap", they're likely to state that it's the reciting of rhymes to the beat of music."


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM

As always Azizi, you have educated me. I only heard of the gansta rap the neighbors keep blasing 24 hours a day with lyrics that would make a sailor blush ...

I didn't know there was a difference, thanks much for the lesson
now I will take the time to understand the difference. I thought it was just about degrading women and shooting those you don't like. That is the stuff my neighbors keep blasting.

Thank you


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:10 PM

Why not? Everything else seems to be included.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:16 PM

Azizi
sorry for some reason I lost my cookies and hence my last post was under guest and not me "


As always Azizi, you have educated me. I only heard of the gansta rap the neighbors keep blasing 24 hours a day with lyrics that would make a sailor blush ...

I didn't know there was a difference, thanks much for the lesson
now I will take the time to understand the difference. I thought it was just about degrading women and shooting those you don't like. That is the stuff my neighbors keep blasting.

Thank you


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:24 PM

Btw, gnu, I appreciate your point that rapping is something that is found in many folk cultures.

**

Hey, Dan {olddude}, sharing information is what we all do here. That said, you're welcome.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:41 PM

Hip-hop is the purest expression of folk music in generations, moving onto the universal as an expression of collective human experience, genius, and creative power. Tune into Channel U or Tim Westwood and simply rejoice!

Otherwise, check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zmZYRQlJec


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 03:47 PM

I also meant to add that for the record [no pun intended] there are a lot of different genres of rap music including the gangsta, misogynistic rap that the recording studios promote so heavily. There's bubble gum rap, roots rap, rap-jazz fusion, Latin rap, and much more.

I absolutely detest gangsta rap with its "women="ho", violent, sexist lyrics and its excessive valuation of materialistic bling bling.

But I understand that we, the public, are being played if we believe that gangsta rap is the only form of rap that there is. Gangsta rap rules the airways because the music industry directs its money to it rather than to other more positive, and in my opinion, more creative forms of that genre.

**

I also want to share this exerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop_music:

..."Beginning in the early 1980s, hip hop culture began its spread across the world. By the end of the 1990s, popular hip hop was sold almost everywhere, and native performers were recording in most every country with a popular music industry[citation needed]. Elements of hip hop became fused with numerous styles of music, including ragga, cumbia and samba, for example. The Senegalese mbalax rhythm became a component of hip hop, while the United Kingdom and Belgium produced a variety of electronic music fusions of hip hop, most famously including British trip hop.

Hip hop also spread to countries like Greece, Spain and Cuba in the 1980s, led in Cuba by the self-exiled African American activist Nehanda Abiodun and aided by Fidel Castro's government. In Japan, graffiti art and breakdancing had been popular since the early part of the decade, but many of those active in the scene felt that the Japanese language was unsuited for rapping; nevertheless, by the beginning of the 1990s, a wave of rappers emerged, including Ito Seiko, Chikado Haruo, Tinnie Punx and Takagi Kan. The New Zealand hip hop scene began in earnest in the late 1980s, when Maori performers like Upper Hutt Posse and Dalvanius Prime began recording, gaining notoriety for lyrics that espoused tino rangatiratanga (Maori sovereignty).

Hip-hop has globalized into many cultures worldwide. We now find hip-hop in every corner of the globe, and like the South Bronx, each locale embodies a kind of globalism. Hip hop has emerged globally as an arts movement with the imperative to create something fresh by using technology, speech, and the body in new ways. The music and the art continue to embrace, even celebrate, its transnational dimensions while staying true to the local cultures to which it is rooted. Hip-hop's inspiration differs depending on each culture. Still, the one thing virtually all hip-hop artists worldwide have in common is that they acknowledge their debt to those Black and Latino kids in New York who launched this global movement in the first place.[7] As hip-hop is sometimes taken for granted by Americans, it is not so elsewhere, especially in the developing world, where it has come to represent the empowerment of the disenfranchised and a slice of the American dream. American hip-hop music has reached the cultural corridors of the globe and has been absorbed and reinvented around the world"...


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 01:00 AM

I was slightly mistaken above when I dated what I consided Rap's earliest proponents being in the 70's. The Last Poets who I refered to started performing in 68' & are still on the scene. They were great at what they did, back then & now & were by far, way ahead of their time, really coming out of the civil rights era of protest. I still say that they perform a non musical style of a performing art. To me it's still poetry with a beat behind it but if you're interested in Rap's birth these are the guys to check out.
As always Azizi, you have a wonderful way with presenting information in such an appealing way, it's a joy to read your posts, thanks

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Neil D
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 02:19 AM

Azizi, Thanks for the links. Once again you educate and elevate. I especially liked the Davey D article. Much of it was as I remember it from the early 80's. I was glad to see credit given to Gil Scott-Heron. I was always a fan and I always thought "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" from 1970 was a forerunner of rap. I had not however heard of The Last Poets and intend to check them out.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: quokka
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 02:51 AM

It's funny how sometimes the worst aspects of a subculture or genre come to be regarded as the stereotypical example of that genre (from an outsider's viewpoint) like what has happened with rap - I know a lot of people who dismiss the whole spectrum of 'folk music' because of what they mistakenly think it consists of. Now the term 'roots' music is starting to describe some types of folk and blues, maybe because people see it as a trendier term, or maybe because it describes the type of music according to different criteria - increasingly there are fusions between the different styles/genres that are hard to pigeonhole - which I think can be a good thing. The history of music over the last 50 or 60 years is full of successful fusions of form and content to create new styles of music. I like listening to new music, even if I don't exactly like everything I hear - it's worth it for the occasional treasure I find

Cheers,
Quokka


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM

In the Cambridge Folk Festival from 2003, I think, there were some rappers from Senegal. They added melodies, it was as folky as anything, and I don't even like rap!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 02:58 PM

There's a case to be made for rap being urban folk of this age. Music, however, it's not.

What's the technical term for these?

Jumbo Shrimp
Military Intelligence
Industrial Park
Rap Music
Graffiti Art
Gift Shop


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 03:06 PM

oxymoron


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 03:25 PM

Professor Louie is a successful rap artist who began his musical career as a folk singer named Victor Lewis. I suggest that before anyone dismisses the genre wholesale, she or he should listen to one of his live performances.

Among the people who have recognized the folk nature of rap music are Pete Seeger, Holly Near, and the late Sis Cunningham. Heck, if Woody Guthrie were still alive he might ever try his hand at it! Wait a second, he already did. Just listen to his Talking Dust Bowl or Talking Columbia River.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 03:36 PM

One who studies the fine differences between Rappers is a lot like a proctologist.

To normal people, shit is shit.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,D18/J45
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 09:46 PM

Rap is crap.

An much of today's folk music is, also.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 04:47 AM

Jeeaz, looking at the last couple of posts, what gives? Is the average age here twelve?

Just because you don't like a given form, doesn't mean it can be dismissed in it's entirity as 'shit' or 'crap'... and there's a very strong argument that rap is far more the "folk music" of the communities that created it than a bunch of white middle-class singer songwriters with acoustic guitars could ever be the folk music of their communities. In fact I would also argue that most white western middle class (and working class for that matter) communities probably don't have a folk music of any description any more, it having been almost completely replaced by popular commercial music a good fifty years ago. Rap is also, I would have thought, far more "folk" than the museum keepers of UK trad could ever hope to be. Much as the latter is my kind of music, it's largely a historical specialism kept going by hobbyists, rather than "folk" music in any meaningful sense beyond what it's become - genre.

In fact, there is an argument that the entire folk revival is hobbyism as a placebo for the lack of strong folk medicine in the societies where revival has been required.

But that's just me. I tend to either like or dislike the music under discussion and have less of a concern about what box to put it in. Though I understand why some have a need to do this.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: synbyn
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 05:43 AM

if it is the expression of what people genuinely believe and think, and what they sing at the end of a hard day's work for their own relaxation, imho it's folk... if it's none of those things but a tie-in with product and spin-off fashion, with attitudes not genuinely held by the singers but struck to shock or impress the gullible (or to disguise the fact that no-one is prepared to put in the time to learn an instrument or to craft lines which are more than collections of basic rhyme) then imho it's a whole different animal...
this isn't unique to music- most of the arts seem to have this discussion, usually because the louder, more in-your-face artists tend to grab publicity or advertising, hence appear more wealthy than the poet with a cardigan or the draftsman... i'm old enough to remember the performance poet debate of the 60s- few would argue now that much lasted on its own merit- fashion changed and a lot of the poetry became irrelevant. this natural winnowing will happen with rap- it's already happened with most folk and is going on with the newer material. Ralph McTell's Peppers And Tomatos? will be sung long after most of the rap has vanished for two simple reason- it's transferable and it's in the best sense touching.
off soapbox


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stu
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:07 AM

Rap Music
Graffiti Art


Oxymorons? I don't think so.

I've been a graphic designer for nearly 25 years and I can tell you Rap and Graffiti have had a profound impact on commercial art and music. You might not believe this, but then you'd be very, very mistaken. Like it or not, these two art forms (along with hip-hop) have influenced and continue to influence to varying degrees virtually every commercially produced piece of graphic design across a broad range of disciplines, from TV commercials to film titles and magazine layout and online design. It's difficult to imagine the huge impact this has had on our visual and musical culture.

I'm not a fan of rap music, and I worry about it's influence on the young but then many people thought that about Teddy Boys in the 50's and punks in the 70's. I suspect the reason it's getting a drubbing here is because it's largely listened to and made by the young. It's a genuine form of street expression, it certainly is musical (there are plenty of other ways to make music apart from learning an instrument) and in many cases it's skilfully created - I'd like to hear some of the nay-sayers on this thread have a go and present their efforts to a group of 15 year-old rap musicians and see how good they really are.

Not all rap is overtly commercial as not all folk is. The music, like folk, evolves because ordinary people are engaged in it's creation on the street - in garages, bedrooms, pubs and clubs.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM

"with attitudes not genuinely held by the singers"
What is Martin Carthy singing Lucy Wan, then?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM

"Ralph McTell's Peppers And Tomatos? will be sung long after most of the rap has vanished for two simple reason- it's transferable and it's in the best sense touching."

I'm a generation younger than most of McTell's fans and I don't know this song - neither, I'd bet, do most of my contemporaries.

And you can better your bottom euro that in the communities that rap sprang from, most people wouldn't have a clue who McTell was.

That's one of the problems of assuming "folk" is an - albeit contentious - genre rather than a description of a supposedly universal human process regardless of content.

Unlike some rap, most folk music, including the traditional stuff played by the most ardent of folk bus-spotters is not in any meaningful way folk music. It's hommage, hobbyism, pastiche, re-enactment and play-acting. Nothing wrong with any of these pastimes, but let's call a shovel a shovel...


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:16 AM

"With attitudes not genuinely held by the singers"
What is Martin Carthy singing Lucy Wan, then?


Spopt on! I've long held the opinion that most albums of traditional folk ballads need to carry "parental advisory: explicit content" stickers...


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:28 AM

I guess I'd say that, in its best forms, it is arguably a variety of folk art.

They would definitely have to introduce a melody before I would use the word "music" in relation to it, and I would need a serious amount of time to consider whether "folk music" would ever apply. About fifty years or so.

It's not my style, but I have nothing against it either.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM

Yo Spleen - it's life that should carry the sticker! Speaking as one who was nearly expelled from school for singing Lucy Wan (as collected from Carthy on Byker Hill), then folk can be subversive in effect, or else context, if not actual content, or else pertinence - er - how was I to know that one of the girls who complained was being fucked by her brother? But such is life, and such is art, and such is the nature of narrative anyway, which operates as much as a hammer as it does a mirror. A lot of the hullabaloo about the more extreme narratives of Eminem (etc.) missed this point too. Narrative comes from life - balladry, rap, folk tale, jokes, sagas, novels, soaps, films - all of which operate in the self-same way. What I object to is singer / songwriters using life as an excuse for messages mired in mawkishness.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:56 AM

What I object to is singer / songwriters using life as an excuse for messages mired in mawkishness.

Amen to that, Beard!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 07:06 AM

They would definitely have to introduce a melody before I would use the word "music" in relation to it, and I would need a serious amount of time to consider whether "folk music" would ever apply. About fifty years or so

Why is this subject under discussion anyway? What is with folkies that they have to turn on something they have no appreciation or understanding of? What qualifies them to pass any sort of judgement at all or even think they're worthy of holding an opinion in the first place? Ignorance writ large, folky fuckwits - you give folk a very bad name indeed. FYI - Hip-Hop is the antithesis of everything wrong with folk music - it's alive, vibrant, traditional, relevant, happening, universal, youthful, respectful, dynamic, creative, experimental; it is the ingenuity of humanity at its most ruthlessly inventive. Oh, and it actually knows what it's talking about, first hand.

Here's one of my favourites right now:

Mayhem - We Big Like


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:21 AM

If you want to listen to this anti-social (c)rap, put on earphones!

Don't blast it in my face at 120 dB from 18" speakers in your car.

People who have never lived in a big city in the US have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to Rap. It was origionally used by Black street gangs in South Bronx to stake out their territories, a lot like the musical equivalent of a dog pissing on car tires or a fire hydrant.

Rap is a form of violence when aimed at people who want peace and quiet.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 10:38 PM

You, PDQ, are a form of violence aimed at people. Are you really as ignorant and hate filled as you come across here, day after day, month after month, year after year, or are you just a terrible writer?
    Getting a little personal in our remarks, aren't we?
    Cut it out.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 10:50 PM

"It was origionally used by Black street gangs in South Bronx to stake out their territories"

Please tell me you are joking. I can't believe anyone would believe such nonsense.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 11:01 PM

"That's one of the problems of assuming "folk" is an - albeit contentious - genre rather than a description of a supposedly universal human process regardless of content."

Spleen Cringe - thank you for that brilliant sentence.   I have been trying to get that point across in several conversations that I've had - here on Mudcat and elsewhere but could never come up with the right words. Your eloquent statement says it all.

I'm afraid that there are too many people who have created a stereotype of what folk music should sound like. If it doesn't remind them of the teenage girl with long black hair strumming a guitar or the bearded gent with a finger in his ear that they heard 50 years ago, it can't possibly be considered folk and those of us who attempt to look at modern communities for "contemporary" folk music are just out of our minds or know nothing.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,D18/J45
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 11:31 PM

You guys can defend rap all you want, but it is so non-musical. How do you relate to this offensive, non-melodic noise? It can't just be white guilt!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 12:38 AM

If you don't think it's musical, that says more about   your musical taste than it does about rap--Your may respond to, say, Bill Monroe, or Gordon Lightfoot, instead, and nothing wrong with either of them, but there are a fair number who claim that neither one are real music, let alone folk music. I've certainly heard it said--and it really means that whoever says it just doesn't like them.

There are lots of different kinds of folk and traditional music in the World, and many many, many of them feature drumming and chanting--which is probably why Rap/Hip Hop have been embraced all over the world.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:38 AM

I work in a tough part of town. I usually have no problems, but I like to be on my gueard and able to hear what's happening around me. This afternoon, the rap music from the car in the yard next door was so loud, that I couldn't hear anything but the music. I was surprised at how vulnerable the music-deafness made me feel.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 04:19 AM

Thank you for your kind words, Ron!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 04:28 AM

Anyone ever heard Mr Fox's 'Aunt Lucy Broadwood' - Now there IS a folk rap! I must say that I don't like a lot of the rap I hear but occasionaly there is some that takes my fancy - Emenem (sp?) is one guy who definitely has something going and there are one or two others but, to my shame, I never know who they are!

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 05:16 AM

A Few Feel-Good Folk-Friendly Hip-Hop Classics on You Tube:

De La Soul - Eye Know (1989)

Digable Planets - Rebirth of the Slick (1993)

Arrested Development - Mr Wendal (1993)

Jungle Brothers - Straight out the Jungle (1988)

Eminem & Proof - Freestyle (?)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 06:25 AM

Rap is surely a great deal more "folk" than the tricksy educated musicians attempts to rearrange folk tunes for the concert-goers ears, over the last century or so.
The origins of rap and hip-hop can be easily and directly traced to the Bahaman traditions of maritime music(and many other similar related traditions). The blend of fast witty sarcastic rhythmic talking with powerful dance rhythms and slow melodic lines is a well established area of Afro-Caribbean culture, with deep folk roots going back a long long time. A basic background would be easily acquired by listening to the CD "Rhyming Singers of the Bahamas" for example, or many other Caribbean field recordings. I am exploring these historical connections (between dance tunes, sea song and witty rapping) in ongoing projects in Liverpool at this moment. At the very least, it is adding the distinctive "voice" of urban youth to the folk scene: which is, let's face it, becoming increasingly dominated by a very educated and university-based middle-class aproach.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 07:14 AM

"...the rap music from the car in the yard next door was so loud, that I couldn't hear anything but the music. I was surprised at how vulnerable the music-deafness made me feel.
-Joe- "


Yes, and it seems that the PC opinion is that it is part of their civil rights to inflict this noise on others. My contention is that the average citizen has the right to peace and quiet. We have a civil war going on and many people are on the wrong side.

M. Ted: I stopped paying attention to your outbursts a long time ago. You have problems, not me.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 07:23 AM

Is this a discussion about music or in-car entertainment systems? Hell, we were once told to turn down our car stereo when we were paying Jez Lowe's Jack Common's Anthem (thanks Helen!xx). I don't suppose it really matters what sort of music you're playing in your car, or at home, or wherever, just as long as it isn't playing too loud... I have a similar objection to folkies with PA systems, but that's another story, albeit similar!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Acorn4
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 07:58 AM

I haven't really listened to enough rap to comment, but agree with the posters who say you can't just dismiss a whole genre. More poetry than music surely, and as such just as acceptable as limerick, sonnet, heroic couplets?

Rap does seem to have a lot of human input, whereas most hip-hop/rave I've heard would come seem to come under the genre of "twitch music". But there again, I suppose I might someday hear something to convince me otherwise

Do like oxymorons however:-

How about these:-

Independant financial adviser.
The quiet area of the campsite.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 08:36 AM

The roots of rap & hip-hop go back across the uncounted millennia to the sacred chants of the Sun Priests of Ancient Egypt. Proof? Check this: Sun Ra - Nuclear War

What yo gonna do without your ass?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:36 AM

"How do you relate to this offensive, non-melodic noise?"

I would imagine that you do understand there is a difference between music appreciation and music for enjoyment.

I relate to rap in the same way as I relate to folk music from other cultures that I am not part of. I've heard a few rap songs that I thought were interesting, and a few with powerful lyrics, but on a whole it is not something I would spend time listening to.

It is very disturbing to read comments about a "war" that is going on, and "what side are you on". Wars are created by narrow minded bigots with huge egos mixed with a huge insecurity issue. If you wish to create a war, you will. Hopefully the rest of us have moved to a different view of the world and ourselves.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:54 AM

Ron Olesko seems to support the right of a mugger to assault people and he blames the victim for fighting back.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:56 AM

You are an ass PDQ.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:02 AM

Several people have said that RAP is not music. I had a music theory professor with a PhD who defined music as simply: noise within structure. Rap may well be non-melodic. Much of the Avant-garde music of the 20th century, Schoenberg, Glass etc., isn't very melodic, but is generally considered to be music. You can hate it if you want. I hate most of what comes out of Nashville these days but I wouldn't say "That's not music".


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:03 AM

Ronbo:

I hope you have to live next to a house full of Rap Culture goons where you can't get away. Enjoy "die Honkey Mutha Fukkuh!!!" blasted at you 'till 3:00 in the morning so you can't sleep. Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:07 AM

Keep going PDQ, you are showing everyone just how ridiculous your thought process works when you make statements like that.
    OK, stop it - both of you.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:14 AM

PDQ--do you know, or care anything about music? This is a music thread, not a BS thread, and you seem to be making it your business to derail any discussion of music here.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM

Anybody else want to take cheap shots at me besides Ronbo?

Go ahead, but that does not change the fact that most urban areas of the US are so polluted with this vlie noise that the quality of life is down.

I represent the majority view on many subjects, many of which are seldom heard on this forum

Out here is rural America, we are making a stand against this type of sonic bullying and aggression. I got one neighbor to sell his house and move because the cops showed up so often, telling him to turn down his (c)rap noise. Other neighbors all said they could hardly believe how mush happier they were and how much better they felt without the awful background hate noise.

I stand by what I say. I have endured this abuse in various place I have lived, and I will speak out whenever I want about. People who don't like what I have to say can ignore me. Be my guest. But gutless personal attacks on me by insecure people serve no purpose.

We have a cultural divide that is being turned into chasm by the Rap Culture. I had nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:38 AM

PDQ - you can speak out whenever you like, but if you feel that your statements should not receive a rebuttal, then I suggest you re-read the Constitution.   

I will attack bigotry and unlike you, I will not put words in mouths of others. Your statements speak for themselves, as do mine.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:42 AM

It's what it says: Rhythm And Poetry. It's nothing new! Zappa did it on his first album. The Fugs did it, Pigmeat (?he sang "here come the judge")


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,D18/J45
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:45 AM

Ron said: "It is very disturbing to read comments about a "war" that is going on, and "what side are you on". Wars are created by narrow minded bigots with huge egos mixed with a huge insecurity issue. If you wish to create a war, you will. Hopefully the rest of us have moved to a different view of the world and ourselves."

Man, talk about off topic. This is a discussion about why rap sucks or in the case of the tone deaf, musically defend everything, white guilt group who think it doesn't. Not about your holier than thou politics.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:48 AM

I'm not defending content of rap, and this discussion was never about "why rap sucks". There is a huge difference and you fail to see it.   

This conversation was not about white guilt, but bigotry seems to have raised its head once again. Now you tell me about what is "off topic".


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 10:54 AM

You can't separate Rap from it's source, the violent and degenerate Rap Culture. It is the voice of that group.

To attempt such an intellectual discussion about something that is viceral sounds like the pervue of pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 11:52 AM

"
I hope you have to live next to a house full of Rap Culture goons where you can't get away. Enjoy "die Honkey Mutha Fukkuh!!!" blasted at you 'till 3:00 in the morning so you can't sleep. Enjoy. "

But rap isn't really the issue here, now is it. What would you think if your neighbour blasted out FIRE MARENGO, FIRE AWAY at 3 AM or if someone cruised the neighbourhood with huge basses on the stereo blaring out Borodin's Polovtsian Dances? Would you be ok with it if Charlotte Church was played so loud as too make it hurt to even uncover your ears?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stu
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 12:16 PM

"To attempt such an intellectual discussion about something that is viceral sounds like the pervue (sic) of pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals."

Woof! Woof! Woof!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 12:34 PM

Good dog.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 12:44 PM

Only people who have lived in a big American city in the last 20 years can truly understand Rap.

No Brit can understand why it came about nor discern it's intent.

Kinda like an American trying to understand Cricket.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,D18/J45
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 12:54 PM

I have lived in a big city for over 20 years and I understand rap for what it is.

Racist, women hating, violent. Complete shit.

To defend it as some kind of pseudo intellectual, "I love all kinds of music, la la la" is just so self serving.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:13 PM

I was listening to a discussion on the radio by a fellow who thought he was a serious music student.

He said that Snoop Dog E Dog had put "mother fucker!" into a three minute rap 100 times.

This clown made it sound like it was equinvalent to Wilt Chaimberlain's 100 point game in basketball.

These people are clowns. Snoop Eats Dog Poop is a clown. We in the sane part of America laugh at them. This entire art form is a self-parody.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:14 PM

"I have lived in a big city for over 20 years and I understand rap for what it is."

Obviously that is not the case.   Also, no one is defending the music either. I guess you have not figured out that you can discuss music and style without buying into it.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stu
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:15 PM

"No Brit can understand why it came about nor discern it's intent."

You could say that about any art form. This then means any American can't understand any song written in any other country apart from America, and that's obviously complete crap (or let's hope so, because all those Yank folkies singing anything from outside the US must look really stupid).

Rap isn't just an American music form any more, even though it was originally. A rapper just headlined Glastonbury and although that created bit of controversy it does show the relevance of the music to millions in the UK.

You obviously don't like it (can't say I do), but don't assume you're the only one who can speak with authority on the subject.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: synbyn
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:31 PM

spleen cringe- please read what i posted carefully.... seems to me you're saying re Ralph McTell that if you haven't heard of it it can't be any good... perhaps a wider and deeper appreciation of the past might temper your views, in the strict sense of the word- make them stronger because more worked-upon? as to Lucy Wan, i think there is a world of difference between commercial usage of old song (which is what the pros present) and the folk process. Again. please read what I actually wrote, carefully.

Almost by definition, someone who hears about 'peppers & tomatoes' by Ralph Mctell and doesn't bother to check it out can't really be called informed.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 01:59 PM

Sorry, SB. Don't really like Ralph McTell that much. I can't help it, it's just a matter of personal taste. Doesn't mean I'm ill informed. You go ahead and enjoy though... different strokes and all that. Meanwhile I have no opinion on the "rap bad, Ralph good" school of thought...

PDQ: I thought this was a discussion about whether rap music and the folk process had any degree of interface. With respect, why not take your riddles and inferences to the BS section below and say what you really mean.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 02:30 PM

pdq: I do appreciate your anger if your life has been made a misery by loud rap music, that sort of thing is intolerable. But that has not got much to do with rap's historical connections with folk music, or whether it is now a folk art. We have seen many definitions proposed for the word "folk" on Mudcat, but I don't think anyone has ever suggested "quiet" as one of them.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 02:45 PM

I will grant people the fact that Rap is a Folk Art, but so is graffiti.

What Rap is not is Folk Music, and anyone who goes to a Folk Music Festival and has to listen to a rapper between Irish folk bands and bluegrass is being abused.

As far as angry? Not really. That would get in the way of putting up a good fight.

This cultural genocide must be fought the same way we fight drugs, street gang violence, air polution or organized crime.

About the intent of this thread, read the initial post. Perhaps those who want an cerebral discussion or with to post their favoirite Rap are invited to start a new thread.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:11 PM

Still, there's a point. Rap music, in many if not most cases, is agressive, violent, threatening music. If you're an observer and not a participant, it's frightening. Punk music is similar - and my son makes his living as a punk musician. The week of the Rodney King riots, he set his band up on the top floor of a parking garage in Sacramento, and drew an audience of 125 or so - plus several cars full of police in riot gear.

To fail to explore the violence of rap music, is to fail to fully explore the genre.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:27 PM

What is scary to me is how any music rap or otherwise that needs to degrade or promote violence is so widely accepted. That is the part that I do not understand and I am not talking just Rap here but any art form that says it is ok to kill or degrade. Azizi pointed out to me that not all rap is gang violence. I took some time to listen. It is not my cup of coffee but then again I don't care much for Polka. But my biggest beef is with my neighbors blasting it until my windows shake because I would not do that to them with the clancy brothers (maybe I should). However back to my point, what does it say as a society that will embrace this in record sales?   I don't get it but I never will. I will defend the right of anyone to make it without question, I just won't listen or buy it. But a society to embrace the gangster stuff and idolize it, I don't understand that thinking. To me the violence cannot be justified


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 09:37 PM

One last point, when I said I don't buy it or listen to it. I don't want to be force to listen to it either, as I would not force my neighbors to listen to non stop clancy brothers. However, I cannot expect that they would respect my views if to them the songs they embrace are degrading others and promoting violence. Why should they respect my rights if to them that is what they hope to become. Amazing, several young high school white kids and they call each other the N word and that is cool because that is the word used over and over by their rap hero very sad in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,D18/J45
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 11:13 PM

"Obviously that is not the case.   Also, no one is defending the music either. I guess you have not figured out that you can discuss music and style without buying into it."

Ob, but it is the case, Ron. I was wrong. I have lived in the city 25 years, not 20. And unless you can truly agree that the so called form of music called rap is worthless to society and to music in general, don't tell me you aren't defending it. I've seen better tap dances than that from amateurs.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 11:43 PM

Alright D18/j45 - you are obviously a troll looking to stir shit. You sign on as a guest and then make really assinine statements. I really doubt that you ever lived in "the city", more likely a suburb where you can hide from the riff raff you complain about - or you live in a small midwest "city" where a minority considered someone brom "back east". If you truly lived in a big city, I think your experience with rap would be different than what you portray.

Fine, if it will make you happy - I will defend rap because you obviously have a dim view of the world from your little tarpaper shack where you write your spew.

You complain about rap, and I bet you are just another "old folkie" who thinks nothing of singing the great traditional ballads - the ones full of sisters murdering sisters, incest, women being raped and treated like merchandise. Yeah, the good old murder ballads and songs of war and hatred for the enemy. Listen to some of the erotic ballads and bawdy ballads. Thank god folk music NEVER degraded women or promoted violence and only uses language that your mother would use kissing your fat little behind each night. Good for you D18/J45!!!!

As I read through these threads, I've never seen a bigger bunch of hypocrites and people talking out of their ass. Many of the posters on this thread can be found in other threads complaining about media hype for folk music or movies or whatever, yet you feel that you hear a single news story about the violence in rap and you are suddenly experts.   Nice moves!

Hey, there is no hiding the fact that gangsta rap is violent and degrading. It is nothing that I would want to listen to, and I'm glad my kids have better sense. Anyone with half a brain would question the media and find out for themselves if they were truly interested instead of firing off items they saw on Fox News with little additional information.

I'm really sorry that someone had a neighbor that was rude and stupid. Yet to sterotype all rap listeners that way is wrong. Since the individual who complained said they live in a rural area - should I sterotype him as sleeping on a couch on the front porch next to the washing machine as his wife/sister is off playing bingo? Perhaps the real problem is that the walls in the trailer park are too damn thin.

It's pretty damn obvious that most of us have very little idea about what rap music really is. I sure as hell do not, but I have heard enough to realize that there is more than what the media makes it out to be.

I will give D18/J45 some credit - the troll did hit on a key ingredient in it's last sentence.   The simple word "amateurs" best describes both folk singers and rappers. I bet you don't know that rapping was also a street corner competition in the early days, and the idea of rapping was that it was something that everyone could do. Very reminiscent of the early days of the folk revival with people sitting in parks and making their own music. When the record industry came around and saw that money could be made, the rap industry began - much like the folk revival took hold with the Weavers and Kingston Trio and then everybody and their cousin Buford.

There is nothing new under the sun, including bigotry and ignorance.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 12:12 AM

Amen, Ron!

I absolutely agree with what you said about rap music in your 22 Jul 08 - 11:43 PM post.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Elijah Browning
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:07 AM

There is no such thing as an effect without a cause. With every generational movement, there is the generation that preceded it ready to push back. And that push back is vital and necessary. There's nothing worse than showing up for a revolution without an opposing side. There was a time when those that loved Perry Como couldn't stand those long-haired guitar players singing on the street corner, polluting their city. I can not say whether or not rap is folk music as I am just smart enough to know I ain't smart enough to know what either truly is. I also will not say that I enjoy having Stan Rogers out performed by thumping base that permeates every car within a two-block radius. I personally do not enjoy rap or much that it stands for, but I can understand that it has a cause, an impetus. Whether that impetus is rational and valid or self-serving and delusional, I also can not say. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Fact is, rallying against the effect has no effect on the cause. I remember a time when I could identify with punk, and as I grew older, so did this genre. As with rap, the source of the frustration and the anger were real. At the same time, youth, especially young men, and I was no exception, are easily addicted to the raw energy of anger. It is the last ditch effort before acceptance of our own mediocrity and insignificance in the "grand scheme." It also gives a high that is rather invigorating but like any drug can lead to a miserable come-down with a disasterous aftermath. But new paths were taken because of punk. The paths that the post-punk era took varied from commercially viable crap to deep and well-structured investigations into social issues and metaphysical concepts. Punk, in its base form, became a cliché of itself, but then again, what is cliché but a cultural forest fire, clearing out the dead wood for the new growth.

I do not understand rap as it is not my era, not my voice, not my basis for comparison. If the kid next door blasted his rap the same way I used to blast the Sex Pistols, I can not honestly say that I would not call the cops. But then that is what I am supposed to do. That is my role. To give them reason to crank it up louder and take the human experiment into directions I never imagined possible. Even if those directions are ones I would rather they did not take.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:30 AM

Curious to know, D18/J35, do you live near Dempster St?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:32 AM

I said above that Rap (and punk) music, in many if not most cases, are agressive, violent, and threatening. On the other hand, if I were to say that rap and punk express the rage of certain groups, which is also true; then that would be a different thing.

Rage certainly is being expressed in these types of music - and there is a real value in that.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:52 AM

Punk, in its base form, became a cliché of itself, but then again, what is cliché but a cultural forest fire, clearing out the dead wood for the new growth
-Elijah Browning

Rlijan Browning, I agree with what you wrote. And I hope that even people who disagree with you can acknowledge how well written and thought provoking your 23 Jul 08 - 01:07 AM post is.

The excerpted sentence above is just one example of the high quality of your writing.

If Mudcat had a thread for "beautifully written comments", a fair judge would select this comment without any hesitation.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stu
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 04:23 AM

"But a society to embrace the gangster stuff and idolize it, I don't understand that thinking. To me the violence cannot be justified."

Western society is a culture saturated in violence and lack of respect for fellow human beings. Take a look at the TV and film output of the US and UK - a large part of this glorifies violence against the person and undermines the consequences of violence for the victim. We live in a culture that advocates torture, spends tens of millions piping endless scenes of violence into our homes, glorifies the use guns and knives and kills tens of thousands of innocents with impunity. This malaise goes deep into the rotten core of the modern western psyche.

From The Dark Knight to Rambo, The A Team to The Wire and the endless cop shows, all based around violence and it's casual acceptance as part of modern Western society. In this respect Rap is no different to any other music form created in the West, although violence seems to figure large in it's own cultural cliqué as a way of life.

Although I largely agree with Elijah's excellent post I think there is a fundamental difference between punk and rap and that's the influence of big business. Whereas punk and rap were/are essentially DIY music making at street level, their actual cultures are very different. Like many youth tribes, punk rallied against the establishment and wore clothes that were home-made, purchased for pence from jumble sales and charity shops and generally eschewed commercial influence on it's look (obviously this didn't last, and it wasn't long before big business got involved but there was never a major clothes industry based around punk, as individuality in dress was a core value to punks).

With rap however, though the look is based on the clothing produced by large multinationals such as Nike and Adidas - some suit in a boardroom in an posh office block is essentially dictating the look on the streets. The bling is ostentatious and expensive and the drinks of choice are Krystal, Krug and XO. This is not the level playing field the punks wanted to create by smashing the system, this is the system ensuring that many rap adherents are buying the labels and getting the latest gear.

They might be angry and ready for a rumble, but the disillusioned youth of the 21st Century certainly aren't revolutionaries, but well-trained consumers.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 06:57 AM

Like all forms there are good and bad examples, those that are using the form cos it genuinely speaks to them and those that are trying to make a fast buck.

A lot of Rap is brutal and, at its best, genuinely reflects where its coming from.

I would make music like that if, for instance, I had to live next door to pdq.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:02 AM

Can't stand this glorification of violence cultture. Still, it could be worse, they used to sing Robin Hood ballads.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: mattkeen
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:17 AM

Give me a good old incest ballad anytime

The glorification of incest - here in England by our saintly fore fathers!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,yahoo
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:26 AM

well according to me is not singing it's a poem set to music that's all, so how can it be new music when you have someone reding out a poem and then having a rhythm over the top of it.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 08:33 AM

stigweard

"They might be angry and ready for a rumble, but the disillusioned youth of the 21st Century certainly aren't revolutionaries, but well-trained consumers."

Well done well said IMO ... I agree completely


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 10:37 AM

Sorry, but I find incest ballads relatively boring...

Should I get my coat now?

:D


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: synbyn
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 11:18 AM


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stu
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 11:36 AM

100 homies.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 12:05 PM

"I will grant people the fact that Rap is a Folk Art, but so is graffiti.

What Rap is not is Folk Music, and anyone who goes to a Folk Music Festival and has to listen to a rapper between Irish folk bands and bluegrass is being abused.

As far as angry? Not really. That would get in the way of putting up a good fight.

This cultural genocide must be fought the same way we fight drugs, street gang violence, air polution or organized crime.

About the intent of this thread, read the initial post. Perhaps those who want an cerebral discussion or with to post their favoirite Rap are invited to start a new thread. "

Speaking of graffiti, first time I was in England, I saw some stunning graffiti outside of one of the rail stations, in Muswell, perhaps, but I don't know exactly where. Graffiti IS an artform, so what if much of it is rubbish? Ezra Pound has to be one of my least favourite poets, utterly miserable stuff, but it's still poetry. Rap is a form of music. Whether or not it's GOOD music, is an entirely different matter. I dislike most of it, personally, but it's still music.

Why isn't it folk music? It's created in the community, it's living, it's vibrant, people sing about their lives and environment, in fact, it's a lot more interactive than you'd normally get at a folk club. Would I rather people listened to something else, yes, but rap is a form of music.

Anyway, here are some folk songs which are very close in subject matter to rap songs.
Cold, Haily, Windy Night- guy tricks girl into sleeping with him, then dumps her and her parents find out, landing her in trouble.
Gentleman Soldier- similar, but worse, girl is knocked up.
Ramblin' Sailor- guy boasts about how he's going to sleep with every girl he can and then leave them.
Lament of the Limerick Rake- last words of someone whose life consisted of sex and drinking.
Greensleeves- guy is upset because a girl rejected him, despite all the expensive stuff he's bought her.
Many, many more.


Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as cultural genocide. Culture is not a genus. Sloppy, sensational phrases, eh?

Cerebral discussion? Oh, are you saying that anyone who wants to discuss things intelligently instead of just posting "RAP is crap" ought to find a new thread? Reread the first post, olddude said he didn't like rap, but he wondered if it was folk music.

Can't remember which poster was talking about how modern society is obsessed with glamourised violence, but there's nothing new in that. During the 1700s, highwaymen and pirates were adulated. People collected pictures of, read books and sang about highwaymen and their exploits. Thousands flocked to see them when they were apprehended. The biggest difference is that the confessional aspect, the criminal recounting his misdeeds and cautioning people not to repat them, is missing.

Anyway, here are some interesting links about meykhana, Azerbaijani folk music, which should provide food for thought.

http://www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/91_folder/91_articles/91_dayirman.html

http://meyxana.iatp.az/meyxana/history.htm (MP3s)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 12:13 PM

"anyone who goes to a Folk Music Festival and has to listen to a rapper between Irish folk bands and bluegrass is being abused."

Anyone who goes to a buffet and fills up on bread just wasted an opportunity. Likewise, you do not have to eat everything put in front of you.

Folk Festivals are the creative vision of an artistic director. If the director attempted to cover ever single tradition, they would create a confusing event that would struggleto convey the vision.

I don't think rap would fit in well at the major festivals here in the U.S., but that does not alter its classification.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM

Well I starting this thread out aggressively due to my neighbors insistance that I listen to their bling bling, I shot her in the head music at all hours. So my apologies again for my opening comments. What I can take away from the thread is :

1) there are other forms of rap music that are not the violent form, and have social positive messages.

2) the commercial interests from a host of companies promote the "shock value version for commercial reasons"

3) Much like modern art most people have strong opinions. Like modern art, it is not going to disappear because some of us find much of it offensive.

4) My local police need to enforce the "noise" laws.

I will never like the music only because it doe not appeal to me. I relate it to modern art. I love art - all kinds of art from the great masters to the modern masters. Jackson Pollock presses my buttons but Dali's painting "baby eating rat" I despise even though I love most of his other works. Why? why does anyone like or dislike anything? Others believe the painting is one of his best for reasons that I don't understand. I believe Dali painted it purely for the "shock value", Likewise I feel many of the rap artists try to out shock one another for reason number two.

However paintings and other music that I do not like, I can easily avoid by not looking for them. However, with the ganster rap that I also dispise, I cannot escape from it. Hence my opening comments out of frustration.

It has been a very interesting discussion.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:11 PM

I'm with you all the way on this one, olddude.

Have the cops tell them "you are free to listen to that stuff anytime you want...just wear earphones".


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Faecal Occult Blood
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM

Why would rappers want to sully their art by associating it with folk music? Whilst it's true what Spleen says, folk remains about as non-cool as it gets with no appeal beyond its own ageing middle-class white graduate demographic for whom the answer is still, alas, blowin' in the wind...

Faecal Occult Blood


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 01:58 PM

Fair enough, like I said why does anyone like anything or dislike anything, Personal taste. So please - no need to share the "Cool" with others that don't like it don't need to hear it ... headphones please when driving through town or at least, volume that you can enjoy and not the entire street


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 02:23 PM

" "Why would rappers want to sully their art by associating it with folk music? " "

Do you honestly think anyone cares? Unlike folkies, rappers are not spending time on forums trying to figure out what they are.

Likewise, I doubt if a tomato worries if it is considered a fruit or a vegetable.


" Have the cops tell them "you are free to listen to that stuff anytime you want...just wear earphones". "
You may wish to check your local laws. The last time I heard, it was illegal to wear headphones when driving.

"no need to share the "Cool" with others that don't like it don't need to hear it "
As long as the levels are not out of spec with local laws, there is a freedom of speech issue involved with telling someone they cannot play music in their own car.   

Comeon, haven't you ever turned the volume up to 11 on certain recordings for the pure joy the sound brings? Ever try to listen to the Rolling Stones or Ramones on "soft"?   Doesn't cut it. I cringe when I see two guys with banjos playing together and I run in fear when a tone deaf geezer sticks his finger in his ear and sings with all the gusto of a cat being castrated, but I'm not going to make a fuss. Move on, life is too short!!!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM

WEll, I mixed rap with shanties at the just finished Liverpool Shanty Festival, and nobody complained (that I know of).


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 03:07 PM

MY POINT LEVELS are out of SPEC, 18 inch speakers and 400 watts that rattle the windows, and drowns out even the lawn mower - cops don't seem to bother unless they are next door to them , heck I sure hope some folky moves in next door to you guys and rigs out their car with a similar system sharing the coolness of Dylan. And if it is cool why share it with us un-cool better to keep the cool with the cool. Seems to me you are spending quite some time on this forum also hmmm we both should move on for sure. I got better things to do good luck to you and enjoy your music. Because no matter what music a person likes they listen to it because it brings them joy and if that is what you like that if great for you. Likewise what I like is great for me fair enough


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Phil
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM

RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?

You must be joking.

Phil*


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 04:24 PM

Olddude - what you describe seems to be an illegal level. People should know better, but they don't.   There is a difference between loud and illegal. Also, I don't think anyone said they like it. To each their own. Live and let live. Move on!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 06:25 PM

Word Up, for those who are interested, here are some YouTube links for your consideration.

"The Message" was one of the first "Rap" hits, around thirty years ago. "The Signifying Monkey" is an old and widely circulated folk recitation that has been documented and recorded in many forms and is always cited in discussions of the origins of Rap. "Shine and the Titanic" is old, though probably not older than 1912:-). "This Beach" is a more contemporary rap, done in the old style, by Oscar Brown, Jr. "I Apologize" is for all you folks that haven't figured out that a lot of Rap is ironic.

Oh, and "The Signifying Monkey" is probably best listened to in an "adults only" situation.

The Message
I Apologize
This Beach
The Signifying Monkey
Shine and the Titanic


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 06:34 PM

Why don't some of you who want to glorify Rap start a new thread?

olddude has the right to keep this one one the point he wanted to make.

BTW, it sounds like we are going to be told that Rap has it's roots in Gregorian chants of other Church music. Garbage. Also, I don't think it is fair to claim Sun Ra's work was Rap when the man is not here to defend himself.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 06:59 PM

PDQ - I don't think anyone is telling Old Dude to change his point. He doesn't like the music and that is fine. I don't like it either.

It seems like you do not care to discuss the roots and the subject of this thread. Listen, if you don't want to learn - stay out of school.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: pdq
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:25 PM

You and M.Ted should start your own thread and tell everyone (at least those who care) all the fine nuance found in Rap. It is you two who are hijacking the thread, which will be obvious if you read the initial post.

Also, in your 04:24 you told olddude to take a hike. What gall since he started this thread!

Who died and left you in charge anyway, Ronbo?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:47 PM

We're here, because we are just as entitled to say what we think as you are, PDQ. And personally, I disagree with you. Simple as that.

As to the Old Dude's "right" to keep the thread on a particular point--if that were true, an awful lot of your own posts, over the years, violated the rights of people, but as we know, you had and have a right to say what ever is in your heart, no matter what anyone else happens to think about it.

The price you pay for that is, guess what? We all get to do it, too!

As to Sun Ra, I am surprised that you know enough about him to know what is fair to say about him, and what is not.   You should listen to this, if you don't think that Sun Ra and the Arkestra did rap. Sun Ra--Nuclear War


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:51 PM

Or maybe you shouldn't listen to it--it has one of the seven words in it, and i know how you are about that. After all, just because we disagree with you, doesn't mean we don't care about you;-)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 07:52 PM

"Also, in your 04:24 you told olddude to take a hike. What gall since he started this thread! "

That is a lie. We are having a discussion, sorry if you can't keep up.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:41 AM

The Last Poets refered in their release of an album & introduced a sound the group called "jazzpoetry", leaving behind the spare percussion of the previous albums in favor of a blending of jazz and funk instrumentation with poetry. (see my link above for more on the Last Poets). What they did way back when is pretty much & basicially the same art form that lives on today.

I was impresed with this "Rap" when it came out in the late 60's & early 70' being of a radical political persuasion myself, fitted well along side the hen counterculture's civil rights stance & the then opporsition to the Viet Nam War, but I never took it to be music then or now, I did write alot of poetry in those days & I wasn't a white middle class kid from the 'burbs'. I grew up in the inner city section of Boston called Roxbury, in an area know as Mission Hill. The only folkie area at the time was 'Fort Hill' (the next hill over). It was a racially mixed area, white, black & the 1st area for immargrant Latinos, what was in common was poverty. Though 'Rap" is the voice of poverty. It's a medium that those with a dislike & a distaste for how the system & life circumstances has treated the poor from the inner city it's not the same medium nor music that was used by those who were raised in the poverty of the rural areas, it's not even a musical form & when those who were some of the originators of this medium called it "jazzpoetry" they named it well.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 12:50 AM

I don't get quite why you think it isn't music--why isn't it music? or do we have to get down to "what is music?"


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: mattkeen
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 04:35 AM

Thanks for all youe intelligent fair minded points Ron


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 05:05 AM

I don't think it is fair to claim Sun Ra's work was Rap when the man is not here to defend himself.

Nuclear War notwithstanding (already linked to in my post of 22 Jul 08 - 08:36 AM!), as anyone with even the most casual acquaintance with his work will know, Sun Ra rapped every word he uttered. And he rapped a length at every show right up to his first stroke. Any amount of this on You Tube of course, but here's one to get you up and dancing:

Sun Ra : Face the Music

Sun Ra's acquaintance with the celebratory colloquialisms of the street is perfectly illustrated by his story of a black youth being beaten up by some white kids; out of the sky comes the voice of God: Leave the mother-fucker alone!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 05:48 AM

And for those truly initiated into the mythos of Sun Ra, here's something a bit special:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Un6pmJK_ZE


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for that, Sean. What a phenomenal clip


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 04:13 PM

Alice, I'm into it! Straight-Edge sounds good to me since I write songs also that
are "on the edge" but I like the trend that Wiki mentions. Why not have folk as a clean
life style?

Frank


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 04:17 PM

I remember Ira and Inman, Art. Worked on a record session, the only one I ever walked out
on. They had this A and R fat man with a cigar from Columbia who wanted to crap up
their record with a sax section and other stuff that didn't belong. They were doing an
a cappella chain gang song. I hated to see it being destroyed. Frank Fried never did forgive me for that I guess. I couldn't sit by and see their career ruined by a stupid A and R guy.
Well, chain gang is close to rap.

Frank


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 04:23 PM

Rap is international. Much folkmusic (songs from Appalachia and Blues) are violent,
and speaking about terrible things. A lot of rap you don't hear because the radio only
plays the commercial kind, (the kind that sells to white kids). There is political rap which I happen to like from Chuck D and others that will never make radio stations. Rap is folk
because it is transmitted culturally and emanates from the street corner and not from the pens of paid songwriters necessarily. Maybe some of you would like to be listening to Pretty Polly and think that's different. Or Fair Ellender staving off the Brown Girl's head and throwing it against the wall. It's all relative.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 05:40 PM

That's not the point Frank. Rap is the now poetry of the getto, of the streets, of the poor inner city with a strong beat & a strong rhyming structure & a fast flow & with a musical back up behind it that fits well with the emotion. They aren't singing, they really aren't singing to the back up musicals, that back up just reinforces the original beat of the poetry. Back in the late 60's & 70's you wouldn't have heard even the performers claim this as a music. I remember people dancing to it but it was the back up they were dancing to not the poet.

Rap is more a mastering & mixing of a rhythm & rhyme sceme. Take away the back up music & you still have rap, it was very common in the poor inner cities sections & no one toted a band around to do it, there was no need for a band unless you wanted to market it but that wasn't how it started. It was a shamefull thing back then if a white boy out rapped a blackm, it was their art form from the beginning & the music only came after in started going commerical. 'It only became international because it sold & was capitolized on otherwise it would've been happy saying in the inner city & possibly dying.

BTW, Rap doesn't come close to Prison Work songs, no connection at all unless it's just because the skin color of the singers. That's like saying shanties are related to jump rope rhymes, exercising the leg muscles

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 05:46 PM

Was "Rap" Brown a musician or a singer??
He certinally could "Rap"!

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 08:48 PM

It is fairly ridiculous to assert that a part of a musical piece is not music, Barry--I'd be curious to see if you could find you either musicologist or ethnomusicologist that would accept that--there is are many musical pieces that have spoke elements, and I don't recall ever having heard anyone say that "Peter and the Wolf" is not music.

Beyond that, there is a huge body of collected folk music that consists of percussion and chanting, and an awful lot of chanting alone.

Bomba and plena can be amazingly like rap, for instance, and, in fact, both of these traditions existed in the New York communities where rap/hip-hop originated--and both have roots West African musical traditions, such as the griot traditions that are often mentioned in connection with the genesis of rap.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 09:15 PM

"I will grant people the fact that Rap is a Folk Art, but so is graffiti.

"What Rap is not is Folk Music, and anyone who goes to a Folk Music Festival and has to listen to a rapper between Irish folk bands and bluegrass is being abused." pdq

That's my thought too. How can it be music if it can't be sung? Can you imagine sittng around the library table teaching your children the songs?

"I don't get quite why you think it isn't music--why isn't it music? or do we have to get down to "what is music?" M.Ted

My question: Is everything that has a beat music? Is the hooting of a grouse or a distant hammer tapping tacks into a board or a neighing herd of horses or the screaming of a crowd greeting a rock star music?

I would no more book a rapper into a folk club than I would book an opera singer. I like opera, as it happens, and I can appreciate the muscle of a rap rendition but they ain't folk music. Like pdq, I contend it is folk art, pure and simple.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 09:46 PM

"I would no more book a rapper into a folk club than I would book an opera singer. I like opera, as it happens, and I can appreciate the muscle of a rap rendition but they ain't folk music. "

It just doesn't seem to sink in - folk music has more than one style and more than one audience. Folk music is also more than a style - it is a process that can be found in modern times.

A rapper would be nuts to accept a booking at a folk club, and a folk club would be nuts to booker a rapper - IF the audience is used to a certain brand of what THEY consider "FOLK MUSIC".


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 11:24 PM

So "Peter and the Wolf" is now folk music?

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 11:30 PM

I've heard rappers on programs of folk music, and the crowd invariably loved them. Check the Dolomite and Oscar Brown, Jr. links above--It's the kind of thing that folkies love-I think that they'd have gone over like gangbusters with most folk audiences--In fact, it seems to me that Oscar Brown, Jr. used to perform in folk clubs--

At any rate, surprising for folks here, perhaps, the question of whether it is music or not, if it ever was a question, was resolved long ago, in it's favor.

As to whether the sounds that the birds make are music, ain't you never heard, "Let's all sing like the birdies sing"?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 11:53 PM

So I start recanting the "Wreck of the Hesperus", give it a little back beat, it has a rhyming structure, I could read it or recite it fast put some anger into it, then all I need is a back up band & I got a folk song?? Add a little dance to my moves make a vwith my fingers, I'm on the road to "Folkdom" glory hell-a-lu,lu.
Give me a break!!
For all that I could sing "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" is that all it takes to make a folk song??
Again, give me a break!!
The Blacksmith's fair daughter gets a poem for dying at midnight but it's doesn't get "folk song status" even when it's backed up by a single acoustic gitar & gets her head blown off by a shotgun??
And these rapper guys do??
Go ahead now argue weither or not that's a folk song!!
So is BeBop/DoWop gonna be the next folk style?????
Some sing that at gatherings.

"Rap" Brown was a rapper, he practically brought on the genre. He was no singer, he was no musician, he was a political activist & civil rights advocate & a rapper. He got his nickname from rapping not as a folk singer.

To bad, "Rap" could've been showcased at Mystic along with Stan Hugill,
or at Newport when they presented the ex-cons doing prison work songs during the 'Vanguard' era. Seems a bit far from folk when you stand them along side other genres.

Take the instruments away from a folk song & it's still a song, take the instruments away from Rap & it's poetry, it's no longer a song!!!!


Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 12:06 AM

Anything that you want to do is cool by me dude, but it don't make you right.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 03:41 AM

In England, a rant poet like Nic Toczek used to perform in folk clubs. And damn good he was too.

His words always seemed more urbane than most rappers you hear nowadays. In fact several of the punk bands used to have rant poets like Nic and Seething Wells as support acts.

I think it was a worthy contribution to the tradition of English folksong, and in time because it was there and people heard it - it will flower again. Its there in the common tongue.

I'm not sure about 'rap' as we know it. It seems very bound up with the new music technology. And that in a way provides the context, rather in the way that classical music provides its own context - neither of which 'feel' like folk to me.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 04:06 AM

I think Barry and Co are still hung up on this strange idea that "folk" is a type of music rather than a process.

I struggle with the idea that "folk" is the property of a narrow band of white, English-speaking people - probably strummers of acoustic guitars, probably disgustingly "mellow"... every culture has its folk music(s) and few of them sound how the "folkies" would like them to. Good, I say.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: mattkeen
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 04:43 AM

Spleenoo! Spleenoo!

(PS you will only understand this if you know English footie chants or you are Spleen himself)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 11:02 AM

Spleen read again, I didn't say it is or is not folk I said it's not music. Therefore how can it be "Folk Music", maybe a folk art, but that's a strech too.

You don't know me well enough to know what I think of folk but I have tried to explain what I think is this type of poetry.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: mattkeen
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM

He knows what you said Barry, and so do I .

For myself< I just think your wrong


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 11:42 AM

Go Matt! Go Matt!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 11:46 AM

No Barry, I don't know you. I'm inferring slightly from your posts and using facetiousness as a rhetorical device... bad Spleen!

I instinctively flinch at That's not music! type statements. Call it a reflex reaction. Nothing personal, Barry.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 01:17 PM

Best appreciate that music is music even if you hate it; I hate tripe & trotters but I would never say they weren't food or yet deny anyone the right to enjoy them as such. All music is a manifestation of creative human genius on an individual & collective level; it emerges out of absolute necessity. I don't think it's essential to like all music - I actually find Bob Dylan physically painful to listen to (but I love the unfaltering eclecticism of his radio show) and would personally ponder if much of the slick young trendy things that inhabit sessions these days are actually playing music, but that's just my personal bugbear, as undeserving of a thread as olddude's uncalled for bitching that started off this little lot.

Like art, not everything is music, but everything can be music if that's the way one chooses to define it. So open your ears, and maybe your hearts and minds will follow.

In the Ocean of World Music, genre folk is just a stagnant little puddle slowly drying up for the want of some rain; the drought is on, but the rest of us are out there, swimming in the cool blue depths. Come on in! The water's lovely!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uRnvMwD6jM


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 02:35 PM

""Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T - PM
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 06:28 AM

I guess I'd say that, in its best forms, it is arguably a variety of folk art.

They would definitely have to introduce a melody before I would use the word "music" in relation to it, and I would need a serious amount of time to consider whether "folk music" would ever apply. About fifty years or so.

It's not my style, but I have nothing against it either.

Don T.""

RESPONSE BELOW!


""Why is this subject under discussion anyway? What is with folkies that they have to turn on something they have no appreciation or understanding of? What qualifies them to pass any sort of judgement at all or even think they're worthy of holding an opinion in the first place? Ignorance writ large, folky fuckwits - you give folk a very bad name indeed. FYI - Hip-Hop is the antithesis of everything wrong with folk music - it's alive, vibrant, traditional, relevant, happening, universal, youthful, respectful, dynamic, creative, experimental; it is the ingenuity of humanity at its most ruthlessly inventive. Oh, and it actually knows what it's talking about, first hand.


I make possibly the mildest, and least offensive, comment on this thread, and the above is the response to that. Who is this poster, anyway, who believes he alone has a right to hold an opinion. I don't intend to defer to this ignorant, foul mouthed troll. I am as entitled as any here to express my opinion.

If you have a problem with that, Sedayne, maybe it's YOU that's on the wrong forum, as this one IS about the folk music YOU neither appreciate nor understand.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM

Oi, Don, hold your horses! I don't think Sedayne was in any way specifically refering to you. The last word for Sedayne is "troll" unless that's a specific reference to degree of hairiness...

So open your ears, and maybe your hearts and minds will follow. Or in the words of the great George Clinton free your mind and your ass will follow...


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 03:19 PM

Barry, I respectfully disagree. You can't separate Rap from the rest of African-American
culture. It did not sprout up out of the ground but remains a form of expression that
emanates from a rhythmic and lyrical tradition. To try to confine it the way you suggest
is to deny its roots.

Rap is very much alive because it is changing (as folkmusic does) and I was privileged
to hear Naz do his rap about Fox News and I applaud this direction that Rap is taking.

Rap does have the quality of other forms of expression such as chain gang songs or
blues because it conveys history and storytelling that is not a part of the Anglo-American
experience. It is an eclectic expression that borrows from many sources and is not confined to a rigid form except when it is commercialized for a specific market.

African-Americans have been expressing views that are unique to their culture for years.
In a sense, Rap reminds me of the revolution in jazz through be-bop and the beginnings of rock and roll. Both forms were rejected by a proper white community who considered
them violent and "immoral". Eventually these musical expressions were accepted and understood by a larger audience. The same will happen with Rap.

I think that Fela Kouti has had an influence on Rap. His mode of expression was to take
current political events that occurred in his country, not unlike the Calypso tradition in
Trinidad. Rap has elements of this expression particularly when it takes a political bent.

Barry, I have sung be-bop at some gatherings and the songs of Hendricks,Lambert and Ross were accepted. In some circles, ears have opened to new ideas and not imprisoned
by labels or cliques of musical personalities. As we become exposed to more new and interesting ideas in music, the acceptance rate for innovation and change becomes more apparent.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 03:45 PM

Right on, Frank. Respect. I wonder - any Fela Kuti on you Tube? Let's have a look...

Oh yes! Oh yes! Check this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4AA6EuZe-k

And more. Watch this - LOUD! Saw him at Glastonbury in 84 & I'm still dancing!

*

Yo, Spleen-o - reckon I need a haircut then? In this heat I'm inclined to agree. This one's just for you...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq8eb74nIKc


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 04:02 PM

here is a Nick Toczek track that apparently is currently the subject of a legal wrangle with BabyShambles.

What a folksong!
http://www.myspace.com/nick_toczek


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 05:44 PM

Chant and percussion are fundamental elements of African music, and are fundamental elements in the African diasporatic cultures of America,The Caribbean, South America, and Europe.

When some of you make statements to the effect that Rap/Hip-Hop, and by extension, all African music "is not music", you dismiss the validity of their musical culture because it doesn't conform to the aesthetics of your own musical culture.

This is serious, because it denies the validity and legitimacy of cultures that are not your own, and simply on the basis of the fact that they are not like your own.

None of you have presented any credible reasoning as to why chant should not be considered music, and no credible reasoning as to why very narrowly defined western style "folk melody" is necessary for something to be considered music. In fact, there is no credible justification for these ideas.

Basically, this position is chauvinistic, and without much trouble, can be interpreted as racist.

It may surprise you to know this--but generally when someone says "Rap isn't music", people of the relevant culture take is as a racist, chauvinistic dismissal--and tend to respond to it as such.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 07:27 PM

Well said, M. Ted. With you 100% on this.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 08:54 PM

I only just caught up with this thread, and that because of comments on another thread about how bad it was here. I'm not usre it is taht bad here. Some overblown irrational raving, but equally some very insightful statements.

Ther are two questions in the thread title, and the second can logically only be answered after the first. Since the vast preponderance of 'catters do not seem to want to reach any understanding of the first any sustained rational attempt to answer the second is unlikely.

If one applies the 1954 definition and related views, there are going to be two problems attached to categorising "rap" as "folk". THe first is that many folk historians and academics seem to see anonymity as an essential for folk music or song, whereas the insistence of modern rap on commoditisation makes anonymity anathema.

Secondly, the pride of authorship means that although some standard phrases in rap get recycled, most modern rap is not recycled in retelling so there canbe no "folk process" in its descent. The form seems to arise from the community, but it is not folkloric.

I would also comment that I don't see "straghtedge" used in the UK music world in the sense that Wikipedia suggests.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 10:46 PM

As one who practices the law, Richard, you know that one needs to begin with the statute.
Submitted for your consideration, the "official" definition of folk music laid out in 1954 by the International Folk Music Council:

Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives … The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community … The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk character.



You may proceed.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 12:01 AM

Of course the arguement is going to be made based on the last sentence - that rap is "composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged", but the true story is that is is music that was made by a community and taken over by popular music.

I just opened Pete Seeger's book "The Incompleat Folksinger" to get his take on the "folk process". He described a statment made by Dr. Duncan Emrich, formerly in charge of the Archive of American Folk Song. Emrich stated that there would soon be no more folk singers, and he based his statement on similar definitions.

But Pete wrote: "What Emrich didn't figure was that new traditions of folk music will emerge, even though the old ones will have faded. All definitions change with the centuries. What is called a "play" nowadays is far different from what was called a "play" in Shakespeare's time. The definition of folk songs and folk singers are liable to change also.

Folks will insist on it.

In the 1960's there was a flood of good new American songs written by young people who are singers and guitar pickedrs, who try out their new songs every week on small, informal audiences. They know right away how their song is being received, and if it needs amending.

Are these songs folk songs? They might fit one definition, but certainly would not fit another. The important thing is: are they good songs? Do they sing well? Is the poetry so good you can't get it out of your head? Are the words true, and do they need saying? Does the music move you?

It's worth pointing out obvious differences between these songs and what we usually call "pop" songs:
1) They're often concerned with controversial subjects.
2) They may be short or long, or ignore the Big Beat and other time-honored jukebox requirements.

On the other hand, I'd guess that most of these songwriters are very glad if their songs make the top forty and are sung by all kinds of singers, as long as the songs are not massacred in the process. Whether or not the songs have this brief flash of lucrative notoriety, some of them are picked up by some of the millions of guitar pickers in our country, and the best will be handed on to future generations.

Then some professor can come along and collect them. He can call 'em folk songs then, if he wants. The dust will not object."

That was published in 1972. I think Pete's definition fits the definition of "folk music" that includes the catagory of "rap". As far as I'm concerned, it says it all.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 12:59 AM

Hi Frank, I did not try to seperate Rap from the Arfo-American culture, reread my statement "it was their art form from the beginning & the music only came after in started going commerical". I stopped writting poetry before the age of 20 when I also stopped rapping. Yes I could rap as well as any kid growing up in the inner city that came from a racialy mixed community. I was in that community that embraced Rap Browns speaches & they embraced his rapping style. there was no music in it. Take the musical back up away & you still have rap in it's original style (almost). The music was used to elevate it to commerical sucess & freedom. Funny how the musical side of this art was used to catapult it into the arena of capital mass productioan where a white boy could get there mouth & hands into the act, sound familar, think the blues

If you take a poem & set it to words it becomes a song or a poem set to music, take away the music & it is no longer a song unless you sing it, if you don't sing it goes back to being a poem & only a poem. So if a rapper isn't singing but he's being backed up by music you may say it's a song, I don't feel quite that strong about that but you take away the music & the rapping is rhyming & not singing then it's just a plain poem without all the glitter & attraction, it's no longer a song
I didn't say it wasn't a folk form or art. Have you people no standards at all to hold you what you'll except & expect as an art form or as a musical form. Go throw a bucket of paint on a canvas wall & come up with a good reason why it should be hung in a museum gallery.

Don, I do think that with my backgroud I qualify to comment on this thread I came out of the inner city very tough & very poor & at a time when rap was sowing it's seeds.

"I instinctively flinch at That's not music! type statements. Call it a reflex reaction. Nothing personal, Barry"

That's ok Spleen, next time try not to knee jerk.

Frank, when I 1st heard Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" & the Last Poets material (without any musical backup I add) I didn't see them as a line going back to West Africa. I did see them as a new breed of protest in an art form. The blues & the prison work songs before them & the songs of slavery before that in not part of that same line. Those were songs to get through life & in no way were they even attempting a political statment that's a US bron thing not something that's a direct line to West Africa.
You may have to do a lot of footwork & fancy dancing to make those connections, at least by my standards.

Matt; "For myself< I just think your wrong"

Then we agree that we won't come to any sort of agreement soon, deal.

Richard & Ted
I'm fine with or with your 1954 guidelines though I wasn't asked my opinion back then I was really to young to contribute.
So I'll leve here with this the 1st time I was exposed to rap within it's own community there was no tradition (and no music I'll again add, it was all verbal back then, that was in the late 60's early 70's nearly 40 yrs ago.
Why don't we meet here in another 40 yrs & see where it's gone to & then we might have a better handle on how it has or hasn't entered into some sort of tradition.

G'day, G'nite
Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 04:43 AM

Yes M Ted, I know the 1954 definition, thank you, but one might also consider the parameters applied by Cecil Sharp one of which was that the song be anonymous.

Ron, the question of whether one likes or oneself adopts to play or sing a particular song may well depend on whether it is "good" (or, rather, to one's taste) or not, but that is not the same as whether it is "folk".

There is an argument that the 1954 definition needs to evolve, and of course as we have been told (although no-one has taken us to the detailed sequence) the Council, as well as changing its name, has amended the definition it uses. But that emphasises that in order to ask whether rap is the new folk one has to be able to define "folk". It's another reason why we need a definition for "folk" but it does not inform what that definition should be.

If one takes the 1954 definition, however, although the form of rap msic may have started in the community, and although that form may have evolved or been corrupted by crass commercialism, each individual song remains the same, and no or virtually no songs pass into general public performance by persons other than the original recording artis, and even when performed by ordinary peole (as distingushed from recording artists) the songs remain slavishly the same because the performer is seeking to emulate the original recording.

As to the concerns of the OP, I am advised that if you are kept awake by the late night rap music of the neighbours, a good loud burst (a couple of kilowatts should do it) of a recording traditional "top line only" music played on the crumhorn (which has a very penetrating sound perhaps nearly as carrying as kick drum or bass guitar) should make the point early the following morning. It was the remedy applied by Growler (or so he said) to those having "street" type music played loudly from recording at their barbecues in his street so he told me, but it might help that he is aout 6 foot 6 and burly with it.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM

Some people may be interested in reading this article:

Roots and Routes: The connections between dancehall and rap
By Hannah Appel   
http://www.jahworks.org/music/features/rap_dancehall.html


Here's a longish excerpt of that article:

"There are more similarities than not between dancehall and rap music. From shared musical and social histories going back to pre-Middle Passage Africa through today where rhythms and lyrics transmit at rapid speeds via modems, televisions, and the radio, the interconnectedness of these two musical forms is undeniable. DJs and rappers sample one another's material with reckless creativity, and look to one another for collaboration and inspiration...

Origins
Though many of the links between rap and dancehall are more abstract, like African retentions or similarities in language use, their most fundamental relationship is a perfectly tangible one: Jamaican immigrant Clive Campbell (a.k.a. DJ Kool Herc) brought his knowledge of Jamaica's budding dancehall tradition to the Bronx, and in 1974, he invented the break beat, widely understood to be the founding moment in hip-hop music. This celebrated moment, when hip-hop music (rap) was born out of Jamaican dancehall traditions, could use a little context of its own.

Though we have come to understand dancehall primarily as a contemporary form of Jamaican popular music in which DJs and singers perform and record over pre-recorded rhythms, dancehall as a culture and concept has a much longer history than that. Dancehall is also the space where dances are held and where sound systems and artists performed long before the technological innovations of the dancehall music we hear today. Moreover, like hip-hop, dancehall refers not only to a music and a space, but to a whole culture that encompasses music, language, dance, dress, and world views.

Hip-hop and Dancehall's Musical Similarities
In what other ways are dancehall and rap music related? For the sake of simplicity, let's divide these connections into two broad categories: musical links and socio-cultural links. Of course this is a gross over-simplification and it is impossible to truly separate music from the culture that generates it, but for purposes of introduction, we'll look at the formal musical traits that rap and dancehall share.

Certainly the innovations of Kool Herc provide the defining shared musical connection between rap and dancehall, but we have to look much farther back than Clive Campbell's immigration to see how these musical styles came to share so many of their formative elements. Rap and dancehall share two fundamental and definitively African elements: orality and rhythm, that date back to sub-Saharan Africa far before the forced migrations of slavery.

With their lyrical focus and ability to manipulate language for speed, affect, content, etc., rappers and DJs are the contemporary incarnations in a long line of orators, following the West African griot figure, or one who would spread news and stories in the community. Many writers and thinkers have also related the orality of dancehall and rap to the West African concept of "nommo," which understands the power of the word to be the power of life itself. To speak something or to "speak on" something is to generate it, or make it come into being. (See the work of Henry Louis Gates or Geneva Smitherman.)

The second definitively African element that both rap and dancehall share is their mutual reliance on rhythm. While the foundation of music that comes out of classical European traditions is with melody, music informed by classical African traditions relies almost solely on rhythmic creativity and layering. Rap and dancehall both share this reliance on rhythm, offering their lyrics over heavily laden bass tracks full of drum machine sound effects, handclaps, and even traditionally melodic instruments like the guitar or the horn used as rhythmic accompaniment. (Think of the "one drop" in reggae or the horn section in often sampled funk riffs.)

While it's important to acknowledge the African musical roots of these traditions, those roots are only one part of a much larger picture. That larger picture is a much more modern view in which rap and dancehall both rely extensively on newer technologies (microphones, turntables, amplification, keyboards, computers, etc.) and the extraction and recycling of old musical material into something new and exciting, a process known in hip-hop as sampling (and a habit so ingrained in dancehall it doesn't have a name.)

These changes took place in urban points in the African Diaspora [in]Kingston, New York, etc. The technological innovations of the second half of the twentieth century are really the musical heart of rap and dancehall. These technological advances include allowing the sampling of recorded material, and transporting an entire sound system not only across countries but also across oceans. Certainly the earlier innovations, like record players and microphones, were central to the musical forms, but it is the more recent developments in information technology that are speeding up the relationship between rap and dancehall music and the cultures out of which they come...

The music industries in both Jamaica and the U.S. are deeply affected by this informal economy in all kinds of ways, from bootlegs, to artists' individual connections to organized crime. (If you don't believe me, just listen closely to the musicÉ Which brings us to another shared lyrical tendency: boasting and posing as a "bad man" when you may or may not have done all the things you say you have. Although suffice it to say, many of the connections and claims are true.)

This has been a bare and decidedly incomplete introduction to some of the relationships and connections between rap and dancehall music and culture. More exploration can be done on topics like language, or the relationship of music to money and the market.

For examples of musical cross-breeding, it is fair to say that any dancehall album you listen to will have clear hip-hop influences, if not several guest rappers. Hip-hop albums similarly co-opt Jamaican traditions and artists for cameos. Beenie Man's recent spate of appearances with everyone from Lil' Kim (Straight from Yard) to Janet Jackson is one example, as is the Wu Tang Clan on the recent Capleton single "Judgement Morning."

eend of article

Here's the information presented on that website about the author of the article:

Hannah Appel is a San Francisco native who has spent the last two years in Kingston, Jamaica on a Fulbright grant, studying language and music. She has a B.A. in anthropology from Yale University, with a Caribbean studies focus. She makes a mean red peas soup and can "log on" and "zip it up" with the best of them.


-snip-

In my opinion, this entire well written article is well worth the read.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 09:02 AM

Richard - it is NOT a question of whether the song is good or not that makes it folk, it is the process in which a song is utilized and the community that creates it that makes it folk. Rap fits any definition that I've seen, including the sacred 1954 def.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 09:57 AM

Yes Ron, I said that - at least the first sentence. As to the second sentence, I disagree. In folk the community filters adn creates teh form of the song. In rap the community created the style adn each artist jealously guards his/her own form.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:07 PM

""Oi, Don, hold your horses! I don't think Sedayne was in any way specifically refering to you. The last word for Sedayne is "troll" unless that's a specific reference to degree of hairiness...

So open your ears, and maybe your hearts and minds will follow. Or in the words of the great George Clinton free your mind and your ass will follow...""

In view of the fact that he used an out of context sentence from my post to introduce his diatribe against the folk community, who do YOU suppose he was referring to SPECIFICALLY?

In addition to that, what PRECISELY qualifies him to decide who IS entitled to express an opinion, and who is NOT?

You obviously know Sedayne in the real world. I do not, and I can only suggest that the best way to avoid being seen as a troll might be to stop acting like one, and show just a modicum of respect for others' rights to hold opinions.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:19 PM

It probably is folk- but it isn't folk music.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:29 PM

what I can't understand is (Perry!)....

You always say it is future generations who decide what is entering the folk tradtion. Then immediately you say, But I bloody well know what folk music is, and you don't......

That question is irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial......counsel will aproach the bench.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:32 PM

i remember this same 'debate' here from at least 2 or 3 years ago.....


ask this question..




is FOLK the old RAP ?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:39 PM

No. Folk is the new folk. With vocal melody.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 05:47 PM

yeah, but 'PUNK' was post "Jack the Lad" provincial youth folk rock
with cheap Woolworth
electric guitars and amps


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 09:45 PM

"In folk the community filters adn creates teh form of the song. In rap the community created the style adn each artist jealously guards his/her own form. "

Sorry Richard, for that sentence, I completely disagree.   The form is out there. There is a competition among rappers, but the same could be said about folk songs. There was a time when everyone had their "party piece" that was shared. That was part of a tradition. Same process, different times, different styles, same folk roots.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Suffet
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 10:55 PM


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Suffet
Date: 26 Jul 08 - 11:13 PM

Greetings:

Hasn't the North American tradition contained many examples of lyrics set to non-melodic music? Among them are: Utah Phillips' long poetic recitation in the middle of Phoebe Snow. The rhythmic doggeral of cowboy poets. The jazz poets from the 1920s through the beatniks of the 1950s to Gil Scott-Heron's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. The various and sundy talking blues. Peter LaFarge's The Ballad of Ira Hayes. Commercial country novelty songs such as Big Bad John, The Baron, and Convoy, to name just three well known examples. How are these any different from rap?

Just asking.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 01:07 AM

Ask your self Ron. Would JayZ perform a Snoop Dogg piece?

Would any emergent rapper re-perform a rap made popular by any pre-existing artist?

Surely the answer to that is "No" - isn't it?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 02:50 AM

Not only is the answer to that no but it could very well set off a bloody musical "turf war".

But I'm sure that as one older incon mentor passes on his style, words & trademark phrazing to their proteges, they will retain in the oral tradition how the song was 1st recorded in the field & the evolutionary changes the songs have gone through (whilst avoiding copyright & legal issues)as it passes through the community f singers or rappers as the case may be & also where the various varints & versions sprouted from.

Damn, a folk genre all in a mere 40 yrs, an anomaly for sure.

And here I thought I have to wait untill I died to see & hear that happen


Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 04:01 AM

There lies, I think, the nub of it. Is it sufficent to qualify as "folk" if "style, words & trademark phrasing" (I assume here that you mean short phrases of words, not a substantially entire lyric) are retained in and modified by the community?

As I read the 1954 definition it would only suffice if the song as such were so treated.

Somewhat similarly if C#'s view that a folk sing has to be anonymous is correct then the pride of authorship in the rap movement negates the possibility of rap songs being folks songs.

That takes us back to the question of how accurate the 1954 definition and C#'s opinion were.

IMHO the requirement that the song has been adopted into and modified by the community is correct, but the requirement that the song be anonymous is probably no longer correct.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 05:08 AM

what PRECISELY qualifies him to decide who IS entitled to express an opinion, and who is NOT?

If expressing your opinion amounts to an unqualified rant against something you have absolutely no experience or understanding of, which you clearly don't in this instance, then I'd say said opinion was really best kept to yourself. It's a negative outpouring - perhaps even trolling in Mudcat parlance - indicative of broader levels of such bigoted intolerance in the so-called folk community. As for what qualifies me to say this, simply my belief in living and letting live & that it takes all sorts to make a world.

As someone for whom all music is folk music as I've never heard a horse sing a song, then by that definition alone, rap is folk. There's nothing new about rap and hip hop, with an established & evolving structural vocabulary going way back, as has been shown. It is as old, if not older, than Folkie Folk Music, which only begins in 1954, born from a theoretical construct based on an interpretation of certain corporeal precedents which may, or may not, have seem themselves in that way, or in any way at all. Like all folklore, it's only the folklorists who perceive it as such.

In terms of both the Spleen Process and the Horse Definition, then rap, along with all world human musics, bar none, is folk music because all music is folk music by default. However, whether or not these musics see themselves as folk music is another matter entirely. Personally I doubt they would out of dread association with what Folkie Folk Music has become as a result of its own somewhat precious definition (1954 or otherwise) thus informing the self-serving bigoted myth that is the very worst of what Folkie Folk Music has become in its self-imposed cultural exile from folk music as a whole. You want evidence of that, look no further than this thread.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 05:23 AM

IMHO the requirement that the song has been adopted into and modified by the community is correct, but the requirement that the song be anonymous is probably no longer correct

It is the genre as a whole we're looking at here; the collective cultural process by which said genre lives & breathes & perpetuates itself by virtue of its own transfiguration. The essentially occult & objective nature of this process gives rise to the subjective brilliance which is it immediate and singular manifestation, very often upping the anti for the entire genre, restructuring the whole thing. In jazz, think John Coltrane, who was only building on what others had done before him; think Rahsaan Roland Kirk who took it onto another level. In folk, think Davie Stewart: an idiosyncratic genius giving voice to a tradition; he may not be actually writing it, but in purely corporeal & creative terms, he is the medium conducting a very essential seance. The individual voices of rap are similarly mediumistic; the tradition being reinforced in fierce competition with clear rules wherein skills are honed and perfected and the music as a collective entity is enforced and sustained. Whether this makes it folk music or not is another matter, because folk music, in any case, doesn't actually exist, but it does make it a powerful and beautiful music and a force, and manifestation, of human musical genius on a par with any other.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 06:46 AM

Oh shit, horses again.

And, what is worse, a horse that appears to have eaten several dictionaries without learning how to convey meaning.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM

In simple language, Richard:

All music is human and therefore folk by default. The 1954 definition is a manifestation of the same voyeuristic patronisation which is the wellspring of all perceived folklore, which only becomes such when actually defined, otherwise it gets along just fine without it. Rather like language with linguistics, the latter existing only by virtue of the former, but nevertheless giving rise all manner of pedantry, which I fear is the case here. Taxonomy creates systems by virtue of its own method - these systems are figments of the taxonomical process. Folk music is one such figment; it is a theoretical construct, and has no actual meaning beyond what is in terms of actually experiencing the bloody thing. Some people use stamps to stick on envelopes, others collect them & catalogue them; some people use trains for getting from A to B - others spot them. Some people sing traditional songs as part of a celebratory collective catharsis - others... well, I'm sure you know what I'm saying.

Sherlock Holmes warned against making the facts fit the theory; with the 1954 definition, I fear that's exactly what has happened. All real music is subject to the same folk process - be it pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, gamelan, drum & bass, country, classical, whatever. The imaginary music you call Folk is rather like a model railway, which is in every way authentic, exact in every detail, but in no way is it real. As I have said before, the difference between your average Model Railway Enthusiast and your average Folk Music Enthusiast (myself included) is that the former would at least recognise a real train should they see one.

I love Traditional English Folk Song (English as in language rather than nation); it's what I do, and how I spent most of my social life - interfacing with others in folk clubs, festivals & singarounds in a collective experience which is, after all, strictly empirical. I know this works for me; I trust in it implicitly and I dearly love all the singers & enthusiasts & musicians & dancers & organisers who make this thing the living breathing wonderful thing that it is. I am, however, under no illusions as to what it is, or else its relationship to the rest of world music, which is part and parcel of the appeal I reckon; we quirky eccentric individualists who immerse our evident idiosyncrasies into the collective experience of a Bloody Good Sing.

But out there in the real world...

No matter; folk isn't about the real world. If it was, chances are, I wouldn't be interested. The Folk World exists in oblique parallax to the real world, but shares a similar necessity; in short, it sings about how good the old one was.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 08:44 AM

Richard, You are correct - it is highly doubtful thay JayZ would perform a Snoop Dog piece. Again, I consider that very similar to the "party piece" analogy and the fact that many collectors would find songs only in the songbag of a single family.

The sharing of songs and the "folk process" are parts of a larger process.

If you wish to cling to the 1954 definition, you can still have folk music without having a folk song.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 12:06 PM

Ummmmmmm, to answer the the question: kinda... Rap is a newer from of "folk music" but in no way "the" new folk... Important difference here... "The" new "folk music" inplies that it superseeds other forms of folk music...

BTW, my son does some real nice rap which, as a bluesman myself, think is cool because we both are engaged in folk music with roots to the black community... And the two forms are not all that dissimilar in they both tell stories of sruggle... And, believe it or not, when he was visiting a couple years ago I have a gig and invited him up on stage and we did a rap/blues medely which was real interesting...

As for folk music... I think of it is the music of the common man played on somewhat primitive instruments played by folks, not in concert halls but at picnics, in the home and on back porches by a large number of folks who, by in large, are not classically trained... I do see it very differently from classical music...

Jus' MO, of course...

B~


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 02:20 PM

...folk music, in any case, doesn't actually exist.

Well, that should settle it, once and for all. Hooray!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 02:43 PM

If all music is folk music then the question of whether rap is folk has no meaning. The proposition would certainly surprise most of the denizens of Leo's Red Lion, where there is today a "Battle of the bands" for the opportunity to play a support slot at Bloodstock, and I would be surprised if they took kindly to being told that thier music was folk music.

The expression "folk music" was used with some if not perfect consistency from teh mid 1800s to the mid 1900s. There is a difference in kind, not a difference in style (although there may also be differences in style) nor a difference in quality. To say that the cocept of folk music, like the concept of the noble savage, is a pretension and a condescension does not answer the question of whether the distinction between songs shaped by the community (which is not the same thing as song styles shaped by the community) and songs shaped only by specified creators and/or economic influences is a valid one or not.

It was generally assumed until Lloyd that only agrarian or peasant communities created folk music and song. Lloyd's assumption and assertion that there might be industrial folk song was handicapped by dearth of examples (as discussed on this forum). Both models involve the predicate that there are songs that by evolution are extant in a community so that the current form(s) in the community cannot be shown to be the work of known authors (and I suggest that nowadays that might be despite the known identity of the originating author, so long at the song is no longer principally as he delivered it. It is a "top down"/"bottom up" difference and I have never yet seen any denial of the distinction of type that is in the least credible.

What the correct definition is may be open to some discussion (and I adhere to one view as for example WLD does to another) but to say that there is no distinction seems to me to be unlikely to be justificable. SOme may say that it is a distinction without a difference, but that, too, cannot be so while different societies have different common forms of music.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 02:45 PM

Where the hell is this "rant" in my original post.

I merely stated that IMO music needed to have, not just rhythm, but melody, and for that reason I consider Rap to be rhythmic poetry. I did in fact clearly state that I thought it was a folk art.

The mention of fifty years consideration as to the "folk" appellation was in reference to the fact that many in the folkscene do not recognise anything from the revival of 60s as "folk", a point of view with which I disagree as it happens.

I write songs in the folk idiom, and am well aware that I will be dead and gone for many years before any of them are accepted, if any ever are.

I will continue to express my opinion as and when I see fit, without asking permission from anyone.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 03:03 PM

Ditto on all that Don, thanks

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 04:20 PM

"I write songs in the folk idiom, and am well aware that I will be dead and gone for many years before any of them are accepted, if any ever are."

True, but you are making folk music.   Same as Rap. It fits.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 05:46 PM

Well, no, Ron. Don writes some excellent songs, in the folk style (some more so than others), telling of the viscissitudes of working (or unworking) life [strange given his politics - I could not resist that] but they are at present at least wholly linked to him, known to be by him, not varied in their performance (if at all) by others. They are HIS songs about, but not of, the folk.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 05:58 PM

Sorry Richard, it is not the song but the process that makes it folk music - and it fits contemporary defintitions. It is indeed folk music.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 06:23 PM

Precisely. Don's songs have not been through the process.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 06:26 PM

PS - why not start singing some? I am vaguely intending to try to do my own arrangements of some (well, one at least) - reasonably soon. I am sure Don will be happy to send you MP3s of his original songs if you are minded to sing them.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 06:30 PM

Hey, if I sing them - it would no longer be a song! My voice would turn it into noise!

I would certainly play Don's songs on the radio.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 09:45 PM

Don
"I write songs in the folk idiom, and am well aware that I will be dead and gone for many years before any of them are accepted, if any ever are."

Ron
"True, but you are making folk music.   Same as Rap. It fits."

I would tend to think that it'll become a folk song only & if the folk community takes it to heart & includes it in it's repatoire.
If it gets just airplay then perhaps it becomes a commerically sucessful singer/songwriter's song. It can get airplay today but that won't make it a folk song tomorrow. That sometimes requires a bit more time.

Which brings me to a the question of the folk process in which "Rap" would go through the grinder. I have experienced Rap's acceptance in it's community but I have been removed from that community for nearly 30 yrs, so I can't speak to nor would I know of the folk process of Rap.
Anyone care to respond?

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 10:15 PM

"I would tend to think that it'll become a folk song only & if the folk community takes it to heart & includes it in it's repatoire."

That might be the heart of the problem. There are DIFFERENT folk communities, not just one. It is not something that this group of Mudcatters needs to embrace in order for it to be folk music - nor is it something that you or I need sing for it to be folk. The fact is, there is a community that takes this music to heart and it is part of their repatoire - and not in a staged fashion that we recognize as part of our own "folk community".   You do not need to have a song circle of rap singers at a festival in order for the music to be folk music. It has gone through its own "folk process", yet it is not one that has made the music traditional in the sense that we think of "Barbara Allen" or such songs.

Barry, when you say that you have "experienced Rap's acceptance in it's community" - you are noting the folk process that rap has gone through. It is not a "process" in the traditional sense, but it is a process that grew out of a community - not a single person changing a style.


Also, let's not confuse "folk song" and "folk music". They are two different terms and describe different items - they are not interchangeable.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:41 AM

Just to through a spanner in the works, let me point out that the 1954 definition of "folk" was developed by the International Folk Music Council to describe their work, not DonT, or Barry Finn, or Richard Bridge, or any of the other mudcat "crew.

The definition was hotly debated for years after, and was found to be wanting to such degree that the "International Folk Music Council" changed it's name to"The International Council for Traditional Music"--

The notorious "1954 definition," quoted above from their constitution, has been replaced with this:

"The objective of the Council shall be to assist in the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music and dance, including folk, popular, classical, urban, and other genres, of all countries."


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 12:56 AM

ok.. serious for a moment..

soon-ish.. when most of you old lot are dead and gone...

and my 'punk rock' generation are in our 70's..

and the 80's & 90's rappers are also in line for their pensions

will the never ending 'what is folk' disagreement have reached a happy conclusion ?

or just be lost and forgotten ???



replaced by

'playstation' is the traditional peoples artform of expression..

no no you are so wrong.. its 'gameboy'


yes but the 2004 definition clearly states that 'pacman'
is the religious root of all our culture


corporate pop media culture moves and consumes so so swiftly..


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:24 AM

Ron, I'm not confusing "folk music" with or "folk song" neither do I confuse folk communities because of the places they dwell or the skin color of the dwellers. But I do ask if someone can site where these communities keep their "Rap" alive & just what is the process they the do this? Is it the corner Barber shop, or the local Juke Joint, is it sung on the street coner under a lamp post in 4 part harmony or at parties in the kitchen? Is it actually alive in the community or is it just visible as a commerical enterprise in a juke box or on stage? Pleas explain how this community has taken this folk form on, processed it, honed it down swapped it aroung & passed it on? I didn't see this happen when I was growing up in the same communities where I 1st encountered "Rap" but I do conceid that I was there only in it very eary stages & didn't have a chance to be witness to Rap's folk process.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:19 AM

""but they are at present at least wholly linked to him, known to be by him, not varied in their performance (if at all) by others. They are HIS songs about, but not of, the folk.""

Except for one ("Fair Maids of Kent") which has been processed into the repertoire of one John Barden (The Barden of England), and changed by him in a way that I wholeheartedly approve, so I guess THAT one is on its way.

Ron, are you actually in a position to air music, and if so where? If you would like a demo CD for radio play, PM me with an address and I'll send one.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:24 AM

Ron is & has Don, he does have a great folk show & I'm honored that he's aired stuff from my CD more than once

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 09:58 AM

"I do ask if someone can site where these communities keep their "Rap" alive & just what is the process they the do this? "

Barry, I can only speak for what I see in my area, and what my kids tell me. It seems that rap is created in the schoolyards, lunch rooms, community dances, roller rinks, etc. - places where people gather to party and relax. Rap is just part of the continuing hip hop culture that grew out of urban streets in the late '70s.   

From what I see, I do think that the commercialization of hip hop and rap into the mainstream is probably having the same effect that folk music had in the '60s. Everyone wanted to make some money off of it, but what happened was that folk music integrated into popular culture and changed popular music. The singer-songwriters that developed in the 1970's were part of the evolution of folk music.   I think rap is going through the same changes, and it is impossible to see where it will go.

Thank you also for the mention of my radio show. I will PM you Don.   One thing - I do not normally play rap music! :)   I can't focus on every tradition! :)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 01:22 PM

Don's "Medway" original is good.


M Ted - who found the definition wanting (as distinct from disagreeing with it) and why and how? I am genuinely curious about the succession of changes and reasons.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 02:15 PM

Yes indeed. In a way Super Mario was the Cecil Sharp of his generation.

Lara Croft in many ways represnts what the Hammonds achieved in a less learned but more crudely energetic sort of way.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:44 PM

My only response, after seeing so much discussion of this seemingly unresolvable issue, is regarding Rap. To me, music at least consists of a succession of organized tones. I refer to this exerpt from Webster:

"The science and the art of tones, or musical sounds, i. e., sounds of higher or lower pitch, begotten of uniform and synchronous vibrations, as of a string at various degrees of tension; the science of harmonical tones which treats of the principles of harmony, or the properties, dependences, and relations of tones to each other; the art of combining tones in a manner to please the ear."

Where, in Rap, do we find tones? Generally, Rap consists of rhythmic word play, with tones either non-existent or barely represented. I could live with the idea of Rap as a sort of "folk art" or "performance art," but I cannot accept it as a musical form.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 03:54 PM

"Where, in Rap, do we find tones?"

Everything has a tone. The earth even emits a tone as it revolves. If you read the definition that you shared with us, you will see the harmonic dependicies and relationships that please the ear - even if that ear is attached to someone else.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 04:59 PM

So we no longer need the folk to produce folk music, mother earth we'll do it for us? The folking process now is sub-human & independant of our speices.

"Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain" By some Cascades, maybe in the High Serrias is now a folk song written by Mother Earth

Next we'll be singing folk songs by horses & horses asses

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:14 PM

Er - yeah, WLD, which ones actually existed then?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Suffet
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:29 PM

Greetings:

Once again, there are many examples of non-melodic music. Hasn't anyone heard Billy Jonas? I've heard him once at the Clearwater Hudson River Revival and another time at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. He uses all sorts of homemade rhythm instruments (for example, drums made from empty barrels) to create very complex, multi-layered music, all without the sequence of tones that vary in pitch and duration that we call melody.

And what about Gene Krupa with his remarkable extended jazz drum solos? Or Babatunde Olatunji, the Nigerian born drummer who did the music for the Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun? I count myself lucky to be old enough to have heard both of them live.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:30 PM

No: it's a different genre - one of the American genres; and certainly not one of my favourites.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:31 PM

"So we no longer need the folk to produce folk music, mother earth we'll do it for us?"

Wow, now I know how a pretzel must feel when it gets twisted and turned. The response I wrote was about "tone", not folk music.   Barry, did you get that job working for McCain's PR department??? :)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:32 PM

"Next we'll be singing folk songs by horses & horses asses "

come to think of it, I once did a whole show on that topic! It stunk!


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 05:39 PM

I inadvertenly heard a rap song on Saturday night.I had just finished a gig,and was returning to my vehicle in a peaceful and tranquil manner.
I passed another vehicle in which the wireless had been left on:over the airwaves came this rap piece,it was good,all about Tony Blair and George Bush and their war mongering.
it was a bit like a modern talking blues,now whether its folk or not ,again I dont care a Fiddlers Fart,but it was good.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 07:40 PM

"Barry, did you get that job working for McCain's PR department"

Thanks Ron, with that type of spin, if I could land the job doing PR for the old War Wimp, I'd love to sink him.

"come to think of it, I once did a whole show on that topic! It stunk!

Horse shit???

Barry


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 08:30 PM

a folk is a rap and it is a new folk a folk is a tool and a man and women adnd girl and a boy i am a folk


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jul 08 - 09:17 PM

Sorry, that wasn't me--


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 11:19 AM

And in a way Nintendo is like the Copper family - a repository for all that we mean by the English traditions since Game Boy.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 06:27 AM

Have put a bit of blog on recent Boat Band rap/folk interface activity here (I hope)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 08:11 AM

"No: it's a different genre - one of the American genres; and certainly not one of my favourites."

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? If it's American it can't be folk???????????


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 09:56 AM

A lot of posters here are wary(or hostile) to rap. We have just finished another phase of our ongoing rap collaboaration project, and you can hear another couple of samples on
Boat Band Myspace .

Highly non-threatening, and totally acoustic, these particular recordings! I-Deal's singing is a very gospelly, Meistro's rapping has no guns or ho's in it, so I'm sure folkies will find it endearing. Well, hopefully so, have a listen and tell me what you think. I have just put two new tracks up,Shallow Brown and Manchester Hornpipe, both with "rap" in the title. I won't leave them there for ever, but they should be around for a couple of months from the date of this post. I would be most grateful for any comments.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 10:07 AM

All very commendable, Greg - but what would Tim Westwood make of it?


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 10:12 AM

Hi Greg - I enjoyed both tracks. I suppose it's not really the language of rapping that puts me off - though much of it has its fair share of hos and bitches - but, in many cases, the complete absence of any melody and harmony. And I love melody and harmonies. The songs you've put up on your Myspace page are full of melody and harmony, not just drum'n bass or other backings - and the vocals are not simple monotone chants.

So, it was good stuff - but was it actually rap? (@$^£&*) :-) (Only kidding - not another debate...)

:-)


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 10:52 AM

Yes, I think we are working with rap, and it is rap. The blend of rapping and slow singing is identical to what is used in lots of hiphop etc music. Those acoustic tracks merely have the drum, bass and computer generated stuff stripped out(though on other tracks we are working with it all in). More importantly, the people we are working with are young urban artists who work out in the clubs DJing and rapping. They are not music teachers, they have not got degrees in Rapology Studies, they are the real deal. Very exciting stuff.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 11:18 AM

Greg - what prompted the idea of combining the two genres (trad./Boat Band and rap artists)? Just curious. Mmm... Boat Band with Sly and Robbie - now THAT would be a great idea.


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: Jayto
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 11:48 AM

We performed a rap song the other night in a folk/alt country setting. We did Gin and Juice by Snoop Dogg and Dr.Dre. We sung it and played guitar and mandolin with it. The crowd went through the roof. We did not come up with this arrangement though I am not trying to steal anyone's thunder lol. I played a gig with a band called the Gourds and it was an arrangement that they have of the song. Alot of people credit the jam band Fish with recording it but it wasn't Fish it was the Gourds. I think in the future some of the rap will be viewed as folk. Rage Against the Machine addressed current social issues straight forward and without pulling any punches. Tupac Shakur was another that rapped about social injustices and the good and bad of both sides of the economic and social lines. I am not a rap fan (although I do love Rage Against the Machine) but they (some of them not all) do chronicle what is going on in modern society better than most music forms that are popular today. Most of mainstream music today is worried about writing and delivering a big hook line that will sale umpteen million copies. They are more worried about the package that is delivering the hook (looks, marketability) than the actual content of the package being delivered. So I think (whether I like it or not) Rap is more of a source for social documentation than other popular forms of music today. For that reason I think rap will be the next folk. Even punk which has a reputation for social observations has failed to step up to bat. Then is you think about how many young people know the words to tons of rap songs by heart it becomes very clear to me. Remeber today's youth is tomorrows elderly that will be passing on thier way of life. I belive it will become the next folk even more. If the youth of today was around alot of folk when they were younger though that would make a big difference. Alot of times it seems that as people age they like to search out things that remind them of the past. Things that offered them happiness in thier younger days and provided them fond memories. So I think we could see some kind of resurgence on the music scene (not sure what). I know my son (he's 10) and alot of kids on their early teens around here are into 80's heavy metal instead of rap. I know that is not a saving characteristic for many on this board. My son is into folk though he has grown up listening to it from me and alot of different family members. He has a TON of friends that have grown up listening to it by always being around me and my brother playing music and listening to it. So they are aware of it and like some of the songs. I guess that is why we all have to do our parts to keep our music alive. If not Rap will take over without a doubt. I Think it is anyway but I have time to breath so I have time to fight lol.
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: What is Folk? Is RAP the NEw Folk?
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 02:00 PM

Will Fly: you were asking what prompted the mix. I've been exploring links between black and white music for a long time, and the evolving of African and Bahamian/Caribbean music into rap is another very interesting story. Also the traditional dance music of NW England, and how it interacted via sailing ships with other cultures since 1700. Add the explosion of dance music in Manchester in the last twenty years, link that to the fact there are seven different tunes all called Mancahster Hornpipe, and you have an idea worth pursuing. There are lots of young urabn musicians in Manchester, and they have a powerful musical culture which is evolving quickly and well-positioned to comment on the changes happening in our society. And the urban musicians, let's face it, are a bit more streety on average than most of the youngsters in the current post-revival folk scen: so you get a rather different slant on music. More "folk" in fact, perhaps?(In the old meaning of the word).
ANyway, this project, ongoing in Manchester and Liverpool, is proving very inspiring, to us in the band and to some other young musicians.


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