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Is Rap Folk?

GUEST,pdq 12 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM
LadyJean 12 Sep 03 - 10:19 PM
Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 10:05 PM
harvey andrews 12 Sep 03 - 07:27 PM
Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 07:14 PM
harvey andrews 12 Sep 03 - 07:02 PM
Janice in NJ 12 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 12 Sep 03 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 12 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 12 Sep 03 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 12 Sep 03 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 12 Sep 03 - 02:59 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 12 Sep 03 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 12 Sep 03 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 11 Sep 03 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 11 Sep 03 - 03:35 PM
Deckman 11 Sep 03 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 11 Sep 03 - 03:25 PM
Folkiedave 11 Sep 03 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 11 Sep 03 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Frankham 11 Sep 03 - 02:38 PM
katlaughing 11 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM
Janice in NJ 11 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM
mack/misophist 10 Sep 03 - 11:09 PM
Reiver 2 10 Sep 03 - 08:43 PM
Folkiedave 10 Sep 03 - 06:53 PM
katlaughing 30 Oct 99 - 01:00 AM
sophocleese 30 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM
katlaughing 29 Oct 99 - 11:59 PM
Mandochop 29 Oct 99 - 11:59 PM
Chet W. 29 Oct 99 - 10:12 PM
katlaughing 29 Oct 99 - 08:52 PM
Mandochop 29 Oct 99 - 08:22 PM
katlaughing 29 Oct 99 - 07:50 PM
Chet W. 29 Oct 99 - 07:22 PM
Mandochop 29 Oct 99 - 07:03 PM
Liam's Brother 29 Oct 99 - 01:22 PM
thosp 29 Oct 99 - 01:15 AM
DanielRiverwind 29 Oct 99 - 12:48 AM
sophocleese 29 Oct 99 - 12:35 AM
Chet W. 28 Oct 99 - 10:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Oct 99 - 08:46 PM
Lonesome EJ 28 Oct 99 - 06:12 PM
Lyle 28 Oct 99 - 05:01 PM
Frank Hamilton 28 Oct 99 - 02:39 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 28 Oct 99 - 12:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 11:23 PM

Rap is a form of violence and is not music. It allows the lowest, moronic losers to beat up the rest of society with noise, when in reality, they would rather do it with their fists, their feet, or their knives. The rise of (c)rap corresponds to the technological advances that put 500 watt amps and dual 18 inch sub-woofers in cars. Without their 120 dB stink noise, many of these urban terrorists shrink back to the tiny, worthless rodents that they truly are. Clear enough? If you have never been in the middle of this assault, your opinion has no validity whatever.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: LadyJean
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 10:19 PM

Fredrick Douglass described something very similar to rap performed by slaves on the plantations where he lived. I believe rap has it's roots in African tradition, and was born of a traditional folk art.

This having been said, I would like to track down the next idiot who drives past my apartment in the wee hours of the morning, playing rap at top volume, find out when he sleeps, and drive past HIS residence playing some of my favorite bagpipe music at top volume.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 10:05 PM

I'm not sure if I agree with you Harvey. If hype sells, then Gigli would have been the #1 box office draw of the summer. The media does not MAKE the big seller, they merely ride the wave.   The media jumps on the bandwagon and THEN hypes the hell out of it when they smell success. There were numerous articles about Eliza when she signed on with Warner and the record was pushed to the radio stations, but by and large the public did not really care. So why would the media keep hyping something that the majority doesn't care to see? There are many one hit wonders who are dropped when the public loses interest. Remember Hanson, the Backstreet Boys or The Spice Girls? Once the public starts to lose interest, the media forgets them. Commercial radio stations aren't going to play songs that people aren't going to listen to.

Please, don't think that I am knocking Eliza Carthy. Nothing would satisfy me more than to see her at next years MTV Video Music Awards, but realistically it won't happen and frankly it doesn't matter. Her music has followers and she is an enormous talent. However, by and large the public doesn't want to think about the music they listen to. Eminem is an exception, but I often wonder if people are really understanding what he is singing (or rapping) about.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: harvey andrews
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:27 PM

The media MAKES the big sellers Ron. People generally buy what they hear, see the movies hyped on the circuit, buy the books hyped in the shops. If Eliza got the same media exposure, newspaper articles, PR backing, mega bucks investment...who'd have heard of Eminem?
Most people follow the herd..business milks them.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:14 PM

If Eliza Carthy sold as many CD's as Eminem you would see more media representation.   For better or worse, the media backs the big sellers. It builds ratings.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: harvey andrews
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:02 PM

Rap is a form of music like any other. What I object to is the fact that it has a representation in the media far beyond the size of its audience. If all musics had a fair media representation there would be no arguement, but why is it that every store and supermarket insists I listen to angry teenagers shouting at me over their sound systems. It appears to be all pervasive. The Mercury awards offered various musical styles as equal in importance, but I'll bet I never hear Eliza Carthy on my shopping trips!


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 06:07 PM

I'm white and 57 years old, and I like rap music, some rap music that is. Like any genre, some rap music is awful, a lot of it is mediocre, and some of it is very good. Ice T's Cop Killer, for example, a lot of Tupac's stuff, and almost anything by Professor Louie.

For those who don't know...

Cop Killer by Ice T

I got my black shirt on.
I got my black gloves on.
I got my ski mask on.
This shit's been too long.

I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
I got my headlights turned off.
I'm 'bout to bust some shots off.
I'm 'bout to dust some cops off.

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f--- police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your family's grievin'.
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

I got my brain on hype.
Tonight will be your night.
I got this longassed knife,
And your neck looks just right.

My adrenaline's pumpin'.
I got my stereo bumpin'.
I'm 'bout to kill me somethin'
A pig stopped me for nothin'!

Cop killer, better you than me.
Cop killer, f--- police brutality!
Cop killer, I know your mama's grievin'.
Cop killer, but tonight we get even.

Ice T, who played a policeman in th movie New Jack City, said the followin about the song: "I'm singing in the first person as a character who is fed up with police brutality. I ain't never killed no cop. I felt like it a lot of times. But I never did it."

For comparison, let me show you this song and see if you can guess who wrote it? Hint: it was a pair of songwriters that most Mudcatters would likely praise.


66 Highway Blues

There is a Highway from coast to the coast,
New York to Los Angeles,
I'm a-goin' down that road with troubles on my mind,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Every old town that I ramble around,
Down that lonesome road,
The police in your town they shove me around,
I got them 66 Highway Blues

Makes me no difference wherever I ramble,
Lord, wherever I go,
I don't wanna be pushed around by the police in your town,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

I've been on this road for a mighty long time,
Ten million more just like me,
You drive us from your town, we ramble around,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Sometimes I think I'll blow down a cop,
Lord, they treat me so mean,
I done lost my gal, I aint got a dime,
I got them 66 Highway Blues.

Sometime I think I'll get me a gun,
Thirty eight or big forty four
But a number for a name and a big ninety-nine,
Is worse than 66 Highway Blues.

I'm gonna start me a hungry man's union,
Aint gonna charge no dues,
Gonna march down that road to the Wall Street wall,
Singing those 66 Highway Blues.

If you haven't already guessed, the words are by Woody Guthrie. And the tune is by none other than Pete Seeger. It looks like Ice T isn't the only person who had those thoughts, nor is he the only one who ever put those thoughts into a song.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 06:03 PM

Art Carney.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:39 PM

Figure it out!!


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:28 PM

Art who?


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:58 PM

But is any of this art?????


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:53 PM

I'm glad you think so!


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:27 PM

I guess rambling is a form of rap


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:23 PM

I think if Gilbert & Sullivan were around today they would be getting the good word out about rap, also. Them being champions of people in prison and angry young black men.

Don't you think so, too?

I agree about the Dylan one-note drown thing.

As for world peace, I have no answers, but I would start by trying to find a way to get through to a certain religious group that's about 95% in the middle east. Much more impact than what anyone thinks about Frank Zappa.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 03:38 PM

Sorry to annoy you Martin!! This is only a discussion, please don't take things personally. It really should be assumed that people are giving their opinions in a discussion.

I wish I was name dropping about Woody and Lead Belly, but I guess you did not understand my point. The point (MY OPINION) is that Mr. Guthrie and Mr. Ledbetter used folk music to get their message out to an audience.   Guthrie is on record saying that he used popular tunes because if he wanted people to learn HIS songs, he had a better chance of getting results if he started with a song they were already familiar with. It is easier to remember new words to an old song.

I (me) do think (opinion) that Mr. Guthrie and Mr. Ledbetter(no personal contact here) if they were coming up today(meaning they were two young kids in 2003) would PROBABLY (okay, I will use that word to even further distance myself from making it sound definitive) use rap music to get their message out to a new audience. In 2003, the odds are better for reaching YOUNG people in union organizing or in prisons or in schools by using RAP MUSIC (again my opinion in case that wasn't understood).

I don't like rap, but that is nothing to be glad about. I detest Gilbert & Sullivan as well, but that doesn't mean I think that G&S are without merit. I am over 40 and white, and the music I grew up with remains the style that I listen to - and that is probably true for most people.

Martin, I remember in another thread you spoke out against people who dismiss groups like the Kingston Trio. (I agree with you!) People choose to make their own definition of folk music, and this lengthy thread shows the same issue being applied to rap music. I really don't think their is a right or wrong. Some people will hear music in rap (I do, even though I don't enjoy the style) and some people won't. Some people hear music in Frank Zappa and others don't. Some people hear a one note drone coming from Bob Dylan and dismiss his music, others call it folk.   If there were a way to definitively answer this age old question, we would probably have world peace in our time.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 02:59 PM

Well Ron, the difference was that my opinion was just mine, not yours and what you think Woody and Lead Belly would think, also.

I'm not assuming. Nor was I name dropping.

But, I'm glad you don't like rap, either. You must be white and over 40 like me, I guess.

I wasn't demenaing. I was just being annoyed.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 02:08 PM

i reckon rap music is rubbish.john


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 02:05 PM

Gee Martin, chill! I never claimed that you were the one that said rap is not music. Don't feel guilty! There were others that said that.

As for your wisecrack about my knowing Woody and Lead Belly (two words, not one)please note that I used the word "I" which means it is just an opinion. Just like yours. No need to take it personally and no need to demean someone else.

I'm not a fan of rap either, but that doesn't mean I would deny that many people are attracted to the style for the same reasons that we choose the music we like to listen to.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:51 PM

I never said it's not music. some feel that locusts rubbing there legs together is music, also.

It's crappy music. And how can you not be accustommed to hearing it when you hear it "vibrating" out of so many cars.

You have no doubts about Woody and Leadbelly? Of course you knew them personally to assume this.

There are a lot of people who could care less if this form of "music" will be around for a while. Ever try to whistle along with a rap "tune?"


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:35 PM

Rap does appear to have it's detractors in the over 40 crowd. I am amazed that people can still say "rap isn't music". I think the biggest issue is that "rap" isn't like the music that they are accustomed to. There are definite rhythms and musical patterns taking place and the emphasis is on the word.   What most people are considering "folk" is nothing more than two or three chords and a singer warbling on a few scattered notes.   Many field recordings of songs offer a drone like rendition of the supposed "song". Do we question whether that is music?

Personally I think that rap will be around for awhile. This isn't an overnight phenomenon. Rap music can clearly be indentified as "rap" going back to the 1970's, but it goes much further.    You can hear it's roots in the music of the Georgia Sea Islands - listen to some of the game songs like "Hambone" and you will detect the similarities.

A few weeks ago on my radio program I played a cut from the new Alan Lomax Songbook collection.   Woody Guthrie gave an introduction to "Do Re Mi" that consisted of a few lines of rhyming. I am sure you would call it poetry, but if you hear the inflection that Guthrie was giving it really reminds one of today's rap music. I have no doubt that Woody and Lead Belly, if they were coming up today, would be using the styles of rap to get their messages heard.

Ron Olesko


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:29 PM

NO!


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:25 PM

Wow, that's makes two of us Dave.

Rap is crap.

This is tremendous folk music, this rap. There are well over 100 posts here analyzing this as folk music and I'll bet not one of the posters is an 18 year old angry afro-american male.

You have to start wondering what is really worth the bandwidth on some discussions.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 03:07 PM

I really do have difficulty hearing what the rap artist (and here I might say whoever) is actually rapping about. I am clearly too old!!

From an interview with the music teacher on Radio 4 it seems like Dylan I think his name is was a lucky lad gaining respect and recognition from a teacher after being expelled from four schools. It seems he did have something different according to his teacher. And he did say he will give the some of the money to youth clubs or similar.

White and over forty.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 02:42 PM

Rap is Crap.

Great poetry, I think.

Also, a popular opinion among most white people over 40.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 02:38 PM

Rap can be seen as a cultural expression. It may be wider than we associate it with the radio. It may be just part of the bigger realm of hip hop which may be part of a bigger picture, the music of African-Americans. The idea of spontaneosly making up verses adn couplets is a feature of African-American folklore. The violence in rap is only to be matched in the content of the Child Ballads, outlaw ballads, Grimm Fairy Tales or even in "Rock-a-bye-Baby". It's currency scares me, though. It refers to things going on in the streets today. But as I am given to understand it, there are subject matters that are not offensive in some alternative rap.

I guess we'll have to see whether it lasts long enough in the future to be a "folk music". But it has venerable antecedents.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM

HeyaReiver2 - you bet I do! Welcome back!*bg*


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 12:07 AM

Not all music is melodic, not all music is harmonic. Much music is entirely rhythmic, as any drumming enthusiast knows. Rap is rhythmic and has the added dimension of being lyrical as well.
You may not like it, but it is music.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 11:09 PM

Rap at it's best is poetry, sometimes quite powerful. Music? No, not as we know it. In a century or two, who knows? When the skops and skalds sang of Beowulf, was that music? No, not as we know it.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Reiver 2
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 08:43 PM

I've just skimmed through this thread, but I was thrilled and envious to read Katlaughing's post about having dinner with Morris Dees. He's one of my heroes, too. The man deserves the Nobel Peace Prize in my opinion for his work in Teaching Tolerance and in taking on the neo-Nazi hate groups.

As for the topic: I think Rap might qualify as being considered as "folk". I'm not sure it can be considered as music. So "folk", yes, "folk music", no. It may well be part of the identity for young blacks, but its proper classification would be as Doggerel Verse (which I suppose can also be considered "folk" but not "folk music.") Now, where do we put "Hip-Hop"?

Reiver 2 (remember me, Kat?)


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:53 PM

In view of the Mercury award 2003 I thought I might refresh this.

DAve


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Oct 99 - 01:00 AM

Good points, sophocleese. Mandochop, sorry for the typo in your name and I guess we were posting at the same time last.

You are right, we should let it rest for awhile.

kat


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: sophocleese
Date: 30 Oct 99 - 12:38 AM

I think that it is one of the misfortunes of popular radio, rap etc. that it often speaks ONLY to the reality of life as it is lived now. It doesn't speak much to the possibilities of the future. It is marvelous, when you think that no one has heard you before, to finally find someone who talks about your own experiences, who can relate at an immediate level to your immediate and, often, overwhelming problems. BUT simple reiteration of the difficulties is not a way to solve them. Effort needs to be put into long term alleviation of the problems not short term gratification of revenge motives. Part of the difficulty, I think, that Chet can see with a lot of Rap, is that it hooks people by giving them that short term gratification ( and lets face it, it is an arousing and exciting feeling else why so many murder and revenge ballads?) at the expense of long term alleviation of underlying structural problems. I am not saying that there aren't any problems or that to solve these problems you must work only within the system. But I don't think that violence is the only path to change outside of the system, in fact violence is firmly entrenched within it. There are, and must be, other ways. Commercialization/corporatization of any kind of street music, as it applies to those who are at war and/or risk within a society, will not advocate realistic and constructive changes to the system. Large corporations don't want change they want sales and profits.

Sophocleese


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:59 PM

Well-said, Chet. Just a note: when I am empassioned, my typing accuracy goes out the window, a very large window. I really am an excellent speller and grammarian, contrary to what the above looks like! Sorry. kat


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Mandochop
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:59 PM

I guess so.

Kat, you had some very fine points. Chet, I agree with you totally, yet I think you are addressing the wrong problem. As Kat said, what about the guns? I think we all need to take into account a few other factors to find the best opinions we can have. Let's call it a night.

Rob (Mandochop)


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Chet W.
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 10:12 PM

Thanks, Kat, you said it better than I did. Mando man, I don't think you and I will ever agree on the fine points of this discussion. I will tell you that for the kids I worked with in prison, rap was a very big part of their identities. They did it all the time. When they weren't actually regurgitating rap albums, they were doing the beats on desktops, windows, whatever. Maybe it's just in South Carolina. I don't have direct experience with imprisoned kids in Watts or Bed-Stuy. But I can tell you that in South Carolina, rap and rappers are monumentally important to just about all of my students in the prison, black, white, Latino, and other. The only notable exception is a small subset of white kids who were heavily into Death Metal. I will also tell you that I counted a lot of those kids as my friends. I miss them terribly (I am not too macho to say). And while I was there, rarely did a whole month go by that I didn't hear that one of the ones who went home was dead. Teenagers. I will not get over that, nor, I hope, would you, and I will condemn anything that contributed even a small percentage to lives that never got to be lived.

I guess we might as well stop, Chet


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 08:52 PM

Madochop, thank you for some more good points. I never singles rap out solely, in fact I brought up Queen Latifah earlier and mentioned protesting for 2LiveCrew's freedom of speech.

I am saying tha tv, first and foremost, and movies, second, have way too much influence on children of today. They see much more violence on both, than ever before in our society. Today in Cleveland they had close a school because they found a plan by some kids to shoot the place up including certian faculty and kids. What makes them thik they ahev a right to do so? Along wiht tv and movies, come home environment, BUT, even in affluent, white homes, I know parents who are educated who think nothing of letting their 6 yrs old on up watch terribly vilent shows andmovies, I would never have allowed my kids to watch.

I think parents have abdicated their responsibilities big time, partly due to the lack of support for them when they ha to work etc. No rap isn't the only factor, but to that kid who is vulnerable, like the one's Chet has seen, it can be a mighty contributor. And, even if those are in the minority, as you say, what will it do to the majority who will end up supporting those in the prisons etc. and how much will it cost them to try to turn the whole thing around, for that is squarely where it going to fall in the future.

And, then, dare I mention gun control? NO! If anyone is interested in that debate, we had a few months back and I don't think any of us wants to go through THAT, again. If you want to read it, let me know and one of us can refer you to it, but please don't refresh the thread.

Parents should control the content of their children's lives and/or chare the content in a critical thinking way; teaching their kids to think things through.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Mandochop
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 08:22 PM

Thanks, Kat for the insight. However, I still think that what you're talking about is a vast minority of youth. In a country of 270 million+, the youth inspired by the media, pop culture, and music to kill and maim is going to be an incredibly small number compared to the whole. Think of other third world countries where the youth dont even have a prayer on the street and be grateful for a Western standard of living. So you might say, "Why do we need rap at all if it only inspires to kill?", which brings me to my next point. You can't dismiss rap as an art form simply because it is a rabble rouser or because you dont like it. Like so many other movements (modern art, etc.) rap may have contributed to the deaths of many people (even if, as in my opinion, it is a very small contribution), but that doesnt make it any less of an art form. What is there to say that rap is responsible for any death or violence. Simply rationalizing your position by saying rap contributes to a "lifestyle" involving violence is not enough. In the cases Chet is talking about, it is simply part of a cycle. You grow up on the streets, you suffer abuse and poverty, you are mistreated, you join a gang, you react to your misfortune with violence. The fact that rap is a part of these kids' life does not mean that it is their inspiration. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see victims of this lifestyle up close as Chet has, watch the movie "Menace II Society", a movie that depicts rather accurately the sort of situation someone living in Watts or Harlem might have to deal with (in this case Watts). The characters are violent because it is the only proper reaction in their minds. It is not proper because rap music has told them it is proper, but because it is a natural reaction. In general, the em-cee is not making an influential speech, but commenting on the severity and reality of situations with which Urban American Youth are forced to deal with.

Rob (Mandochop)


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 07:50 PM

Something has made it acceptable to children of today to consider violence their only option. I think it is a combination of things and I think that Mandochop and Chet, both, have very valid points.

There is a warning out in COlorado right now; gang initiates are driving aorund with their lights off, at night, waiting for someone to flash their lights at them. In order to be fully a member they have to follow that car and kill its occupants.

What in heaven's name is making kids think that is the way to live? Tv, movies, home life, music. I think they are overloaded. we can say, we saw those things when growing up, too, but it was nowhere near as prevelant, even when my kids were younger.

I've been thinking about this a lot, lately. Sometimes, it feels like we are under seige by the angry and violent young people. I have to remember to tell myself to look at the kids who aren't in the news, who don't act out their anger in destructive ways. Still...my youngest at 22, has always felt her generation would see an all-out, bloody and violent revolution, and she's always been a bit "fey". I hope that she is wrong.

Wishful thinking - that every parent would limit tv, watch it with their kids and teach them critical thinking, as well as movies and music, and the Web. sadly, I do not believe the majority of parents are able or willing. So what do we do?


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Chet W.
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 07:22 PM

Sorry to offend. No one I know has a broader perspective about music, if that's what you mean. And I haven't seen a few kids, I've seen several thousand in prison, and 1800 more at the "regular" public high school where I started working this year. I'll repeat again, for the sake of clarity, that music, movies, and all the other media do not "make" anybody do anything. It is just as you said about the upbringing and so forth. But rap music and movies certainly do, in bulk, make the violence and criminality seem a lot more normal, especially when the immediate neighborhood expects you to be a thug anyway. At the prison where I worked, 83% of our kids went on to Adult Corrections, many of them for a lot of years. Half of them will be dead or in prison for life before they're twenty-five. My kids at my current school imitate that behavior (violent and criminal) as much as each of them feels they should or are comfortable with. I am normally tolerant of just about anything people want to do that doesn't hurt anybody. I'm reminded of the case a few years ago where a Klan leader told a group of skinheads at a rally to go out and "kill some niggers". And that is exactly what a group of them did when they found an African college student on the street. The heroic attorney (sincere about that) Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center sued on behalf of the student's parents and pretty much bankrupted the Klan. If he can be held accountable for that (as he most certainly should), why should the gangsta rappers be tolerated for basically the same thing? Most of the time you will hear me saying "Live and Let Live", but this is a crisis that is underestimated, misunderstood, and deadly. I will be active against rap as long as it goes on as it is.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Mandochop
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 07:03 PM

Chet,

I find it offensive that you think you can generalize about rap because you have seen a few disturbed kids while working in a juvenile detention center. You seem to think that for some reason the rap they listen to is the popular standard and is therefore ruining america's youth. What you dont realize is that these kids you work with are most definately exceptions and that it is not rap that has ruined them, but bad upbringing in a most likely impovershed and abusive environment. Try thinking a more in the box, and your perspective may widen a little. Hip-Hop Crusader, Mandochop


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 01:22 PM

I'm inclined to think that it probably is... but I would have to listen to it to form a real opinion and I prefer folk music with music.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: thosp
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 01:15 AM

i get high from this place !!! all the different opinions -- well expressed and thought out-- so many good points !! --- lonesome -you hit me with a brick, yes rock and roll (by the standards i was thinking about)qualifies as folk exactly in the same way i thought rap did--- sopho -- i guess i have to a rap a rap and a folk a folk etc. maybe not perfect labels but workable as long as we don't write them in mental stones in our minds ! chetW -- valid points for (what i think) is a small but highly visable % of the rap world -- i see so many kids enjoying the music (it grates on my soul)that have nothing to do with drugs and crime --- i tell many of them that i'm an ABR person (anything but rap)--- but i consider it their music --just as folk/rock ect. of each earlier generation --- i think they are glad that older people dont like it --- enough said --before i ramble on


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: DanielRiverwind
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 12:48 AM

Almost everything is folk.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: sophocleese
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 12:35 AM

Lonesome EJ thank you. I've been mulling this one over in my head most of today trying to find some way of saying what I think. You said most of it. Why are we worried about whether Rap is folk or not? I don't think it is folk music unless you take the broadest possible meaning for the word folk, and include Andrew LLoyd Webber, Palestrina, and King Sunny Ade, and thus render it meaningless as a term. This is perhaps a reflection of the limited definition of Folk music as representing music from a mostly, but not exclusively, European background. That's fine, if we know that, then we know what we're talking about.That doesn't mean that I think Rap has no value. I honestly don't know much about it because whenever I heard anything it seemed to be violent and anti-female. I will accept that there are and can be rappers who do not spout that kind of garbage. Rap may be beautiful to some but it is not the same beauty as folk, its strengths, weaknesses and sounds are different.

If you want to peel, chop, and core every fruit in the kitchen you can mix it together and call it fruit salad, but why waste time trying to convince everybody its all chopped pineapple when you've got strawberries, grapes and peach in it? I like most of those but they taste different.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Chet W.
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 10:53 PM

As I think about, there are quite a few ways in which I am disenfranchised and suppressed, and I certainly get angry once in a while. Maybe that is my Achilles' heel. I guess that makes it ok for me to promote violence and criminals. I've certainly seen a lot of misery, and I've suffered mightily from depression because of it. Maybe I'll write a Carter Family-style song about killing cops, maybe I'll go solicit 8-year olds to sell crack for me at Traditional Music Festivals, maybe a song about abusing women, somtimes to death, maybe I'll greet people with better clothes than mine (which they couldn't possible have worked for) with "Fuck your motherfuckin' mama". After all, I'm angry, and I seriously suffered as a child growing up. Oh, and I'll certainly steal whenever I can, because the fact that the loser worked for his stuff is insignificant next to my historical right to take it. And as a liberal intellectual I'll justify it all, perhaps with a support group of other people whose underage employees are dead or in prison for most of their lives.

Sure beats bitchin' and moanin', Chet


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 08:46 PM

What do you mean Rock and Roll isn't folk? The crucial thing that marks out folk is that it's got roots, and you can make it sitting round in a room with your mates, with instruments you can carry around, or indeed, without them.


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 06:12 PM

I am promising myself that this will be my last posting on this topic.

First, I think Rap is indeed music. And I would concede that it contains elements of traditional styles, just as nearly all music is highly derivative of preceding styles. Rock n Roll is certainly music that had it's origins in blues, country and western, and swing music. Are the defenders of Folk and Traditional Music as a distinctive genre ready to embrace rock and roll as Folk? Somehow I doubt it, even though as a music of the people, as a music that is derivative of Folk root music, and as a voice for protest it is at least as qualified as Rap.

I 'm afraid that the interest in seeing Rap as Folk either A)reveals the bias that is the achilles heel of most liberal scholars, the need to be thought, or to think of ourselves, as broad-minded enough to embrace as our own anything that runs counter to accepted standards and mores, B)Is an attempt to enhance the range and influence among the young of Folk Music, or C)just a great inflammatory topic for the Forum.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Lyle
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:01 PM

Well, I've got one more question. How can rap be folk music when people are getting *very* rich singing it???

Puzzled


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 02:39 PM

Wimoweh was based on a South African round collected by Pete Seeger from the singing of Solomon Linder. Pete was nice enough to be sure he got on the copyright. The original name for Wimoweh was "Mbube" which is harder to sing for non-Africans. It comes out of an established folk tradition of Zulu origin.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Is Rap Folk?
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 12:25 PM

I agree with Mandochop.


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