Friday, April 30, 2010

Everything in its Right Place

When we examine art we see that it is communication. Communication in the most traditional sense is seen as art, where before it had to be segmented off into the other netherworlds of perception. The respect that was once owed to painters, sculptors, composers, rock-stars, movie stars, is now in other hands. The art of verbal and visual direct communication is now being perfected on YouTube. I'm rather excited to see what this is going to mean for education, fifty years down the line. It seems the schools are going to make a more educated decision when it comes to picking their teachers. They will be able to inspect carefully a teacher's ability to teach. This is very much an understatement because they will have access to understanding the teacher's mind because they will be able to track their growth from the very earliest stages of their life. Children will grow up in an ocean of varying ideas and ideologies and be able to examine everything and make sense of it. Those who are in charge will understand exactly the nature of the puzzle pieces which it is their job to fit together. Children will get to learn under instructors which they already know they respond to, because the resource will be put in front of them. Different kids learn different ways and it will be much much easier in the future to see who fits where.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Gettin Around It

Everything you do that can be perceived by another individual is communication whether you think about it that way or not. There's no gettin around it. Art attempts to isolate this into a medium and say that the artist can communicate whatever he wants because this is art; this is a separate world from reality but this is an illusion. Its a construct that both the art maker and art viewer agree to unspokenly but the artist will break the agreement if it is in his interest or for reasons of ethics.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Instrument of Language Itself

More new thoughts about rap, namely gangster rap. Having a very narrow, very primal message and then, basically riffing on that same message over and over with every album and every song leaves the variable to everything but the message. It might be sort of the same relationship between classical music and jazz.

Lets say classical is all about the ingeniousness of the composer and jazz is all about the ingeniousness of the performer. The job of the composer is to create a masterpiece. The classical performer must do the masterpiece justice. It might be a professionally trained performer or a small child learning violin or some schmuck whistling it down the street. The focus is on the genius of the composer. Jazz is about the genius of the performer, the individual, riffing in his own unique way on some supposedly simple tune. Sure its nice if its a brilliant composition, but a brilliant performer can express himself through twinkle twinkle little star or happy birthday or anything. With classical, the message is what the composer has to say. With jazz, its what the performer has to say.

So now lets look at gangster rap, or gangsta rap. I'm not sure the proper way to write that and I feel like a tool even writing about it in such a fashion, but I don't give a flying fudge. The message is more or less the same in more or less every gangsta rap song, and I can tell you it right here, but the whole point is that words aren't enough to communicate an idea. I see the message as being something like, I'm a very dangerous and powerful person. I will kill you or hurt you badly and not even blink an eye. I can get any woman I please and I will treat them like property. I smoke weed and drink all the time. People are always out trying to kill me, but of course they can't. I might be leaving stuff out, but that's the gist of it. The rapper talks about himself. It can be very specific. I think the more specific the better. You don't wanna say I shoot people with a gun, you gotta talk about exactly what sort of gun it is, and you must be specific about all of your possessions, your cars and drugs and what not. I might be drifting off topic a little bit here. A point I am getting at is that if the message stays the same the variable is the word choice and the delivery and through that the rapper will express his own personal ego. The rhythm of the words is of utmost importance. Gangster rap turns language into an instrument. That sums up my thoughts on this pretty well. Scatting turns the voice into an instrument, but gangster rap turns language itself into an instrument. Well, I guess I could say hip hop in general, but I feel like gangster rap is a more pure device for of this, because I think the term "hip hop" allows for the rapper to have a message like in the singer songwriter tradition, but when this is taken out the words can be varied much more because the listener will know what you're getting at. He'll know your talking about your gun or your car or your weed...or maybe your dick.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I'm just gonna make a prediction right here and now. Rap is going to be something which unites all languages. It might be...oh...I'm gonna say 300 years, but we'll see. Well, I won't see, but someone will see. Its gonna be all one language and its gonna be thanks to rap. Cuz, think about it, rap is like a mushy melting pot petri dish of language. Formal rules of grammar pronunciation and use and most everything are out the window and its all based on sound really. The artist wants to be understood most likely, but the burden of understanding is on the listener. Its like when DOOM says, "He who ain't get it ain't suppose too..." and then he says a bunch of other stuff cuz its a whole song and that's just a small quote.