Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rap Music...A Passing Phase?

   I remember how it was in the beginning. I remember the first time I heard Rapper’s Delight on the radio and was amazed at the new sound and presentation. Rap music has been exploding and expanding ever since...despite the predictions of many that it was just a passing phase that would never be taken seriously by anyone outside the urban environment.
  To say those that thought rap music would be dead and gone today were wrong would be a gross understatement of the actual facts. This music form has evolved through many incarnations and is steadily evolving as more people experiment with it’s versatile nature. When I was growing up, there were many types of rappers being displayed in mainstream outlets. The diversity between Big Daddy Kane, Fresh Prince, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, NWA, Special Ed, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest says it all. Nothing like the virtually one subject dominated presentation of today.

   When speaking about rap in a historical sense, even looking forward as this post will shortly do, it would be a crime not to mention Run-DMC and all their innovations. Now that I have, let’s look back so that we can understand what we see when we look forward.
   Rap music is not new, at least not in the sense of it simply being poetry...just presented dramatically different from anything written by William Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss. Looking back, it’s evident that poetry has withstood the test of time. Poets exist now and will in the future...and we are continuously reading poets of the past. Style and presentation are the malleable factors and rap music is just another presentation of many different styles.

   Looking forward, rap is being used in very creative and unique ways. It is revitalizing a diverse pool of interest. We looked back at Shakespeare and Seuss without realizing that rap would have us looking forward at them as well.

   It doesn’t look to me as though rap music will be passing into the great beyond any-rhyme...uh, anytime soon. In fact, using complimentary videos to creative raps seems to be stirring the inquisitive juices of the younger minds that are exposed to them. Coming up with questions and investigating the available facts to answer those question is part of the scientific process. Although science and rap music might not seem like quite the same mix as chocolate and peanut’s this very diversity and versatility of rap that makes such a union not only possible, but extremely entertaining.
   How smart was Albert Einstein? Who is Stephen Hawking? Who is smarter of the two? Who is the better rapper? Well...I suppose that last one isn’t a serious question, but the first three are, and can be prompted by any inquisitive young mind enraptured with the video below. 

   Entertainment, message, story, teaching, dance, inspiration...and the list goes on about the various uses and effects of rap music. When I watch these videos and others like them, I see innovation and creativity...and although there are some that are better than others, I don’t see any imminent end to rap music or any indication that it is a “passing phase.” There is every indication that it is doing what it has always done...evolving.

WARNING: Other Epic Rap Battles of History have profanity and adult content.


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