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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
Jack Blandiver 19 Jul 08 - 03:41 PM
Azizi 19 Jul 08 - 03:47 PM
Barry Finn 20 Jul 08 - 01:00 AM
Neil D 20 Jul 08 - 02:19 AM
quokka 20 Jul 08 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 20 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM
michaelr 20 Jul 08 - 02:58 PM
pdq 20 Jul 08 - 03:06 PM
Janice in NJ 20 Jul 08 - 03:25 PM
pdq 20 Jul 08 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,D18/J45 20 Jul 08 - 09:46 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jul 08 - 04:47 AM
synbyn 21 Jul 08 - 05:43 AM
Stu 21 Jul 08 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 21 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jul 08 - 06:13 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jul 08 - 06:16 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 08 - 06:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jul 08 - 06:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 Jul 08 - 07:06 AM
pdq 21 Jul 08 - 09:21 AM
M.Ted 21 Jul 08 - 10:38 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Jul 08 - 10:50 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Jul 08 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,D18/J45 21 Jul 08 - 11:31 PM
M.Ted 22 Jul 08 - 12:38 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 08 - 01:38 AM
Spleen Cringe 22 Jul 08 - 04:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Jul 08 - 04:28 AM
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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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