Why Rap Doesn't Suck.

Rap is not Music?

You can learn more about a person from the type of music they don't listen to, rather than the type they do. It's the easiest way to tell the difference between a person who knows his stuff and one who talks shit.

These are a few of the tired arguments I've heard about why rap sucks.

#3 It's all Auto-tuned

T-pain iPhone app
Now you can sound like a robot in heat too!

This is definitely the stupidest argument I've heard, simply because rap predates autotune. So when you talk of rap being autotuned, you're only talking about songs from about 2007 onwards.

When I think of autotuned rap, the only artists that come to mind are T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Kanye West. T-Pain's whole gimmick revolves around auto-tune and I find it acceptable in this case because it was original at the time. All three happen to be popular and their auto-tuned songs get radio play, but all rap doesn't sound like this. This Pop-Rap represents a very small percentage of the genre.

#2 It's all about Money, Sex and Drugs / It promotes decadence 

flava flav slick rick together
Flava Flav might always know the time, but Slick Rick has an eyepatch.

Pretty much everything is about money, sex and drugs (unless you don't consider cigarettes and alcohol as drugs). Every form of media has references to these. Everything around us promotes decadence. But that's not an excuse.

What has to be understood is that not every line of rap is to be taken literally. It's filled with metaphors and exaggerations. Context is very important.

Anyone who's actually heard and understood the lyrics to a good amount of rap would know that rappers encourage youngsters to leave the drug game and earn a clean living. Plenty of rappers even advice safe sex. And these are Gangsta Rappers I'm talking about, not "real rappers who talk about LIFE" (which itself is an extremely stupid line). The only rap I can think of that seemingly promotes these things is the sub-genre Horrorcore. The whole point of this sub-genre is to be as foul and hardcore as possible; it's not to be taken seriously at all. 

When a rapper talks about busting caps and popping bottles, it's more about overcoming problems and making it on their own. Problems in society aren't rap's fault. Rap is a way to vent frustrations. Rappers can be role models for youngsters. They're proof that the kids can escape the ghetto and live a good life.
Now if a person misinterprets or doesn't understand these messages, it's his own fault. One might even ignore the meaning because people hear what they want to hear.

To say that rap talks only about money, sex and drugs is a huge mistake. Rap has a very wide range. Every rapper has his own style and his own subject matter.
The Notorious B.I.G, 2Pac and Eminem all have widely varying styles. To say that all they talk about is money, sex and drugs is over-simplification.

#1 It involves no TECHNIQUE, all you do is put on a beat and TALK / It doesn't use real instruments

Rap takes no skill nerd meme

This is the most irksome argument.

Rap is a lyrical genre. The "meat" of the song is the lyrics. Pair this up with a great beat and you have a winner.

Anyone can be a rapper, but not everyone can be a good rapper. You could spend a million dollars on a professional beat and equipment, but if you can't rap, the song's still going to sound like shit.  In the same way, anyone can strum a guitar or bang on drums. Does that make them a guitarist or a drummer?

Rap is far more complicated than it seems. It's an art form that has to be learned and refined. You need to be able to put your thoughts down eloquently and make it sound great.

As for the beat, what difference does it make if the beats are sampled/made on a computer? It still takes a massive amount of skill and more importantly talent.

Sampling is also a good way to make use of music that would've otherwise been lost to history. Music from as far back as the 40's has been sampled, maybe even further back. There are gems which most people in today's times don't even know exist. Sampling puts a fresh spin on old melodies and introduces music of the past to a new audience.

Even if the beat is sampled, the original song was most definitely made using real instruments. So what's the difference? You're still listening to real instruments. Good music is good music regardless of the source.


But rather than wasting time saying any of the stuff posted above, I usually just ask "How many artists have you listened to?" That should be enough to shut up any rap ignoramus.

But what about those of you who have sampled a good amount of rap and still don't like it? That's absolutely fine. The song itself may sound like shit to you and it's completely understandable. Metal (what I've heard of it) sounds mostly like noise to me, but I respect the genre because I understand it. Blindly hating on something because of your ignorance is unacceptable.