Rap Music and Why I’m Not Supposed to Like It December 30, 2008 22:17
Let’s move into a world of clichés and generalisations for a moment. I’m a liberal minded, white, middleclass mother of 2. Champion of the underdog, outsider and oppressed and a bit of a goth.
I totally can’t abide racism, sexism or homophobia (along with a whole host of other things) So why do I love Rap music. Proponent of all that intolerant, aggressive, narrow minded clap trap? Well…I feel that all forms of artistic expression should be appreciated separate from moral values. I feel that if you place moral objections into the world of art/music, you impose a kind of censorship, which is another thing I dislike. By imposing morality on art we are also manipulated in our interpretation of that art. Morality simply does not belong in art. I don’t want to be told how to feel about art. It is my right to be affected any way I choose.
Oscar Wilde said it best in his prologue to The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I strongly urge you to read in full. His main focus is on literature but includes all forms of creative expression in the catch all term ‘Art’…
But back to censorship. If you don’t like something then simply don’t look at it/listen to it. ‘Ah’, I hear all those pro censorship nay sayers ‘but that doesn’t work. What about the insidious moral rot that happens unwittingly, if young minds are exposed to rap music?’ I am the first to agree that as a musical genre, it has probably had a fairly negative effect on youth culture in general, excluding the empowerment and emancipation of the disenfranchised black youth. For them, I think it’s been rather more positive. Normally I would find the emphasis on women as money grabbing hos, unable to see past a mans wallet or men with a penchant for holding their own knobs whilst berating their fellow men for being small dick-ed, talentless, financially challenged, wannabe, copycat haters, totally offensive. So (pause for breath) all that aside, I love hip hop for the pure funky sexy assertive groove.
My appreciation for something is not based upon how other people interpret it. Not effected but other peoples uses or abuses of it. Not even effected by the artists original intentions. So I listen to the lyrics and think it’s funny or clever, ironic or stupid but it still makes me wanna shake my booty.
If an artist is a serial killer, that does not make his art bad, it makes him bad. If a rapper goes to prison for beating his girlfriend, doesn’t make his music ungroovy, it just means he’s a horrible person.
I listen without prejudice, afterall, who am I? I, with my limited understanding of the macro complex multiverse, am in no place to judge. Of course you might just simply not like it. I can understand that…I don’t like opera.