Rap isn’t inherently bad. It’s the rappers who fuck it up. Linkin Park can rap. K-OS can rap. Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing in the popular rap talent pool. There are a few reasons for this.
First, the writing is shit. I don’t know if rappers write their own lyrics. I don’t care. The words that come out of their mouths are not the products of a long, persistent writing process. The person who first described rap as street poetry opened a Pandora’s box of bullshit about the legitimacy of rap lyrics. In reality, if we describe poetry as the use of poetic devices to condense meaning into a small amount of words, rap lyrics are about as far from poetry as anything has ever been. The only requirement is that they rhyme, and admittedly, they make very good use of internal rhyming. But that’s not enough. Good lyrical writing, rap or otherwise, needs more than just rhyming, but that’s another topic.
Second, rap doesn’t NEED talent. I’m not trying to say it’s easy to produce a good rap album and make millions. What I’m saying is that rap is a musical genre that exists for a certain subculture to rally around. It’s not rap’s responsibility to sound good musically. It’s rap’s responsibility to tie a group of unfortunate people together and make them stronger, give them a culture. Sadly, this “culture” has spilled over into our popular culture and created a bunch of middle-class kids who wear baggy jeans around their knees, NYY hats, and basketball jerseys for cities they can’t point out on a map. These kids also rally around rap music, thus perpetuating the industry. It’s an effective economic system.
I guess the reason I hate the majority of rap is the substancelessness of the lyrics, the substancelessness of the electronic music, the cultural fallout, and the fact that it’s built around money. Because of its lazy writing, it conveys nothing to me. Its music doesn’t move me or make me feel anything. It just plain has no use to me.
Anyway, back to the original topic.
I LOVE rock. What makes rock better than rap IMO? Well, take the points I mentioned above and reverse them. Rock lyrics are more poetic in that they condense more meaning into fewer words, and thus convey more to me both emotionally and intellectually. There are exceptions. Rock also has faster, more intense music that my mind can grab onto. The music is actually so good that it can be an end in itself. Rock doesn’t need lyrics to work. Rock’s culture is both good and bad. It depends on the era. Lately though, I really agree with it’s style. Rock also has this energy that just spurs people to do things. It’s a good motivator. It has many uses.
That’s why I personally think rock is better than rap. It’s just more useful to me as an individual. I think I’m talking about a different kind of rock than Sil is, though. I’m in the Radiohead/Tool/RaTM/In Flames camp. The Beatles and Bob Dylan actually really BOTHER me. All I can say about Velvet Underground is… “Velvet… who?” Sorry dude