Rap/Hip-Hop Music Videos on Rhapsody Online

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poetry class

I have gotten SOO much out of poetry class. I have made new friends, learned more about classic poems and poets than I ever thought that I would know, and I made fantastic memories. I love my little seventh bell poetry family.

Throughout my time in the class, I have evolved as a poet. I discovered my own personal style and learned how I can play with it and alter it. Typically my poetry is rhymy and cutsie, like something out of a childrens book. After taking this class though I want to experiment a little and see if I can make something new work. Towards the end of class i was starting to take inspiration from other poets. I have also learned that I dont have to play it so safe when it comes to poetry. It is ok to do something different and controversial (look at ee cummings).

My perspective of poetry has changed because I no longer think poetry is so hard. When I used to think about poetry i thought it had to be something deep and emotional that followed rules. I know now that poetry can be whatever you want it to be. "There are no rules in poetry". Poetry is a wonderful tool to express yourself. Ive never considered myself a poet, but maybe ill start to write poems just for fun.

The Leak

The song "The Leak" by Lil twist and Lil wayne reminds me of several different styles and techniques that we have read and written about. The first technique that Lil' twist does, is reference many, many social and historical people and things. In the first verse he compares himself to chubby checker and in the second he references Miley Cyrus and the Jonas brothers. In the 4th verse he begins to reference god; then he says he does the harlem shake (Harlem Renaissance anyone?) When Lil Wayne comes on he makes tons of social references too. He has two two of repitition of words and syllables. He says : Im the hip hop rocker, Im the hip hop doctor. The way that they rhyme in this song sounds almost like a poem rather than a song.

If you compare "The Leak" to the type of rap songs that were created in the 80's there are some similarities and differences. This song, like many that we have studied, is making a statement about society. This song depictis what the life of a rapper is supposed to be like. Hip Hop groups like NWA and Public Enemy were trying to adress society's problems through their music. I feel that this song isn't so much addressing problems but stereotypes. I feel like the style of rap has changed. I feel like it just has a diffrent sound and flavor.

I feel like I've just written two posts about strong women and now im analyzing a song that is somewhat derogatory towards them. I dont know why it is but in general, many women dont think that rap music today is degrading to women, eventhough many women would be offended if they heard comments like those made in rap songs in real life. I listen to alot of rap and hip hop and I never find any of it offensive because I focus my attention on the music and the rhyme rather than the meaning of the song.
Click Here to listen to "The Leak" and see pictures of Lil Twist and Lil Wayne.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hip Hop in the 90's

In the summer of 1989 Public Enemy made changes in the form of "Fight the Power," which provided the end for hip-hop's first "golden age." Rap in 1990 focused largely on pop chart presence. The genres first two actual pop superstars, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, released their breakthrough albums that year.

Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. are linked together in the minds of fans. Both were greatly talented, both changed the face of hip-hop before their murders. Losing two of its biggest and most talented stars in 1996 and 1997 signaled the end of an era.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reflecting on the Utter GREATNESS of my 7th Bell Poetry Class (which just so happens to have the best group of kids in the world --> Represent)

To look back on my initial step into the poetic world makes me laugh noticing the extreme conservative style of my writing. From my poem titled "Fort" to "The Language of a Tomato," I realize my inner voice instructED me to rhyme every other line. Looking back, however to my more recent poems, I have noticed my writing to break away from standards and set rules. This breaking away, I believe, is the true beauty of poetry, just like Mrs. Lewis taught us. My 7th bell class has shown me that poetry can be anything you want it to be.

In poetry, the word "unique" should be outlawed, because every time the pen strikes the page, something new is created...everything is then "unique."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hip Hop in the 80's

Even though Hip Hop music started in South Bronx in the mid-1970s, the golden age of Hip Hop was during the 80’s. The earliest form of Hip Hop was party music and was generally played using synths or full bands. Modern sampling does not appear until Marley Marl accidentally in the early '80s. Also, hip-hop lyricism did not start until 1982, more than a half decade after the actual start.

Run DMC were the first to prove that the genre could be commercially viable in 1983. After that many artists started on the West Coast and Miami Bass became well known in the South.

“What was so great about the ’80s? There were no cookie cutter strip club videos with rappers sliding credit cards through women’s backsides (Nelly), for one. Radio hadn’t blared corporate play lists into fans’ home furniture. And rappers had an individual sound that was dictated by their region and their communities, not by a marketing strategist.”

I liked this answer and I could not change it, so I quoted it from.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Hip-Hop Music of the '80s

Hip-Hop, now in the development stage, became increasingly more complex. Artists began to incorporate a "cut and paste" technique, shout-outs, as well as echos and other sound effects.

Technology such as drum machines, were introduced during the '80s. The Oberheim DMX and the Roland TR-808 were prominent in songs produced in the '80s. Further improvements on the drum machines allowed for more memory to hold songs, and opened up new doors for creative production.

Electro music, a sub-genre of Hip-Hop, also had increasing interest from wide-opened-eared listeners. Cybotron, Hashim, Planet Patrol and Newcleus were all important Electro genre musicians. However, the most notable was the great Afrika Bambaataa, whose hit "Planet Rock" took the genre to the next plateau.

Women in the 1980's (gone badass)

Tonight when I sat down to write this post, I was feeling particularly bummed about a bad haircut. I really was not in the mood to do anything but I began to think about women and what is important to them. Female rappers in the 1980's overcame a whole lot more than tragic hair cuts and dealt with not only their own problems, but society's problems through their work.

When I think about the 80's and the new styles that poetry embraced, it is easy think of hip hop and to associate it with groups like NWA and Public enemy. It is easy to forget that women, such as Queen Latifah and Salt-N- Pepa were making a name for themselves in the world of rap.

Queen Latifah was born Dana Owens on March 17, 1970 in Newark New Jersey. Latifah loved rap and was inspired to form a group with two of her friends called Ladies Fresh. This was Latifah'f first experience getting her music heard and by the time she graduated high school, her first two singles had sold over 40,000 copies. In 1989 Latifah released her first album, All Hail the Queen which sold over 1 million copies. She was influenced by many political and social issues such as apartheid, women's rights, and poverty. In 1993, Queen Latifah was influenced more by her personal life when she released her first Motown album Black Reign. This album was greatly influenced by the 1992 death of her brother, who lost his life in a motor cycle accident. Since then Latifah has released several other albums and branched out into almost every area imaginable. She is a rapper, actress, cover girl, and successful business woman. Watch Queen Latifa's music video for U.N.I.T.Y.here.

Salt-N-Pepa are pretty much badasses because they were the first all female rap crew, and like Queen Latifah, they broke into hip hop, making it easier for women in the future to do the same. Cheryl "salt" James and Sandy "Pepa" Denton found their first rap success when Salt's boyfriend Hurby Azor asked them to rap on a song that he was producing for a music class. This song evolved into an underground hit, rising to number 46 on the R&B charts. Their success elevated from there; (who says love and business dont mix). Many of their early songs were moderate hits, however once they teamed up with a rapper and DJ named Spindarella their music took off. The group eventually split from Azor, who had broken up with Salt years before. Like many poets, Salt & Pepa's style evolved and matured over time.

Sources: http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/latifah_q.htm