black zappa: say wha' ¿¿¿ ok ok ... r.r.kirk or sun ra
1st rapper: cassius clay
white barry white: eric clapton
can't agree with any reason that any current [or past] hip-hopster/rapper is equal to zappa on almost any level; you say tupak was the best, maybe so but almost everthing he did was done before, including the sampling, inflamatory lyrics, political lyrics, the whole west coast vs. east coast rap rivalry started in the 80's, man that shit's going on the proverbial 2 tours old ... when zappa flamed someone, it wasn't just another cycle of i fucked your wife/my rhymes are dopest
you say the music is just 1 synth, 1 drum machine and a 70s sample ... where's the talent in that setup¿ pretty narrow measure of musicality and originality, why lean on & butcher a familiar 70s sample rather than coming up with something original ... with the way all those blokes use the same fucking hand gesture[s] over & over; hate to say it but tupie & the all the rest of the those children are poor unfortunate victims of systems beyond their control, they're neatly arranged & marketed into a product that relies on equal parts flash, shock value & hype, rather than let the music stand on it's own; zappa, for the most part, was about the music ... where would those dudes be without mtv
influence on other musicians & the rest of society in general: zappa is huge, & his legacy will be alive far into the future
will there ever be another zappa ¿ possible but not likely; tupie has a very narrow following ... the next wanker will come along soon enough & find a way to rap louder/faster because every beginning rapper sits at home and listens to tupie wanking away at phenomenal speed with perfect rhymes and thoroughly acceptable execution, and when that homie, with his first mic (him and the 1,000,000 other ones), says to himself: sheee-it, we can do that & proceeds to memorize every awe-inspiring word, and then raps it faster, slicker, hipper & smoother [maybe gets his 32nd-notes up to around a dotted whole note = 208]...not only that, he transposes it up a minor third, steals some of his bitch's clothes, gets a dj job in a 2-bit club, gets discovered, gets a record contract (with an advance 10 times bigger), makes an album with a better budget because he's going to be the next big thing, according to the executives at the record company, and they don't mind spending a little extra for real talent ... not only that; tupak figured out he can't rap any faster because he got coked-out on the royalties of his 1st big-selling album [and he still had to record 2 more according to the bail-bond/record contract] ... meanwhile the guy with his pussy clothes on & new tatoos gets his album out on the street, it sells 20,000,000 copies, and somewhere out there, there's 10,000,000 other young guys with their first mics and they're listening to even more re-packaged/recycled wank, and they're saying...
individuality: zappa defined his own category, but was also tops in other categories; tupak may have had the best moves & smoothest rhymes, but he's just a follower with little to no independent thought beyond some marginally clever lyrics
not a rap afficiondo myself, but was living in nyc when rap 1st broke outta the 'hood & came downtown ... krs-one/bdp was better-quality music, better message, & easily as good on the delivery as any of the over-rated repetitive recycled wank tupak came up with on his best day
[the following is paraphrasing doot from zappateers]
stuff zappa did all with his own personal stamp that is both recognizable and consistently original, and did it all without the assistance of a trust fund or grants or corporate sponsorship or record company pricks who had to bail him out, & without being classically trained
- produce over 60 recordings
- own all his own masters
- compose and conduct for all manner of performing ensembles
- write lyrics that cover more than 1 or 2 topics
- develop stage productions beyond tv
- make full length films
- innovate in the field of video production
- innovate in the field of studio recording techniques, including sampling
- innovate in the field of mobile recording
- run a record label
- run a tour
- self-taught on multiple instruments
- top player on at least one instrument
- shit on stage & eat it
good thread btw
Thanks for your input man, much appreciated
Firstly though the amount of musicians that are expertly capable or otherwise, involved in a piece of music has no relevance at all. There's lots of examples of big band music that doesn't cut the mustard at all. So you can't really use quantitive measures such as that whilst trying to analyse something qualitively. Because for every good example there's an equally bad one.
i completely agree that guys like tupac were products of their environment, everyone is a product of their environment and systems beyond their control, that's a fact of life. Therefore it's only natural that rappers sing about the stuff that has influenced them from childhood. Bob Dylan has been celebrated for the best part of 50 years now for opposing war through song. Tupac did exactly the same thing that Dylan did albeit in a completely different style. The words and music are worlds apart, but the message is the same.
Regarding the amount of equipment they use, well it's not really that different from Zappa in later years, when he opted to switch to ther Synclavier. Of course that doesn't take away from the fact that Zappa was an amazingly talented man whose real talents lay beyond the synthesizer. The fact is he knew that it doesn't matter how many people are involved in making the music, what machines or instruments are making the noises, it's the music itself that's important. So whether you are Zappa with a Synclavier, Tupac with a Drum Machine, or seasick steve with a one stringed guitar. The music can still be qualitively appreciated on a level that 1000 musicians all playing in unison couldn't achieve quantitively.
On the contrary, Tupac had one of the most diverse followings of any artist, not just rap. He has a huge following across the world from people of all walks of life. It may be a narrow band in the USA, but America traditionally is quite conservative when it comes to music and historically and systematically racist. So there's many social, religious and political factors that come into play in America, long before any notion of quality gets discussed.
I would suggest that you haven't really listened to Tupac's lyrics, you've no doubt heard them but you've not listened. He's not glorifying anything, he's not saying this lifestyle is great, come get some. It's a cry for help, it may be slick but what's wrong with that and it's also what people expect today. If he could get a message across regardless of whether it was slickly packaged or not, then that's goal achieved. And just because his message does not resonate with you, it doesn't mean that it has no resonance.
I'd say that inspiring 100,000 people or whatever your number was to pick up a mic and start getting involved in art, regardless of the form is a wonderful thing. It's certainly better than picking up a gun or a bag of crack, but maybe that doesn't fit with your perfect image of what makes music good and what doesn't.
Here's an example that shows how little the amount of musicians, or their ability to play has on their musical resonance. Out of all the ex-zappa band members you can probably count on the one hand those that have went on to do anything really substantial. This is in spite of the fact that they are undoubtedly great musicians, were part of a great band and worked daily with a musical genius. The only reason the majority of them are remembered is because they were a part of Zappa's musical resonance. Who on his own could achieve the same resonance with a synthesizer. So the point is basically that the amount of people in your band or how well you can play other people's music, has absolutely nothing to do with quality, or even more importantly how it should be perceived.
Perhaps the music the rap band you mention sang about in the 80s was politically relevant to new york in the 1980s, i don't know. Though you can't really compare it to music from nearly 20 years later and say it's automatically better because the new stuff is derivative.
That's like saying Buddy Holly or jerry lee lewis was better than zappa, just because they were doing rock music before him.