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(Mirror.co.uk)   A Shakespeare expert thinks the likes of Will.i.am and Jay Z are modern day Bards. "The man that hath no music in himself"   (mirror.co.uk) divider line 73
    More: Silly, Royal Shakespeare Company, Jay Z, live concerts, artistic director  
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1073 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 11 Apr 2012 at 3:44 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-11 12:26:59 AM
Makes sense.
After all, WS was a populist looking to make money.
His fame as a Great Artist came 300 years after his death.
 
2012-04-11 03:17:08 AM
There is no method to this madness.
 
2012-04-11 03:35:14 AM
Being a "Shakespeare Expert" probably doesn't pay very well.

1) Make outlandish claim

2) ...

3) Profit!
 
2012-04-11 04:04:46 AM
If by 'modern day Shakespear' he means 'compelling characters but poor storytelling' he means Stephan King.

/DNFTFA
//drunk
 
2012-04-11 04:06:49 AM
This was an episode of Boston Public years ago, where Anthony Heald's conservative vice-principle realizes Shakespeare was a rapper when one of the students reads Shakespeare in a rapper's cadence.

Good rap is poetic, and no doubt there was tons of shiatty poetry out there that history has forgotten about. Plus, Shakespeare has some dirty ass shiat in there that would make you blush if you understood it. Shakespeare is the reason "bowdlerize" is a word. (Can we attribute that to the list of words he made up?)
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2012-04-11 04:33:01 AM
I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).
 
2012-04-11 04:50:13 AM

MBK: I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).


The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
 
2012-04-11 04:50:28 AM
There is a reason good rap (not the popular stuff) is far better than synthtic pop schlock, and that has to do with the fact that it requires paying attention to the way language works and exploiting it. Has your pop song run into a rhythm problem? Insert an "Oh!" or a "Baby!" until you get to the next line, then move on. Did you mess up the rhythm of the next line of your rap song? Start over!

Not that rap is high art by any stretch, of course. Shakespeare was a linguistic genius, he was well-read, and he had a few things to say about humanity that were profound enough to last hundreds of years (though largely because he said them so well). You can't reduce Shakespeare to rap simply because poetry and rap both take rhythm into account. (By that argument, we could be comparing Shakespeare and opera for no reason.) Similarities can be superficial.

This is especially true when many rap songs cheat to achieve their rhythm by disrupting the natural stress patterns. Rap is also usually a bit too strongly married to its rhythmic framework to achieve some of the heights of Shakespearean linguistic virtuosity. Do a great soliloquy in rap format and it loses quite a bit because the performer has to adjust his acting to say the next syllable when the drum machine, not the Muse, tells him to, and the overall structure of rap songs (even the good ones) is fairly simplistic. You always return, musically, to the same place every so many bars, and that's sort of the point of the form. You can't do Shakespeare (or even opera) that way. All popular music suffers from this, of course. (Maybe not metal, but I have trouble getting past the painful instrumentation long enough to enjoy metal.) Even the best pop songs tend to be about four or five bars of music that are usually variations on something Chuck Berry or Muddy Waters wrote, and those bars are repeated for three and a half minutes.

This is not to say that rap is bad; some of it is legitimately interesting in its own way, and rap is definitely poetry, albeit usually bad poetry. It breaks out of the pop music doldrums a bit through having lyrics worth the length of the song, so it's harder to reduce it to three bars played in a loop. (The music part tends to take away a bit of freedom without adding much of value, though, so I have to wonder if rap wouldn't be better if it dropped the music entirely.) Comparing it to Shakespeare, though, is like comparing almost anything else to Shakespeare. Only Shakespeare comes out looking good. I don't even like comparing great poets (Rilke, Goethe, Schiller, and, um, maybe some non-German people) to Shakespeare, because those comparisons leave me pessimistic about poetry.

Worse than reducing Shakespeare to rap, though, is reducing Shakespeare to Stephen King, a guy who tells popular stories but has a tin ear and nothing profound to say. Literature is about the art of language use, not just the pleasure of storytelling. Nerds often don't get that because their sci-fi books, while compelling in their own way, are almost universally poorly written.
 
2012-04-11 04:59:17 AM

NetOwl: There is a reason good rap (not the popular stuff) is far better than synthtic pop schlock, and that has to do with the fact that it requires paying attention to the way language works and exploiting it. Has your pop song run into a rhythm problem? Insert an "Oh!" or a "Baby!" until you get to the next line, then move on. Did you mess up the rhythm of the next line of your rap song? Start over!

Not that rap is high art by any stretch, of course. Shakespeare was a linguistic genius, he was well-read, and he had a few things to say about humanity that were profound enough to last hundreds of years (though largely because he said them so well). You can't reduce Shakespeare to rap simply because poetry and rap both take rhythm into account. (By that argument, we could be comparing Shakespeare and opera for no reason.) Similarities can be superficial.

This is especially true when many rap songs cheat to achieve their rhythm by disrupting the natural stress patterns. Rap is also usually a bit too strongly married to its rhythmic framework to achieve some of the heights of Shakespearean linguistic virtuosity. Do a great soliloquy in rap format and it loses quite a bit because the performer has to adjust his acting to say the next syllable when the drum machine, not the Muse, tells him to, and the overall structure of rap songs (even the good ones) is fairly simplistic. You always return, musically, to the same place every so many bars, and that's sort of the point of the form. You can't do Shakespeare (or even opera) that way. All popular music suffers from this, of course. (Maybe not metal, but I have trouble getting past the painful instrumentation long enough to enjoy metal.) Even the best pop songs tend to be about four or five bars of music that are usually variations on something Chuck Berry or Muddy Waters wrote, and those bars are repeated for three and a half minutes.

This is not to say that rap is bad; some of it is legitimately interesting in i ...


What's in a name? That which we call a block of text. By any other name would be as overlooked.
 
2012-04-11 05:28:51 AM
If you read more Shakespeare and less Twitter, you might be able to last more than three sentences before deciding a paragraph is too long.

("Wall of Text" generally refers to what happens when three or four paragraphs glom together. It's a formatting problem. It does not mean "anything longer than my attention span.")

Short summary for the Millennial iGeneration:

Rap is interesting, and it's a step up from most pop music, but Shakespeare does a lot of artistic stuff that rap can't touch, even at Hammer Time.
 
2012-04-11 05:40:42 AM
The problem is, these aren't even good rappers. I honestly have no farking idea why Jay-Z is so big. The guy can barely rhyme.

Compare his stuff, lyrically with The Message by Grandmaster Flash, or Bassline by Mantronix or most of Public Enemy's work.
 
2012-04-11 06:04:52 AM
Link (new window)
 
2012-04-11 06:21:22 AM

Ed Willy: This was an episode of Boston Public years ago, where Anthony Heald's conservative vice-principle realizes Shakespeare was a rapper when one of the students reads Shakespeare in a rapper's cadence.


cdn-images.hollywood.com

"Excuse me....."
 
2012-04-11 07:01:46 AM
Jay-Z? Yeah, I can see that.

Will.i.am? fark TO THE NO.
 
2012-04-11 07:05:50 AM

farkeruk: The problem is, these aren't even good rappers. I honestly have no farking idea why Jay-Z is so big. The guy can barely rhyme.

Compare his stuff, lyrically with The Message by Grandmaster Flash, or Bassline by Mantronix or most of Public Enemy's work.


Grandmaster Flash? Damn right. Like most things, rap died when it hit California.
 
2012-04-11 08:07:36 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2012-04-11 08:30:13 AM

MBK: I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).


Yes because saying rap is full if people who have zero musical talent and are just karaoke singers just think that way out of not liking blacks people.

Maybe 90% of rap really just sucks but you refuse to accept it.
 
2012-04-11 08:42:05 AM

steamingpile: Maybe 90% of rap really just sucks but you refuse to accept it.


Of cause 90% of everything sucks, which puts rap on the same level as classical music or rock or Shakespeare, just like Shakespeare expert suggested in TFA.
 
2012-04-11 08:43:42 AM
pouf

sad how diminished the ivory tower has become

this idiot is qualified to speak, but oh so damaged

another apologist for the devolution of culture

flat out pandering

you must ask why so many feel the need

does it make their job safer

will they be more content at the bath house

wat?

silly twat!
 
2012-04-11 09:21:32 AM
MBK: "But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place)."


First Jay-Z lyrics I ran across in Google:

Memph Bleek always smoking that La, La, La
Beanie Sigel always smoking that La, La, La
Neptunes track smoke like La, La, La
It's the ROC baby sing our Lulla-Bye (C'mon)
Excuse me miss, I'm the shiat
You should come, hang with me, basically
Hold up, skip all the singing let's get right tonight
Mami


Yep... That's pure poetry, alright. Right up there with Nick Drake & Leonard Cohen. Brings a tear to my eye, it does.
 
2012-04-11 09:24:31 AM

MBK: I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).


So, if I like jazz and blues but don't like rap it's because I don't like black people? Got it.
 
2012-04-11 09:32:07 AM
It is the daily mirror so more than likely the real quote was they are modern day tards
 
2012-04-11 10:10:08 AM

smimmy: MBK: I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).

So, if I like jazz and blues but don't like rap it's because I don't like black people? Got it.


It's even worse for me- I like jazz and Motown, but can't stand rap, so I must hate black people. But on top of it, I like 'rock' music of certain varieties but can't stand country, so I must hate white people, too. Oh, and I can't stand that accordion music Mexican dudes crank from their cars, so I must hate Hispanics, too. Beijing Opera music sounds like someone skinning a cat alive to me, so I must hate Asians as well. Wow, I'm such a misanthrope and didn't even realize it.
 
2012-04-11 10:35:20 AM
Jay-Z is awesome. Why so much hate for the HOV? 99 problems is a great song, and really funny. The whole Black Album is really good. The Blueprint is an incredible album, although a lot of that is Kanye. And these guys definitely are poets. The biggest flaw with Jay's music as I see it is that any time he does a big time collaboration they tend to show him up on his own record (Eminem on Renegade, his verse on Monster, etc). He also raps a little too much about how rich he is, it gets a little repetitive but he has such a smooth flow and it's so instrumentally varied that it never feels stale.

If you could feel how my face felt
you would know how mace felt!
Thank goooood I ain't too cool for the safe belt.
I swear to god I drive 2 on the sue
got a lawyer on the case to keep whats in my safe, safe.

I'mma tell you what banks told me so go 'head switch your style up
if n**** hate then let em hate and watch the money pile up

Brilliant poetry, IMO.

And anyone who trashes on "popular" rap because they only like "old school" stuff like wu tang or KRS-one, etc, is just a new version of the indie rock hipster who liked that band you are into before they were cool. T.I. is really really popular, and he's one of the best rappers working today. His catalogue will stand up against anyone. Outkast has won grammies, I think they are fantastic. Nas is considered one of the best rappers in the world and has been on top of the rap world for 15 years.

And for my money, Kanye is the best musician currently working today and he's popular as hell. 3 of his first 5 albums are instant classics on the level of OK computer and Sergeant Peppers. (College Dropout, Late Reg and MBDTF). The other 2 are extremely good as well, if there's any criticism to levy against them is that they aren't as good as his standout work.

And this is coming from a white boy who grew up listening to R.E.M. and Tool.
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2012-04-11 10:53:14 AM
Man, you say one thing with a sarcastic tone and suddenly people jump to the "But I have black friends!" defense. Hilarious.
 
2012-04-11 11:23:46 AM

LewDux: steamingpile: Maybe 90% of rap really just sucks but you refuse to accept it.

Of cause 90% of everything sucks, which puts rap on the same level as classical music or rock or Shakespeare, just like Shakespeare expert suggested in TFA.


Well when I say sucks I mean unlistenable, out of that 10% that us listenable there is maybe .05% that is quality and none of that gets played on the radio or much exposure.
 
2012-04-11 11:24:05 AM
What about Niki Minaj's song

U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!U A STUPID HO!

That sirs, madames, will last the ages.
 
2012-04-11 11:24:36 AM

DoctorRock: Syllabic: And for my money, Kanye is the best musician currently working today

I try to not insult people on the internet because i dont want to be that dude, but you are a goddamn retard.
like "i shiat in my hand and eat it" retarded


It's okay to be wrong. 18 grammys worth of wrong. You know basically every music critic LOVES kanye, right? And basically every noteworthy musician. When he have the respect of the entire industry and millions and millions of fans, maybe you are the one who should re-evaluate his opinion.

I bet you haven't even listened to Kanye's music, you just hate on him because of the silly stuff he does in the media. His music is extremely catchy, very funny and upbeat and happy. He has an extraordinary talent for songwriting and wordplay.
 
2012-04-11 11:40:08 AM
Foresooth, I shall to allow you to conclude, but prithee, Thomas Kyd was the best Elizabethan dramatist of all time!
 
2012-04-11 11:44:20 AM
I don't like rap, but I don't think I need to like it to know Jay Z is shiat.
 
2012-04-11 11:46:44 AM
what a modern day bard might look like:

pages.shanti.virginia.edu

/ RIP bard man
 
2012-04-11 12:08:47 PM

Syllabic:
I bet you haven't even listened to Kanye's music, you just hate on him because of the silly stuff he does in the media. His music is extremely catchy, very funny and upbeat and happy. He has an extraordinary talent for songwriting and wordplay.


I'd just like to add to this, since I can't edit my posts here, and I don't think I gave you enough of a retort. Despite your two sentence ad hominem attacking my taste in music.

Kanye created the only song featuring Chris Martin that I can listen to over and over:

Homecoming (new window)

This is the best thing Chris Martin has done since "Trouble". Kanye brings out the best in everybody he works with. Nicki Minaj's star grew overnight after she did that verse on "Monster". IMO Mos Def's best work is on "Two Words". He showed the world that if you run Lil Wayne through enough autotune, he sounds like a demon. He helped Lupe Fiasco's career, who is now spending his time rapping about skateboarding and street fighter II.

He'll have a bunch of kids sing about drug dealing in a super sarcastic way (we don't care). He'll recruit straightedge rappers (Talib Kweli and Common) to do a song called "get em high". He wrote a comedy song about a horrific car accident that almost killed him (through the wire). He has this really dark and sly sense of humour that permeates his work. At the same time he has a very soulful side, and can write some really moving and emotional music. He's a master of minimalism and maximalism, using both where appropriate.

He's the most relateable rapper to me, ever. He's a master of blending disparate styles, he even has a few rock/metal influenced tracks. And I'm not talking about just sampling King Crimson. He's responsible for revitalizing Jay-Z's career and produced a multitude of hits for him and other rappers. Heart of the City, H to the Izzo, Lucifer, 03 bonnie and Clyde.... He did Talib Kweli's best song: "Get By". Every time that chrysler commercial comes on with heart of the city, that's Kanye's catchy-ass beat trying to sell you a car.


Good morning, look at the valedictorean
scared of the future while I hop in the delorean
scared to face the world career student
some people graduate but we're still stupid


How can you hate a guy who writes raps like that? It's equal parts dorky, funny, and clever. You would probably love those lines coming out of a rock band, I know I would.

Here's some more tracks and see if you still hate:

All Falls Down (new window)
All of the Lights (new window)
Blame Game (new window) - The Chris Rock bit at the end is hilarious, and the song is so moving.
Hey Mama (new window)
Lost in the World (new window) - If you don't like Auto-Tune, listen to this and it will almost certainly change your mind
Good Life (new window)


If you take the time to separate Kanye's music from his public image, you will probably be really surprised. I know I was.

This is my grand defense of Hip Hop. I love hip hop and so should you. It's definitely been the most vibrant musical form of the last 15 years, whereas pretty much everyone will agree Rock is kind of stuck in a rut.
 
kab
2012-04-11 12:16:29 PM

Syllabic: Kanye is the best musician currently working today


This is how you troll, folks.
 
kab
2012-04-11 12:26:08 PM

Syllabic: If you don't like Auto-Tune, listen to this and it will almost certainly change your mind


It didn't. That was 10 seconds of terrible.
 
2012-04-11 12:34:43 PM

kab: Syllabic: Kanye is the best musician currently working today

This is how you troll, folks.


Or maybe I just have better taste in music than you. Who is better? Arcade Fire? Some other generic 'indie' rock band with super twee lyrics doing their best Radiohead imitation?

There's like 6 or 7 people who have won more Grammies than Kanye. Ever. At this rate Yeezy is on pace to become the most awarded artist ever. And by all rights, he should actually have MORE awards. Look at all the controversy when MBDTF was shafted for album of the year.

And since when did opinions become trolling? Feel free to disagree with me, but most haters have barely heard his work and base their opinions on his award show antics and post katrina gaffe.
 
2012-04-11 12:37:15 PM

kab: Syllabic: If you don't like Auto-Tune, listen to this and it will almost certainly change your mind

It didn't. That was 10 seconds of terrible.


Or listen to the whole song, maybe?

So this is what you're basing your dumbass opinions on, the first 10 seconds of songs? No wonder you have no taste.
 
2012-04-11 12:54:39 PM
Wrongo.

Jay-Z is a hack and a sellout. His fan base consists of teenagers and hipsters with poor taste in hip-hop.
 
2012-04-11 01:04:55 PM
I'll give you Jay-Z who is actually a genius. But not Will.i.am, as he's a hack. He's more like bad Restoration drama (as if there's any other kind).
 
2012-04-11 01:12:10 PM
 
2012-04-11 01:22:04 PM
Good storytelling and clever use of language is can be found in a lot of different forms. I'm glad rap is getting some credit.

For my money though, the bawdy humour, fart jokes and topical political/social content in Shakespeare makes South Park the modern day bard equivalent.
 
2012-04-11 01:45:10 PM
Jay-Z and Will.I.Am? That's the two artists he picked to contest his point....what a joke.

Jay-Z is a pop artist, always has been...Cash-Money-Hoes, really? Will.I.Am and the Peas are also pop artists. Pop is the lowest denominator. Enough said.

Kanye is mentioned above and I'll give Kanye talent but he's just so unlikable I would categorize him with the above two.

Rap should be taken seriously but the article's comparison sucks.

Shakespeare was much more than a 'bard' by the way, remember the plays he wrote?
 
2012-04-11 02:23:49 PM

MBK: I won't argue against him. Shakespeare was an entertainer, someone who wrote plays for profit (and not for "high art"). He used puns, clever sayings, made up words, talked a lot about women and sex, and used words to tell a story and paint a picture. Some rap songs do that. Will they stand the test of time? In 400 years, will Jay-Z still be listened to on...whatever form of media is out there in 400 years? Who knows. The best will continue to live on, the bad will die, and in the end, we'll be destroyed when the Sun expands and devours the Earth.

But I bet there will some people in this thread who claim rappers aren't talented and useless and write songs only to make money.

(Personally, I think these people just don't like black people, but this isn't the time or place).


S'truth, Horatio,
For while I am sore beset by 99 problems, a wench numbers not among them, as I have long told you friend
 
2012-04-11 02:29:23 PM

NetOwl: There is a reason good rap (not the popular stuff) is far better than synthtic pop schlock, and that has to do with the fact that it requires paying attention to the way language works and exploiting it. Has your pop song run into a rhythm problem? Insert an "Oh!" or a "Baby!" until you get to the next line, then move on. Did you mess up the rhythm of the next line of your rap song? Start over!

Not that rap is high art by any stretch, of course. Shakespeare was a linguistic genius, he was well-read, and he had a few things to say about humanity that were profound enough to last hundreds of years (though largely because he said them so well). You can't reduce Shakespeare to rap simply because poetry and rap both take rhythm into account. (By that argument, we could be comparing Shakespeare and opera for no reason.) Similarities can be superficial.

This is especially true when many rap songs cheat to achieve their rhythm by disrupting the natural stress patterns. Rap is also usually a bit too strongly married to its rhythmic framework to achieve some of the heights of Shakespearean linguistic virtuosity. Do a great soliloquy in rap format and it loses quite a bit because the performer has to adjust his acting to say the next syllable when the drum machine, not the Muse, tells him to, and the overall structure of rap songs (even the good ones) is fairly simplistic. You always return, musically, to the same place every so many bars, and that's sort of the point of the form. You can't do Shakespeare (or even opera) that way. All popular music suffers from this, of course. (Maybe not metal, but I have trouble getting past the painful instrumentation long enough to enjoy metal.) Even the best pop songs tend to be about four or five bars of music that are usually variations on something Chuck Berry or Muddy Waters wrote, and those bars are repeated for three and a half minutes.

This is not to say that rap is bad; some of it is legitimately interesting in its own way, and ...


What a Shakesperian soliliquy rapped, (by William Shatner), may sound/look like (new window)
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2012-04-11 02:33:59 PM

Lego_Addict: Pop is the lowest denominator. Enough said.


Spoken like a true idiot.

You do realize that what Shakespeare was doing was considered "lowest denominator", right? He was writing plays. For the people. He was basically a sitcom writer. He didn't write plays and sonnets because he wanted to write something beautiful. He wrote them because he wanted to get paid. He was a hack. The literal definition of a hack writer, which is someone who sells their craft for money.

Shakespeare was an entertainer first. He wasn't considered an artist or a great writer.

In 400 years, who knows what current musicians people will still listen to.
 
2012-04-11 02:44:32 PM

Lego_Addict: Kanye is mentioned above and I'll give Kanye talent but he's just so unlikable I would categorize him with the above two.


Fair enough. In truth though, I loooove Tool and APC but Maynard James Keenan just seems like an insufferable pretentious prick to me. He writes all kinds of pseudo-mystical crap into his lyrics and wants this to be construed as deep. It's about as deep as a 14 year old girl who just found out about Wicca and thinks she can hear the trees talking to her now. I still put Lateralus and Aenima in my top 10 favorite albums.

I also love Van Halen, and EVH is notoriously one of the most demanding and finicky person to work for. EVH's guitar tech is a thankless, shiatty job. As far as I'm concerned though, he's the most influential guitarist since Hendrix.

Wouldn't want to be trapped in an elevator with any of those guys, but damn if they aren't all incredible musicians.

Nothing wrong with pop either. Rihanna is really really good. Loud and Rated R are both really good albums. Adele is really good. Nicki Minaj is good. Kelly Clarkson is good. There's a ton of other pop artists that I find eminently enjoyable. Pop music is an easy target on the internet, but writing a catchy pop song is a lot harder than people seem to think. "Lowest common denominator" seems like something people say when they want to present themselves as more refined than the masses who like that trashy music. Pop songs are usually written by top class songwriters, there's a reason they end up being so popular. Because they're extremely well crafted musically, the melodies and harmonies and chord progressions are written by very talented professionals.

I actually even like Justin Timberlake. It took a while for his music to grow on me, but he has some GREAT songs.
 
2012-04-11 03:09:21 PM
I find it amusing that "Swagger" is a Shakespearean term from Midsummer Nights Dream.

So when rappers talk about their 'swag' or 'swagger', they are actually making a Shakespearean reference.

Learned that on Jeopardy.
 
2012-04-11 03:13:50 PM
these guys need to get mentioned:

outkast (new window)

so many other great songs but figured I would just link one..
 
2012-04-11 03:41:09 PM

Syllabic: If you take the time to separate Kanye's music from his public image, you will probably be really surprised. I know I was.


I just want to thank you for this post. Fark HATES Kanye, just absolutely HATES him. I can't count how many threads referencing him where people post things about how he should die, etc because he sucks and is an egomaniac, etc. I used to think nothing more of Kanye than just being a self-promoting tool, but then My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy came out, and I was in the car with my brother, and he played a couple of tracks, and I got hooked. Then I went back and downloaded his discography, and it's amazing. 808s is currently my favorite, but Late Registration is a really close second. I'm glad you mentioned "Homecoming" because that is currently my ringtone (and is particularly meaningful as I'm moving back to Chicago next month after a few years of being in California), although I do like "Home" a bit more because it's a bit more soulful.

Either way, good work. Kanye has a lot more talent than Fark gives him credit for.
 
2012-04-11 03:57:31 PM
As I get older the less inclined I am to delve into the "your music sucks" arguments. What is and is not "music" (or musical, or even tonal) is a completely subjective thing. I don't much like hip-hop or electronica, but then I don't much like 12-tone music (a la Schoenberg) either. I'm not arguing that these forms are not music; simply that I don't care for them.

I suspect that many modern forms of music will not last, though -- and by this I mean that they will probably fade into obscurity within five to ten years, much less fifty or a hundred years. Part of this is due to the fracturing of a huge overculture into a myriad of smaller subgenres, partly due to the loss of "literate" music that fomented a standard repertoire among artists, and partly due to technological innovations in both instrumentation and in transcribing/recording. But I don't think this makes modern music "bad" in any absolute way -- it's more temporary, but then again temporariness is the sine qua non of music. It is supposed to be of the moment. Notation and recording technology has fooled us into thinking that music can be frozen in time, but it really can't. It shouldn't be.

Shakespeare was Shakespeare because he was an enormous genius in a time when genius was rare. (Basic literacy was uncommon when Willy the Shake was working.) Genius in the arts is quite common now -- there are vastly more good writers, more virtuoso musicians, and better (and cheaper) instruments than ever before. In economic terms, genius used to be a very scarce good and was valued appropriately; these days it is fairly common and hence is esteemed more cheaply. (I understand that the definition of "genius" is tricky, but I hope everyone knows what I mean.)

I think there is more really good music of all kinds being performed right now than at any point in our history. But this is a problem at the same time because the flood of choices is just so overwhelming that a lot of good stuff just gets filtered out by necessity: we can't listen to (or even appreciate) all of it, so we have to winnow down, and let our subjective preferences be our guide. Hip-hop doesn't tickle the musical center of my brain, so I don't listen to it...but I'm glad that people are out there performing it and trying to improve it. Ditto electronica, house, dance, alt-country, neo-folk, or whatever else. The point is not to be the next Shakespeare (or Mozart); there was only one of them, and we shall not see their like again.
 
2012-04-11 04:21:25 PM

Car_Ramrod: I just want to thank you for this post. Fark HATES Kanye, just absolutely HATES him. I can't count how many threads referencing him where people post things about how he should die, etc because he sucks and is an egomaniac, etc. I used to think nothing more of Kanye than just being a self-promoting tool, but then My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy came out, and I was in the car with my brother, and he played a couple of tracks, and I got hooked. Then I went back and downloaded his discography, and it's amazing. 808s is currently my favorite, but Late Registration is a really close second. I'm glad you mentioned "Homecoming" because that is currently my ringtone (and is particularly meaningful as I'm moving back to Chicago next month after a few years of being in California), although I do like "Home" a bit more because it's a bit more soulful.


Yeah, same with me. I always used to like hip hop a little, but Kanye made me LOVE hip hop. I didn't know much about him beyond his twitter rants and taylor swift embarrasments, but then I heard some of his songs on a Pandora station and I got a newfound respect for the guy. He has such an eloquent way with words it makes people from all walks of life identify with his lyrics. It's a rare gift.

Personally I like College Dropout the most, it's got such an upbeat, zesty sound throughout the whole album. Like the guy writing and singing it sounds so happy to be alive. At the same time it's got a sarcastic, funny edge to it. I crack up listening to some of his lyrics.

So the doctor said uh, I gotta have this plate in my jaw...
I said dawg, don't you realize I'mma never make it on a plane now? It's bad enough I got all this jewelry on. You can't be serious.

It's bad enough we on welfare, you tryin' to put me on the bus with the space for the wheelchair!
I'm tryin to get the car with the chromie wheels, here!

Couldn't afford a car so she named her daughter Alexis.

So freaking funny.

808's is a great album, but listening to it is a bit like watching Requiem for a Dream again. It's so visceral, emotional and depressing. That album's alternate title could be "songs to kill yourself to". I prefer happy Kanye to mopey Kanye. Next time I go through a horrific breakup and I want to wallow in misery I'll probably put that on at some point.
 
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