Archive for Tuesday, January 7, 1992

BAD RAPWELL-DESERVED

January 7, 1992

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Promoters keep trying to convince us what a high-impact art form the popular rap routines are, and contend the rhythmic chanting with the throbbing backgrounds will be around for a long time. Heaven help us!

What's so artful about something that anyone above the mental level of a paramecium can do? When somebody pulls up next to you at a stop sign, head bobbing, mouth synching to the lyrics and the windows of the vehicle virtually bulging from the drum and bass beats, that's art? C'mon, now!

Best response to the craze (which tends to drive some of us crazy) came from Ray Charles, the marvelous musician-vocalist-performer. Asked his views on ``rap,'' Charles replied, ``I don't find anything in it, because anybody can do it . . . maybe not too well, but anybody can do it. I'd much rather hear somebody starting out on a piano and violin, struggling to make real music, because I can learn something from even that, if only what not to do. What's to learn from rap? If that's going to be around for as long as some of these guys are trying to convince us, art and music are going to be in terrible shape.''

Basically, rap is about the lowest common denominator for the so-called performing arts. People seem to identify because it's so simple they can do it. Let's hope it wears out its welcome soon and we can get back to more creative endeavors by people who are much better off trying to learn to play a piano, violin or guitar badly rather than doing rap well.

Rap is truly the junk food of the entertainment business.

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