28.1.08

New-Rap: a new generation


From my whole collection of music, I don't have one Rap or Hip-Hop song at all - not that I recall of, at least. Sure, I have some music, mainly experimental, that uses lots of rap-style elements, but that's all. I don't think I like Rap or Hip-Hop. I can see the difference from good rap to bad rap, I understand its art and value, but... It's just not for me, I guess.

Now, today I'll talk you about something else - let's call it... er... new-rap. Probably this phenomenon is already known, studied and this new style has a name - another name. Just, it's something not known, and I don't know how to call it. As a matter of fact, the thing that makes this interesting is that - without purpose - this style is mainly unknown, specially from the music industry. But if they don't get this, they're dead.

Talking about new-rap is not talking about a music style - only. Talking about new-rap is talking about a new generation of people and how do they work, feel and deal with music.

Welcome to the world you usually avoid to see. They are young. They walk funny. They talk loud and in a strange dialect. They are everywhere on the streets and everyone knows, but usually don't think about them as a group - as a phenomenon. People are usually warry of them: from the "who's this funny guy" to the almost unconscious feeling that "this weird guy might steal me in a minute". As a matter of fact they probably walk with more money in their wallet than the one you would feel safe walking with, but you don't know that. They know they make you feel exactly how you do, but they don't give a shit. They're surprisingly friendly - to anyone. They talk really strange, but they usually don't curse, unless there's a specific curse-word that entered their dialect. They don't smoke. They don't take coffee. They don't do drugs. They only drink alcohol at parties. They drive a lot - and race - but they never do it in public places, they never drive after drinking alcohol, they all do safe sex. They're different.

They all have high-technology in their pockets: expensive cellphones. None of those cellphones have any software you ever seen. Really. They don't really have a concept for music, they live music. Sometimes while they're talking a cellphone just pops from their strange pockets and some loud music starts playing. They act as there's no music there - they just feel it and use it as to mark the rythm of their actions.

They all make music. All of them. Their lifes are basicly about three things: cars, parties and music. Not that they have a concept for music. They don't know what a composer is. It's really weird, but most of them don't know what a "band" means, they think that "a band" or "a CD" or "some sound" is the same thing. They don't have a clue about what intellectual property is. They make music, using voices, hardware and samples. They don't know that they make music. They don't know the difference between the music they composed and the music their friend did. For them, there are two types of music: the one they have and the one they still don't. They don't consider what you consider music as music. Not even well-known rappers. For them, those guys just make sounds. As they put it, "sounds are everywhere, but quality sound isn't in what you can record, is on what others recorded". What they mean with this is that, for them, a Bach 1 hour CD is the same as turning on TV in a random channel and recording (losslessly) one hour of the sound stream from that TV channel. As a matter of fact, they prefer the later, since they have more variety of sounds. Sounds are important for them: they all use them to make samples. I head a music that used a brilliant sample that I had to think about for several minutes until relating the result with the original: a 3 minutes or so kids song was reduced - in a brilliant way - to a 3 secs sample. They use everything. They mix and remix. "What? You're crazy, no one owns sounds!" It's their reaction to one comment. They were surprised, I was weird to them. They do AWSOME music. Really. They share it with everyone. It's the whole purpose of music - sharing thoughts, ideas. I listen an astonishing lenghly discussion about a 30 secs intro to a music someone they knew did. And I bet that if you buy 100 rap CD's from a CD store and mix those tracks with the new-rap thing they're doing, they'll naturaly call their tracks as music, the others as sound sources. It's a new style - a new generation.

Now, I know some other movements happening, for other music styles, for other kinds of kids. Not every have something in common with this. Many are different. The real question here is that, if you talk with this guys, you'll understand the way they live. You see beauty in some stuff. You don't see anything wrong. Then you go home, yet startled. And start thinking about what they do. They don't "record", they share. They don't buy music or sounds. They don't know what intellectual property is. According to our laws, I bet everyone of them "should" be in jail. They're happy. They aren't violent. They don't harm anyone. They share. They have true friends. They are humans. They live.

Who's wrong?