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is rap poetry?
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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Sneeb, you're being silly. I mean almost everyone is being silly, but you're being VERY silly about this written page thing.

Guys, all of you, come on. A poem is merely a composition of language. Writing, reading, speaking as it comes to you - these are mere media for transmission. A poem is CONTENT.

It is true that technically, to "rap" is to speak. You can't really ask "is rap poetry" because that's like asking "is radio music?". They're not equivalent concepts. But are the LYRICS of rap poetry? Yes, they neccessarily are. A rapper is a poet when he writes his lyrics, and a performer when he raps them.

You might argue that the rap itself is not a poem, but then I would tell Sneeb that the page itself is not a poem. The poem is the content and that's all there is to it.

The answer is right in god damn front of you.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:36 pm
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iamjoao



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 92
Location: northern california
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call it semantics if you want. i call what i'm seeing straight up narrow-mindedness.

"those without a written language will never write a Real poem."

i wonder what a REAL poem is!
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:36 pm
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iamjoao



Joined: 02 May 2003
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well put jesse, a poem is content, regardless of its form.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:37 pm
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
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You're assuming that Homer and other folks in Greece had a category which would encapsulate something that would fit into what you categorize as poetry to do. You have to realize that the concept of the novel as we see it today didn't even exist until the 19th century, with a few minor exceptions, thus assuming that you can make blanket assertions about the way something like 'poetry' has been conceived of throughout history without paying attention to the historical nature of the concept is extremely problematic.

All that said, you also have to realize that Homer most likely did not even compose the Odyssey or the Iliad, they were most likely only popularized by him but were a concatenation of a variety of previously existing, popular mythical tales which were passed around. Also, Homer did have the material written down, otherwise do you think we would still have it? A lot of people who were active during that same era had their material written down, although we've lost most of it.

I don't care what people think poetry is. It doesn't matter to me what people conceive of it is as I've really never read much poetry that spoke to me in any way that would make me so concerned with it as to worry about something like this. That being said, anyone who thinks they have a simple solution to this problem has to realize that this is a question about which people have been debating and writing books for centuries, in fact you can still take classes about it if you want at your local university. Point being, whatever you think poetry is, your view is radically historically situated as well as being radically subjective. This ought to be acknowledged. Attempting to argue objectively about anything in the aesthetic realm is bound to be a disastrous and pointless.

Adam
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:38 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19373
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RandomSurge wrote:
so then why did you say that Aesop wasn't a poet?

You said he was an mc, not a poet

I was like...he's both

and you got into this whole thing about performance in music and shit

which is obvious

but I still don't see why you must have a cut and dry distinction...simply because you're performing your music as hip hop doesn't mean that you stopped being a poet nor did your lyrics stop being poetry.

so what's the big deal?


The main reason I brought it up is because I think there needed to be a distinction made. I feel like because there is no distinction people are apt to call a white avante gardian rapper a poet, whereas someone like Chuck D is "just an emcee". But clearly, Chuck D is a more significant rapper, owing a lot to his sound as much as his words.

Aesop doesn't even include lyrics in his albums(which pisses me off, personally) so I don't think he would call himself a poet anymore than he would call himself a painter. I think he wants the songs on Labor Days to be taken as songs, and listened to. Not read. To drag him into a bracket for no reason but to bestow a higher label in your mind upon him seems illogical.

I think the reason people want to call rap poetry is because they aren't secure enough with music/rap as an artform. Just because it's a rap song doesn't mean it's anything less than a poem, or a movie, or a painting--they are all art.

When you drag rap into poetry, I think it's disrespectful to an artform that I personally enjoy a whole helluva lot more than reading poems. Respect it enough to let it be it's own thing.

Also, so it doesn't get twisted, It's not personal. I just think this is a conversation worth having. Message board is a good place for it.

and this whole seperate deal of oral traditions...sneeb has that point on lock down.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:42 pm
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iamjoao



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 92
Location: northern california
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actually it's generally acknowledged by almost all homer experts that the two poems did not originate as written compositions, regardless of who composed them. they came out of the greek oral tradition, in which highly trained reciters would improvise "the great legends" etc... knowing the basic plots they would then create poetry Aloud, essentially from the top of their head. the transcriptions of the poems which exist today are thought to have been written by scribes to whom homer or someone like him dictated. this is partly thought because the legends are older than the art of writing in the west, which was imported from the near east between 850 and 800.

anyway i acknowledge that my opinions are subjective and historically situated, but in order to have this argument at all we all have to have a common set of "facts" that we work from... unless you want to get into a wittgensteinian argument about the meaning of language, which i really don't at the current moment. so i'm not really arguing objectively, but i am trying to convince others to my subjective point of view.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:48 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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iamjoao wrote:
well put jesse, a poem is content, regardless of its form.


Did you read his middle paragraph???!

"You can't really ask "is rap poetry" because that's like asking "is radio music?". They're not equivalent concepts. But are the LYRICS of rap poetry? Yes, they neccessarily are. A rapper is a poet when he writes his lyrics, and a performer when he raps them."

THAT'S WHAT I"VE BEEN SAYING!?!
(remember? Rap as a performance=not a poem
rap as lyrics=poem)



But you all keep arguing that rap is poetry.



I would say this to Jesse though, the page has to be the medium for poetry. Any other method is subject to far too many other variables that would distract from the actual words. Poetry on a page is a close to content as you can get transmitting from one person to another. Until we figure out how to jack words straight into people's brains anyhow. So yes it is important to keep the page tied to poetry. Though like you say, content is the essence of a poem.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:53 pm
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iamjoao



Joined: 02 May 2003
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Location: northern california
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alright if you want to equate a rap performance with a page, then i'll concede that it's not poetry. however, i doubt that you care to make that equation, i certainly wouldn't. i'm just saying that it's pointlessly narrow to define one Type of poetry, that which is written, as the whole of poetry. i mean look at smetana and tchaikovsky writing "tone poems"... those are still considered poems, even though they are composed instrumental music... however, if we just have two different conceptions of what poetry can be, then we just have two different conceptions. i guess i thought there was something to argue over, but if you are going to define poetry for yourself as "words written on a page", then there really is no argument, because if i were to follow your definition, i would have to agree with you. so in the end, i don't really disagree with your conclusions, i just think you are drawing them from faulty premises...
Post Sun May 04, 2003 8:57 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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futuristxen wrote:
Aesop doesn't even include lyrics in his albums(which pisses me off, personally)


Actually, he does. They're included in the form of audio.


Quote:

so I don't think he would call himself a poet anymore than he would call himself a painter. I think he wants the songs on Labor Days to be taken as songs, and listened to. Not read.


Dude, the problem is that you're severely limiting your definition of poetry. You're not the only one doing it, either. Why do so many cats think "poem" denotes material on a page? Is it just because that's how you encountered it in school or what?


Quote:

I would say this to Jesse though, the page has to be the medium for poetry. Any other method is subject to far too many other variables that would distract from the actual words. Poetry on a page is a close to content as you can get transmitting from one person to another. Until we figure out how to jack words straight into people's brains anyhow. So yes it is important to keep the page tied to poetry.


I'm afraid this is simply not consistant with any traditional meaning of the word. You have refined it unconventionally and unneccessarily.

I also think you're completely nuts if you think reading words neccessarily provides a "purer" transmission of their intended meaning than hearing them does, but that's a personal matter. Different people absorb things better in different ways.


Quote:

Though like you say, content is the essence of a poem.


Not exactly - what I say is that a poem is ITSELF content.

Anyway though, "rap" can mean a few different related things. A person can refer to "a rap" and be referring to either a performance (not itself a poem) or a set of words performed (absolutely a poem). To categorically deny that "rap" is "poetry" is to narrow down each word to a point where although they do still have certain meanings traditional to them, they lack certain others. That doesn't constitute an effective point.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:15 pm
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Nope



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 1916
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futuristxen wrote:

I think the reason people want to call rap poetry is because they aren't secure enough with music/rap as an artform.



I don't call rap poetry. Never have.

Rap isn't poetry. But a rapper can be a poet (you've admitted as much). I don't see why including lyrics makes you any less of a poet or not one at all. You think Aesop doesn't want to be considered a poet? And?

The man is fucking CRAZY. He propably doesn't include the lyrics more to piss his listeners off (which you've admitted to being) than anything.

You're basically saying he's not a poet cause he doesn't include lyrics with his work. You're also basically saying that if you don't have the lyrics to read, then there's no way his work can be poetry (simply because it's being listened to). All of this is contradictory with what we agreed on before...and pretty ridiculous.


Quote:

When you drag rap into poetry, I think it's disrespectful to an artform that I personally enjoy a whole helluva lot more than reading poems. Respect it enough to let it be it's own thing.



nobody's dragging anything...BUT, why can't both go hand in hand AT TIMES? because you find it disrespectful?? come on now..
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:15 pm
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Nope



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
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jesse: I hate it how you say the exact same things as me some times but in your pretty fucking language.

you're damn near a poet!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

(inserting comic relief of some sort. If you take this seriously, you must die with the quickness)
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:23 pm
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Soul Khansenses



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 2110
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I brought up the Odyssey example because the poem was meant to be recited, as is most other poetry.

You don't have to read a poem aloud, nor do you have to write it. In the end, though, poetry is intended for recitation.

The advent of printing presses or mass literacy didn't change that, it just reduced the emphasis on recitation.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:32 pm
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Lazy Eyed Pea



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
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I just scroll through this shit rereading my posts and seeing if anyone's quoted me.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:49 pm
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iamjoao



Joined: 02 May 2003
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Location: northern california
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Lazy Eyed Pea wrote:
I just scroll through this shit rereading my posts and seeing if anyone's quoted me.



hahhahahahahhaha

that cracked my shit up.
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:53 pm
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anaheim13



Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 334
Location: CA
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damn...do all the other threads sounds this friendly?

at least everyone is getting a good exchange of ideas...i guess
Post Sun May 04, 2003 9:56 pm
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