Sunday, 19 February 2012


From the definition of POETRY, we can deduce that its a literary work written in verses, in a particular verse writing of high quality, great beauty, emotional sincerity or intensity, or profound insight
It could also be defined as the poems written by a particular poet, in a particular language or form, or on a particular subject

I thought deeply about this and i made up my mind that if we call rap as poetry then where should we place ghostwriting.

Ghostwiritng, the practice of one artist supplying lyrics to another to perform, has been around rap's beginning. However, given the audience's expectation that rappers' words should be their own, it has almost always been transacted behind the scenes.

Rap lyrics are so closely associated with the identity of the artist that the idea of a distinction between writer and performer seems counterintuitive. Nonetheless, rap is in its essence, a collaborative art form, from the tapestry of its densely layered samples to its borrowed lyrical riffs and reverences. For the purposes of this anthology, we have elected to include all lyrics under the names of the their performers. We do this for both practical and aesthetic reasons. Practically, we recognize the impossibility of discerning with absolute certainty which artists wrote their own lyrics and which did not

There are situations when an artist would want the writer to write something that would make him/her sound like ICE-PRINCE, or MODE 9 without passing through what they went through to get the motivation to write their verses.

So should this be classified as POETRY?


Because it has not met the condition of an emotional sincerity or intensity, or profound insight.

The origin of rap is in music, I mean the place where it gets its fundamental power in immediate creation, not its historical origin but the fact that it uses certain devices of poetry doesn't necessarily make it poetry.

There are some exceptions, and that of course means that certain lyrics are brilliant, and certain ones are poetry. But that doesn't mean that you should treat all rap as poetry. It simply means that certain lyrics are so well-crafted that they can stand up on their own in two genres of art.

Regardless of how you define what poetry is you can't escape the basic fact that it's primary concentration is language. You are using language as a medium to create beauty and along the way, to help out, you can enlist devices like rhythm, repetition, performance. But Rap is performance-BASED.

Its power and purpose are found in performance, not in language. The language may say things the artist wants to say, and may certainly be beautiful, but it's not the primary focus of what they're doing.

Rap is great and rap does what it does magnificently, but like everything else in this world, Rap cannot be all things to all people in all circumstances. And no matter how unhappy that makes you, it's just something you have to deal with. A book cannot be Twilight and The Odyssey at the same time. It's either one or the other.

Rap is entirely inseparable from its lyrical content, and its lyrics are inseparable from their insecure claims to authenticity, and inevitable descent into exaggeration and self-aggrandizing. The constant use of the first person and the notion that rap is “street reportage” makes ghostwriting a problem for RAP, because the Yale Anthology cares more about the content and primary document aspects of rap than the editors care to admit. Isolating the lyrics from both the music, the performance, and the author makes them utterly uninteresting as art. But it does provide a means for them to treat rap as poetry, and that’s what they want to do. Because you can make books of poetry, and you can’t make books of rap.

Rap is so many things to so many different people. But at its core, it is made up of rhyming verse. But just because Dr. Dre and Dr. Seuss both use the same medium Shakespeare used to tell stories, it doesn’t necessarily follow that either of them are poets.

Thats is if you were yo say 'Rap is Poetry' and 'Shakespeare is Poetry' and then let those sentences bump into each other.

Consider this proposition in reverse to see how absurd it is: For my graduate thesis, I am going to give Calvin Trillin a bunch of half-assed instrumentals and have DJ Drama help him put together a Gangta Grillz mixtape, and then we’ll evaluate him alongside Gucci Mane and Cam’ron, and other rappers who have made Gangsta Grillz mixtapes. That would be awesome, but it would not provide any more insight into the how and why Calvin Trillin does what he does. It would simply provide me the opportunity to take someone else’s work, put it in a different context, and call it something different.

Treating rap as poetry explains away too much of the sloppy realities about how and why it happens. We should just go back to treating rap as rap. It’s far more enjoyable to embrace the mess.

Thank You and God Bless!
Read Up: The Anthology Of Rap Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois

No comments:

Post a Comment