Opinion: Rap music deserves more respect as genre


Fox Sports / Wikimedia Commons

Chance the Rapper performs at a sporting event in February 2018.

Mikey Forte, Guest Writer

It’s absolutely unfair how many people don’t consider rap to be music. Every genre has its own flaws but that doesn’t mean that rap should be excluded all together.

Brian Fancher, Mayfield’s choir teacher, agrees that rap is indeed music. He said, “I think it’s a little bit naive for people to say that rap isn’t music. It’s different to say that you might not appreciate it or you might not like it. And that’s a totally valid opinion, but to blankly say that it’s not music I don’t think is the case.

“The definition of music as it is today is changing rapidly,” said Fancher. “Even in the past 100 years there were folks that said jazz wasn’t real music because it’s pushing the boundaries too far. Today that’s one of the most traditional writings you hear, so yes I absolutely think it is.”

It’s very controversial when talking elements of music. Many people don’t believe rap contains all the elements of music which is ridiculous.

“I think that the one aspect frequently related to music that you might not hear in all rap music is sometimes their melody. It might seem to be purely some rhythmic beat, and then lyrics on top of it. That being said there are musical elements in terms of rhythm and metric organization, and just kind of an arc that still very much portray the primary qualities of music,” said Fancher.

A widely controversial topic about the hip hop community that’s absolutely outrageous is that artists are taking lyrics from other songs and incorporating it into their own song. “That being said, some people say that about all music saying ‘oh they took those chords from this song or they melody from this song or they took those lyrics from that song.’ And I think if it’s done in a way that either gives credit to the original artist or takes those elements and uses them in a unique way. I think it’s a totally valid means of taking the same idea but expressing it in a different way,” Fancher said.

Many people have this notion that rap isn’t real music because of the types of rap there are. Journalist David Harsanyi wrote, “Like other categories of pop, hip hop offers a wide-range of stylistic variety, so it’s difficult to make sweeping definitive statements about the genre.”

The other problem is parents not letting their kids listen to rap, or even saying it’s not real music. Peter Bandrowsky of Medium wrote, “Your parents, having grown up on the Rolling Stones and AC/DC, are hard-wired to automatically reject any song that doesn’t have a sick guitar riff. They’ll probably lob insults that rappers just ‘let a computer make half the music’ and that ‘none of it’s real’.”

The problem is that parents think the music is completely created digitally and the artists aren’t doing anything. However, that’s not true. These artists actually produce the songs themselves. The only thing the computers do is tweak the song a bit or add in other beats or acoustics.

Even though adults and elders have their own opinions about rap, those accusations might irritate the teens who listen to rap music.

Sophomore Leah Campbell thinks it’s annoying how people disrespect rap music. She said, “I think it’s the fact that the kind of music today is way different than it used to be and people don’t like that, but that still shouldn’t give them a reason to say it’s not real.”

Since it’s inevitable that people won’t stop saying rap isn’t real, maybe there could be some ways to revise rap so that people could at least stop saying it isn’t real. Campbell said, “I feel like one way is through the internet, and getting people to talk about how rap isn’t just rhymes about ‘sex and drugs’ and how it’s influential for many people. Rap is more than just music, It’s an art that in many ways could be amazing. And I feel like spreading that message around could really lift up rap’s name.”