Is Rap & B The New Music Fad?

With the old guard of standard rap music slowly (and painfully) becoming a thing of the past, it seems to me that there is a new style of music being birthed before our eyes. And you might be surprised who I would consider the originator.

In the early years of Hip-Hop, if a rapper needed a hook to be sung, he dare not do it himself for fear of being called “soft.” He would find the R&B flavor of the month and let them handle that task. And that formula has been pretty steadfast through the years. But today, more and more rappers are handling the duties themselves, and doing it well. This has lead to more album cuts full of harmonizing and less rapping, and possibly a whole new style of music: Rap&B.

Often called “rap and bullshit” when an artist dared flex his harmonic vocal muscles, today most rap is bullshit. So it’s only right that new artists are looking for a unique way to make a name for themselves. Those with the ability (or an auto-tune handy) are creating a mash of sing-songy flows, straight crooning and guerrilla funk raps completely debilitating any hope of genre pigeonholing, while simultaneously making unique music the game is so desperately yearning for.

As you’ll surely recall, Ja Rule was one of the first rap artists to blend singing and harmonizing in between the standard sixteen bars. But at the time his audacity to sing was met with contempt from the hardcore Hip-Hop crowd and was further dashed once 50 Cent came along. But it could be argued that 50 was one of the originators as well. To me, 50 really built off what Ja was already doing but kept it more “street,” and therefore acceptable. It wasn’t unusual to hear a 50 Cent song full of melodies and double hooks, complementing his street tales.

Many of today’s blossoming artists have taken it one step further and it looks like this is the new trend becoming hot. Look no further than the Louis Vuitton Don himself for an example. Kanye trashed his backpack of raps for an album of singing and harmonizing and his recently signed protégé Kid Cudi is another breaking the mold. On his stellar mixtape “A Kid Called Cudi,” harmonized hooks, refrains and bridges are abundant, along with the raps and/or freestyles, all while keeping its Hip-Hop “feel” ( and I’d argue that ‘Day N Nite’ is more Rap & B than techno-rap).

Another artist who falls in this newfound genre is Toronto, Canada native Drake. On his most recent mixtape “So Far Gone,” Drake blurs the line of rap and R&B. He seamlessly transitions from hardcore raps to melodious mutterings like it’s second nature. Which brings up the question – since whole songs are completely sung – can it still be called rap? And being that there are whole tracks of raps, is it R&B? It seems that Hip-Hop may have birthed another genre or “mash-up” while looking for its soul.

I’m sure there are many so-called “Hip-Hop heads” – who at one time shunned Ja and his audacity to sing – who have now fully embraced this new genre of Rap & B. And you can put me at the top of the list. Let’s face it, rap music as a whole has become boring. The content and formula’s are dull and contrived. As such, it’s only right that new artists look for a way to unleash creativity that will be embraced. Rap&B just might be that new.-Kye Stephenson

  • KFrizzle

    B.O.N.E. Thugs were doing this years before Ja Rule was brought out on that Jigga track…and just because they rapped fast doesn’t make what they do any different than what you’re crediting Rule for.

    • http://www.myspace.com/maxprofit Max Profit

      Drake is good rapper but “hardcore lyrics”
      even Drake would laugh at that.

      Nas was singing way before 50 cent (check AZ Doe or Die) and “Rap & B” has ALWAYS been around.

      Nate Dogg was hard as hell. It’s all about good music at the end of the day.

      Erykah Badu is more hip hop than Rick Ross so who cares if you sing or rap!!!

      Shout out To Max B

    • Bev

      I believe Andre 3000 from outkast was the first to sing and then the others followed suit.

  • General

    Why doesn’t Bone Thugs ever get the credit or respect they deserve. I don’t know that they really want to be held responsible for some of this trash out here, but they were the first ones to mix rap and harmonizing in verses and hooks in 93, 94. Hell, even Domino, “Ghetto Jam” and his entire CD was doing this with sucess way before Ja or 50.
    To your point though, I think what we are seeing is not necessarily the birth of something that will last, but instead the hot trend of the minute. Its not like this auto tune is anything new, hell there was a period in the 90′s when everybody was comin out with a track featuring Roger Troutman. All these trends come and go in cycles.

    • sb

      general you are so on point..you can go back even further…the force md’s used to rap before they actually came out commercially..stevie wonder was the first to use the vocoder…snoop was signing in some of his joints too “stranded on death row”, whodini “one love”…

  • The_Truth

    ***Nate Dogg was the first gangster R&B singer (and Jewelez). . .The Chronic and Doggystyle made that “coo” to do.

    Then Click had levitti, No Limit had Moby-B, Suave House threw southern funk singers on back in the early 90′s, etc. . .but credit the west coast for the trend.

    • Pierzy

      “When I met you last night, baby/Before you opened up your gap…”

      Classic!

  • Curtis75Black

    Ever heard of Whistle ? Queen Latifah ? What about New Edition, though a R&B act was rappin in their 1st single “Candy Girl”. This has been going on since Hip Hop was brought to the masses, which is why I laugh at cats who hate on it. We use R&B constantly with our music to create raps – Samples ya’ll. For this to even be an issue is nonsense. Phonte – one of the best emcee’s also sings, and don’t forget Lauryn Hill, who can Blow her ass off !!

  • Jamal7Mile

    “You.. you got what I neeeeed/ but you say he’s just a friend/ but you say he’s just a friend..” -Biz Markie

    Tell me I’m not the only one who knows where/when those lyrics came out. Rappers have been singing forever!

    “La Di Da De” – Slick Rick
    “Teenage Love” – Slick Rick
    “Who’s Booty”, “So Whatcha Sayin” – EPMD (Erick Sermon)

    Dana Dane, Beastie Boys (rock-style singing), BDK, Salt-N-Pepa, AMG “Yo Mama Told Me”… I could go on and on…

    Naaah, rappers have been singing FOREVER!!

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

      Nice & Smooth, anyone?

      • capcobra

        what about force md’s?….even more than that..all the groups from the 70′s sung and harmonized….kurtis blow did it on “daydreamin’”..this isn’t new…this is what hip hop was built on…brothers was singing on the corner before they was rappin’.scratchin or breakdancin’.

        • squadwildin

          So now that we’re all here;

          Jamal7Mile, Tony Grand, answer me this one question. How come ya’ll were hating on Kid Cudi, considering the fact that rappers have been “singin for years” like ya’ll said. Lets really address this issue cuz I wanna hear your logic behind it

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

          What up Squad.

          I can’t recall hating on Kid CuDi. You’ll have to find my quote on that.

          The closest I’ve come to it would be me vocalizing my disdain for the fact that he denounced the very career he worked so hard to be successful @. I made no reference to his music, just the way he went about whining. In fact, I said he would have known how things were going to turn out if he had paid more attention to hundreds of rap songs over the years.

          Honestly, I didn’t know that he sang. I was tempted to download that “nite & day” song last night off the strength that I can’t recall ever actually hearing it.

        • Jamal7Mile

          I do not like Kid Cudi, plain and simple. I’ve heard two tracks from him… and a 106/Park “freestyle” and it did nothing for me. I don’t “hate” him, per se, as in I want to kick his ass… it’s just the music doesn’t move me.

        • squadwildin

          Fair enough Tony….my bad for just lumping you in a category wit Jamal. ANd he does whine but he makes GOOD MUSic…lol.

          Jamal7mile, lets address this issue…can you honestly judge an artist “FAIRLY” (keyword fairly) off of two songs? i cant…see here’s my logic

          A rap career is just like an athletic career in my opinion. Meaning a season for an athlete equals an album for a rapper, a song for a rapper equals a game for an athlete & you can go as far as to say a verse equals a play/down/etc. You of course have rookies sophomores, veterans, etc, etc in both professions.

          Now that being said, would you judge an athlete off of one or two games???? consider that for a moment…. Now answer this…..HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU JUDGE AN ARTIST OFF OF ONE RADIO SONG?????? PLEASE ANSWER THAT QUESTION!

        • Jamal7Mile

          @Squad

          After hearing 2 songs and an unimpressive freestyle, I said “Nope, I’m not a fan… moving on.” Don’t get me wrong, other people obviously like him. I’m not one of them. Now if Cudi can come up with something I like (and he almost did last week, I’ll explain) then I’ll start checking for him.

          He did a song w/Consequence last wk using ATCQ “buggin” beat that wasn’t half bad. It helped that I LOVE that beat. I wasn’t mad at him at all for that one. But “Night and Day”, “Superboo”, and the freestyle is not working out for me.

          Still not a fan… but maybe he’ll get better. Who knows??

        • squadwildin

          Fair enough Jamal…he’s still a rookie and still has a lot to prove…but check out his mix tape..you might like it.

          I wasnt a fan of Day N’ Nite but it grew on me… and I dont see why some ppl think it’s his best song. Its not…he has twice the heat on some of his other mixtapes songs. He said it himself that the success of Day N Nite caught him by surprise. He thought he had a hit with “Dat New New” but it was the opposite. Oh well to each his own

          ****Oh side-bar…Kid Cudi cant freestyle for SHIT… I dont know why he keeps doin it. lol.

  • p.nizzuh

    Who cares who started it? It’s still pussy. Singing street shit is one thing(respect and well wishes to Nate Dogg), but turning into Barry Manilow (with or without autotune) is just softer than baby-shit.

    Curtis Mayfield had more heart than most of these so-called rappers with his real and confrontational content. Rappers need to look themselves in the mirror and decide if they the next KRS, Rakim, G Rap or a hipster Clay Aiken.

  • Curtis75Black

    @Jamal,

    Great examples !! So my question remains, Why is this such a Big Deal ? Probably because they are now getting praised by some where as years ago would’ve been dissed and hung out to dry !! Niggas is praising Kanye but ganged up on Ja- Rule. Look at 808 as Classic but also looked at “Miseducation” with scrutiny even though Lauyrn could ACTUALLY sing !!

    • capcobra

      who was mad at lauryn besides wyclef?.

      • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

        Word.

        I would even go as far as to “label” her a singer who just happened to know how to rap well.

        That album was/is off the charts. Literally & physically.

        • Jamal7Mile

          Word, I LOVE Lauryn… but her solo debut DID throw people off. Think about it… before her debut dropped, she was a RAPPER who could SING. When I bought “Mis-education..” I was expecting an album 15 rap tracks and maybe 2-3 R&B songs. What I got was the reciprical (flip side) of that. The only reason I didn’t complain was because it was a damned good album.

          I still have not bought/listened to 808′s and Heartbreak. I’ve only heard what made it to radio play/videos. I’ve heard both complaints and praises for being brave. Am I missing out? Eventually I’ll cop it…

        • DETROIT

          what up mal,

          i read a post where you said something bout the wizard on 98 back in the day. that shit had me rollin.

          the funniest thing tho is this renewed interest in trick trick. niggas don’t know that dude is a booty music legend, lol! “shake that make that booty bounce” is a classic!

        • Jamal7Mile

          Yo DETROIT!

          Yep I remember that track! I don’t think it made it to the airwaves outside of Michigan, though. Only Miami was making national waves with the booty music back then.

          Bro, I miss The Wizard real bad. I used to make “pause-tapes” with my boombox everynight his show came on.

          *sighs*

          Memories…

      • Curtis75Black

        Man, Plenty of people didn’t want to give her props because it was more singing than rapping !!

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

          But remember C75B, she was singing in “Sister Act 2″, before the Fugees made any real noise.

        • $ykotic

          Let me drop one on ya’ll:

          “One Love” & “Freaks Come Out” Whodini

          Broughams been singing. Some just do it well.

          Lauryn blew up so hard she dropped the mic. That alone is phenomenal.

          The Force “MC”s used to rock the Staten Island ferry. Times like that are tears for hiphop.

          Pun intended.

  • LB

    First of all, I disagree with the attempt to slick-side coin the genre “Rap & B.” That’s a bullshit name for a genre and I hope Hip Hop heads don’t allow that to be another commercial stamp placed on our music. The name name, even in its suggestive state, is corney and simplistic. Besides, Rap and R&B being merged is nothing new. And the rappers who make albums were singing is invloved more than before are cashing in on something only few people can; and those few people are those whose gained enough credibility as successful artists to do so.

  • DETROIT

    singing is an art! why listen to an untrained rapper moan like a shot dog, when you can listen to a trained singer. that was my whole problem with kanye’s newest shit sandwich. i grew up playing instruments, as well as listening to rap. I KNOW FOR A FACT THERE IS A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RAPPER AND A REAL MUSICIAN! so if you wanna hear some real music, BUY SOME. there’s no shame in out growing rap…everyone outgrows rap at some point in their life. if you’re at that point, get the new jamie foxx, not damn 808s and heartbreaks!

    the thing is, singers sing notes, a person that can’t hit any notes is a mockery of the artform…kinda like if keysha cole put out a rap album.

    • Phil

      Don’t trivialize Hip-Hop. The implications in your statement are ignorant and limiting to say the least. The idea of “outgrowing rap” is far too typical an excuse due to what’s mainstream at that moment. Just confess, you were never into rap, just POP culture.

      I’m about to be 35 and haven’t given up Hip-Hop yet. You lost, buddy.

      • Phil

        And another thing…try to tell ?uestlove he’s not Hip-Hop since he plays in the best HIP-HOP BAND ever. Idiot.

        • DETROIT

          i made a general comment…of coarse there are exceptions. ask yourself this, matter of fact, name 5 more hip-hop bands!

        • Phil

          1. Stetsasonic
          2. A Black Girl Named Becky
          3. Breakestra
          4. Ozomatali
          5. Spearhead

        • DETROIT

          ozomatali and spearhead are not rap groups! just cuz a nigga rhyme on a few songs don’t make him a rapper! lol, good try tho! and before you try some snappy comeback, i’d like to open this up to the rest of the forum….

          DOES ANYONE ON THIS SITE CLASSIFY OZOMATALI OR SPEARHEAD AS HIP-HOP GROUPS?

          and i’m sure the same can be said for a black girl named becky, even tho i have no idea who they are!

        • Phil

          Too bad the groups themselves don’t agree with you. Try reading their interivews. It’s called knowledge.

          And here you are pleading ignorance when there this thing called a GOOGLE BAR.

          Please, dude, just give up.

        • DETROIT

          your definition of rap is like whitey’s definition of being black. 1 black great gradparent makes you black, fuck all the other shit. that’s what you’re saying about these bands, a few rap songs make you a rap band, fuck all the rock, latin, funk, and other shit they do….THEY’RE A RAP BAND! BUT IN REALITY, YOU PROVE MY POINT. REAL MUSICIANS CAN PLAY ANYTHING, RAPPERS CAN ONLY BE RAPPERS! THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK I’M SAYING, THAT’S WHY IT MAKES MORE SINCE TO ASPIRE TO BE A REAL MUSICIAN!

        • Dub Sac

          Doesn’t matter so much what the group themselves think. Phunk Junkeez (remember them?) probably thought they were doing some hip-hop, and Lil Wayne thinks he’s making rock music. You don’t have to convince yourself, you have to convince the fans. White stoners doesn’t really give hip-hop credibility to Spearhead.

          And I think the original point D was trying to make was that it’s okay to like both forms of music – rap and music played by musicians. Listen to rap when you want some rap, and listen to some soul when you want some soul, but don’t support shitty crossover bands that can’t do either one well.

        • DETROIT

          THANKYOU BRO, AT LEAST SOMEONE UNDERSTOOD MY POINT!

        • Dub Sac

          Like you said, if all you listen to is rap, I feel sorry for you.

        • Phil

          Yeah, your point being that all rap can never be “real” music unless you do A,B,C, and D. Yawn.

        • Dub Sac

          I don’t recall anybody saying that rap isn’t real music. The fact of the matter is certain genres affect you differently. You get something different from rap than you do from rock or indie or techno or drum & bass or classical or jazz or funk. It’s unreasonable to think that a single genre can give you the same range of experience.

          I think all that anybody is saying is that hip-hop isn’t always going to deliver what you want and that it’s okay to turn to other genres, instead of expecting everything to be satisfied by a poorly-executed crossover.

        • DETROIT

          again, thank you for the clarification. sometimes we get so caught up in arguing that we loose the main point. i never said that rap was not music, but i did say that most rappers aren’t musicians! some are just rappers.

          “I think all that anybody is saying is that hip-hop isn’t always going to deliver what you want and that it’s okay to turn to other genres, instead of expecting everything to be satisfied by a poorly-executed crossover.”

          THAT’S ALL I WAS SAYING!

        • Phil

          Actually, you didn’t. If that is what you were saying, then why didn’t you? Instead, you said this:

          “REAL MUSICIANS CAN PLAY ANYTHING, RAPPERS CAN ONLY BE RAPPERS!”

          Try clarifying with EXAMPLES and maybe a discussion won’t degenerate into generalities and silly jabs.

        • DETROIT

          “REAL MUSICIANS CAN PLAY ANYTHING, RAPPERS CAN ONLY BE RAPPERS!”

          exactly nigga! fuck examples, i really didn’t have time 4 dat shit, i already wasted hours playin wit u. so let me say this slow and easy for you…..real musicaians can play anything….anything includes rap, thus the term ANYTHING! rappin ass niggas only rap…gucci mane is not a musician nigga, nor is rick ross, nor is 50 cent, need i continue! that’s why these niggas fall off so fast! furthermore, why listen to a rapper tryin to learn how to play guitar, rather than listen to a nigga like george benson whose been a beast for like 30 years…you hear me now nigga? you started that hoe ass jab shit, when i talk, i talk respectfully, cuz i’m a street nigga and i know the difference between an intellegent debate and beef. look at the 1st reply you made to me….i understand now tho, you’re one of them soft as canadians!

        • Squadwildin

          Detroit, Phil is right man…you said it…..its plain as black and white. Never mind what you meant to say:SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

          Youre articulate enough to do that….

          And i dont see why people hate on rappers so much….rap is an art form just like anything else. and just like any other form of art, some ppl will try to come in and half-ass the art form to make a quick profit.

          But here’s what fans, rather patrons, shouldnt do. They shouldnt stereotype
          every artist, ie the rapper, as someone that has no talent.

          Detroit by you saying rappers have no skill, and anyone can do it, is bull shit. It takes a musical talent to find the right beat to portray the message that your are trying to convey in a song…think about it. Its called being musically inclined. Just like architecture is a form of art with out paint, rappers are a form of musicians without instruments.

          THEYRE INSTRUMENTS ARE WORDS….AND WE ALL KNOW HOW POWERFUL WORDS CAN BE.

  • LB

    Detroit…Ya right man, singing is an art. And I agree with many other points. But I do feel bad that you, like many other people, think people should grow up out of rap. I think that reveals how unimportant you guys see rap as a mode of communication for our culture. Now that we have people who’s been influenced by rap for almost 4 decades, I predict the resergence of a more socially conscious but still raw rap for older people, say 28 years and older. I’ll be ashamed to reject after all it’s done for my people.

    • DETROIT

      i respectfully disagree with you bro, i think that MUSIC is a big mode of communication for our culture! weather it’s the negro spirituals the slaves sang, gospel music, marvin gaye, curtis mayfield, or krs-1. to me THAT’S BIGGER THAN RAP! when rap is gone, something else will take it’s place within the culture. I STILL LISTEN TO RAP. but as a grown man, i’m growing into a more smoothed out, soulful vibe. you can’t ride in your car with your 4 year old daughter listening to a rapper say bitch, hoe, nigga, etc….even if it’s in the name of positivity! as you get older, you run out of situations appropriate for rap. that’s why i say that people grow out of it!

      • Phil

        Now you’re speaking in generalities AGAIN.

        1. All Hip-Hop is not on some excessive RAH-RAH shit. There is plenty of chilled-out Hip-Hop music.

        2. Not all Hip-Hop talks about women as bitches and hoes. Not all Hip-Hop even curses that much.

        Too many assumptions, and no proof. I’ve made 2-part CDs for single mothers with not ONE curse word, not ONE bitch or hoe, not ONE record glorifying violence.

        Try specifics, dude.

        • DETROIT

          i don’t like that kinda shit…i like agressive rap. if i want some smoothed out shit, i listen to jazz or r and b. IT’S COOL MAN! i grew up listening to all kinds of rap, but i also listen to other forms of music! if rap is your end all be all as far as music goes, i feel sorry for you!

          STEVIE WONDER > YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER!

        • Phil

          Feel sorry for yourself. Sitting here lying about liking other forms of rap, yet you “outgrew” it all. Excuses. Yawn.

        • DETROIT

          you mad? i’m listening to hnic right now. but when i get pussy i listen to pussy gettin music, and i be wit the hoes alot. when i’m at work, i listen to shit appropriat for work. ya feel me shorty. relax a lil bit hommie, it’s not my fault that you can’t sell any records!

        • Phil

          Who’s trying to sell records…what the hell is a “record” anyway.

        • Phil

          Keep on with the assumptions..

      • Phil

        So many excuses to abandon something like a whole culture just because of a few bad apples. Then why swear allegiance to R&B? Are they any better, for real?

        I feel sorry for anyone who gets up and tell themselves, “You know what? I need to listen to more R&B cuz I’m 30.” “I can’t relate to rap because of the radio.”

        Excuses by the ton! Shameful.

        • DETROIT

          black is the culture! rap is a part of that culture, same with rock, same with jazz, same with gospel, etc. i think the biggest problem with newer rappers IS THAT THEY GREW UP ON RAP! the old school niggas grew up on other shit, so they had a broader since of music, which led to them making better rap music! and as for a child, you owe them a broader musical experience than just rap. maybe i’m different cuz i’m from the D….none of our greatest musicians are rappers!

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

          @ DETROIT

          I think Hip Hop is the culture, but I agree that the age bracket plays a key role in the musical exposure. That’s a whole different social conversation though.

          Whether or not rappers are musicians is matter of opinion. Some would say that the voice is as important an instrument as the instruments they’re laid over. I say it depends on the rapper in question.

        • Curtis75Black

          @ Detroit and Phil,

          Both of ya’ll have good points in the debate. Hip Hop is not all Rah,rah. There is plenty of smoothed out artist but if you’re not into it, so be it. As far as those groups go, I’m glad it was brought up because it shows Hip Hop on a more broader scale than just emcee, which is what’s being pushed today in the mainsteam. There are emcee’s who put out curse free cd’s but did they get the credit they deserved, No!! It was looked at by fans, critics and Magazines as soft, pop or alternative to the norm instead of being Hip Hop without the excessive Bullshit in it. I like my Hip Hop aggressive also but being 33, I can also chill with anytime of Music. I just feel this genre puts too many labels on our music and subconsciously segregates itself from the masses trying to Keep it Real. I never had a problem with a Hot collabo but if its wack, its wack.

        • DETROIT

          i feel you bro. i have to clarify one thing tho, i’m not saying that it’s cool to abandon all rap. i’m never gonna stop listening to ‘ob4c’ or ‘get in where you fit in’, or any of my favorite albums for that matter. my statements were made regarding where rap is going now! rap is not new anymore, and there are only so many things that you can do with it, before it’s time to move on to a different genre. WHICH IS WHY RAPPERS HAVE NO LONGEVITY COMPARED TO OTHER GENRES! that being said, rappers today are more computer techs than musicians. many of these songs are made with no real instrumentation, and many of these niggas singing can’t hit one note. a key to the voice being considered an instrument is being able to read music and hit notes…if you can’t, your voice is not an instrument in my opinion. many of these rappers can’t do anything but rap…a real musician can switch genres with no problem! BUT IT DEFINATELY DEPENDS ON THE RAPPER IN QUESTION.

        • Phil

          This is where you’re wrong again. This is also the area where Hip-Hop has quietly evolved…musicianship. But, due to the lack of POPULARITY for musicianship, it’s never put out there unless by chance. My biggest mentor in Hip-Hop played more than SEVEN instruments before he died.

          When I started seeing acts like Common, Madlib, and Mos Def in Canada PLAYING on stage with legends and the Montreal Jazz Fests, I was ecstatic.

          When I heard Weldon Irvine was teaching Mos, Talib and some others how to play, I was more than excited.

          Sure, MOST of these “rappers” can just rap, but, maybe unbeknownst to you, that has BEEN changing.

          Salaam Remi PLAYS on 90% of the tracks he did for Nas on close to 4 albums. Madlib’s father is Otis Jackson, Sr., a VET. How do I even know this?

          Through watching these exceptional dudes closely and wondering where they got their inspirations from.

          Shit, RAKIM PLAYED THE SAX WELL BEFORE DECIDING TO RHYME. He applied those lessons to the lyric, and what do we get? A legend.

          Again, try specifics.

        • Jamal7Mile

          I’ll agree w/most of that DETROIT. The voice IS an instrument. I played drums though and can’t sing worth a damn, LOL! In church, I just mouth the words… lest I get struck by lightning or some shit.

          However, everytime I used to listen to Ol Dirty Bastard sing… my ass got up out the chair and I was JAMMIN’!!!

          Only in Hip-Hop, man, only in Hip-Hop. That’s what makes HH music so special!

        • Zulu1925

          @ DETROIT

          I understand where Phil was coming from in his rebuttals. It really DID seem like you were on some 1st Corinthians trip – “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” It seemed like you were saying as you’ve gotten older, you’ve moved away from Hip Hop because it doesn’t express the ADULT point of view very well. The fact that you now INCORPORATE other genres of music, as opposed to completely eliminating Hip Hop from your rotation, wasn’t as clearly expressed as you may have thought. On a final note – The Last Poets, the true progenitors of this rap shit, were DEFINITELY musicians. Glad to see y’all clear up the misunderstanding! The discussion was good. Be cool!!

        • DETROIT

          dig this man, another argument that i was gonna make, before i reallized that i had to clarify my previous statements, was that many rappers are more poets than musicians. i was gonna leave that alone, because of all the shit that got started with my earlier comments….but since you brought up the last POETS, what do you think? a nigga like pac was more of a poet than a musician in my opinion. in fact, alot of his songs were poems at first.
          IN MOST RAP SCENARIOS, the producer is the musician and the rapper is the mc/Poet/rapper. now, back in the 2 turntables and a mic days, all rappers were musicians simply because of the musical talent it took to sycronize the scratchin, rappin, etc. But what do you think, IN GENERAL, are there more poets in the rap game than musicians? to me, cee-lo green is a poet/singer. he had a singing background before rap, and most of his flows are poems!

          also, the very word mc means master of ceremony…that says alot regarding my earlier argumen….but i’ll leave that alone…lol.

          1

        • Zulu1925

          @ DETROIT

          While I agree that Tupac was a poet, he was also a musician, as testified by the production credits he earned on a number of his songs, including: “Me & My Girlfriend,” “Thug Passion,” “Against All Odds” and “All About You” to name a few. Poets(rappers) and musicians are not mutually exclusive. You can be be both. With that said, it has been my experience that producers are more musically adept (in terms of chords, progressions, harmony, etc.) than rappers. But, that’s the position they play. You can’t fault an offensive lineman for not knowing how to throw a tight spiral like a quarterback. Each team member has a job to do. There are also a number of rapper “slash” producers in the industry. Are we not to consider these people rappers because they also contribute to, or devise, the structure of the song?

  • Jhon da Analyst

    That’s right!! On the “Triumph” intro , RZA told niggas “Rap & Bullshit”!!! Tryin to make that shit hip-hop. GTFOH with dat shit!!!!

  • Curtis75Black

    @ Tony,

    No doubt, but when the cd is just thay good made by someone who has soul and can sing, You can’t front on that !! GrandMaster Flash and the Furious 5 1st had singing on it also – and it was good. A singer on a Hip Hop track, So What !! Roxanne Roxanne’s vocals was sung by Full Force, Hey Lover’s vocals was sung by Boyz II Men, Can’t knock the Hustle’s vocals was sung by Mary J Blige and all was Hot.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

      @ C75B,

      I was speaking specifically about Lauryn Hill. I agree with all of what you said.

      I just said that she was singing before she was rapping.

      I never said anything was wrong wih the rap/r&b combination.

      • Jamal7Mile

        Ehhh, I’m not so sure about that Tony (I could be wrong). The first time I ever laid eyes on Lauryn Hill was in a Fugees video called “Nappy Heads.” She was HOT and I don’t think “Sister Act II” was out yet. When Sister Act II came out, I knew who Lauryn Hill was… that’s why I went to see it! LOL!!

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

          @ Mally Mal,

          Thanks lol! I don’t remember the exact timeline, that mightve been why I saw it too. I do remember “Nappy Heads”, I’m just not good with dates.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Tony G$ what up?!!! I heard Lauryn rap first then sing but maybe I was late. She was my baby before she went crazaaaay!!!!!!!! Oh yeah, Slick Rick in La-di-da-di…….OMG. “It’s all because of yooouuuuu, I’m feelin sad and bluuuueeee……………Hot Fiyah, like Dylan!!

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

      “Yoooou went awaaay, and now my life is filled with rai-ny da-ays, I love you soooo, how much you’ll neva knooowooohoooow, cuz yoo took your love away from meeeee”

      hahahaha

  • Black

    Hell Snoop is the precedent for 50 cent. Melodies were on point.

  • zood

    I agree, and don’t forget Chamillionaire he was doing that way before many were doing it at all. How times have changed.

  • niggas don’t know their history

    BONE THUGS N HARMONY were the originators of that shit. you stupid fuck that wrote this blog!!!!!!!

  • zayzkidd

    First then came Bone Thugs, then came Lauren Hill, and now Kanye? At least Bone and Lauren knew HOW to sing, this guy sounds like a squealing kitten!!!

    • Michelle S.

      [dies @ squealing kitten] He’s trying to do something different, but it’s coming out all wrong. If a rapper can actually sing, I can deal with it. If not, leave it alone.

  • Jamal7Mile

    What’s up Phil?

    Didn’t know you was up in Canada! In Detroit, we used to have the Montreax Jazz Festivals in August at Hart Plaza (my favorite place on Planet EARTH). It was the place to be, yo!!

    They changed the name of the festival, but I’m still going this year!

    You???

    • Phil

      Not likely. Got a mortgage now, lol.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kryakabillybonez Don Vegas

    Once again Bone thugs take an L and are not given credit for what they did over 10 years ago and is now the template for commercial hiphop. Only differance was Bone was raw wit it and never used auto tune. They’re easily the most under appreciated rap group of all time…the industry took their concept stole it, mass produced it and blackballed them…so sad

  • LB

    Detroit…Where do you think our people is failling in controlling the broadcasting and publishing? And do you think that it’s possible for one of us to coin a genre of music (like Hip Hop was) instead of some stiff neck doing social research?

    • DETROIT

      i think that as long as the corporate structure in america is this way, we will never be able to control what is broadcast or written, simply because the media is america’s #1 form of population control. but as black people, we’ve always reinvented ourselves when necessary. that was my point above, it went from spirituals, to jazz, to rock, to gospel, etc. the corporations water down our music when they see it as a threat. that’s what they’ve done to rap, now you have a whole generation of young cats raised on watered down music, so their stuff sounds shitty. have no fear tho, we are the originators…we always bounce back wit some new shit.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    YessSirr!!!!!!!

  • El Tico Loco

    Is all in the presentation, if a good rapper happens to throw in a melody here and there (Erick Sermon, Slick Rick, Phonte) they already shown us what’s their true role on the mic and now they just clowning, or doing their hooks so there’s no respect lost from purists, my problem with Ja is that he couldn’t make a hit without a guest on it. On the other hand you’ve been straight spittin or whatever and now you make it a point to make an album just singing because is a new bandwagon to jump on, you come off as fabricated you weren’t doing that before but now cuz such and such is hot you wanna do what made the next man did. Shit right there is not original and is not hip hop
    last I heard hiphop has 5 elements and singing is not one of them, no matter how you paint the picture. People usually bring up the Force MDs and Whistle but one Force MDs were singers who happen to sing over breakbeats they were in the Hip Hop culture but they not hiphop themselves, and Whistle was on some we rap and sing and were decent at both.
    But the difference why people have problems with some artists and not with some is because some are good at one or the other or both then there’s the one that didn’t master either.

    • Curtis75Black

      I wouldn’t necessarily call it “Bandwagon jumping” cause if it’s in you, it’s bound to come out. Look at Ceelo for instance, One of the most diverse artist from the South who not only raps but can sing his ass off ( Hip Hop’s Al Green to me). If you have the skills to blaze both, why not bring it. Of course, there’s gonna be shock to hear Andre, Ceelo or even Lauyrn just singing but that’s artistry. Queen Latifah even put out a Jazz cd. You can always tell when its from heart and when its on some “Its Hot, lets do it” shit. Kanye with his autotune singing is wack but is getting props for doing something that has been done for ages and not shown love to. That’s where the lines blur…

      • El Tico Loco

        That’s what I’m saying, everybody you mention has mastered one or both and the common denominator is that they’re all good rappers , but autotune is a bandwagon that’s full to capacity, and is the subpar rappers and singers that are on it.

  • LB

    Man, these cats is jackin Autotune from that dude Rog, author of “Computer Love.” And El Tico Loco is right by sayin that it’s a band-wagon type thing. Though, I think the rappers who have experimented with it has proved successful, but for singers to do it just means that they’re unoriginal, can’t sing, and/or just fiddled around with a certain sound on a temporary basis.

    • El Tico Loco

      One more thing when gospel singers jumped on it hard, you know is time to move on. Hell, more people would fall back if they knew is used in the “That’s so Raven” theme song.

      • DETROIT

        actually, steve wonder was the 1st nigga to use auto-tune! that’s crazy right!

        • $ykotic

          Hell yeah. Stevieland threw a dart at T-Pain at that last awards show. Showed him how to really use it.

        • Jamal7Mile

          What up $yk?

          What show was that? I missed out on that one! LOL!!

      • El Tico Loco

        I know about Stevie, Peter Frampton and Roger Troutman but I had to point out how cheesy it’s gotten. With all the wack gimmicks it’s sad to say I miss Crunk music.

  • Rae Tha Great

    Duh yall just not figuring out this Rap and B. But we just called it EMORAP. Drake & KiD CuDi took that shit to a whole nother level. Nobody messing with them I’m sorry. Kanye & Wayne know what they doing. Next up L*O*V & RAE. PEACE

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

    & for the sake of the whole “auto-tune” argument, did we forget about Peter Frampton?

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    Gotdamn this post got 91 comments! just wanted to point that out.

    This is a good post by the way, but how come you didn’t mention Bone Thugs???

  • http://360.yahoo.com/deshawn772004 Federal Ranga

    “the biggest problem with newer rappers IS THAT THEY GREW UP ON RAP! the old school niggas grew up on other shit, so they had a broader since of music, which led to them making better rap music!”

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Co-sign…

    However… I think that ANY artist in a certain genre that grew up only on THAT genre of music will not be able to have a broad sense of music when they choose to do THAT genre of music…

  • biggz325

    if u look back in 94 zro of houston been put melody with rap

  • oskamadison

    If you’re talkin’ about the originators of harmonizng…The Furious Five, The Fantastic Five and the Cold Crush Brothers. It starts there.

  • maximus 32

    I agree with the cat who referenced BONE. They are the originators of that style and they actually changed to way R&B singers sing today. You can hear their influence in just about every uptempo R&B song you hear today. The difference is…they are actually talented. Every last one of them motherfuckers can rap like shit and they were talking about something. It seemed like a lot of gun talk but if you listened closely (I was high as shit when they were in their prime) they had real substance in their music.

  • LB

    Damn, this blog been up for a hot minute. It should’ve cracked a hundred comments already.

  • teddy

    devin the dude
    b.o.b.
    andree 3000
    drake
    kid cudi
    wiz kalifa

  • Phil

    Yo, whoever writes this blog needs to be fired. This is some lazy shit.

  • tony

    Of course Rap is Bullshit. When you got these Bitch azz fans won’t by music that much. Fans ya’ll think ya’ll can do better. Get your stiff azz on the mic or on the beats. I love music and movies the way I love God! Love new style of music.

  • jim

    yea rap is BULLSHIT
    it takes almost NO TIME to come up with (freestyling) and has NO instruments

    you can come up with a full song in a day, that some bullshit
    plus it doenst even sound like… music
    real musicians have to practice many hours a week to make thier music sound as best as possible
    its such a shame society promotes such a lazy, effortless form of music that is just a FAD that has no lasting power whatsoever

  • http://xxlmag.com Memo

    How can a pre-existing genre of music be considered a fad? Rappers have been singing since the beginning of Hip Hop.