Rap is a popular type of music in thesociety today. Rap did not emerge out of the blues. In the 1970's rap drew its meaning from other genres of music to become what it is today. Rap draws its influence and inspiration from othertypes of music. In a world where people have to frequently contend with violent acts like rape, murder, school shootings, assault and other violence's, society is very eager to get rid of these immoral acts which are eating up chances of peace and tranquillity among its members. Music has a role to play in this.
Rapping which is also referred to as emceeingor rhyming simply means a set of spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics.This literal work can be broken down into three distinct parts;which are the content of the work, its flow and means of delivery. The distinct difference between the art of rapping and normal spoken word is that rapping is performed side by side with musical beat. Rapping plays a very big part in hip hop and reggae music, such that without it in these two genres, music in the current generation would lose a major part of its enticing taste.
Rapping can be done with or without accompaniment, sometimes it acts as a break from a prose of constant musical, instrumental lines, basically to relay some special message or show the musician’s talent. Stylistically, rap occupies a gray area among speech, prose, poetry, and song. Musical form. The word rap as used in British English very many years ago and specifically had the meaning, to say. In African Americandialect, it meant to converse, but today it is used to refer to a genre of music which has become an intimate part of hip hop music such that it is very easy to confuse the two with each other. Rap might be used as a synonym of hip hop,which is actually not the case.
Rap draws its origin from Africa, specifically in West Africa where many years before hip hop came the Africans were telling stories in rhythms and over set of instrumentation,like drums.
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Of the many genres of music, rap music has always spoken aloud especially among the youth in the world as a whole. It is indeed the most scrutinize in the society that as one side of the existing generationembrace it, another has reservations against it.
Across the entire world it would be right to say that rap music as a genre of music is the music for the urban Americans, where it is a common culture and draws varied reactions from the society, as to mention as far as societal sanity and moral cadence is concerned. Besides the Americas, the other regions of the world are also not left behind in the assimilation of this genre of music into ownership.
Indeed when people think of rap music, it is mostly obvious that no one would think of a country in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia to be a ground for rap music. Contrary to majority opinion rap music is quite alive in Saudi Arabia than we would expect. Among the youth, rap music has blown its boundaries to wonderful popularity, where big names like Qusai Khidr are heard and appreciated.Arabic rap is a genre of hip hop music and culture that originates in the Arabic-speaking countries like Saudi Arabia. It is performed in Arabic and other localdialects in Arabia,English and other languages. Like most artists of rap music the artists from Arabia are highly influenced by hip hop music from America. Arabian rap is presented on radios and shown on television. Live rap performance or rather hip hop started recently in the 1990s.Many hip hop groups are still basically underground reason given that the political viewsof Arabic world could lead to censure by the government. Therefore, this has made the internet the only major outlet for most groups.
In around the year 2003, hip hop music started taking shape in Saudi Arabia. Some of the earliest Saudi rappers are klash, whose musical career began in 2004. He was a popular rapper in Saudi Arabia and later on become a well-known rapper in the entire Middle East. He was later arrested by the Saudi Arabian government over some claims on television referencing homosexuality between teenagers in one of his records. Qusai a Saudi Arabian rapper began his career in America and is today a popular rapper known across the entire world.
Whereas the Americans boast of a long time origin of their rap music the Saudi Arabians have a young rap culture that is picking up against all odds of strict scrutiny to where it is advancing towards. Many have gained praises due to the sobriety of their message and presentation as compared to the America where less care is taken as to what the rap music is presenting.
There is a crucial arising fact concerning rap music in the world today. Rap a genre that draws its origin from the Americas has spread across the world into the Arab world to find better use than in its region of origin. When comparing of the American and Saudi rap today, there is notable difference between the same genres in the two countries.It is rather evident that rap music from America is widely known around the world and has been quite influential among the youth around the world. There are big names from America known in the hip hop world. They are admired by many people and they have sold American music to many places. On the other hand, rap music in Saudi has not been listened to in many places and is even not heard of in majority of countries of the world. This can be attributed to lack of a good strategy to sell these musicians out in the past; an issue that I pray is soon having a solution. I can also say that Saudi rap music could have been supressed by the more influential American rap which draws its advantage from the fact that it was the first to exist and also because of their good media and strategy.
Hip-hopis becoming very instrumental in the revolutions that have been taking place in the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia, rappers are using their lyrics to put across the interest and needs of the young people. Rappers are putting their lives at risk to speak up for the oppressed and to bring change in the Arab world. It is quite unbelievable that a genre of music that was formed in America over 30 years ago is used in Arabia to bring positive change to the society.
The way in which rap artists like kla$h from Saudi are calling up Arab people to take action is greatly inspiring. But even as this happen in the Middle East country, the call to revolution by American rap artists like Kanye West is yet to materialize. The earliest forms of hip hop music in America were to speak for the impoverished in the American society, reflecting on the struggles in the streets of New York. Nice beats accompanied by social and political commentaries became an important agent for change. Musicians of that time like 2pac rallied the youth to follow closely more on the issue that affect the society.
The original intention of rap music to revolutionize the society and voice out the people's interest has vanished, quite forgotten indeed. American rappers like T pain and Lil Wayne have used the rap medium to share syllogismism, materialistic and provoking words, instead of rallying young people to embrace matters that are dear to the society as a whole.American rap is known to communicate some rather irrelevant message that does not bring any positive impact on the society.
The Arab rappers have used this music to rally youth towards a positive objective like fighting for change in their countries. Good message is being preached in Saudi for example when Qusai sings about a fathers love. It indeed binds up the society together and encourages families to appreciate one another. The main question now is that, when are the American rap singers going to come out of fancy clothes and lifestyle and their quest to be rich and become a voice of the people just like it is in Saudi and other Arab countries?
Another big difference between the American and Saudi rap music is that the American rap uses lyrics which are in most cases hard for the outsiders to understand. Their words are in most cases hard to put in the context by ordinary listeners. Many a times they tend to use their own personal experience which becomes hard to relate to by the general audience. In essence you have to be engulfed in hip hop to understand what they sing. The Saudi rap on the other hand is audience friendly and can reach out to any listener who listens to it even for the first time. I once read a comment by one Angell claiming to have loved a performance by Qusai though she was listening to him for the first time. She even wished to become a hip hop fan just because of Qusai’s song. Qusai is a Saudi rapper.
Another question arises when you analyze the presentation of rap music in the two countries. The media has done its best thanks to technology, beautiful colored images can now be posted on televisions and internet and so many viewers are and fans are fed with rap music without any inconvenience. But what do we feed to our audience? American rap music has been characterized with violent images which in the long run initiate thought of violence especially among young viewers. Images of robbery with violence have been depicted in rap music. This is of course a true and living fact sorry to say so! At times, images of the youth contending with the law but when definitely on the wrong side have been evident. This of coursemakes the youth to feel like contending with law enforcers with the intention of appearing superior, quite egoistic, don’t you think? But on the other side I don’t rule out the fact that there is of course some rap that is presented in a more sober way like gospel rap, political rap among others.
Sex and sexual oriented images and moves have been evident in rap videos. This has become a very intimate ingredient of rap music and without it rap music seems to lack a major part of it. This becomes a dangerous poison to young people and tends to drive moral standard of the society to drain. Many things that ought not to have been exposed too early have been exposed in this music. I guess you agree with me that there should have been a better presentation than half nudeness. Beauty would have been in more decent attires; anyway that is my opinion in a rather world of free expressions. Statistics has it that adolescents who often watched rap videos had high probability of having multiple sexual partners and over 1.5 times as probable to transmit STD, use drugs and alcohol during the 12 month study. This study brought out the negative consequences of rap music on the adolescent mind. Adolescents in most cases than adults tend to follow what they see and I the case of gangster rap music they are likely to be negatively influenced
Another rather negative message that rap music has preached is issue of drugs, where in some rap music, sorry not to quote, it is a privilege to use some kind of drugs. This has instilled into viewers the urge to identify themselves with a culture of drugs.
Lyrics are a very important tool as far as presentation is concerned. The fact remains that indeed some of the rap musicians would like to express some good message, but in a majority of instances strong words which are not safe for the listener’s ears have been used, for example commonly used is the “f” word. Rap tends to base its lyrics three main themes, that is, money, sex and power. This is common with the American rappers.
The rap music that is present in Saudi is indeed rap genre as any would expect, the better difference from the American rap is that the Arabian rap has not violated certain societal norms and principles. Guidance and self-driven discipline still stands as was before rap music found its way into Saudi Arabia.
Of course all is not lost to the negative as pertains to American rap music; these same artists are also selling out due to the fact that their music is seen as feel-good music that has the quality of danceability over rhyme skills. Rap music made effective move in a positive direction, thanks to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. These artists were the first to use rap music to fight for revolution in America. The music they released expressed ideologies of the black Americans, they fought racism using rap music as a weapon and made reference to Martin Luther King Jr. indeed it is also right to say that some current American rap music has been used to express political and societal norms and many people, both black and white listen to it with due possibility. Many young people have constructed alife out of this genre of music. Due to its popularity, it has sold far and wide and albums have travelled far and beyond. The economic status among young people in America hasclimbed the ladder of economic independence to become tycoons. This of course has trickled down from the musician to promoters, to managers to producers among others.
In America, rap music has greatly contributed to the national economy in a number of ways. By the virtue that many American celebrities are hip hop musicians, they have become known throughout the world. People around the world tend to desire to identify themselves with the lifestyle of these musicians. This has boosted American market as the celebrities have been used to advertise certain products.
Despite its popularity in America and the world at large, rap music is facing opposition in the United States of America. This could be due to the negativity with which many view rap music and the evident message and style that rap music relays to the general audience. Rap in Saudi Arabia is on the other side picking up and it is being given a gradual attention. As highlighted by a recent article in the wall street journal, it was evident that the writer was full with praises for Arab hip hop while tearing down the American hip hop, referring the players to borrow a leaf from the Arab hip hop musicians.
Drawing my example from one of the respondents to the wall street journal, he clearly stated that he was happy to hear that rap music is back to its roots somewhere else, (he was referring to Arabia) and that he was tired of listening to a bunch of American rappers who sing the same clichés every now and again. Indeed perhaps, Saudi Arabia could be the next destination if one wants to listen to rap music. Unless American rap musicians go back to their roots, it will be hard for them to find their way in the world of rap music again.
I would like to emphasize that as much as rap music is a popular genre of music in the world today; caution ought to be taken to ensure that the former good intentions of rap music are not sidelined. This call for a collective response to try save this genre of music to the advantage of sanity in the society. Let rap music be used to preach positive gospel both in Saudi Arabia and the Americas.
In conclusion it is quite vivid that rap music has come from far, played a great role in influencing many, both positively and negatively. Rap music has sold its taste far and beyond. The American rap music has seen major changes to a point where its viability isbeing questioned by society in the diaspora. Saudi Arabian got the taste of rap music recently and is using it to voice the needs of the people.