I’m surprised by my strong reaction when I read this comment on Metafliter, calling rap music the “ultimate musical nightmare”.
Maybe five years ago I might have agreed — although I wouldn’t have called it “ultimate” — but today, I don’t.
The timbres coming out of today’s music technology are pretty damn striking, and sampling has gone way past MC Hammer ripping off a famous bass line. I can’t say DJ Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album is any revelation, but I did find it interesting how Danger Mouse cut up the Beatles’ “White Album” and pasted it back together again.
There’s still a cultural gap when it comes to my understanding of hip-hop’s vocal content, but musically speaking? There something mighty complex going on in some of that there background music.
Think what you will about overproduced music — it’s the closest skill to orchestration pop music will reach, and orchestration isn’t easy.
Then again, this same guy says rap trails dissonant modern classical music as the “ultimate music nightmare”, which pretty much tells me the commentator’s ears have no room for complexity.