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Mystery Solved about Rap Music, and How Kanye West Changed. A Guest Post by LEO

Rap music: Expressing just rage, or something else?

Rap music: Expressing just rage, or something more?

Blog-Buddies, have you ever asked yourself: Exactly what is it exactly that I love so much about rap music?

Not me. Rap music has not been my thing, ever. Occasionally I might admire cleverness when I happen to hear some. But my strongest experience of rap music pretty much sums up my usual taste for it.

Early one Friday evening I was sitting in the upstairs lounge of a posh ice cream parlor in Nishi Azabu, Tokyo. Crowds hadn’t come in yet; I had the place to myself.

Slowly I spooned in the luscious treat. My pricey dish of sweetness was supposed to be a homesickness remedy, because three weeks into any of my trips to Japan a huge wave of homesickness would strike me: 13 trips for 13.

Many’s the time I would sit in a Starbucks, listening to American music, eating my dependably yummy chocolate chip cookie. And discretely crying.

This time I had gone for My Strongest Homesickness Remedy. The allure of ice cream was far more powerful than mere cookie. Sure enough, I wasn’t tearing up now, but feeling fortunate to hang out at Hobson’s, eating a sample of my favorite food group.

As at a Tokyo Starbucks, American pop music was playing softly in the background. Suddenly it switched to a rap song, an angry one. Words like “bitch” and “ho” shocked me, like vinegar sauce suddenly poured on sweet dessert.

First I couldn’t believe my ears. Then I felt so ashamed — degraded by the music, the screamed-out profanity, the ugliness of it. And being in Tokyo, as an American I felt ashamed. This vulgar ugliness was my cultural export?

Of course, my sense of humor quickly took over. I wondered how many of Hobson’s upscale customers knew all those English words.

Really, though, I never understood the allure of rap music. Until today. Which is one of the reasons I’m so glad to share with you today’s guest post by LEO.

Kanye West — Both Loved and Reviled

The Aura Reading of Bad Boy Kanye West, yesterday, inspired many comments. Of special interest are supplementary aura readings by Blog-Buddies BRIDGET and ISABELLA C. And now here comes LEO’s perspective.

Kanye West was recently on a music award show. He made a mostly incoherent and rambling speech, at one point referencing that he will run for president in 2020. This elicited cheers from the audience. But my impression was that he had become mostly unraveled.

Kanye West Has Changed

At one point, Kanye was a decent artist. Some of his music was even innovative, blending different elements of rock and “electronic” into his rapping.

As far as I can tell though, most of his music in the last five years has been fairy uninspired. He seems to have lost any of the spark he had as an artist, moving instead into a circuitous self-glorification of his own amazingness.

It’s all about Kanye now in his songs (and in his public appearances, for that matter.)

The Allure of Rap

Aside from Kanye’s merits as an artist, part of the appeal of rap music is that it transports the listener into an aggressive, powerful mindset. It’s rarely something one would listen to for relaxation.

But to pump oneself up, or feel more powerful, it can be quite effective.

From that paradigm, it’s interesting to think of all music as transporting the listener to a specific “head space” or vibrational level.

Sometimes you need to prepare for battle; sometimes you want to feel love.

So then a particular type of music doesn’t have an innate value over any other, but rather serves a specific purpose for a specific person.

This seems obvious now that I’m typing it out, but I’ve never thought of music in this way, at least not so clearly.

Definitely looking forward to ROSE’s next blogpost about different vibrational levels.

 

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  1. 1

    Thanks again to LEO. Everyone who has had a strong reaction to rap music, please comment here.

    You may not all share my fondness for eating sweets (actually I have cut that down to almost nothing for health reasons)…

    But can you stomach rap? Does it help you feel powerful? Do tell!

  2. 2
    Lilian says:

    Lower vibrations have their uses. Sometimes you have to learn how to use your anger. It’s part of being human.

    You don’t always have the option to run away from difficult situations, and you will naturally experience “negative” emotions because you’re flesh and blood. Though I’ve met people addicted to anger. And that’s just a dead end.

  3. 3
    Kira says:

    There are various rap songs that I do like, but they tend to be ones that aren’t very aggressive.

    Songs like “Rapture” (cartoonish aggression, I guess), “Rapper’s Delight”, and (my favorite rap song) “Cantaloop” (it’s about Charlie Parker). Also, “U.N.I.T.Y” by Queen Latifah, which is about how women are degraded in rap songs.

  4. 4
    Tehya says:

    Thanks Leo, I enjoyed this.

    I agree with this: “Part of the appeal of rap music is that it transports the listener into an aggressive, powerful mindset.”

    In the past rap music definitely appealed to me at times that I wanted to feel more powerful and confident.

  5. 5
    Tehya says:

    I liked your Tokyo ice cream parlour introduction, Rose. And it is so interesting to hear about people’s different reactions to rap.

  6. 6
    David B says:

    Yeah, rap has never appealed much to me either. Don’t like the anger and put downs. But it’s not my generation either.

    If I want to kick it up, I can use rock. Have a session on my drums. (laughs)

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