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Vanity

old school quotes in new school songs

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alright.. i listen to a lot of this new rap stuff, and a lot of cats come w/ quotes from old school artists.

elpee took kool g rap

the roots took k-solo

the bush babees took slick rick

common takes a lot of old furious 5 type stuff

mos def takes shit all over the place (krs, biz, newcleus)

edan took parrish smith

 

and well, what do ya'll think of it? is it biting? or just paying homage? it often brings a smirk to my face as i recognize it, and a lot of it is so blatent, that they have to assume that heads are going to notice... but they also have to know that some 16 year old isn't going to know that it isn't their own line (how many kids knew that that blackstar track was just p is still free?)... anyway.. what ya'll think? biting homage?

 

or you can just post lines you recognize... that is all.

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This has been going on for a long time but, I think it's acceptable if it's done right...

 

I mean, it's kind of the Vanilla Ice scenario... you could be blatantly ripping off a top 40 song and a black frat chant but...

 

There's also the 'covers'... kinda weak when Snoop did Slick Rick, kinda dope when Buckshot did Rakim...

 

Back in the day in Miami there was the Jam Pony DJ's whose trademark sound was playing a song and interjecting their own rhymes over the top... not like jacking the beat, literally playing the song and dropping out words and lines to change the rhymes...

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Guest 455

I don't like how beats get recycled.....I know most of you have heard some top40 shit lately with that in mind so I won't make any comparisons.....but...

 

Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth-"Searchin'"(remix) is close to Heltah Skeltah-"Let Tha Brains Blo"....listen to them.(searchin' came out before Heltah)

There is a Ras Kass song on "Rassassination" that took the beat from Big Shug-"Crush"..."Crush" came out 2 years earlier....

here is an older one.....Das Efx-"They want efx" is the beat from Lord Finesse-"Funky Technician"---the latter came out 3 years earlier...

 

it just goes on and on and on.....

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the homage can be done really well... mobb deep's paid in full is fresh... their own rhymes, own beat.. but they just used rakim's style and eq'd the voice to sound like him

 

common's i used to love her went well w/ it because of the subject matter.

 

edan and elpee used it for a chorus, so it's not like theyr were claiming it as blatently... mos can kinda push it though... i know a lot of it is the fault of the uneducated listener, but i think they should take that into account.

 

oh, and das efx also used the same sample as ll's pink cookies in a plastic jar (i think kane used it too)... but recycled beats are nothing new... i mean, how many times have you heard the drums from impeach the president or skull snaps?

 

but anywho.. i want to kinda keep this thread focused on lyrics, since hiphop production is sample based anyway, and that'll bring up a different topic entirely

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Originally posted by Jay-Z

I'm not a biter I'm a writer for myself and others I say a B.I.G. verse, I'm only biggin up my brother

 

Smart, what's up with them Wonk Saggin T-Shirts...;)

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word.. fuck the source... though, if you want to hear a record by the guys that founded it (they went to harvard), look for a group called big men on campus.

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Guest TEARZ

which blackstar track...?

because the one i'm thinking of is "stop the violence"... you know, "one two three the crew is called BDP, and if you wanna go to the tip top, stop the violence in hip hop wyo..." which became the blackstar theme...

chi ali took the p is still free in "age ain't nothing but a #."

"the girls look so good..." which later got taken by gang starr for ex to the next...

but like smart said, it's been going on for ages... i don't think it was biting- it's more referencing. if you want me to get all nerdy about it, i will cuz that's the type of guy i am... really, the dialogue with, or referencing of a past statement or poem, but slightly changing it for your own purposes is a really old, longstanding african american tradition... many call it "signifying," sometimes called "playing the dozens."

while i'm not a mosdef fan at all, i can't really hate on him or someone like edan because i know that they would say that they're paying homage, "talking back" to texts behind them. it's been going on since the dawn of hip hop really, but we're a few generations into it now and the roots are getting lost. which is fine... there will always be grouchy old guys like us around to say "yo, listen sonny, that line you're singing is really an EPMD line."

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nah tears.. i think you're thinkin the p is still free remix, not stop the violence...stop the violence has a chill beat... but yeah, same lyrics, we're thinking of the same beat though... but yeah.. and i can see it most in edan than anyone (like tribute 88 and prisoners of war).. but he straight up says it in the song.. mos is more subtle ("you can't trust a big but and a smile")...

i really appreciated it though in kool g rap & akinelye's break a bitch neck ("girls look soooooooo good... but it don't mean shit to me if there's one less bitch up in the neighborhood")

def squad re-did rapper's delight (which was wack.. same beat, same lyrics, no reason to release it as a single)

mos redid jam on it

 

i get what you're saying tears... perhaps i don't know all the details of a griot... but it seems like cats could at least give there person they're quoting a shout

 

i could call out freestyle fellowship for the jabberwockey, but they didn't really make a song out of it, they just read it.

 

and man, im not that old! :D

 

eminem's- real shady please stand up is a k-soloism

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Guest TEARZ

i wasn't talking the beat... just the words, like you said, and that blackstar single, the 1st one, the chorus is a modified "stop the violence." but parts of the beat are lifted too, from stop the violence... and that's a fact. :)

 

my feeling, most of the time, is that it's the problem of the audience. most people who rap, are fans of hip hop and know what they're referencing even still... what's changed is that most rap listeners now are really pop listeners, so they're not gonna catch kool g rap references. forget about that, even recent shit; most kids think that mya coined the phrase "like whoa."

 

it's part of a tradition bigger than rap is my feeling... but i hear what you're saying... i could list hundreds of songs... but it would be tedious and i'm tired. holla.

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yeah, but if the rapper using the line knows that the audience isn't really going to get it, it seems kind of irresponsible on their part (that is.. assuming it's a dope line that kids are gonna quote... not some silly kool keith stuff (not that he doesn't have some dope lines)), and that they're getting theirs off of someone else... im tired too. :dazed:

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Originally posted by TEARZ

i wasn't talking the beat... just the words, like you said, and that blackstar single, the 1st one, the chorus is a modified "stop the violence." but parts of the beat are lifted too, from stop the violence... and that's a fact. :)

 

my feeling, most of the time, is that it's the problem of the audience. most people who rap, are fans of hip hop and know what they're referencing even still... what's changed is that most rap listeners now are really pop listeners, so they're not gonna catch kool g rap references. forget about that, even recent shit; most kids think that mya coined the phrase "like whoa."

 

it's part of a tradition bigger than rap is my feeling... but i hear what you're saying... i could list hundreds of songs... but it would be tedious and i'm tired. holla.

 

Man, you got no idea how ignorant people can be, it was first evidenced to me when house music came out, songs like 'Total Confusion' by Hippy, Homeboy and a Funky Dredd have totally recognizable hip-hop samples and kids never even knew... though, you might not know now, so it cuts both ways... then if you take the same concept beyond the sample, to the 'repetition of lyrics' by the new speaker and expect the average listner to get it all is asking alot...

 

Of course, I'm an old nerd like TEARZ, in that I pride myself on knowing all the references, back in the day I knew all the samples too but... since about 1995 I have been so disgusted by commercial 'rap' and so focused on my own shit that I'm not gonna get anything from after 1993 for the most part... but the style has always seemed to stick to quoting lyrics from the 80's and early 90's...

 

Maybe my boy Sivart jinxed it all when he told me that 1993 was the best year ever for hip-hop, for both commercial succes and product viability...

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Originally posted by Vanity

yeah, but if the rapper using the line knows that the audience isn't really going to get it, it seems kind of irresponsible on their part (that is.. assuming it's a dope line that kids are gonna quote... not some silly kool keith stuff (not that he doesn't have some dope lines)), and that they're getting theirs off of someone else... im tired too. :dazed:

 

I feel it's not cool to steal more than a couplet... no 2 rhymes in a row, that's biting. Using somebody else's lines to jump off is something different...

 

Come on on y'all get live get down

Girlies get naked and shake that ass around!

But I know all a y'all wanna get fucked up

so raise your hand, shout 'HO!' and tilt the cup!

 

Yeah we representin lovely!

 

Some freestyles just to show what I would consider pretty bordeline but still cool, I guess it has to do also with cadence, if you're gonna take it, you gotta do something new with it... I don't know of too many examples where people use the same words but change the candence of the speech, I would think that taking words and changing cadence would be closer to biting than the above example...

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awol one: "i got a letter from the government the other day... i opened it.. read it.. and then i got ANTHRAX!!"

heh heh

 

edan changed up the cadence on "emcees smoke crack... i smoke alluminum"

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its usually a refference, putting it into new context or something along those lines, i dont think anyone is trying to just steal the line, they expect the majority of heads to recognize the reference and understand why/how they're using it.

 

a lot of stuff is just catch phrases and stuff that just blew up in an old school song and is used in songs for a nostalgic feel or someting. anyway i say its almost allways a refference, they're not trying to bite.

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I think it depends on how its done.

 

Like I've written lyrics in the past that had maybe the smallest bit or maybe even a few full lines from influences or jsut great emcees that came up with a dope line. For example I was writting lyrics a few months ago where I started out the song with the first four lines of Shimmy Shimmy Ya by. Ol Dirty Bastard. But as soon as I jumped into my own lines I mentioned his name and tied it into the first 4 lines of his creation. So now it seems as if I was just respecting an artist and his creation and bringing it back. And I was using the same instrumental he used for that song. It's not a serious song. It's just a fun track. ALmost like a tribute.

 

But when you choose to take a line from someone elses creation and don't even in anyway show that its not yours and that its someone elses now thats biting.

 

But I dont know what I'm talking about right now. I high as a Fother Mucker!:cool:

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Originally posted by Vanity

awol one: "i got a letter from the government the other day... i opened it.. read it.. and then i got ANTHRAX!!"

heh heh

 

And Blak Twang took the same line and said...

"I got a letter from the government the other day... i opened it.. read it.. it said I had bad credit."

ho ho

 

Pharcyde did that one too.

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Guest Pilau Hands

i think that for the most part it's just reference, but you'll have to judge for yourself. i mean krs one did the beatles. which may or not be recognizable depending on the listener

 

but blackstar using krs, they probably know that people are going to hear it, recognize it, and smirk just like you do. if you think about it, it's only up to the artist whether or not they're going to make it well known or keep it low, that they're sampling or referencing a previous song. i mean you can't rhyme, or put in every album cover, "Notice: I didn't come up with this, blahblahblah." If dudes know, then they know and appreciate or don't. the others, may catch on sooner or later, or they'll just get made fun of when they say so and so wrote these lyrics.

 

 

i feel like the def squad covering rapper's delight was just kinda cashing in on the resurgence of break dancing in "rap"

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people need to stop looking at hip-hop through the eyes of white people. thats why it always gets fucked up. white people always think that everything needs to be changed, where as black folks on a whole, have never felt the need to reinvent the wheel every other day.

it's why in the blues, bb-king will put out an album and half of it is covers. its not cause he's incapable of making dope songs, it's just the way its done. in reggae, jesus christ, one dude will make a beat, and EVERYONE will put out a song on that same beat, for the next 8 months. no one thinks twice about it. its not biting, its just doing your thing.

part of that, i think, has to do with white people approaching thing from an intellectual perspective, instead of an emotional one. black music (as a whole) has never been about intellectual complexity, it's been about simple expression and emotion. tribes in africa would have ONE song that they would sing for decades. well, they probably had more than one, but the point is that it was a unifying tool that gave them an identity as a whole, not as a bunch of people trying to seperate themselves from eachother. its why black folks have giant family gathering and bbq's. hell, its why they sit on the porch with their cousins. and im not saying that to be racist, obviously they dont all do it, but its a sense of community and togetherness, something which is sorely lacking in european culture.

now how does that relate to people using 'throwback' lines... it's a new culture bringing the past, back to the forefront. its like sampling the old funk records you listened to in your living room when you were 8. it's taking a line here or there that inspired you to want to rhyme in the first place, and incorporating it into your self. so fucking what if some dumb ass kid doesnt realize that the 'da brat' straight up stole a beat from bdp, they arent trying to 'fool' anyone, they just dont care. they're trying to make a dope track to dance to. if the beat is good, then fucking use it, who cares? every single thing that someone does, does not have to be fresh out the box. obviously, you shouldnt build your career around jacking other peoples steez, but as long as you remain humble, who are we to judge what is 'right' and 'wrong'? in rock, people cover older artists all the time, and people fucking eat it up. when a band coveres a song live, it gets bootlegged and dubbed and traded and becomes almost a cult like phenomenon. granted hip hop is a little different, and generally a bit more personal, but regardless, if the shoe fits, wear it.

 

ok, thats all.

 

seeks/you made it a hot line, i made it a hot song

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Guest TEARZ

seeking, you have some good points... i think that a lot of people don't see the tradition that i was describing and which you referenced- because really it's one and the same... the black american artistic tradition as a whole is certainly less individualistic than the european tradition; there's more an idea of group ownership of material, and plenty of borrowing "updating" and responding that is viewed WAY more favorably and unproblematically than most whites are accustomed to...

a couple o things...

Originally posted by seeking

people need to stop looking at hip-hop through the eyes of white people.....

 

black music (as a whole) has never been about intellectual complexity, it's been about simple expression and emotion.

 

1. how should whites look at rap? people who are unfamilar with its traditions, really unfamiliar with balck life... let's face it, i'm not expecting a real cogent answer here, just opening up the question because it's been happening for decades- white critics looking at black music through white eyes- some of the criticism offensive and ridiculous, some of it remarkably on point.

 

2. i realize that you qualified the second statement i quoted ("as a whole"), but i still have to disagree... let's be clear here, i understand what you're saying, and there's certainly some truth to what you're getting at, but overall, you're really relying on some of the racist underpinnings of understanding black music (and i'm not calling you racist).

when dudes first started playing "bop," and it really got blown open with charlie parker, (white) media and critics pretty much did everything that they could possibly do to codify the music as stricly emotional and expressive- which it was in part- but it was some of the most intellectually weighty music ever made up to that point in time... and as time went on, the sound was further codified, so that even today we think of "black jazz" and "white jazz" right? black jazz "swung," and critics hated it when coltrane's music went all crazy and intellectual and didn't swing any more... but the creative center of black music, the innovative "next shit" part of the music that everybody in some way wanted a piece of as the 60s and 70s went on was the non-swinging jazz- the albert aylers and sun ras and cecil taylors... people more respected in europe than here, (forgive the caps) NOT BECAUSE THEIR MUSIC WAS INTELLECTUAL (which it was, intensely, yet also linked to tradtion), but because IT WASN'T VIABLE IN THE NEW AMERICAN MUSIC MARKETPLACE. much of it was racism, companies wanting a classic bop sound and not wanting to put out "white" sounding music from blacks, but part of it was that people couldn't dance to it. and in the 70s, even white people danced back then. ;) .

i guess what i'm saying is don't mistake the marketplace aspect of music for the creative aspect... and for the most part, they are at odds with one another... jay's moment of clarity talks about it openly... "dumbed down to my audience" to sell. he's not dumbing down to be more emotional and anti-intellectual or be more "black", he's dumbing down TO SELL. and he's one of thousands that has made that choice, of all races, in america mostly since the 1970s. where race comes into it, is like i mentioned before- black music has been circumscribed by the idea, by companies and by culture, that it can't be intellectual and commercially viable.

many of the people that defined the sound of hip hop, the producers were so intellectual about the music, they were fucking nerds. so are most djs. the rappers were the charisma- the nerd intellectual rappers (for the most part) came later in the game...

so seeking, i'm not coming at YOU with all that- it's just hard for me to read (an admittedly) overstated platitude like that and feel like i can let a bunch of (mostly white) kids read it without giving another perspective on the issue.

and its a nerd perspective. what what.

 

tears/prince among thieves

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