English 101 Assignment: Comparison/Contrast Music is truly an American artistic creation that all of us should be proud of. Unfortunately, we have two music types which in their beginnings were thought as a “Fly by Night” art. Thanks to the strong support, given by the loyal individuals who started these art forms; we are still blessed with a creative ingenuity of music called Rap, Country & Western. There are many similarities between rap and country & western (C&W).
Primarily, the two genres of music have a strong history, different types of their music, and a unique use of the performer and instruments, and at times they both romance the opposite sex. On one hand, the history of rap music began in the early ’70s and its origins and influences came from popular African American and Latino Street culture of New York City. This highly original and innovative approach displayed a new expanded function for the MC (microphone controller or emcee) and highlighted amazing percussion riffs and other rhythmic drum breaks from popular funk and disco music.
In the same manner, Country ;amp; Western music which was originally called “Hillbilly Music” which is a blend of traditional and popular musical forms traditionally found in the Southeastern United States. It evolved rapidly in the 1920s and will celebrate the century mark soon. The term country music gained popularity in the 1940s when the earlier term “hillbilly music” came to be seen as belittling. However, in the Southwestern United States a new cowboy twist was added to this incredible music which later became the Western music of the term Country and Western.
It was widely embraced in the 2 1970s but lost its momentum but gained it back in the mid 80’s. Although, histories are strong and different; the two have other similarities such as multiple forms of music. Old skool Rap is described as the beginning of recorded hip hop music between the years of 1979–1984. It ended around 1981 when Kool Moe Dee used a more complex style to dissed; a then, arrogant Busy Bee at a Harlem night club. With the emergence of Public Enemy (P. E. ), Boogie Down Productions, and Eric B. amp; Rakim; the music had a strong jazz influence as well as many samples of James Brown’s melodies. Of these lyrics, from this era, Chuck D of P. E. displayed his rebellious temperament with, “I got a letter from the government, the other day, I opened and read it, it said they were SUCKAS”! Following, the afro-centric era, Gangsta Rap surfaces which reflected a violent lifestyles of inner-city black youths. It was pioneered by rappers like Schooly D, Ice T, and by groups like N. W. A. Likewise, Country and Western also has different types such Bluegrass, Hillbilly Boogie, and Honky Tonk.
Bluegrass which is known as “mountaineer” its string band music that emerged from artist like Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, and Earl Scruggs. Second, it has Hillbilly Boogie that became notable with the Delmore Brothers’ “Freight Train Boogie,” and other artist like Tennessee Ernie Ford when they combined evolution of country music and blues towards rockabilly. Last and probably, the most popular is Honky Tonk which was strongly influenced by Hank Williams. It’s a stripped down and raw music with a variety of moods and my favorite lyrics from a song of his is, “Hank why do you drank; why do you roll smokes”.
Now, as I shift from the multiple forms of music; I’ll focus on their unique use of the performer, instruments, and lyrics. 3 From a Rap head’s perspective, this unique musical talent uses a MC to get the dance floor Hyped and to introduce the DJs as he performed his creative turntable skills when he uses those amazing percussion riffs and rhythmic drum breaks! For instance, when the Spoonie Gee said, “Wave your hand in the air; Wave them like you just don’t care; if you come to party and get down then somebody say Oh yeah…Oh yeah” and the last Oh yeah was said by the crowd!
It may not be traditional instruments but it is a technique to play music. Although, Country music uses instrument it has its own distinctive pieces of equipment such as a basic ensemble of guitars such as the bass, dobro or steel guitar and later the drums and a “twang” sound when the songs were sang. Hank Williams’ sound which would later be called “traditional” country influence would prove to be enormous, inspiring many of the pioneers of rock and roll, such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, while providing a framework for emerging Honky Tonk talents ike George Jones. As I continue, I’ll focus on the similarity in their lyrics starting with Country. For example, Hank Williams’ Going Hunting Tonight lyrics says, “Now those big ol’ beautiful wildcats, Are the kind that are hard to track, Cause the joint is crawlin’ with the other hunters, And the she-cat is doublin’ back”. Then, you have LL Cool J saying, “When I am alone in my room sometime I stare at the wall and in the back of my mind; I hear my conscious call. Telling me I need a girl who’s sweet as a dove; for the first time, in my life, I see I need love”.
Basically, these two gentlemen of different genre of music are looking forward to the same thing…to romance the opposite sex. In conclusion, then, as I suggested earlier, Rap and Country ;amp; Western are primarily similar. Both share a strong history, multiple forms of music, a unique use of the performers and 4 instruments, and they have lyrics to romance the opposite sex. Some would say that Country ;amp; Western is a true form of music. But, how about Rap? Most of the time, Rap and C;amp;W are both on the same plain.
In fact, they mutually celebrate longevity which in their beginnings was a long shot to be around even for a couple of years.
Works Cited Calloway, Sway. MTV Network Correspondent, the Daily Orange. Syracuse University, October 2007. (29) D, Chuck. “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”, Public Enemy, Rapper. 1990. Williams, Hank. “Why Do You Drank”, Country ;amp; Western Singer. Malone, William. “Country Music USA”, Country Music Historian. 1968 Michel, Sia. “Real Hip Hop”, Editor-In-Chief, Spin Magazine, 2004. (38).