Similarities of hip-hop and the blues

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Rapping the Blues: The Similarities of hip-hop and the blues Hip-hop is one of the major music genres of today like the blues were in the 1950's. Stanley Crouch views hip-hop as being vulgar and obscene while he sees the blues as being one of the classic music genres. In actuality, these two genres are similar in many ways. A very important part of Stanley Crouch's life is his love for the blues. Many of his essays are related to or have aspects of the blues contained within them. Crouch relates topics that he writes about to the blues, because this is a subject he believes he is very familiar with. In The All American Skin Game, Stanley writes, "Jazz is very important to my vision of life in our time." (Lamb, 1). Jazz gives him a feeling of individuality and community. This means that when individuals push him, and he pushes them back, they both become better individuals as well as a better community. For Stanley, the blues tell the stories of the African-American community. Some of the stories talk about the harshness of their lives, but they also talk about the good times they had. [People] play the blues to get rid of the blues not to get them." (Lamb, 1). When people play or even listen to the blues, they are letting all of their worries go. They are not worrying about their job, the bills, or their kids. They are just trying to enjoy the moment when the blues are playing. The blues are some people's release from the stresses of their lives. To say it lightly, Stanley Crouch does not like the hip-hop genre of music. The dreadlocks, the clothing style, and the "vulgar": gold chains are just a few things he does not approve of at all. (Crouch, 1 ) It astounds him to see how far African-American music has fallen since the days of the Motown. Stanley was quoted as saying this about rap, "It is rudeness, vulgarity, and pornography disguised as ‘keeping it real.'" (Crouch, 1) He also went on to say the hip-hop music genre has the worst impact of all music genres on our culture today. (Crouch, 2) Crouch believes one does not need much talent to become a successful rapper unlike the jazz greats he listens to all the time. In Stanley Crouch's view, the only messages that rappers put in the minds of todays' youth is that they need to have sex, kill people, and do drugs all the time.

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