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Updated on January 8, 2011


Personally, I think rap music is an oxymoron. To my ear, if it’s rap it’s not music. In fact, it is one of the most grating sounds to be heard. Right up there with scratching your nails across a blackboard.

What’s worse, the young devotees of rap apparently think its volume is directly related to its merit. The louder the better. And the more people they can force to listen, the better. They seem to delight in pulling alongside your car at red-lights or gas stations or fast food restaurants and blasting away. I think they will all be deaf by the time they reach middle age.

And the lyrics - no, I won’t call them lyrics - the words, if you can distinguish them from the racket, are vulgar and obscene gutter talk. I wouldn’t want to expose them to kids and I certainly wouldn’t want to have them being played in front of my parents if they were still alive. I wouldn’t even want to hear them in the presence a lady. I’d be embarrassed.

Of course you have to understand, I am 76. And I guess each generation thinks their music was the best and the new stuff is anywhere from poor to terrible. I remember my parents couldn’t stand the rock of the ‘50s. They thought even the Beatles couldn’t compare to Bing Crosby or Lawrence Welk.

Still, when I listen to the best singers of my generation - the best in my opinion anyway - like Eddie Fisher, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Vaughn Monroe, Frankie Laine, Joni James, Ella Fitzgerald, Les Paul and Mary Ford - to name just some, I think they were so much better than most of the music I hear today. There was melody, harmony, lyrics I could hear and understand, even sing along with, and wonderful voices.

Not that I don’t like any of today’s music. Some is fine. I really enjoy singers like Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, many country singers, groups like Air Supply and The Eagles.

For me, rap is the worst. But heavy metal, hard rock, acid rock and all the other outgrowths of what we called “rock” in the old days, is almost as bad. By the way, early rock from performers like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Platters, and Fats Domino may have given birth to rock, but their music bares little resemblance to what is called rock today. I liked their music.

Songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” won the Academy Award for best song from a movie in their respective years. But a few years ago the award went to a “song”, if you want to call it that, about a pimp. Anyone else think our culture is going downhill?

And I wonder, if thirty or forty years from now people will think back and say “that was our song”.


If you like nostalgia, and humor, and espcially if you like motorcycles, you may enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS. It is a collection of 24 short stories and articles, most of which were first published in motorcycle magazines in the 1960s. It is available from  I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hip-Hop is culture

      Rap is music

      In its early years the message in rap was mainly positive but once corporate america got in it took a bad turn to what you hear now. I was there from the start and will be for life, you only speak of "commercial rap" and not the actual "Hip-Hop Culture". If I had more time I would show you how ignorant you really sound being an outsider looking in.

    • dongately profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sana Clarita, California

      Thanks - I'll check out his hubs. Yours too.

    • mquee profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, SC

      I agree with you one hundred percent on the rap music. I did come along more during the motown era. I also remember when songs were played on the radio and weren't classified. It was either good or bad and that depended on the talent of the singer. Very refreshing hub.

      Don, I would recommend William F. Torpey's hubs, very good music and memories.


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