Is Rap music really just another kind of Air Guitar?
It takes hardly any practice, dedication or skill to play air guitar. Likewise if you can rhyme words and talk then anyone can rap. Is this a reflection of a culture based on instant results with no dedication to craftsmanship? Is this why rap has been with us for over thirty years without any sign of abating? Slam poetry is now in full flight. Slam is just rap without even the music.
I think it's a little trickier than standing in front of a microphone and reciting rhymes to a beat. For every so call "rap star" there are thousands who aren't able to break through selling millions of CDs.
Based upon your analogy any attractive girl could make a sex tape and become the next Kim Kardashian! It doesn't work like that.
There is always an "X- Factor" that causes audiences to (choose) one entertainer over another.
Thirty years is nothing when you consider how long country, blues, jazz, R&B, and rock music have been around.
I suspect many folks thought rap or hip/hop music would go the way of Disco. Have a few "hot years" and then fade by the wayside.
I think the difference has been how hip/hop music artists have penetrated other areas (movies, fashion, fragrances, shoes...etc)
James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley or Janis Joplin never conceived of creating a "brand" along with synergistic businesses. In fact most of those artists back then didn't own the publishing rights to their songs and primarily got ripped off.
This sense of entrepreneurship in the hip/hop era has been one of the biggest differences. Dr. Dre sold his Beats Audio headphones to Apple for $3 Billion! Another factor has been the tie in with sports teams and athletes. A lot of kids want to emulate their sports heroes and if these people wear the products of hip/hop artists or listen to their music they are likely to follow suit.
Everyone wants to be seen as or thought of as being "cool".
Last but not we live in the social media age.
One doesn't have to rely on MTV to get the word out. Some recording artists such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande were supposedly discovered on YouTube.
Having millions of followers or going "viral" can change your life!
However as I mentioned not everyone makes it who tries.
"Many are called but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
The first thing I thought about when reading this question was... Eminem, so it was funny to see a picture there from first answer... To put this in some perspective, I grew up on classical and now play jazz guitar. However, I like many forms of music, even dance music. While there are some rap artists who aren't that great, there are some that are, like Eminem. He has an incredible sense of rhythm and rhyme, and though he isn't that likeable as a person, his ability to 'rise above' as a musician is remarkable. Even his words without music are worth a look at.
There is no comparison between air guitar and rap. It takes years of practice and effort to become good at doing something like what Eminem delivers - and natural talent obviously.
That would be like saying that any series of lines that end with a rhyme is poetry. The art of rap is in the poetry. Like any art form, it's using your method of choice to invoke moods or feelings in others. Rap accomplishes that and that's why it's so widely revered. It's far more than just rhyming words and talking. It makes you feel something.
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