Country and Rap Music Essay
Country and Rap Music
The types of music that people listen to are very diverse. Country and rap music are just two of these types of music and the composition of audience that listen to these types greatly vary. The primary reason is that country music is commonly identified with white people who live in the countryside while rap music is commonly associated with black people living in urban cities. For the most part, rap music is relatively a new type of music as compared to country music which, as a result, makes it more appealing to the younger generation.
The older generation, on the other hand, are more inclined to listen to the type of music that grew up with, especially country music. One of the unique features of rap music is the way in which the lyrics are vocalized. The sound of rap music usually involves the rhythmic speaking of rhyming lyrics dubbed with the so-called “beats”. The beats are usually created separately through the use of percussions and other synthesizers. On the other hand, country music usually involves distinct guitar picking patterns with a slightly “blues” feel.
More often than not, country songs involve the use of acoustic guitars although there are instances when the electric guitars are also used in certain parts of the song. The way in which the lyrics are sung is melodic, aptly cohering with the chord pattern of the song. Most country songs are easy to listen to since country music is less of the aggressive type, so to speak. These songs usually tell the story of the country life where the days are reminiscent of the outdoor life close to nature.
There are also times when country songs express the love affairs of individuals. But unlike other forms of music, country music is “a more gentle approach to putting emotions” into music, in a manner of speaking (Lewis, p. 44). Rap music, on the other hand, usually expresses the experiences of an individual in the suburban or urban areas. Most of rap songs commonly involve the narration of how a young black American has to survive and rise to meet the challenges of surviving in a cruel society.
These songs also have become stereotyped as the music of young people with a rebellious attitude who are part of violent gangsters in local neighborhoods. Thus, it is not hard to identify rap music as an aggressive type of music. Because of the wide generation gap between the time when either one of the two gain much prominence, there is likewise a great deal of difference between rap and country music in terms of its audience or followers.
Rap music, being a relatively new type of music emerging and gaining prominence only in the later part of the 80s—with the exception of the theory that the origins of rap being traced as far back as the time when African-American slaves were chanting rhymes while doing work—the composition of its audience can also be said as younger (Sullivan, p. 613). On the other hand, country music has been around long before the birth of rap music. That being said, a large part of the those who listen to country music belong to the older generation although, of course, it can also be said that there are also young people who listen to country music.
Not surprisingly, a portion of those who listen to country music may likewise be composed of those who live in the countryside since they can easily relate to the messages behind each country song. The same can also be said about rap music; those who live in more urban areas have the tendency to lend their ears to rap songs as they can easily relate to the message of most rap songs. For example, the rap songs of the artist “50 cent” may appeal more to younger people who reside in cities and other urban areas whereas the country songs of Johnny Cash may appeal more to older people who live in the countryside.
However, these comparisons do not necessarily mean that there are no countryside people who listen to the rap songs of 50 cent or that there are no urban people who listen to the country songs of Johnny Cash. The point is that it is more likely for urban people to easily associate themselves with the songs of rap artists whereas it is more likely for countryside people to easily relate themselves to the songs of country artists. Rapping can also be done without the accompaniment of any musical instrument.
It can even be done in simple impromptu gatherings in common places such as in local streets in the neighborhood. As for country music singing, it is difficult to say if a song is sung in a country music style without the accompaniment of musical instruments such as guitars. At the least, a singer would have to need a guitar in order to sing a country song or to make the song sound “country” in a recognizable way. In more recent times, rap music has been gaining a steady stream of following from the public with the increasing prominence of several rap artists.
Country music, on the other hand, has been kept alive by several younger artists although the likes of Johnny Cash and his generation of country musicians have kept a steady support from the public listeners through the years. If there is one similarity between the two distinct musical genres, it has to be the fact that both country and rap have become cultures on their own. Rap music has become a culture tat has been embraced by individuals which, as a matter of fact, has even resulted to certain divisions among its musicians—the so-called East and West sides.
Likewise, country music has created its own sense of culture manifested in the rural areas. Works Cited Lewis, George H. “The Creation of Popular Music: A Comparison of the ‘Art Worlds’ Of American Country Music and British Punk. ” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 19. 1 (1988): 35-51. Sullivan, Rachel E. “Rap and Race: It’s Got a Nice Beat, but What about the Message? ” Journal of Black Studies 33. 5 (2003): 605-22.