The Instigator
ShadyL
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Rap has the best lyrics as a music genre

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,548 times Debate No: 7821
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

ShadyL

Pro

Rappers nowadays rap about songs about dances, clubs, 30 inch rims, etc. Most of the rappers these days don't talk about real issues in the world. People think all rappers talk about is violence, drugs, and other things that makes them look stupid. Most people talk trash like R.A.P meaning Retards Attempting Poetry, which biased.

There are rappers like Eminem, Ice Cube, 2pac, Nas that can rap. Rappers rap in bars and have great flow, metaphors, punchlines, etc. Rock does not.

Prove me wrong
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate and hope to learn much about rap.

My opponent has decided to argue that Rap is the best in terms of lyrics when we compare music genres.
Thus, I shall be proposing examples and reasons for other music genres that would theoretically have better lyrics.
My opponent cites flow and metaphors as good indicators for great lyrics.

In such a case, I bring up the genre of Chinese song-poetry. These can be in the form of Cantonese Opera (which has several parts resembling a merger between spoken word, Shakespearean poetry, Opera, and traditional music), or in classic renditions of great Chinese song.

In terms of lyrics, Chinese songs reign supreme for a very practical and very objective reason. Each Chinese word is a syllable, whereas most English words are multisyllabic. Chinese words derive most of their meaning by context and imagery and metaphor, just as a language in and of itself. English relies less on these things as it is more direct and detailed.

The result of writing Chinese music is two-fold. Because Chinese poetry is so heavily based on metaphor and imagery and context, a few Chinese words must be translated into several English sentences in order to retain the meaning.

In essence, the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" might be more applicable to the Chinese language if reversed.

In this manner, a rapper would either have to speak very, very quickly (making it likely to lose meaning since it is difficult to catch), or his song would have to be 10 times as long just to convey the symbolisms and metaphors of a comparable Chinese song.

For westerners, this genre of music is not very pleasing to hear, but if my opponent is judging purely on lyrics, rap simply cannot hold a candle to traditional Chinese music.
Debate Round No. 1
ShadyL

Pro

It's hard to compare two languages and the one of the most popular genre of music are spoken in English. Just because Chinese has more dialect so it can't be comparable. Rap spoken in chinese can be compable with other music genre spoken in chinese.
Believe it or not... A complete rappers would have: great metaphors, flow, delivery, punchlines, originality, writing skills, creativity, wordplay and content. Other genre uses instruments instead of using high level vocabulary and writing structure.
Rappers can also change-up his/her lyrical pace and multi-syllable rhyme makes him truly unique and what makes them different from other musicians.
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for his response and will rebutt his points.

I found it very difficult to understand my opponent's first point as the grammar was hard to decipher. However, I believe my opponent is saying that it is not feasible to compare English Rap to Traditional Chinese folk song. I find this assertion to be illogical as both are types of song with lyrics and melody and both are a genre of music. Therefore, my example is legitimate.

The difficulty in my opponent's stance is that he must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that rap is the best lyrical music genre. Not for me to prove him wrong. I have decided to argue for Chinese folk song, but there are a multitude of other genres I can detail. African tribal chanting is one. Latin Choir with biblical lyrics is another. Even the delivery of a Shakespearean sonnet counts. These are all examples of music, and all examples of music that are far superior in terms of lyrics to rap.

Remember that we are not looking at specific things about rap to judge music. The beats and the active nature of rap isn't in question. Neither are the "flow" or "punchlines". We are examining the quality of the lyrics.

The advantage that rap has over most other songs is the sacrifice of tonality and instrumentation for more focus on lyrics. Essentially, it is more poetic than other songs. The problem is that the Chinese language *in and of itself* is inherently poetic by its very nature, negating the advantage that rap has.

***SEE FIRST VIDEO***

Please examine the first video. It is a pop rendition of the Heart Sutra by the late Anita Mui. The Heart Sutra is a Buddhist Chant detailing many of the most profound philosophies of Buddhism. Luckily, I have it here in Chinese, or else I would not be able to preserve its meaning since there is a character limit.

http://www.rso.cornell.edu...

There is instrumentation, rhythm, flow, elegance in this song, but most importantly for the purposes of this debate, the lyrics are crafted in such a manner that no English rap song can possibly hold a candle to it. Even for someone fluent in Chinese, the very depth of the lyrics will confuse those who cannot fully grasp Buddhist teachings. But for anyone open to those ideas, this song becomes extraordinarily enlightening as it concentrates those philosophies using the innate imagery and contextuality of the Chinese language.

***SEE SECOND VIDEO***

Here is another example. I don't think the western language has a work of literature quite as great as the Bible, and most theological works for Mass in the original Latin have the most awe-inspiring and beautiful lyrics ever imaginable. How can it not be when these works are describing Heaven, God, Eternal Light and the Messiah?

I can list many other examples, but the point is, my opponent's bias is the only thing holding up his argument. Rap isn't the best, because there really is no objective measure for "the best". Simply by providing other examples, I have negated the resolution

Thank you to the audience and my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
ShadyL

Pro

ShadyL forfeited this round.
Kleptin

Con

Well, it appears my opponent has forfeited without providing an adequate argument as to why Rap MUST be the best. In that case, my examples are suitable to show that there are other possibilities and opinions out there and that based on such, you should vote CON.

Thank you very much.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
Had to check this debate out.
Kleptin would of course get the points if I could vote but props to Shady for setting this up. I just wish he could have stood up for himself (and hiphop) better.
He maybe would have had better luck with a resolution along the lines of 'Rap has the most complex lyrical patterns and rhyme structures of any genre of contemporary popular western music.' Bit long winded though.

Kudos to Kleptin on the Chinese language stuff but fail on the biblical chantings. The Bible is indeed great literature, but as lyrics?... A couple of the psalms might be better than a 2pac or Fiddy verse but don't come close to the lyrical genius of a Kool G Rap or a Big L.

Just my opinion of course. ;]
Posted by leet4A1 8 years ago
leet4A1
"Anyone arguing an opinion is going to lose."

They're both arguing opinion really, and someone has to win.

Well played thus far, Kleptin; the final paragraph of your second round just about sums it up for me. For something as subjective as personal taste, there never can be a 'best'. Only your best and my best.
Posted by mongoose 8 years ago
mongoose
Anyone arguing an opinion is going to lose.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
WOW...hard to argue Pro if you ask me...
Posted by McBain 8 years ago
McBain
This is a tough debate to argue con. Rap as a genre is characterized primarily by lyrics. Though this is usually at the cost of tonality, both vocally and musically. Most rap music is boring and repetitive where some chump rips off somebody else's music.

Personally, I think the best music is that with NO lyrics at all. Then all that is left is the music.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
ShadyLKleptinTied
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Vote Placed by kevsext 8 years ago
kevsext
ShadyLKleptinTied
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Vote Placed by Mdal 8 years ago
Mdal
ShadyLKleptinTied
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
ShadyLKleptinTied
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Vote Placed by snelld7 8 years ago
snelld7
ShadyLKleptinTied
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