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In Defense(?) of the Hip-hop/Rock Mash-up by jason
September 9, 2011, 10:27 am
Filed under: Dialogues, Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Part 3: Walk This Way

The following Dialogue, attributed to Plato, is the only remaining document that tells us what Socrates’ view of Mash-ups was-Eds. Note

Alcibiades: I have finally come to terms with my love of both Hip-hop and Rock music.

Socrates: This is good, for now you know thyself as we all know you. Your love of this music has never been in doubt, only that you made it so.

Alcibiades: Agreed. However, there is still one thing that bothers me. In the forum, I have noticed that many so-called “artists” have taken the work of hip-hop artists and blended them with that of the rock musicians. This troubles me.

Socrates: And how does this, young Alcibiades, bother you?

Alcibiades: It would seem that these artists are only taking the work of others and calling it their own. This is plagiarism.

Socrates: Indeed, the taking of someone else’s work is plagiarism, and is the worst kind of offense. And this is what these men and women are doing?

Alcibiades: It is.

Socrates: And they are not giving credit to the original artists?

Alcibiades: Well, true, they do give credit where it is due. This, I do not argue. However, these mash-up artists take credit for an additional level of creativity, of which they are not entitled.

Socrates: I see. So, if I understand you, beautiful Alcibiades, you are saying that it takes no creativity to make a mash-up.

Alcibiades: Well, perhaps there is a level of creativity, but it is not so much as these artists take for themselves.

Socrates: Because they did not create the source materials.

Alcibiades: Correct.

Socrates: So you would give credit to the gods of the earth for a great sculpture, then? For it is said that the artist merely sees the sculpture within the base rock and uncovers it.

Alcibiades: That is merely a figurative saying. This is different.

Socrates: I see. So this is more along the lines of an artist who takes found materials and arranges them in a certain aesthetic manner, or perhaps an artist who takes well-known, popular images, and reproduces them in a variety of colors?

Alcibiades: It is exactly like this.

Socrates: So you would take credit away from these artists as well?

Alcibiades: I…I would not. I guess I agree that it does take some artistry to create one of these mash-ups, but there are better ways to produce such a sound.

Socrates: You are referring to bands such as Linkin Park, which will, in the 21st Century, take the musical styles of hip-hop and rock, and write songs that utilize both!

Alcibiades: Yes! This is what I speak of! Instead of mashing rock and hip-hop, we should celebrate bands that do such a thing using only original music!

Socrates: This is a creative endeavor. So you are a fan of Linkin Park?

Alcibiades: Well, no. They aren’t very good.

Socrates: Well, youthful Alcibiades, whose intellect is matched only by your charm, perhaps Korn is more your speed?

Alcibiades: Now, master Socrates, you are just being insulting. I was thinking more along the lines of Aerosmith vs. Run DMC. with their hit “Walk This Way.” A song that was crafted to be both hip-hop and rock.

Socrates: That one is a masterpiece. I’m beginning to understand, fair Alcibiades. What are some others?

Alcibiades: Well…

Socrates: As I am old, I forget most of these songs. “Walk This Way” excepted, how do the other songs sound? How much like hip-hop? How much like rock? I am trying to understand.

Alcibiades: Well, in the case of Linkin Park especially, the hip-hop element sounds…weak, to be honest. Not very complex.

Socrates: Why is that?

Alcibiades: I don’t know. Perhaps because they are a rock band that has a rapper, as opposed to a band dedicated to hip-hop.

Socrates: So would you say that, perhaps, a mash-up, such as Wugazi, sounds more purely like hip-hop, yet more purely like rock, as it takes the pure elements and blends them in a subtle alchemy?

Alcibiades: This is perhaps true, but it is not exceedingly creative, and it does not require talent.

Socrates: As evidenced my the number of mash-ups on YouTube.

Alcibiades: Exactly.

Socrates: And those other mash-ups, they are of the same quality, then, as the work of DJ Lobsterdust, or of Tumblewoof?

Alcibiades: Well…no, actually. Most of them are terrible. Unlistenable. The men you mentioned have…more talent than the rabble.

Socrates: So it does take a measure of talent to create a mash-up, then?

Alcibiades: I…Yes. I see it now. The creation of mash-up music is, in fact, a talent. I am not sure why I never saw this before?

Socrates: In examination of our beliefs, we often find that we did not know ourselves as well as we had thought. Do you want to have sex?

Alcibiades: Cool.

-jason

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Wait, where’s Simplicio?

Comment by Zen Punk




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