Thursday, July 2, 2009

I don't understand why rapcore has a bad rap

Music; a medium amongst itself that is universal. Everyone can understand it, everyone can march to whatever beat of the drum that their respected genre wants to present to that audience. It is an all around, universal language no matter how is form is presented. Whether it's acoustic or electric; classical or modern; abstract or clear as day; whatever form it presents itself is beautiful and majestic. But there is a few musical acts that particularly tickle my fancy, and I hope to dive just a little bit to peak your interests in these groups. These groups either had their share of 15 minutes of fame or still currently performing in an undertow of more popular acts. So hopefully this post could give them some justice and let them know that their works haven't been forgotten. And yes, I know I've ventured this road before in my post Bound to Ramble, but I feel that that was just the beginning of an ongoing report on under-appreciated musical acts and giving them the credit they deserve.

First thing that came into my mind in a while is this group called Shootyz Groove. I remember when this New York troupe came out with their hit 'L Train' back in the late 90's. It was frequently requested on the music channel The Box while I was getting ready to go and leave for school and when I came home to veg out and was actually at that phase of my life where I was your typical teen glued to music icons on the screen. The Box was an all request channel for viewers to see whatever video they had in circulation at the time and I don't mind to say that I requested them a few times. They were awesome and now their fame kind of fizzled out and rarely opening for such bands like 311 and Pepper (which isn't that bad in itself might I add.) They were my first experience with the genre called rapcore; with collaborated rap and rock/nu-metal in a unique hodgepodge that was among itself, magnificent. Some might claim that earlier works like Run-DMC/Aerosmith's co-op on 'Walk This Way' or even Public Enemy/Anthrax's 'Bring Da Noize' was the start of rapcore. It might have been, but to perform it as their sole lineup versus just a single, I think Shootyz Groove was the first to hit that nail on the head.

Another act that was awesome in my opinion was another rapcore group, Darwin's Waiting Room. These guys had an epic sound that perfected the genre in what my opinion; it had all the elements to make a great rapcore band. Grimm, their emcee, had a snarly voice that flowed with the rhythm even when switching from rapping to damn near screaming until your ears bled. The lead singer, Jabe, kept the harmony in check during Grimm's rampage in their songs. The guitarist,
Eddie The Kydd, showed excellent talent and execution transitioning from rhythm-to-solo guitarist; this making him one of my top 10 guitarists of all time. And we must not forget the rhythm section; Alex and Joe on bass and drums respectively, kept it going for everyone to homage in unison. It's just a sad state of affairs in my opinion that they disbanded after their mainstream debut album, Orphan, and they have let a void in the rapcore venue forever.

And to segway to my final rapcore score to settle, back in 2000, there was a compilation album called Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap. It showcased a bunch of popular rock acts (and Fred Durst) to cover great rap singles from the 80's and 90's (before Notorious B.I.G. died.) It was a decent effort to say the least. It showed the versitlity of how homogenized rap and rock can be and to present itself as a new medium for both genres to enjoy. But in the mist of it all, it's just another bargain basement album that you'll most likely pass by at your local FYE. It's a crying shame because it had some of the greatest one-offs that I've ever heard. The most famous would probably be Dynamite Hack's cover of Eazy-E's 'Boyz 'n da Hood.' I'm sure that if you lookup Dynamite Hack and Boyz 'n da Hood for a YouTube search, you'll find some of the most funniest dubbed humor videos out there. Hell, it was so good that Dynamite Hack actually put the single on their album Superfast. Now that's true appreciation of the art (although the song is very mellow and has no decent rendition of what rapcore is, technically I would consider it more alter-hip-hop if there was such a phrase to coin.)

All in all, I thought that rapcore would be the next big thing just like nu-metal acts of KoRn, Papa Roach, and even Slipknot. But even those in that genre has either fell from that pedestal and ventured either deeper into rock or that pussified emo stuff. Rapcore in my opinion was the last great new genre of music. And sure there still some acts out there that represent that style such as P.O.D., Nonpoint, and Dope (on some instances); but for the most part that bandwagon had long passed and derailed in pop culture. What a shame, a crying shame. But that doesn't mean that their music is gone. As long as we remember it, it shall always be there. Here's to my playlist, and hopefully some of yours.

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

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