listening guide unit 3 - MUS 354 Rap Music and Hip Hop...

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Listening Guide MUS 354: Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture Title: “P.S.K. ‘What Does It Mean?’” Schooly-D Date: 1985 Label: Schooly-D Records NOTE: This listening guide will help students to practice hearing key features in this listening assignment. It may take several listenings to hear all important features – such practice is important. For maximum benefit, take detailed notes on all relevant lectures from this unit before using this guide. Background: This song, along with Ice-T’s “6 ‘n The Mornin,” is often cited as the first gangsta rap song. The two have much in common. Ice-T uses the same inflection style as Schooly-D in his song. And the topics of the lyrics, about drug dealing, womanizing, and gang banging, are also similar. Some important musical differences are evident, however. Unlike Ice-T, Schooly-D makes uses a more active texture that includes scratching and echo effects. Indeed, nearly every beat of the percussion groove is given a very fast “flutter” echo, creating a dense, resonant sound. Reverberation is also added to the ends of alternate couplets in the vocals. Lastly, the form of the song is also more complicated, including a refrain, breaks, and verses. Timeline: 0:00 Introduction Samples Percussion groove builds with “flutter” echo effects 0:20 Scratching 0:50 Refrain 1:04 Echo effects on vocals 1:16 Break Scratching 1:40 Verses Echo effects on vocals in every other rhymed couplet 2:05 Break Scratching 2:27 Verses resume Echo effects on vocals in every other rhymed couplet 3:18 Refrain Repeat of opening verse 3:48 Break
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Scratching 4:13 Rupture in groove 4:20 Verse Echo effects on vocals in every other rhymed couplet 4:59 Refrain Repeat of opening verse 5:30 Break 6:19 Outro DJ solo
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Listening Guide MUS 354: Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture Title: “Batterram” Toddy Tee Date: 1985 Label: Evejim NOTE: This listening guide will help students to practice hearing key features in this listening assignment. It may take several listenings to hear all important features – such practice is important. For maximum benefit, take detailed notes on all relevant lectures from this unit before using this guide. Background: This song was one of the first raps by a Los Angeles artist to address issues of crime and police brutality in that city. Its style is strikingly similar to many comic raps from the period: it has a dance beat, melodic groove, dense texture with synthesizer effects and riffs, scratching, and high-energy inflection by the MC. Added to this, however, are more sinister elements such as sampled tank and demolition noises, and lyrics describing the LAPD’s latest weapon in fighting drug dealing and the impact of this “war” on law-abiding residents. Timeline: 0:00 Introduction Tank noise Groove builds: percussion and scratching Vocals added 0:18 Refrain Keyboard riff Electronic bass sounds added 0:29 Verses Synthesizer effects 0:55 Synthesizer chords added 1:10 Refrain Words traded between MCs Effects, noises 1:30 Verses Interjections by “chorus” 1:50 Synthesizer chords added 2:09 Refrain
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