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The 1950's - RANT

Old 01-17-03, 10:05 AM
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The 1950's - RANT

I think the 1950's was a great period for Rock 'N Roll music - such pioneers as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Bill Hailey really set the standard to what later became Riff-A-Roma.

Some things trouble me, though. We have Elvis Presley dubbed as the "King of Rock N Roll" but he came out with his first hit "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. Chuck Berry came out with "Mabelline" in 1955, and Bill Hailey & The Comets with "(Rock) Around The Clock" in 1955 - both predated Presley by a year! Why did Elvis get the glory? His songs were mostly rockabilly anyway - only "Jailhouse Rock" is an out-and-out rock song.

John Lennon once said: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." That statement I don't get at all. Even if there was no Chuck Berry or Little Richard, there was "(Rock) Around The Clock."

Chuck Berry recorded and had a hit with "Sweet Little Sixteen" in 1957 (#2) - years later, in 1963, The Beach Boys recorded and had a hit with "Surfin' U.S.A." (#3). "Surfin' U.S.A." is "Sweet Little Sixteen" when you listen beyond the words. The music and the rhythm is a match - even the words are similar. In 1975, The Beach Boys re-released "Surfin' U.S.A," and while it re-entered the Top 40 chart, they were sued by Chuck Berry's outfit - and now Chuck Berry has a co-writers credit on the single! The Beach Boys' Mike Love says "Chuck Berry didn't write 'Surfin' U.S.A.'" Yeah, right. It was a blatant rip-off (and I love "Surfin' U.S.A.")

Speaking of Chuck Berry, he was singing about "Sweet Little Sixteen" (innocent, I know) - and in 1959 got into trouble with a minor and went to jail for four years! What was that all about?! You don't much hear about that scandal. But Berry had his revenge - he recorded "My Ding-A-Ling" in 1972 and it went straight to Number One!
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Old 01-17-03, 11:25 AM
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Who says "The King" has to be the first or even the best? Elvis was by far the most popular artist of the 50's, thus he is dubbed the King.

Do you seriously think anyone would consider Bill Haley the "King of Rock 'N Roll?" A pioneer, yes. A king, no.
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Old 01-17-03, 01:02 PM
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It's not the fact that he was the first... it was the fact that he was the most popular.

It's the same as the 1960s. THere were tons of great bands, but a few of them took up ALL the spotlight, while the others just sat in the back. It happens EVERY decade.
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Old 01-17-03, 03:38 PM
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Yeah, it's just his popularity. I think most knowledgable music fans realize Elvis wasn't first (or even the best).
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Old 01-18-03, 04:39 PM
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Re: The 1950's - RANT

Originally posted by Buttmunker
John Lennon once said: "Before Elvis, there was nothing." That statement I don't get at all. Even if there was no Chuck Berry or Little Richard, there was "(Rock) Around The Clock."
Elvis was first real artist that made you stand up and take notice of Rock N' Roll. True that there were records released before him, but when Elvis appreared on Ed Sullivan that was considered a watershed moment in rock n' roll history. Just as 8 years later when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan.

You have to remember something else. Chuck Berry and Little Richard couldn't get their records played on a lot of radio stations because they were African American. Elvis was the first guy to bring R&B to "white America". In the 1950's that was a major feat.
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Old 01-18-03, 04:57 PM
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I'm sure part of it is the fact that Elvis was white.

In the 40s and earlier 50s, it was embarrasing for a white person to like black music. I've heard that black artists would release a song, nobody would like it, and then a month later a white artist would cover the same song exactly, and it's suddenly played on all stations.

When Elvis was a 'pioneer', he was doing music that was already popular with black people. He grew up singing in black churches, and had a lot of black influences. White america had a problem embracing this kind of music until there was a white face to put to it.

[Putting flame suit on]
In fact, I see slight similarities between this and the current rap situation.

I've heard young adults and adults say that Eminem is the only rap that they can stand, as if he is the only one who can intelligently construct lyrics. In reality, there have been rappers as good as, if not better than, Eminem since the early 80s, and they have all gone unacknowledged.

Eminem has been embraced by white america, and is played on every station, every day, so I can more easily see him, 40 years down the road, being touted as the pioneer of rap, the 'King of Rap', if you will. Rakim, KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Flash, and all of the real pioneers of hip-hop will become the Little Richards and Chuck Berrys.
 
Old 01-18-03, 05:18 PM
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Elvis = good looking white dude.

Chuck Berry = not.

I'd guess that most musicians would tell you that Chuck Berry was more influential as a songwriter and guitarist. Elvis was just the guy that opened the door to mainstream acceptance.

Aside from his guitarist, James Burton, Elvis has never really done anything for me. He was a necessary step and not much else IMO.
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Old 01-18-03, 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by RaZorBlade
[Putting flame suit on]
In fact, I see slight similarities between this and the current rap situation.

I've heard young adults and adults say that Eminem is the only rap that they can stand, as if he is the only one who can intelligently construct lyrics. In reality, there have been rappers as good as, if not better than, Eminem since the early 80s, and they have all gone unacknowledged.

Eminem has been embraced by white america, and is played on every station, every day, so I can more easily see him, 40 years down the road, being touted as the pioneer of rap, the 'King of Rap', if you will. Rakim, KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Flash, and all of the real pioneers of hip-hop will become the Little Richards and Chuck Berrys.
I don't know if I agree with that. Rap music has been accepted by mainstream audiences for awhile now. I believe Rap became accepted when "The Chronic" by Dr. Dre came out. Then Snoop came out, and all of a sudden everyone is listening to Rap. But even before that MC. Hammer existed, who was also widely accepted mainstream wise. Thats how I remember it. I think Eminem is so accepted today, by both Blacks & Whites, is the fact that the man has extreme lyrical talent and puts out a "real" attitude, whereas other white rappers before him, excluding the Beastie Boys, were looked at as such big fake phonies (ala Vanilla Ice)....although you could argue that Vanilla Ice had alot to do with bringing Rap into mainstream as well.
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Old 01-18-03, 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
I don't know if I agree with that. Rap music has been accepted by mainstream audiences for awhile now. I believe Rap became accepted when "The Chronic" by Dr. Dre came out. Then Snoop came out, and all of a sudden everyone is listening to Rap. But even before that MC. Hammer existed, who was also widely accepted mainstream wise. Thats how I remember it. I think Eminem is so accepted today, by both Blacks & Whites, is the fact that the man has extreme lyrical talent and puts out a "real" attitude, whereas other white rappers before him, excluding the Beastie Boys, were looked at as such big fake phonies (ala Vanilla Ice)....although you could argue that Vanilla Ice had alot to do with bringing Rap into mainstream as well.
I dunno...it is true that Dre was accepted by some white youth in his heyday, but he never had the record sales that eminem has, or the mainstream media attention (F*** tha Police did get attention, but eminem's attention outweighs it, I'm pretty sure)

I'm not really talking youth here - in fact, Elvis was embraced by the youth and denounced by the media in the beginning - I'm talking about adults. They're the ones saying that Eminem is the only rapper they can tolerate (and being older, they should be the ones bringing up the 80s rap pioneers I mentioned earlier). I'm not making it up, I've heard this from several people who act as if eminem is the highest form of hip-hop and they are too intelligent/mature for anything else.

Eminem does have talent, which is a major part of why he is accepted, but there's more to it. He's being played on our 'rock' stations. His beats are often by Dre, so it's not like the backgrounds are any closer to rock than other hip hop. And the lyrics? No closer to 'rock' lyrics than other rap. So why aren't my local rock stations playing Nas? Because Eminem is white.

I'm not saying that white america never knew what rap was before Eminem (another white group, Aerosmith, may have had something to do with that), but I'm saying that Eminem gets undeserved reverence by many as being the only 'good', 'acceptable', or 'tolerable' rap, and this is what will likely give him the King of Rap title later on down the road.
 
Old 01-18-03, 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by RaZorBlade
I dunno...it is true that Dre was accepted by some white youth in his heyday, but he never had the record sales that eminem has, or the mainstream media attention (F*** tha Police did get attention, but eminem's attention outweighs it, I'm pretty sure)
I don't have the stats, but I do know that "The Chronic" sold millions and millions of records, and was ALWAYS played on MTV back in the day. The huge sucess of that record spawned the empire that was Death Row Records. And from that record label you had the other hugely sucessfull acts like Snoop Dog & later 2Pac. And there is no way you can sell millions and millions of records unless you are accepted by mainstream.
I wont deny that part of Em's sucess has to do with his skin (maybe even a huge part) but I just dont agree with you that he was the one that brought rap to mainstream.

MC Hammer
Vanilla Ice
Dr. Dre & Death Row Records
Puffy & Bad Boy Records

are the ones I feel who are resposible for that feat.
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Old 01-18-03, 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
I don't have the stats, but I do know that "The Chronic" sold millions and millions of records, and was ALWAYS played on MTV back in the day. The huge sucess of that record spawned the empire that was Death Row Records. And from that record label you had the other hugely sucessfull acts like Snoop Dog & later 2Pac. And there is no way you can sell millions and millions of records unless you are accepted by mainstream.
I wont deny that part of Em's sucess has to do with his skin (maybe even a huge part) but I just dont agree with you that he was the one that brought rap to mainstream.

MC Hammer
Vanilla Ice
Dr. Dre & Death Row Records
Puffy & Bad Boy Records

are the ones I feel who are resposible for that feat.
I'll repeat myself:
I'm not saying that white america never knew what rap was before Eminem (another white group, Aerosmith, may have had something to do with that), but I'm saying that Eminem gets undeserved reverence by many as being the only 'good', 'acceptable', or 'tolerable' rap, and this is what will likely give him the King of Rap title later on down the road.
Just as additional information, the Chronic is 11 years old and has gone 5 times platinum. The Marshall Mathers LP, released 3 years ago, went 5 times platinum in one month. It went on to go 15 times platinum in the next two years. It's the 8th best selling album of all time (a list that doesn't have anything else that even resembles rap). Last year's release, The Eminem Show, has gone at least 7 times platinum so far.

America knew what rap was (and the youth had embraced it) before Eminem, but there was little rap that any white american adult felt comfortable liking before Slim Shady came along.

Even on this board I see people saying that back in '92 when they were teens, they'd listen to The Chronic, but they "grew out" of that, and now they can only stand Eminem. What about all the other respectable hip-hop? Did they grow out of that?
 
Old 01-18-03, 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by RaZorBlade
there was little rap that any white american adult felt comfortable liking before Slim Shady came along.
That's just heresay. Maybe the only people buying Eminem are white youths. You can't generalize based on a few adults you talk to.
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Old 01-19-03, 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
That's just heresay. Maybe the only people buying Eminem are white youths. You can't generalize based on a few adults you talk to.
Explain to me why rock stations are playing Eminem...? Why's he getting 'The Chronic''s album sales in a month?

If not responsible for making rap mainstream, Em has been responsible for exploding rap into every single american's house; young or old, rich or poor; black, white, or hot pink. It was fairly easy to avoid The Chronic by listening to the local rock station which was probably playing Nirvana and Jane's Addiction. It's not like that. Eminem has crossed that boundary, because that very station is now playing him. He's played on rap stations, pop stations, and rock stations. Can't tell me he was the first one with enough talent to do so...

Although I don't really like Benzino, he said something very true about Eminem: "5 shades darker, muthaf'a, you'd be Canibus..."

Canibus easily has lyrics as good as Eminem, but hell'll freeze over before he's played on rock stations.
 
Old 01-19-03, 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by RaZorBlade
Explain to me why rock stations are playing Eminem...? Why's he getting 'The Chronic''s album sales in a month?
Well your argument is that "adults" are one of Em's big audience. So why he is being played on rock stations doesnt really apply then to your "adult" argument. And really youths are the ones that dictate what is played on radio stations IMO (the majority of them anyway) Second of all as to his sales, I think its pretty well known that youths can easily make those kind of sales. Just look at Backstreet Boys, N'Synch, Christina Aguillera, etc. If Im not mistaken they all sold ass loads of CD's breaking records. Now you cant tell me that adults are buying the majority of their records. I'm not saying that Eminem hasnt been a HUGE commercial sucess for rap. Im also not saying that his skin color hasnt been a major part of his success. All I'm saying is that Rap was a huge sucessfull market way before Em came on the scene. I always remembered being so sick of rap way before Em came along because that was all that was being played on MTV and such. Eminem may have brought forth more exposure to Rap, but in no way is he responsible for making the Rap genre mainstream.

Of course this is just my opinion and would love to hear others opinions as well
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