11:41 AM on 01/08/13
Oh wow. This thread is going to be very ugly.
Not sure why you felt the need to post this news in the manner that you did, Jason.
11:43 AM on 01/08/13
I thought hip-hop had finally gained a footing as a respected genre on this site. I suppose I was wrong.
That .gif is kind of in poor taste in my opinion too.
11:47 AM on 01/08/13
Alright I'm quoting you because I want to hear your side of the story. Why post this in this fashion? Was the "stupid" tag or that .gif really necessary? I don't expect this site to be impartial and occasionally it's funny when you guys post news in a non-traditional way (this is a website, not a newspaper after all), but I don't see what's so outrageous about this.
I'm assuming you have in fact listened to Nas, or at least Illmatic
right? I know you're not a big fan of mainstream hip-hop at all (or most hip-hop), but I would think you'd be familiar with that record.
11:50 AM on 01/08/13
Right, because music is not subjective at all. At the very least Nas is a fantastic lyricist, so what makes someone arbitrarily declaring him "the greatest" so outrageous?
11:52 AM on 01/08/13
So hip-hop lyricists are by nature second-rate lyricists? Or am I misinterpreting you?
11:59 AM on 01/08/13
Lyrics are different than the all encompassing "music."
And to answer your question, you basically give my answer ... it's "someone arbitrarily declaring" it.
Okay fine, I'll accept that distinction. Are you saying there is no subjective element to what makes lyrics good or bad?
Well you could say Morrissey is the greatest lyricist of all time (not saying you think that, just a guess) or I could say Springsteen, but that's still someone arbitrarily declaring an opinion. I don't think your reaction to CNN's pronouncement was based solely upon the fact that they arbitrarily declared someone the greatest lyricist of all time with little evidence. If they had done the same thing for oh I dunno...Dylan or Lennon or somebody from the world of rock music I doubt you would have reacted like you did. If you don't agree with it, fine. But why is it so ridiculous for one to think Nas is the greatest lyricist of all time? You still haven't really answered that.
12:02 PM on 01/08/13
Okay then, what did you mean since I misunderstood you?
12:03 PM on 01/08/13
Also, for the record I think this is a pretty shitty article, not because the premise is ridiculous but because it's poorly done. Just saying.
12:08 PM on 01/08/13
I believe, as to most literarily scholars and critics, that there is an objective element to critiquing writing.
Man, gotta love the not-so-subtle attempt to just paint me with a broad brush there. I wouldn't have had the same reaction because Dylan is a better writer than Nas, not because of the music they play - the music has little to do with the lyrical capabilities ...
I answered it with my first post.
Well yes, there is an obvious objective element to critiquing writing I agree with you. But do you disagree that there is also a subjective element? Because if so, we're just not going to agree about this and we can carry on, and that's fine.
I wasn't trying to pigeonhole your tastes so I apologize if it came off like that. I know you listen to a wide variety of music, I just picked an artist I knew was one of your favorites as an example, and then one of my personal favorites, and then two who people who "know about this stuff" (aka RS, Christgau, etc.) would often point to as examples of top-notch lyricism.
12:09 PM on 01/08/13
I took that one out of context, my bad. I get what you meant by that now.
12:13 PM on 01/08/13
Jason, I'd also be genuinely curious to know (completely external to this discussion) who your favorite lyricists in general and hip-hop lyricists actually are.
12:15 PM on 01/08/13
I don't think the article means they think he's the greatest lyricist in the history of lyrics, but I do think they intentionally left out any qualifiers in the quote Jason pulled out to grab people.
12:20 PM on 01/08/13
In writing? I've always held pretty close to the New Criticism view on literary critique -- which does not give way to much subjectivity in the analysis of writing.
And what I was trying to say was that I don't think my personal tastes have much to do with lyrical ability. I think there are some phenomenal writers, that I don't listen to because I don't like the music. Subsequently, I do think Nas is a good writer. I do not think he is the greatest lyricist of all time.
Oh okay, I wasn't aware you subscribed to the New Criticism critical philosophy, this all makes a lot more sense now. I don't really agree, but that's fine. I do still think your reaction was over-the-top, but whatever.
I love Nas and think he's a fantastic lyricist, probably my favorite in hip-hop.
You may not have seen it on the last page, but out of curiosity, who are some of your favorite all-time lyricists and hip-hop lyricists if you don't mind?
12:23 PM on 01/08/13
Hey--it worked haha. The sign of a good hook: it pissed you off, and it pissed me off that you were pissed off and now we've all at least read the first page of the article when we wouldn't have otherwise.
Shoddy journalism, but they're raking in page views for sure.
12:25 PM on 01/08/13
Interesting. I actually would have thought you'd be more of a McCartney guy than Lennon, so that's cool (I prefer Lennon).
Jay-Z is another of my all-time favorites, and damn I'd have to think long and hard about Rakim too. Paid in Full
has some of my favorite lyrics ever.
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