Rhythm of judgment | Teen Ink

Rhythm of judgment

November 6, 2011
By Robkingett PLATINUM, Tallahassee, Florida
Robkingett PLATINUM, Tallahassee, Florida
24 articles 0 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
When I was little they called me a liar, but now I'm grown up, they call me a writer.

The exchange happened on a Thursday afternoon. The hum of the bus screeches to a halt in front of my black friend and me as we exchange CD’s for the other to listen. As soon as I hand over my Green Day CD to him to listen to his fellow “brothers” stare askance at this odd transaction. How dare a black person even place one fingernail on some “white music?” how dare some white person exchange Green day for some rap artist? Once the rap CD is in my hand, my friend, and I quickly get on the bus. I sit down and pop the CD into my player letting the beat take me on a magic carpet ride into forever-eternal bliss. Beside me, a white girl about my age taps me on the shoulder. I whip off my headphones so I can listen to her without being rude.
“You like rap music?” she asks me.
“Yeah I do. I don't like it as much as I do some other kinds of music but I do like some of It.” she nearly gags and falls out of her seat. She looks across at my black friend who has green day in his CD player. I presume that she is nice and I continue to want to talk with her. She completely disengages and talks to my black friend who is jamming away to mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, paired vocal harmony, acoustic rhythm piano and a vocal-centric aesthetic. The girl stares at me as if I am the true “American idiot” all because rap just happened to be within an inch of human interaction.
“Rap sucks!” she says conclusively, locking me and a potential friendship in an expansive cage forever. I look across to see her and my black friend chatting away. She will not even acknowledge me now. Does she think that she is instantly above her caliber of conversation with me simply because of my taste in music? I just shake my head. I cannot even begin to describe how wrong she is in that notion. Rap does not suck, and her taste in music does not make her instantly superior to me.
A lot of people would agree with me on that notion that rap does not suck, while many others, fellow musicians included, actually disagree and think that rap music is the epidemic that will end all human intelligence. “I'm a rapper, and I'm capitalizing on a no talent trend that'll never stop rising.” Adam and Andrew sang those lyrics in the comedy parody song “rap sucks!” Adam and Andrew are well known for other countless comedy songs and parodies about cultures or groups or even popular trends in the pop culture spectrum. The three most popular songs by Adam and Andrew based off my own deduction, at the time of this writing, are “Emo kid.” “Nerds in love.” In addition, “Rap sucks!” I have quite a bit of respect for artists and musicians because they work hard to produce entertainment and fine art with their body, voice, or written words. I have a lot of respect for people in different work environments such as plastic surgeons because they have to look at ugly people that look like my high school math teacher all day, but that is my respect at its most raw form. I respect many entertainers, as I said before. Some of these include Artists, writers especially, musicians, actors, singers, and dancers. I respect entertainers more when they do not have a narrow mind about some things. What I do not respect are people who immediately dismiss something or someone because the item, thing, person, concept, or difference is unusual to them. I do not like people, artists included, blatantly bashing songs, form of music or an artist because they want to be popular or inflame their washed up egos. Rap music, despite its rough history and growth, is a constant target for such harassment. That is a true shame given the fact that music is golden in all of our lives.
Music is one of the largest culture mediums we have. Music is and will be everywhere. It is even something that people ask about first when wishing to engage in conversation. When someone usually meets someone, the two ask what kinds of music he or she likes. Some people that we all know judge that whole person just because there is a lack of music interest. The same kind, anyway. It is a wonder why people even think they have the audacity to pre judge someone and to hold their own existence above someone who has a different taste in music. It is a huge shame, but is there a reason for this stone like behavior?
Usually people will do this because they are simply living in the stone ages and, like the old people pushing daisies, hate change or anything new. Some people think that the world revolves around music. Yes, it plays a huge role in the human culture but not everyone can judge someone based off his or her taste. Among many things we strive for, fight for, hold our heads up for, and believe in, is music really that much of a human trait now? Has we lost what it means to truly be an American?
Being an American is a daunting task. We have to conform to so many styles, have to keep up with the latest technology, and have to completely ignore the constitution and hate on one another all over something as simple as taste in music. As I sit here and type these words while listening to carry Underwood, I am asking myself one simple question. Do I “suck” in the eyes of my fellow mates? I sit here and try to think of all the reasons why I do not “suck.” I am witty, and nice, and many people like me even though I have my own music tastes. People actually like me despite what I like in terms of music! This new realization slaps me in the face as if I were hit with a poodle. My friends like me for who, in fact, I am. If my fellow college and high school friends can have the courage, the audacity, and the pride to be citizens of the United States then why does the world not have the man power to be who they are? Is it all because of our own egos?
Humans all over the world immediately think that someone who has even an inch of difference in taste is beneath that person. This is most evident in taste in music, particularly the constant never ongoing battle between rap and rock. Liking rock or a different kind of music does not, and never will, make you superior in any way. Your taste in music does not make you better or worse than anyone. It just makes you different from that person, and being different is the definition of being a human being. With that in mind, I would rather be whom I am than whom society wishes me to be. Even though I have chosen to be an American, and a human being, other think they know me, and know me well.
Many people think I do not know good taste in music because I do not like rap as much as I do other kinds of music. I constantly am bombarded with the idiotic phrase “you, Robert Kingett, don't know what the heck good music is!” “I do not have good taste in music,” you say. Well then, why do I like rock? Why do I like country? Why do I not prefer jazz to some good old yellow card? If I honestly did have no taste in music, I would not even have a favorite band or genre. I am not the only one who gets the “I don't know” label placed on me. Many black people get this all the time. “Black people don't know what good music is!” people constantly judge. Some people will even say this lie directly to their faces. If black people really did not know what good music is, then they would not even like music in the slightest. Do they not like certain rap songs? Do they not prefer one album to another? Do they not dance at hoedowns because they like Carrie Underwood? They do and that proves that they have taste in music along with an awesome tan.
Along with the above comment that “you don't know what good music is,” another one is usually accompanied with the previous comment. This judging, categorizing, bias, blanching, and stupid comment is said so many times I often hear it while using the john and sleeping. The comment is “Rap sucks!” there is a question that I have been wishing to ask but I cannot seem to find the one person who has this answer. That question, after the frown and the head shaking, is “why?”
The question “why” it seems, does not exist. It is just an automatic reasoning people make without even thinking about it. this new revelation leaves me with yet another question. why does rap have to automatically suck? Does rap have to automatically suck because the white people wish to make another excuse to be racist? In my oblong weird brain, Yes. I believe that is one reason. Seeing as how I cannot really find any others to explore and think about, this is by far the most logical, even if it is down right laughable. Has anyone other than I have asked the simple question “Why?”
Why seems to be a question that people in general hate answering. Many people do not really like questioning or even thinking about why someone would like some kind of music. Why do people like country? Is it because of the stories the songs tell, the way the instruments perform the song, or how country is carried? Why is it that people like rap music? Is it the beats, the ambiguity it presents? Is it the lyrics? Many people like these genres, and many more, because of the reasons above and many others. Since I am not inside everyone's head, I cannot answer these questions but they are out there. They are out there in the form of taste.
Taste has changed. Taste has changed into something that is to be looked down upon. A taste in rap is the most down trodden taste in the human culture or in races other than black people. Why? Rap is a taste that people have. Why do people have to lie and say that “rap sucks?” I might not know the answer to that question, but I can tell you something here and now. People love arguing for, not against, what everyone else likes or hates.
Many people have argued with me and stood up for what everyone else likes. A lot of people hate rap music. Many people automatically state that rap sucks. Blindly giving into that “cool” mob psychology that the media has invented. They, if contradicted, will go on and on as to why this “bad music” should not even be considered note worthy as a United States citizen. Here is the truth. Rap music does not necessarily “suck” because it is a taste in music. It is so simple! Saying rap sucks because you do not understand it, or because you just do not care for it or like it is like saying rock sucks. You do not have a definite answer other than “it's stupid and vulgar.” Alternatively, because you just do not have an answer at all. All music, to someone else at some point is “stupid and vulgar.” In addition, not everyone will like it. It is all a matter of taste. while I do not like rap as much as I do other types of music because of how the lyrics are, the beats don't catch my ear, and it doesn't give me a good feeling when I listen to it, I recognize that it is a different taste in music. By automatically saying rap sucks and people who listen to it are dumb, worthless brainless monkeys who have no taste in music, you are discriminating yourself and being discriminatory all at the same time. This is a sad thing for something is s different, yet so very much the same at it's core.

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