Rappers have come to dominate the music scene of our generation faster than a jones-ing Amy Winehouse finding a Jack Black-size pile of jelly beans. And I’ll be the first to admit that listening to Ludacris’ “One More Drink” was more than just a list of things not to do while drunk off of $3 coronas at the local Sevilla. But what I and the other music-loving, guitar-playing, and crazy about Blink-182 returning individuals are concerned with is the zealous abuse of the Auto-tune by everyone who now thinks they’re cooler than Stevie Wonder playing the drums. (thats right, youtube it.)
Singing is freakin hard. Plain and simple. According to Wiki and the singing teacher I had for half of a vocal class last quarter, “Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, which is often contrasted with regular speech.” Anyone who has listened to Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble, donny Hathaway, and even Clay Aiken has somewhat of an idea of how singing should sound. And anyone who has found themselves drunk with a microphone is well aware of how difficult it is to correctly belt out “Dont Stop Believing” at 3 am in the local Filipino friend’s house. When was the last time you were amazed your 10 year old cousin knew all of the words to Biggie’s “Hypnotize”?
This is not to say that Rap is not an art form. Reading the lyrics of any of Kanye’s songs instills within anyone visions of a Chicago based Shakespearian family war. At a club, I can’t find myself yearning to listen to anyone but Luda and his especially consistent and amazingly accurate rapping about intoxication and the idea that he is well aware of what the opposite sex wants. And everyone reading this knows that at some point in their college life there is a blackout story they don’t remember but is apparently set to the soundtrack from “American Gangster.”
But Lil Wayne isn’t Wayne Newton. Having diamonds in your cup is not a reason to think you’re Neil Diamond. Guys like Nas, Lupe Fiasco and Lil Weezy latching onto an Auto-Tune is like the Dude from the big Lebowski using bumpers and not drinking a white Russian. It’s a not a crime against art like how every hot girl with a camera thinks they are a photographer is a crime against art. It’s just such an awkward juxtaposition- like watching Dynamic Edition from America’s Best Dance Crew try to break-dance. There are the lucky few that are skilled in everything from singing to rap, to God knows what else (you heard me Jason Mraz), but that doesn’t mean that everyone else has to try to bridge the gap from Chicago projects to a project for the band Chicago. Men and women who pride themselves on keeping it real should know better. Keep it real. We know you cats can. Dueces.