Prog fans: Rap is a sign of societal decay

Grrr… sometimes I can’t stand prog fans. I’ll probably offend a bunch of people who read this (”never bite the hand that feeds you” and all that), but fergodsakes, why are some prog fans so goddamned snobby and narrow-minded? I suppose this criticism applies to die-hard fans of any genre, but for some reason it seems that much more egregious when it’s prog fans. Maybe it’s because many prog fans pride themselves on being open-minded to experimental, “difficult” music, so it’s that much more disappointing when it turns out that this vaunted open-mindedness only applies to a very narrow genre.

This stems from a somewhat distressing conversation I managed to get suckered into at Progressive Ears. Some samples of statements that inflamed me:

Why would anyone be a rap fan? Where can it possibly go? It seems like even rap has begun to realize that having musicians and singers is a vital necessity. Eventually rap should be forgotten….people in my age group are doing our part to fill our childrens’ ears with music…. I hope that the standards will soon be higher.
Even the stuff on radio that involves musicians seldom yields a guitar solo, certainly never a drum or keyboard solo.

If it involves scratching records, I do not deem it musical. Give me a break. Consider what we all listen to and think of it as decay.

Bootom line C(Rap) isnt worthy of being defended or even disscussed in a prog forum. Scatching records and a beat box played to shity ass lyrics dont make it music.It bottom line sucks ass hard.Its the cat fish of the musical lake strickly bottom feeders.

C(RAP) is completly valueless and the music I listen to does indeed far surpass any hip hop rap trip hop or any other lable it wants to go by.

Prog is a Rolls-Royce: not too many made, but each with impeccable quality that only a select few can appreciate.

“I do not deem it musical.” You’ve got to be kidding me - that’s got to be the most overtly snotty statement I’ve heard since the rec.music.classical thread “Our Children and Music”. And the thing about solos just cracks me up - yeah, all forms of music should be judged on their instrumental solos. There were some sane voices in the conversation, particularly the guy who said “Don’t let [rap] get to you so much. I don’t like poison oak, but I try to stay away from it.” and then went on to basically summarize my point of view very well:

Art, in whatever medium, is a thing that connects with the human spirit. Once it does that, no matter how simple or studied, it cannot be refuted with technical terms; it has already succeeded in its purpose. The study of art is to study why things succeed in this way, rather than the comparitive study of why one thing might be “better” than another.

I’m skeptical of the commercial tie-ins here, and it has nothing to do with music, but nevertheless it’s cool that the New York Times has posted their reviews of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (from the mid-fifties) as well as of The Hobbit (from 1938). Notably, two of the reviews are by W.H. Auden.

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