Rappers who rap over pre-recorded vocals should stick to wrapping at Christmas time

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This is a rant. It involves rappers and how rappers shouldn't rap over their pre-recorded vocals, a phenomenon we've been seeing more and more lately. It's the equivalent to singing along with a music video on BET turned up so high that the volume is distorted. No matter how lively and enthusiastic the performance might be, you might as well be holding a hair brush in front of your mirror at home in your bedroom.

I can't count how many times I've been at rap shows from local artists and rather than putting all the energy of flailing arms and legs into vocal perfection, the artist allows the studio perfected track to do all the work. It's cheating, and it's got to stop.

What the hell would you do if at a Prince concert, and rather than the Purple One belting out the lyrics to "Little Red Corvette" himself, he let a pre-recorded studio track he made decades ago entertain you? You'd feel ripped off! The passion, the grit, the grime, pain and joy, is what you want to convey in a live performance, and some rappers just aren't cutting it!

The problem is too many rappers step onto the scene expecting to be Jay-Z right away. Truth is, somewhere, there's a finishing school for rappers where they'll be forced to watch Lady Gaga's live show in repetition to learn stage presence and breath control. So sad, but so true.

The audience wants to see and feel and HEAR a performance. Is that too much to ask? Breath control, vocal dynamics and microphone handling are all things that rapper's responsibility. When they hold the microphone, we should hear their voices, not studio vocals that drown out the live vocals.

Rappers, take note: Find yourself a deejay that can make sure your instrumentals are mixed to perfection and concert ready. Don't act like you don't now how to do this. I've seen and heard so many of you a capella, spitting in ciphers, maintaining your craft and credence amongst your peers, so why so shy?

Get your talented freaking self up on the stage with the confidence of Chuck D and rap your little hip-hop heart out! To the instrumentals! Learn the words, and if your words aren't worth learning, go back to the drawing board.

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17 comments
Nominee
Nominee

sound like a bunch of bitchin to me

King King Street Eugene
King King Street Eugene

Lmao Tell these venues to step they sound system game up an rappers wouldn't have to do it ... dat simple most these venues artist perform at mics is wack sound is just all out terrible even major independent artist do it ....

Shoka$e
Shoka$e

 i agree ive noticed alot of soundmen dont give half a shit what your show sounds like its up to us as artist to make sure our music quality is good whether you have to rap over already mastered vocals... my show is gonna sound and feel good no matter what i have to do

Kingtef1
Kingtef1

LMAO Now ima rap over my lyrics all the time jus cus of this post LMAO!!!

Playamade720
Playamade720

im an artist out here in Colorado and i feel u on that, u shouldnt do a show if u cant perform!!! if u want tha cd heard put it on itunes, youtube, etc. u cant expect people to support u and your performance if your slackin!!!

Lil A of Playamade Entertainment

Hypnautic
Hypnautic

I rap over beats, lyrics, bands, acapella,,(depends on situation) whatever i want,,i've done it all and as long as most these sound man cant get it right,, ill continue to do so,, i can name 100 national acts who use lyrics to hype it up,, as long as your not lip singing and rocking a crowd... do what the f u want!!! And as long as I'm winning and rocking out crowds of thousands ill keep doing me and winning!!!! I live off rap do they haha,, no hate just enjoyin the convo

Hypnautic

ps.. cant wait til the publications in CO,, and artist can come together and get money together in the hip-hop/rap/whatever scene!!! I read more negative ish come out of these blogs then positive.. and people wonder why CO. is behind,,

Dipset
Dipset

were your ears burning?

Gromino27
Gromino27

Your lamentations about a lack of musical integrity in hiphop are nothing new, but let's face it: this complaint is nothing new, and will fall on tone-deaf ears.

If MCs and DJs had any musical integrity to begin with, they wouldn't be MCs or DJs. They'd be musicians.

Oo
Oo

LOL

Go tell DJ Vajra he is not a musician.

Buddy.

SupEar
SupEar

I'd be pretty astonished if DJ Vajra cared one way or the other if someone thinks he's a musician... ironically enough, that's the point.

DJs, MCs and hip-hop fans have never cared about musical integrity, or what anyone has to say about it... which is why the article is somewhat pointless.

Joe R.
Joe R.

Rapping over recorded vocals has and always will be wack. I also find rappers that cover more popular artists songs mad corny. Hiphop isn't karaoke or milli vanilli.

Oo
Oo

It can be done properly too...

If an artist has the presence of mind to use a different vocal tone within a separate register, or a melodic rap, or even just a dramatic shift in energy, it can create a good multi layered vocal effect that gives the sound of the show more overall richness and depth.

TOB
TOB

I've said this many times, both vocally and in writing. It's a valid point, and artists should take the advice.

Tune One
Tune One

Thank you for writing about this. I've been known to walk out on on acts for rapping on CD's. You presented this problem as a local one, but I've seen national acts do this as well. It's a lazy fad that's out of control. Full disclosure I'm a solo MC/producer, and until I can find a hype man and a DJ, my instrumentals have a subtle overdub layer, but that's not what this article is talking about. Great read Ru, thanks for bring up the conversation.

Hiphopfan
Hiphopfan

As an audience member, I think Hip-Hop artists should consider more live backing musicians.

I'm not against the DJ. I love the DJ, but it is really kind of boring to watch a guy on the stage singing over pre-recorded music and nothing more. I do that in my car all the time.

Take that for what it's worth. I don't go to most Hip Hop shows because of that. Even the big name HH shows kinda suck if there are no real musicians.

Oo
Oo

Hip Hop bands suck. They never use live automation , efx , etc... they just sound like a garage band playing jam band esque funk music with a rapper yelling over it.

FUCK THAT

Beats are supposed to be Beats. I want my 808 when I go see a Rap show.

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