I have been a sound engineer since 2000. My first clients at Studio 5.1 recorded rap/hip-hop music. Even before that time as I worked at other studios in the San Diego area, I recorded artists looking to be the next “rap star.” My experience with rap music in general has lead me to the conclusion that I no longer wish to record rap music.
I make no secret of my feelings towards rap music in hopes to combat the desires of those who wish to engage in making rap music in hopes that they will choose a more noble course in their lives.
The following are reasons and rationale why I have decided to discontinue recording rap music:
1)The lyrics of rap music are degrading to women (and therefore degrading to the men who use such language in their lyrics), they are unabashedly vulgar, they glorify an unhealthy level of materialism, and greed that perpetuates selfish, ego stroking content that is completely counter-productive in society.
Women are precious and deserve respect. Rap music not only degrades women, but falsely teaches women that in order to obtain acceptance from a man they must be a promiscuous, one-dimensional waste of a person.
Vulgar language makes up almost 50% of the total lyrical content of rap music. Most often this vulgarity is part of the mistreatment and sexualization of women or in promoting violence to one another.
The materialism, greed and uncaring self promotion so common to rap music lyrics stands against all socially productive ideology and opposes all that is good for the human race. Life should be about what we can do for others; what we can add to the world – not about what we can take from it – or who we can take it from.
Rap music has set at its core the lowest qualities, perpetuates shameful and demeaning treatment of women, champions drug use and violence, and is an assault on enduring principles at the foundation of civilized society. These reasons alone are sufficient motive to discontinue any activities to create, promote, or produce rap music, music videos, or anything like unto it.
2)While not universally true, an overwhelming majority of rap artists behave in such a way that places an undesirable increased legal risk studio owners. Rap artists tend to engage services with little to no ability or intention to pay for services rendered.
Aside from including lyrical content about drug use/abuse, some of the rap artists have engaged in discussing the sale of and distribution of illegal drugs outside of lyrical content in the presence of studio staff. This information places our facility in an unwanted position and is no longer neutral on illegal acts even those that occur outside of studio time. We either need to report the illegal activity possibly bringing hostilities to the studio and its employees, or not reporting the activities and becoming an accomplice to one degree or another. The liabilities from this information is not welcome.
Work has also been performed for music videos, as well as recording time, with deposits paid and the remainder of the work tenured without ever being paid the remaining amounts. Rap artists, more often than not the same individuals that fill their songs with lyrics about how much money they have and all the fancy cars they drive, seem to be the clients that have engaged recording services and “left their money at home” or some other excuse for not paying. I even had a client not pay me for over a year claiming that ‘he couldn’t pay me because he was in prison for selling drugs in an effort to earn money to pay me for the video work.’ Such hypocrisy and scapegoating is not a recognized excuse for non-payment. Socially moral studios should not endorse engaging in any illegal activity, including violations to intellectual property laws such as using beats or music tracks illegally for any design or purpose. Morally concerned studio should also take the position to not endorse or condone any morally offensive or illegal activities engaged in efforts to pay for services rendered.
It is my feelings that rap music in its current state is an insult to civilized society and should be reformed or discontinued.