Instigator / Pro
2015+ Underrated Song Battle
The voting period has ended
After not so many votes, surprise surprise...
It's a tie!
Time for argument
Characters per argument
Contender / Con
Both pro and con choose one song, it must be less than 5 million views on youtube and released in 2015 or after. We will argue about the messages (how well it was conveyed and if it was a good message), lyrics (if applicable), melody, so on and so forth, to try convincing the voters that their chosen song is the superior one.
I choose the song It's Raining After All by Tuyu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0ehC_8sQuU)
This Japanese rock song is about a break-up. For anyone who needs the English translation, please see https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%E3%82%84%E3%81%A3%E3%81%B1%E3%82%8A%E9%9B%A8%E3%81%AF%E9%99%8D%E3%82%8B%E3%82%93%E3%81%A0%E3%81%AD-yappari-ame-wa-furu-nda-ne-its-raining-after-all.html. The message is sad but the tune is quite joyful and contradicts it, with “show don’t the tell” one liner phrases like “I crouch down”, “I grieved it”, or “my tears overflow”.
The song was initially confusing to me since she hinted at some happiness with the sun smiling, like “see you again”, along with her own smile, but it seems she’s do forcing herself through the problems. The question “whose fault is that” also has three different interpretations: she might blame it on herself (“I’m such a fool”), or the guy (his face is covered with hydrangea, the Japanese symbolism for apology) or she genuinely doesn’t know (“the weather report is wrong” inferring these things are unpredictable). Not to mention it’s a little strange how he can offer an umbrella with a “weird sense” or how his “enthusiasm cuts through any moments of earnestly”.
What is clear, though, is that the guy (if it is a guy, I assumed so from the chivalrous acts of the love interest) she loved is kind, but their relation has worsened— with the clear first phrase “our parallel lines are growing distant”.
Even so, “it’s not so bad under here (the umbrella)” And “clings to me” which infers she enjoys being around him even as friends (“my heart doesn’t flutter anymore”). Unfortunately she also says “this is goodbye”, even if the song doesn’t end there and she “smiles like ‘see you again’”. Clearly it’s a little bittersweet and hard to get over. There’s also nice touches like the contrast between her being an honor student yet saying she must be a fool with how she acts in the relation, or how her voice “dances in the sky” yet is embarrassing (possibly because she is quite emotional). Very catchy tune, too, especially with the jazzy guitar interludes. If you listen carefully, it seems like the rain is only a temporary new beginning, especially with the crucial contrast, “I thought you’d go far away, BUT it’s raining after all”
Helpful summary list:
Sad: 1,2,3. the one liner phrases 4. don’t call by first name 5. don’t remember height 6. face covered with hydrangea 7. “this is goodbye” 8. Weather forecast (desired result) is wrong 9. erasing your voice
Happy: 1. the overall melody 2. the serene blue sky 3. offered umbrella 4 handed eraser 5. sun smiled 6. singer smiled 7. not so bad under umbrella 8. song doesn’t end after “goodbye” 9. my voice is dancing
Unfeeling: 1. heart doesn’t flutter 2. it would be okay if I just drowned in this right now 3. the interlude after “my tears overflowed” 4. “I can’t even think” 5. head is full and she is an idiot (even though she prepared for rain) 6. “It’s Raining After All” (she thinks it would be okay, and she prays it would start raining now)
So overall I think the unpredictable "sad message with happy sound" and clever subtle symbolism will likely prove this to be the underrated song champion. Many people can potentially sympathize with how their crush is like a sun to them, but "it's raining after all" when their relation has gotten awry.
I hope my opponent doesn't immediately refute me the first round, since I don't know which song he has chosen, and rather merely analyze his song to begin with, such that we can start arguing whose song is "better" in the second and third round
I believe that there is something lacking in Pro's Round 1. This is not refuting arguments but entire structure of the debate, thus it sticks to the structure offered by Pro (that Con doesn't rebuke in Round 1). What's lacking is criteria on which to qualitatively ascertain how 'underrated' a song is, as well as perhaps quantitatively assess lyrics in terms of rhyme frequency, metaphor layering and things like that.
Additionally, unless you speak Japanese it won't let you appreciate things like articulation, delivery, or even the 'flow' of lyrics. While 'flow' can be somewhat grasped, it still doesn't entirely follow as what's slick and smooth transition in English isn't going to always sound the same to someone whose ears are used to another language.
I present to you the song 'Our Planet' by one of my favourite rappers of all time, Chris Webby.
Here is the YT link with music video (highly recommended, huge effort put in): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHmXw3Etevc
242k views at the moment
YT link with just audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=399pqxF3EQI
4k views at the moment
Date of release on YT: Dec 17 2019
Let's begin with how underrated the song is.
While I played it safe picking a song that came out only a few months ago, consider that the debate sets a minimum date in the past but not a maximum history. Thus, it implies that while we are competing to show the most underrated song, we are also competing to show a recent one and that more recent it is, the more we are meeting the criterion. I would also like to note that when a 'high rated' rapper like Eminem comes out with a track like Godzilla, which is in reality about next to nothing and is glorified self aggrandizement as most of rap is, it gains 159 million views in approximately 2.5 months thus far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_0JjYUe5jo
Meanwhile, Our Planet is a song about global warming and takes head on so many issues around it, such as that we actually have to blame corporations and our own ignorance of the greed and games being played in the media. Additionally, at the end of the music video you are encouraged to donate to a charity organisation that the two artists highly vouch for (and all fans of Webby know he's the real deal based on previous stuff he's done politically but this debate is about the song, not the artist though I think the artist's integrity is important to know why Webby has not made it into the mainstream).
Webby has dissed mumble rappers and got barely 0.5 million views while Eminem does the same thing and both are as skilled as each other, yet gets many millions of views. Now, I will like to show you what an overrated 'climate change rap' looks like:
This is not to say that Lil Dicky is a weak rapper at all, it's just to look into what overrated vs underrated is. Lil Dicky releases that with so many big names involved and garners almost 250 Million views yet what he did was make global warming into an almost childish and semi-humorous issue. He doesn't go into depth on how corrupt those against it are nor specifics on how to stop it. What he advertises in the description isn't a Charity but an awareness campaign, meaning he's ultimately doing less.
Webby teamed with Bria Lee, who has such a beautiful voice and herself is an underrated artist, to make a masterpiece and despite only releasing it 6 months later than Lil Dicky, has under quarter of a million views vs Dicky's 250mill.
This is what underrated means, listen to the lyrics, appreciate it and know what the fuck the world is coming to. Whether it's the environment or the rap game, the industry is full of BS and I know exactly what underrated is, I'm a fan of MANY underrated rap artists and artists in general at that.
Chris Webby is one of the single greatest rappers of all time, I love him as an artist AND as a person. He is a true new school rapper who has respect for the OGs despite making new tracks and evolving his style.
My opponent has a good point that people can't really perfectly understand Japanese, but the captions are available right there in the video, and the sounds that she sings can still sound pleasurable, especially with the melody. The foreign language might be precisely what alienates English speakers who constantly listen to Billboard and miss out on my personal chosen song.
Now then, firstly I will tackle your chorus, which clearly tries appealing to the American people. Though the rapper mentions the Amazon forest and the Oceans, the chorus is remarkably weak in comparison as it only mentions United States locations for seemingly no reason -- NY, CA, Redwood forest and Gulf streams. Secondly, the overall melody offers no unique flavor or powerful bass line like famous rappers, the recognizable Lose Yourself, Gangster's Paradise, so on and so forth. The generic melody I feel doesn't really do the message justice, and the outright telling you of evidence could be viewed by audience as preaching or debating (giving evidence and inferring the conclusion).
The rap song also makes an over generalization inferring that because of Corporations' greed, this causes them to not care about the environment. However, there any many big name companies that can still have money and also be environment friendly, such as Tesla, Solarwindow technologies, Bios Urns, so on and so forth (buzzworthy.com/10-companies-saving-the-planet/). There are also many efforts that have gone unknown, with a news article in 2018 exposing the fact that Nestle actually was quite environment friendly -- "Nestlé had adopted a “no deforestation” policy when directly sourcing palm oil, committing that its palm oil would “not come from areas cleared of natural forest after November 2005”" [v.gd/environment] while Greenpeace attacked the company without truly investigating. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say the rapper might have missed out on a few of these and thought all corporations to be greedy and unwilling to compromise.
There's other situations where you get the best of both worlds. By saving costs you actually save the environment too. If the corporations truly cared about nothing more than money, they would still do things that naturally lead to saving the environment. It's said that Walmart helped fuel costs by not having cars running all night long, packaging material change, and buying from "sustainably managed sources". Even Coca-cola focuses a lot on recycling, and Chevron is encouraged to prevent oil spills as cleaning them up is extremely expensive. [Source: nytimes.com/2009/12/06/opinion/06diamond.html]
There is then even the bigger question of whether the rap song's argument holds true or not. I will try to not let this devolve into a Global Warming debate, but I will simply bring up that even experts disagree on this topic, with over 30,000 American scientists signing a petition disagreeing against this song's very premise, with over 9,000 having PHD's [petitionproject.org/]
On the other hand, it is undeniable that a lot of people break-up, even with statistics of likely happening over the year [v.gd/breakup]. In addition, my song is relatable to singles too. The title could make people think of falling outs occurring too, as the love interest's acts are more of friendly than romantic (hands her an eraser, gives her an umbrella, wants to apologize for growing distant). The average American has 16 friends (foxnews.com/lifestyle/american-number-actual-friends-study-determines), but it's hard to maintain all the relationships over time. They're bound to break or weaken, and everyone is sad.
Overall, I liked your song, it had a good idea (probably better than most rap to be fair), but with a lot of good corporations acting to save the world and people asking whether Global Warming is actually a problem, combined with the repetition being a little obvious... I think my song's more relatable, and overall superior.
Wrong Link for Lil Dicky - Earth in Round 1
UR = UnderRated
Alright, so what does underrated mean?
I notice that in Pro's Round 2, there continues to be no clear definition of UR nor hint of how to go about determinine the degree to which something is UR.
I would like to use 2 definitions:
to rate or evaluate too low; underestimate.
So, obviously views will come into this, but regardless of the metrics of rating, we also need to come up with a scale along which we place the 'actual value' of the thing in terms of important and quality.
Pro focuses very hard on 'relatability', so let's start there.
Who can relate to the song by Chris Webby? Everyone on the planet. Whether or not they agree with the song, the power and significance of the conveyed message, the raw passion behind his and the other artist's voice and the raw footage of the music video that goes along with it (which is the way it really hits home its message that climate change is not a hoax) truly gets at you emotionally. Whether you feel anger at how manipulative the video is, if you're a conspiracy theorist regarding human-caused climate change or you appreciate the message, it's extremely relatable for all. Just because the chorus happens to mention American states (as a huge percentage of their fanbase is American) doesn't mean that the song isn't relatable for others.
In fact, this is the perfect place to point out the very issue with Pro's song in terms of relatability. The lyrics are in Japanese. How many people are going to even understand what is being said?
Approximately 128 million people who speak Japanese
Scholars have named English the world’s “most influential language,” due to the number of speakers (378 million) and the number of countries in which it is spoken.
How can Pro profess relatability of the song as significant when the very language alone means that my song is the more relatable one? In fact, my song is not just English but a very lyrically evolved rap as opposed to a repetitive pop-like track).
As for breakups being relatable, that isn't quite true. You see, not everyone relates to the same type of breakup, sometimes one was the cheater and/or toxic partner. At other times, they are overjoyed at the breakup, there's a whole array of ways a breakup can go down.
Multiple sources support there being 6-7 distinct types of breakup (depending on situation and perspective of each partner), I will link 2 of them:
Even then, it doesn't mean you will find the very repetitive lyrics fulfilling or the extremely passive delivery all that pleasant.
Despite being in a language that is spoken by 1/3 of those who speak English, the other song has 11-12x the views of my song which is in English.
Pro attacks my song's simple melody, yet what is the melody of Pro's? Even simpler and more faint. On top of that, even the rapping in my song has a lot of vocal strength and effort put into each thing, just listen to how he delivers it, very clear both in anunciation and passionate intonation, the chorus is beautifully delivered by a soothing female voice.
The voice used in Pro's song is blatantly autotuned to the extreme. The way that the high pitched voice and multiple layered vocal effect happens is 100% artificial, it doesn't even try to sound authentic. In fact, I would not regard it as very advanced in the emotion it's conveying, which Pro says adds to the emotional complexity in a bittersweet breakup (we don't even fully know what it's saying if we speak English) but what it is is a catchy song that probably will go at the start or end of an Anime series.
Her song is a pop song that isn't that popular, mine is a conscious rap song that never aimed to be a hit.
My opponent says that the lyrics have to be relatable, but his argument is a double edged sword, since if someone merely listens to the song without glancing at lyrics could think of it as an autotune pop fest with poorly conveyed emotion (while in reality, it's clear from the lyrics that she's confused: The relation is falling apart, her love tried to be chivalrous towards her but they still feel like apologizing.) "It's Raining After All" is made ambiguous whether it's good or bad. It's like real life, viewing the same problem from multiple angles as time passes may have different meanings, hence why my song can appeal to everyone once they get past the language barrier. Tuyu sings that she thought it would be okay, but it's raining after all. But she also thought the love interest would go away, but it's raining after all. That's why it could apply to the majority, if not all the types of break ups.
He tries to infer that the examples I gave show the hatred or contempt people might hold, but the points I made show people may disregard or doubt the validity of the message, making it less relatable. Rather than thinking of the song as "amazing" or "horrible" the skeptics may simply think "... has this rapper forgot that corporations have much to gain from actually saving the environment?" as well as "... but what about that petition where scientists feel like the evidence simply isn't enough?"
He tries to say that my song's melody is even simpler, however, he misses out on when it's simple for the point of it and when it contrasts to show that it isn't. The guitar opening at 0:15 hints that the beginning was on purpose, she's unfeeling at first and trudging through the wants of life, and if you turn up the pre-chorus along chorus near 0:35 it's very clear the difference between the jazzy melody and the beginning. The bridge at 1:17 just goes to show the guitarist's talent. The next verse might sound the same but if you listen carefully Tuyu added the guitar, and I feel like the articulation of the Japanese words helps the beat, especially "Toto", "baka" (twice). The 2:32 interlude might sound simple, but considering the fact that it comes after "I grieved for it" infers a more silent interlude for the main character, amplified by the fact that she goes quiet when she sings the chorus. Finally, at 3:30 the guitar is the most rebellious of all, even after she thinks "this is goodbye", her life goes on and it's inferred her true feelings shine through as she admits she smiles like she would see her love again.
The problem with Our Planet is that even on multiple listens, there's no subtle added piano notes, or complement with lyrics and melody contrasting or supporting. The reason why the best rap songs are considered the best is because they combine great hooks, rhymes, along with a nice bass line. But Our Planet is inherently difficult to make a rap song (as it requires a simple and soft chorus to contrast against the "corrupt corporations kill the world" message), which I think explains its few views.
Finally, my opponent alludes to Tuyu's song having 10x more views than his, but if you glance at the comments it's basically all Japanese people. If we were talking about the song vs its released audience, sure, my song's probably appreciated more, but worldwide speaking, Tuyu is relatively forced within a specific location while my opponent admits that English is far more widely spoken.
This debate is not just about the superior song, that is a false concept.
Even though the debate description, which I admit to have agreed to upon accepting, says that the 'superior song' is the winner, it is evident that even Pro doesn't just want you to vote for the superior song as consistently throughout the debate, he has debated frantically as what Pro and Con both want is you to vote on the most underrated song since 2015, not the best song that happens to be 'underrated' by having less than 5 million views on a particular video that it's put on (ignoring other platforms to begin with).
Thus, it follows that what this debate truly comes down to is which song was underrated to the greater degree in spite of being the high quality that it was. You are not just meant to vote which song you happened to like better, or else we'd have merely posted 2 links and said nothing more. Think for a moment, reader, of which song is more underrated, now.
The view counts are blatantly supporting Con, I mean the fact that Pro's song is aimed at a Japanese audience only while mine is aimed at all English speakers is the most clear cut case of underrating that I mentioned between the == signs in Round 2. Pro retorts that this is because the happy-sad breakup song is more relatable while my song, which is about the entire planet and a crisis affecting all of us is... Unrelatable to the average human being.
Pro ignores the genre and aim difference, which was brought up by me in the ending of Round 2. We are dealing with a pop song of an extremely cliché theme that should have the views it has since it's only truly enjoyable to Japanese speakers in the first place and is a very niche high-pitch-autotune voice centric fanbase. What I am trying to say is that, given what the song is and aims to be, it's actually only got less than 5million views because it truly isn't something to show off to others. The song I gave, in my opinion at least, is extremely strong from many angles. Whether you listen to it for the flow, the deep message, Bria Lee's soothing voice in the chorus, the catchy melody or to see what environmentalists think and feel, it's a song that has so much depth to it and has so few views in spite of that. The key thing to notice here is that I am holding what it deserves against what it has, Pro doesn't do this and instead keeps telling you that his song is superior because it apparently is about a topic with mixed emotions and therefore this entitles it to more views and likes vs dislikes than it has. On the other hand, I say that Pro's song has had its fair share and shot at fame, whereas Webby as an artist and his phenomenally strong rap on the environment can be held in direct contrast with Lil Dicky's Earth to understand what underrated vs overrated raps about the same topic are like in statistics of views, likes etc.
This debate is actually about you, reader, and what you appreciate in the artform that is song-making.
In the end, personal taste is of course a factor. I ask you only to consider the degree to which the song is underrated on top of how amazing it is (rather than solely voting based on the latter). I would argue that Our Planet by Chris Webby is the most underrated song of the past 5 years, or certainly among them, while Tuyu's Raining After All is an anime opener/closer that's meant to be listened to for a few seconds, appreciated for being what it is (a cliché pop track) and let to remain in that 'band of fame' until it makes a deal with whatever program wants it as their opening/closing credits theme-tune.
Thanks for reading and thanks for the debate, Seldiora. :)
Last bump from me.
Final day for votes. Bumping to encourage that to happen.
*sorry about the "everyone is sad" (I meant to type "everyone gets sad when this happens" but I ran out of characters)
Had a wrong link sorry.
This is Earth by Lil Dicky
The link to the actual song I represent is correct.
song definition from wikipedia: A song is a musical composition intended to be vocally performed by the human voice. This is often done at distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various forms, such as those including the repetition and variation of sections.
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