Rap is the most lyrically advanced form of music
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Unlike all other forms of music, rap is uniquely structured around the lyrical system itself. Rap is lyrical first and musical second, the lyrics are it's primary focus. The actual music is mostly there to provide rhythm and compliment the lyrics, which is the opposite of pretty much every other genre which is music first and poetry second. Rap is literally musical poetry, it is a form of poetry that is rhythmic and places emphasis on rhymes and "flow". This is why no other genre is as advanced in terms of lyrics. It's important to note that if you listen to most mainstream rap, you will only be seeing a bastardized form of rap which does not take full advantage of the inherently lyrical nature of rap by any means. If you judge rap based on trash like Lil Wayne and Drake you will not see rap in it's rightful form, you will not see poetry and intense rhyme schemes and flows being used to express an intelligent message which is what you will see with rappers who take full advantage of the artform such as K-rino, Canibus, Immortal Technique, Eminem, Tech N9ne, Beast1333, Big Pun, Anilyst, Chris Webby, and me.
I challenge you to find lyrics more poetic, intelligent, and advanced in the ways of rhyme schemes and flow/rhythm than these in any other genre:
rhyme/flow and "extreme conceptual imagery" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twgrg9XA1BM
intelligent and meaningful message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAYLRtz-JZM
allegory and bending pronounciation to make rhyme schemes fit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA4xvmH3WSQ
rhyme and conceptual imagery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BO0X1NPfBY
rhyme and imagery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQyxlbnueCk
Rhyme, flow and message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3i8k_VrcvI
metaphor and message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRFqzzsR5g0
In this debate I will show that rap is so technically mundane it's barely music, and calling it "lyrically" advanced shows complete ignorance of the most advanced form of lyrical music: Opera. I will also point out the subjectivity inherent in Pro's speculation and show why his entire case is meaningless. My opponent is a rapper and vocalist himself, and I am an instrumental musician, composer and producer. I look forward to the sites first musical debate! For definitions, I opt not to strictly define a metric of lyrical advancement as Pro has elected to use comparative analysis and this would inadvertently invalidate his case.
- Rap uniquely prioritises lyrics over the music itself, thus it is the most lyrically advanced
- There are no examples of pieces with more advanced lyrical design than his examples
These two are exactly the only two substantive arguments made by Pro.
In response to (1):
Firstly the argument is non-sequitur as prioritising lyrics over music doesn't make the lyrics more lyrically advanced compared to other forms of music. It might mean that the lyrics are more technical than than its own supporting music track, but if the lyrics aren't technically impressive to begin with then it's a moot point to suggest that the lyrics are in any way advanced. It fails as an argument due to self-comparison. A logical equivalent of this argument would be to suggest that pink lady apples are the sweetest fruit because no other apple has been specifically bred to be sweet. This ignores the fact that mangoes are sweeter than apples altogether. Pro needs to show why placing greater emphasis on the words than the music makes those lyrics more advanced than other forms of music. Furthermore, he needs to show how placing emphasis on lyrics makes them more advanced in the first place.
Secondly, if Pro's argument were true, and relative priority given to lyrics over music directly correlates to universal lyrical advancement, then Gregorian chants are more advanced than rap. Not only do they emphasis the lyrics more than the music, but often they are sung a capella and don't use music at all! On top of it all, composers of gregorian chants designed the musical techniques that would later go on to become modern music theory. I will use this rebuttal to create an original argument that Gregorian chants are more lyrically advanced than raps.
- Mode: Chants are frequently written in modality, unlike raps which are written invariably in basic Ionian/Aeolian diatonic, which is to say that raps don't venture out of the major/minor basic scale design. More than that, rappers typically only use one note for the entire song, and it's often a false tone as they are speaking and not singing.
- Rhythm: Chants are not confined to relying on a metric accent. Raps however base their entire lyrical design around the common time signature, with rare ventures into compound time that are in fact so rare I don't know of any and will need Pro to cite an example of where rappers rap in something other than the most basic time signature in all of music theory.
- Melody: Chants have melody, raps don't.
- Harmony: Strictly speaking, gregorian harmony is not a thing, however gregorian chants are used in cantus firmus to create fugue and counterpoint, which are extremely complex harmonies Raps don't use harmony.
- Pitch: As mentioned, pitch is not a thing in rap and the only thing that allows it under the umbrella term 'music' is the fact that there is a musical track being played with it.
- Technical demands of the singer: Chants require musical knowledge to perform, and currently chants are exclusively performed by professional musicians. Rapping can be done by tone deaf individuals and don't require musical competence.
In response to (1) I have demonstrated that:
- The argument is completely non-sequitur.
- By the arguments own admission, rap is not the most lyrically advanced form.
In response to (2):
Firstly, To suggest that there are no examples superior to the examples he has provided is to make a universal negative claim. All universal negative claims are inherently unverifiable. Thus no universal negative claim can instantiate his proposition therefore. It is the equivalent of claiming that no prisoner can possibly break out of a certain prison because no prisoner has succeeded previously. The logic does not allow that conclusion to follow.
Secondly, the criterion he lays out (eg, rhyme, flow etc) are not metrics of lyrical advancement in music as they don't carry meaning. Why is a piece that rhymes more lyrically advanced than one that doesn't rhyme? Ignoring the music and focusing just on the lyrics, note that William Shakespeare's verses written in Iambic pentameter don't rhyme, yet are far more complex and advanced than the lyrics of any rap. Based on this, rhyme is in fact a metric of poor lyrical design. This is more likely to be the case than the converse, as advanced lyrical designs use meters that focus on the type of syllable being used (such as the stressed and unstressed in Shakespeare's verses) whereas simple lyrical designs simply attempt to match up the phonetic at the end of each line. The latter is very easy to do and doesn't require careful deliberation on lyrical design. Therefore, if the words of a musical piece rhyme, it is low tier on the scale of advancement.
Thirdly, I have provided an example of a music piece that outperforms each of the native pieces Pro proposes for each category for no other reason than to show that his case is not salvageable. Explanations are provided:
- rhyme/flow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OacrlJurTNg In this piece, each stanza not only rhymes phonetically, they rhyme conceptually. Each stanza is built on the premise of the prior one, and links into the next one, flowing perfectly and far better than the rap Pro suggested.
- rhyme/flow and "extreme conceptual imagery": The previous song also fits "extreme conceptual imagery" which I suppose means imagery which is particularly imaginary, whatever that means. A new song has been selected which beats Pro's own suggestion however. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYBWH5wX4CI This entire song is actually a metaphor for a man's journey to his eventual death, conveyed in seemingly intemerate lines.
- Intelligent and meaningful purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96HtY9XJSMA Pro's example is merely about globalisation, which isn't meaningful purpose as it's a matter of opinion. Neither is there anything intelligent within. My example is about the experience of those who survived the holocaust, which is significantly more meaningful than mere political views.
- allegory and bending pronounciation to make rhyme schemes fit: By allegory, Pro is talking about a black man talking about niggers and bitches, which are presumably the allegories for black people and women. Hardly a sophisticated allegory. Bending pronunciation to make rhyme schemes fit is essentially mispronouncing words because you can't make the line work otherwise. The very opposite of complexity. Here I use this song as an example of lyrics that don't need to do this to get the message across: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yca6UsllwYs
- The remainder of his categories are essentially 'rhyme/flow.'
In response to (2) I have demonstrated that:
- A universal negative claim is insufficient to support the resolution
- His criterion is nonsensical and if anything shows that lyric design in rap is unsophisticated.
- I have better examples than he for the nonsensical categories he listed.
The Negative Case:
- Lyrical advancement is a subjective measure, thus no form of music can claim to be the most advanced in it
- If Lyrical advancement were an objective measure, Rap is objectively trash.
- Many musical forms are more advanced than rap if any given measure of lyrical advancement could possibly be objective
"Rap is less lyrically advanced than Rachmaninoff's prelude in g minor for piano, which doesn't even contain lyrics."
Because lyrical advancement is not something that can be measured, who are you to say that a piece is more or less lyrically advanced? I just noted a piece by Rachmaninoff that is so lyrically advanced, it doesn't have any lyrics at all. In fact, the lyrics are expressed solely through the expressiveness of the pianists hands, and the exact nature of the lyrics left open to interpretation. This level of advancement is so many orders of magnitude greater than rap, as all rap pieces without exception contain lyrics, and are thus far removed in terms of advancement.
To say that rap is more lyrically advanced than another piece of music doesn't make sense. It's a meaningless statement. Unless Pro can show that lyrical advancement is a real thing, he doesn't have a case. To do this, he needs to propose and justify a metric of lyrical advancement. I've given him a head-start in my rebuttal, by proposing a criteria upon which comparative analysis can be substantiated.
For Pro to have a case in this debate, he needs to qualify rap as a legitimate form of music. Rap can't compete with actual poetry in terms of technical sophistication, so he puts rap lyrics up against the lyrics of other forms of music hoping it will suffice. It doesn't. Advancement in music is measured by impact and changes made to music theory. Blues music for example was an advancement because it popularised the addition of a flat 5 to a minor pentatonic scale to create a new scale: the Blues scale. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlgq0yamjuY
What is rap's contribution to music? It's impact is non existent, and in music a lack of contribution from a style means it's either not original or so basic every aspect of it is already completely understood. This damning fact indicates to any musician that a certain style is anything but "advanced." In fact, 'advancement' is the completely wrong word to use with rap. "Regression" is more appropriate as rap seeks to regress musical advancement to a stage when lyrics were atonal and melody/harmony were irrelevant.
Opera is the uncontested most technically sophisticated and advanced form of lyrical music. The great geniuses in Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Handel etc crafted spectacular stories told via a play involving actors, singers, a theater and a symphonic orchestra. To actually sing in opera requires a lifetime of training and a huge gift of natural talent. The tones typically used by opera singers are well beyond the reach of normal individuals and the techniques performed using their voice are outright impossible for any non-opera singer to replicate. Each opera piece tells a story from multiple character points of view that follow a logical progression and can go for several hours.
The Voyevoda, by Tchaikovsky for example is split into three acts, subdivided into scenes or episodes and further subdivided into numbers. The opera takes nearly 3 hours to perform and can only be feasibly performed by dozens of professional musicians. I won't go into the technical aspects of Tchaikovsky's music as it is something people write books about and analytical dissertations. This level of lyrical crafting is far removed from the plebian horseshit Pro would brazenly have you believe as being the most lyrically advanced of all forms of music.
Pro's case is built on meaningless examples of rap pieces being asserted as great and the misguided view that prioritising lyrics over music magically makes the lyrics more advanced than any other style of lyrical music. I have presented 3 arguments that show why the resolution is nonsensical and false. Firstly, the resolution relies on a completely subjective metric of advancement; Secondly, if there were any objectivity in music, Rap is objectively trash; Lastly, Opera is more lyrically advanced than rap for any given metric of advancement.
Pro's task to affirm such a poor resolution is philosophically daunting, if not outright impossible.
The opponent has presented a multitude of false dilemmas and assertions mostly based on a bias against rap, which can be seen clearly with his highly subjective statements such as "rap is trash". The opponent also focuses heavily on musical aspects related to singing, insinuating that lyrical complexity is mostly defined by their sonic complexity rather than the complexity/poetic value of the words of the lyrics themselves. Not only are his assertions false, as rap DOES in fact include elements such as melody, but they are made in a border-line deceptive manner. The opponent completely ignores certain elements of lyrical complexity labeling them as inferior or meaningless to the extent that children's nursery rhymes are viewed as more complex than an extensive multi-syllabic rhyme scheme simply because they repeat a recurring theme ("rhyming conceptually"). I will concede that there is a fair degree of subjectivity in both poetry and music, but neither are entirely subjective or objective. Comparatively, the elements related to sound (which the opponent apparently values more) are a fair deal more subjective than the poetic elements in that they are ultimately designed to sound good and illicit emotion rather than directly convey meaning. Thus their complexity is irrelevant as long as a less complex piece "sounds better" to an individual or illicits an emotional response.
ON THE TOTAL MISREPRESENTATION OF MY CASE
"Rap uniquely prioritises lyrics over the music itself, thus it is the most lyrically advanced"
My argument is not that rap is more lyrically advanced BECAUSE it prioritises lyrics over the music itself. My argument is that rap is a form of "musical poetry" and thus it is uniquely designed in such a way that the music revolves around the poetry which creates more "room" for poetic complexity in the lyrics. Rap is poetry performed in a musical style, whereas other forms of music which prioritise lyrics, even ones that solely rely on vocals such as gregorian chants, are nothing like rap. Gregorian chants and Opera are heavily focused on the sonic complexity, rather than the poetic complexity of the lyrics. When you take that into account, these styles are nothing compared to rap in terms of lyrical complexity, because the "lyrical complexity" you speak of relies on using the voice as an instrument, rather than the poetic skill involved in crafting the lyrics. In this context you may as well say that simply making random sounds using complex melodies, modalities and time signatures is better than a poetically complex and well-flowed rap verse that contains actual words. The way you frame it, lyrical complexity mostly refers to the ability to use your voice as an instrument rather than lyricism in and of itself. On top of all this, rap is not so devoid of these sonic elements as you would like to believe.
I can't think of an example of a rapper spitting in modality, but there is nothing about rap that restricts one from doing so. This is also once again more related to sonic complexity rather than lyrical complexity in the context of using words themselves. You can use modality without actually saying anything and thus there is nothing about it which is specifically "lyrical".
Notice how this rapper alternates his tempo in such a way that the vocals posses a different time signature than the instrumental yet remain coherent with the beat of the instrumental: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPptDx6bys
Your baselessly ignorant assertion that raps have no melody is demonstrably false. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7D7f382cDU
This is basically irrelevant but once again there is nothing about rap which restricts one from using it.
Your statement regarding pitch is absolutely false as speech itself often has pitch regardless of whether or not it's even in music.
TECHNICAL DEMANDS OF THE SINGER
Singing and rapping are not the same thing (although they can, and often do converge). Singing is about using your voice as an instrument and rapping is about rhythmic poetry.
In response to (1) I have demonstrated that:
The opponent doesn't know the difference between vocal-centric lyricism and the type of lyricism that rap is primarily designed to display, which focuses on the poetic structure of the lyrics matched with certain rhythms.
Rap is not devoid of vocal-centric forms of lyricism.
ON THE ABSOLUTE REWRITING OF REALITY DISPLAYED BY MY OPPONENT
1) "To suggest that there are no examples superior to the examples he has provided is to make a universal negative claim."
First of all no. Second of all your prison break analogy is useless because nothing I said suggests that there can never be a more lyrically advanced form of music, just that it is currently the most advanced.
2) "Secondly, the criterion he lays out (eg, rhyme, flow etc) are not metrics of lyrical advancement in music as they don't carry meaning."
Your attempt to label rhymes as "low tier" and a sign of "poor lyrical design" are simply a daft appeal to subjective preference for tone based lyrics masked as an objective response. The reason why rhyming is more valuable in lyrical music than in traditional poetry (and also more valuable than your shakespeare example i.e "the type of syllable being used") is because rhyming brings together a vocalized rhythm in such a way that actually compliments it. Shakespeare's "lyrics" are actually poetic lamentations, and are not actually specifically designed to be sung or rapped.
Also saying that rhymes do not carry meaning is quite ironically, meaningless. Stressing certain syllables, using certain patterns or using certain vocal techniques does not carry any meaning either. Only the actual words being sung, rapped, or lamented carry meaning. Taking that into account, rap necessitates that actual meaning be expressed, because it is based on words. By your criteria, literal gibberish can be called "great lyricism" if it uses the methodology of music theory.
3) The pitiful examples of lyricism...
"In this piece, each stanza not only rhymes phonetically, they rhyme conceptually."
Not only is the rhyme scheme objectively and vastly more simplistic in your little baby song, but this "rhyming conceptually" is something that rappers do all the time. Take this rap for example, about a man who gained immortality and grew to regret it... (also let it be noted that having a simple and uniform "flow" does not equate to superiority and in fact the flow of the baby song is virtually non existent due to it's incredible uniformity, simplicity and rigidity)
Your second example I feel is not even worth a response, as you are clearly going out of your way to mock me. No intellectually honest person could attack my lyrical sensibilities with such rubbish and call it superior.
"Pro's example is merely about globalisation, which isn't meaningful purpose as it's a matter of opinion."
On the contrary,the piece you provided is merely a recitation of events that took place during WW2 and have no actual message therefor it's "meaning" is subjective and arbitrary. I can provide you with hundreds of raps that contain "mere political views" which are far more meaningful in that they actually convey a message and intent rather than a simple chronology of events. Your disregard for actual meaning when discussing meaning is encumberously tedious to even address. Here is a rap that contains both a series of historical events and actual opinions on them. It therefor contains the "best of both worlds" so to speak.
"By allegory, Pro is talking about a black man talking about niggers and bitches, which are presumably the allegories for black people and women."
In other words you are too stupid and not well-versed enough in ebonics to understand his puns and allegories. Here is a basic example:
I be gettin' paid, nigga I be gettin' guap
I always get the dough ( also do' as in door) like I heard somebody knock
Also, bending pronunciation to make rhymes fit is a technique employed in pretty much every form of music and even in a lot of poetry.
In response to (2) I have demonstrated that:
My opponent just really, really hates rap.
His criterion is nonsensical when applied to lyricism specifically because it focuses only on the sonic aspects of music. If I wanted to argue about music theory I would have made a debate stating "classical music is the best kind of music" and not even mentioned lyrics.
And on top of this, my opponent laughably disregards rhyming as "unsophisticated" when rhyming is in fact the most musically coherent poetic format.
RESPONSE TO "THE NEGATIVE CASE"
"Lyrical advancement is a subjective measure, thus no form of music can claim to be the most advanced in it"
This is literally just as valid an argument as the one you presented, assuming lyrical advancement is entirely subjective...
But on a serious note, lyrical advancement has a degree of subjectivity to it, but also a degree of objectivity. The objective criteria that make rap more advanced are:
A) Rap is uniquely designed to allow the practitioner to convey a specific message, as it is less rigidly structured in it's approach to lyrics due to the fact that the lyrics are it's main focus rather than the actual music and thus allows you the freedom to say whatever needs to be said.
B) Rap is objectively more lyrically complex than any other form of music currently known to man. No one can beat the best rappers at rhyme schemes, metaphors, similes, story telling, or what have you because rap is specifically based on translating poetry into musical format.
C) Rap is about the content of the lyrics, rather than using your voice as just another instrument, yet nothing in rap is stopping you from using any given vocal technique.
"If Lyrical advancement were an objective measure, Rap is objectively trash."
Once again, your entire argument is based on ignoring lyricism entirely and viewing the voice as just another instrument with lyrics being nothing more than the notes and cadences of that instrument. If you view things that way, then lyrics themselves are entirely meaningless and may as well be grammatical and conceptual gibberish as long as they adhere to music theory. If you can't learn the difference between lyricism in and of itself and your incessant reliance on music theory which you use to justify your disregard for lyrics and prioritise only the depth and patterns of sound, then this debate will be fruitless.
"Many musical forms are more advanced than rap if any given measure of lyrical advancement could possibly be objective"
Once again, Opera can easily surpass rap when it comes to using the voice as an instrument, but that is not rap's primary focus. In my view rap and classical music are the two greatest forms of music, rap for it's lyrics and classical for the actual music. Opera is a form of music which can be considered a sub-genre of classical. Based on your criteria it is definitely superior to rap, but as I've said a billion times now your criteria has absolutely nothing to do with LYRICISM but instead can only be used to measure VOCAL PERFORMANCE. In order to give you a taste of your own medicine I should completely ignore the point you presented about Opera's capacity as a story telling method. But since I am not a massive dick faced baboon I will not stoop to your level of intellectual dishonesty. Instead I will simply say that there is nothing preventing someone from writing a ten hour story in rap format, it has simply never been done because rap was never intended to compliment or narrate a play-like performance. Also all Opera that currently exists in musical history lacks every lyrical capacity that the best rappers display other than story telling and vocal performance.
Con's case is built on meaningless examples of musical pieces being asserted as great and the misguided view that prioritising music over lyrics magically makes the lyrics of other forms of music more advanced than rap. I have presented a hundred arguments that show why Con's resolution is nonsensical and false. Firstly, the resolution relies on a complete disregard for lyrics; Secondly, if there were any objectivity in my personal feelings towards human beings, Con is objectively trash; Lastly, Opera is more vocally advanced than rap but not poetically or lyrically.
Con is an anti-intellectual troglodyte cretin and an insanely dishonest bag of jews. Vote Pro.
This round I will point out that Pro's case is still entirely a matter of taste. For pro to assert that rap is the most lyrically advanced, he needs some sort of objective measure to base this claim on. Unfortunately no such basis exists, thus Pro simply doesn't have a case. His thoughts on lyrical advancement are all fundamentally subjective. I will further show that his defense, where he claims that "yeah rap does have X and Y" misses the point as my argument was that currently existing forms of music already have X and Y and more, and he is trying to make rap reach equality with my examples when equality falls far short of the ridiculous resolution he is vainly attempting to prove.
In this round I will forward my fourth and final argument of the debate: That lyrics which require musical skill to recite are more lyrically advanced than lyrics which are musically mundane.
Pro's defense of (1):
- The music revolves around the poetry which creates more "room" for poetic complexity in the lyrics
- There is at least 1 example of a rap for most of the criteria I provided
In Response to (1.1):
Pro claimed that I misrepresented his argument, and so he reworded it into much the same thing, except this time it is even weaker. Originally he was claiming that Rap prioritises the lyrics, but this downgraded argument is only claiming that there is more "room" for complexity. He doesn't even say what he means by "room" for complexity. I've already demonstrated in my first response that it is non-sequitur to claim that placing the focus on the lyrics over the music increases the lyrical complexity in relation to other musical forms. This argument is saying exactly that, but introduces added terms with subjective definitions and make the argument muddier.
Building the music around the lyrics is how most lyrical forms of music are made. Rap is not unique in this regard, yet Pro wholly asserts that because rap does this, it is the most complex. The argument does not follow. He points out that Gregorian chants and opera focus on the "sonic" complexity as opposed to the lyrical complexity, thus raps are more lyrically advanced. In saying this he ignores the obvious fallacy inherent which I pointed out earlier, that even a piece which gives nearly no 'focus' to the lyrics can still outperform a piece in complexity that gives all of it's focus to the lyrics. By this logic, all a capella pieces are more lyrically advanced than all rap pieces, as a capella music only focus on lyrics. As you can tell, where the focus of the piece lies tells you absolutely nothing about the quality of the lyrics.
In Response to (1.2):
To refute my argument that Gregorian chants are more lyrically advanced than Rap, Pro attempted to come up with an example of a rap that applied to each of the categories that chants have greater complexity in. He came up with a relevant example for 1 out of 5 of the cases, as he demonstrated that there exists *a* rap that has a melody.
Pro concedes that in all cases of Modality, Melody, Harmony, Rhythm and Pitch, Raps are less complex than gregorian chants. Why are my categories valid comparitive basis? Because gregorian chants are ONLY lyrics. If raps are less advanced than a lyrical piece that contains nothing but lyrics, how can he make the claim that raps are lyrically advanced to begin with? Unfortunately, the existence of a rap that has a melody does not change that fact that raps are not known for their melodies, and the presence of pitch does not change the fact that the lyrics are atonal. Raps cannot compete with gregorian chants.
If raps aren't lyrically advanced, could it be that they are poetically advanced? I addressed this question in my last round and Pro missed it. All the poetic complexity of a rap comes down to the design of each line against a common time meter. Without the music and the rhyme, raps are actually nothing more than prose. Gregorian chants use a free meter, which means that phrases need to be carefully designed as there is no time meter for the chanters to follow. Rap on the other hand largely uses the most common and most basic time meter in ALL of music theory. I asked Pro for an example of a rap in compound time and he failed to provide one, leading me to believe that there are currently no examples of a rap which aren't written in simple time. Even if they were, they appear to be so rare as to be an exception to the norm of how raps are written. Therefore, raps are not poetically advanced.
Pro's defense of (2):
- Rhyming compliments vocalised rhythmn and thus rhymes are a good metric of lyrical advancement
- My examples of lyrics that better fit 'rhyme, flow, etc.' are still not as "good" as his raps.
In Response to (2.1):
The argument was that the logical form of syllogism made in pro's argument cannot support the resolution. It arbitrarily drew up criteria (which isn't relevant to this rebuttal although that is not allowed) and asserted that there was a rap that suited each criteria. This argument does not support the resolution and thus doesn't need to be said. I went into further detail in my first round which you can re-reference above. Pro's dismissal simply means that his argument is refuted.
In Response to (2.2):
In parody of Pro who said that raps rhyme ergo AdVanCemENt, I reversed the same logic he used and claimed that raps rhyme ergo they are not advanced. The point being made here which went over Pro's head was that it's meaningless to suggest rhyming is a good standard of lyrical complexity. Pro ignores the fact that many songs have rhyming lyrics, some of which I linked in my last round. The closest thing he had to an argument here was that Rhyming compliments vocalised rhythm. Unfortunately this still doesn't demonstrate lyrical advancement, because Gregorian chants for example had already moved beyond that and were using syllabic enunciation to compliment phrasic patterns. If you make the phrases end in rhymes, you limit your ability to do actually complex things with words, like what the chants and operas do. That's why rhyming is less advanced. That all being said, this is actually a moot point because I made this argument to show that it's entirely subjective in the end, and Pro shot himself in the foot by agreeing with me. This argument is definitely refuted.
In Response to (2.3):
Pro shows with his examples that he thinks a valid argument for the advancement of rap lyrics is to come up with examples that he thinks are better suited to arbitrary criteria than examples I provide. Unfortunately this doesn't advance his proposition. Also note that he thinks lyrical advancement is seen in the conceptual imagery of the lyrics, the rhyming of the lyrics etc and anything which raps do, but lyrical advancement is not measured by things that raps lack. He's consistently rejected that lyrical advancement can be measured musically, but is happy to suggest that it can be measured by the sort of political statements it makes. "I can provide you with hundreds of raps that contain "mere political views" which are far more meaningful in that they actually convey a message and intent." This sort of behaviour, where you reject evidence that disproves your belief while amplifying largely irrelevant evidence that supports it is called cherry-picking, or confirmation bias.
The examples I provide are examples of lyrical pieces that make the same sort of statements that pro says raps make. Whichever ones you think make "better" statements again are subjective, which is a hurdle Pro will never be able to surmount (especially given his demonstrated inability to deal with philosophical claims).
Summation of Pro's case:
Pro has two arguments in this debate
- The focus on lyrics over music allows room for complexity that makes raps the most lyrically advanced music.
- His examples of raps that demonstrate things like rhyme and flow show that rap is the most lyrically advanced music
I've dissected both these claims to show that they are both subjective and demonstrably false. More than that, neither actually support the resolution. His case appeals to subjectivity and is supported by a myriad of cherry picked pseudo-standards of what he thinks constitutes lyrical advancement. He claims that all standards (especially the music ones) that don't support rap as the most advanced are not measures of lyrical complexity, while simultaneously claiming that standards such as how much of a political statement the lyrics make are in fact measures of lyrical advancement. He doesn't attempt to justify this, and even if it were logically possible to justify, his entire case is still a matter of taste.
Pro's prison (from which he cannot escape):
- Demonstrate how a measure of lyrical advancement can be objective (problem of subjectivity)
- Come up with an objective measure and show why it is correct
- Demonstrate how you know that there are no examples of pieces that compete with rap in any category (problem of universal negative)
- Construct an argument that actually supports the resolution of this debate (problem of relevance)
As shown, Pro case is subjective, irrelevant and attempts to prove a universal negative through case examples.
The Negative Case:
- Lyrical advancement is a subjective measure, thus no form of music can claim to be the most advanced in it
- If Lyrical advancement were an objective measure, Rap is objectively trash
- Many musical forms are more advanced than rap if any given measure of lyrical advancement could possibly be objective
- Lyrics which are themselves are a musical piece are more advanced than lyrics which are only prose
In Defense of (1):
"lyrical advancement has a degree of subjectivity to it, but also a degree of objectivity."
No, there is no degree of objectivity in claims that lyrical advancement is an objective measure. For it to be objective it would be a metric, and you could literally measure it according to the external standard. For example, is Bob taller than Shelly? To find out we can use a measure of height to establish that Bob is in fact taller. We can do the same thing for temperature, distance, natural forces etc. We cannot measure things such as love, hate or lyrical advancement.
He goes on to suggest things which rap does the best in, specifically 'conveying messages,' 'complexity,' and 'lyrical content.' I've already shown why rap is not the best at the first two, the last is undefined. However this is beside the point. Who is to say that these three constitute a valid and objective measure of lyrical advancement? Not Pro for sure.
In Defense of (2):
Pro doesn't defend rap, but complains that we should not use measures of musical complexity, which are in fact objective. Unfortunately for Pro, there aren't any other measures to use, and musicality is definitely a facet of lyrical advancement. He doesn't attempt to make his own objective measure, so this argument remains untouched. To say that rap is objectively trash is the logical equivalent of saying that rap is the best. They are both a matter of taste and ultimately meaningless.
In Defense of (3):
Pro admits that opera singing is more complex and technically demanding, but says that this isn't a measure of lyrical advancement. Ironic, isn't it? I'll jump straight into my last argument to show why it is the case that opera is more lyrically advanced than rap.
Consider the following lyrics:
On summer's hill come roll with me, there's a knoll down south and we're young and free.
This lyrical line is presented in two songs, one where it is spoken and the other where it is sung. Which is more lyrically advanced? They are not the same in lyrical advancement because lyrics in music necessitate some level of musicality, and Pro is trying to claim that his lyrics are the most advanced of any musical form. Poetically they may be identical, lyrically they are not.
If the same rap is performed in the exact same way with the only difference being that one rap successfully incorporates a melodic motif into the lyrics, all things being equal that rap is lyrically more sophisticated. This shows that musicality plays a big part in lyrical complexity.
The most lyrically complex musical pieces are those that have the greatest technical demands on the performer. Opera is the uncontested peak of lyrical sophistication. And yes operas are also poetically more sophisticated, as each phonetic sound needs to be carefully designed to make the lyrical phrase a work of art. There is a reason why only musical geniuses are capable of writing opera, and why only professional opera singers are capable of performing it. The lyrics themselves are a piece of art so complex it defies belief. Rapping does not compete with this level of lyrical sophistication, and is completely accessible to the lay person to perform.
One final thought on lyrical complexity, lyrics which modulate through a key are more complex than lyrics that don't. Lyrics that are themselves music pieces in addition to being lyrics are more advanced than those that aren't. Lyrics and music go hand in hand, and thus can be extremely technical and advanced to perform. to be fair to rapping, some raps are difficult to perform, but as a whole are fairly mundane and never require a life-time of training and innate talent.
There never was and never will be an objective measure of lyrical advancement, as that is purely within the realm of personal taste. Even in an imaginary world where an objective measure could exist, we would find that rap is trash when measured by it. Lastly, there are forms of music with lyrical complexity orders of magnitude greater than the complexity seen in rap, and rap as a style will never surmount the difference. As a final note, ad hominems and bare attacks on an opponent are not welcome here as they degrade the quality of your already flimsy effort.
Pro's case does not support the resolution and is subjective to boot.
In your subjective view, rap is trash right?
I'm about to laugh right
in your face, after I show you what raps like
you're an ass wipe
you're the bitch ass type
brain-farting at the mouth like a sputtering gas pipe
you told me lyrical skill is subjective, you where half right
cause' your arguments collapse quite
quickly like Hydrogen-7 as it completes it's half life
when you judge lyricism on seperate metrics
and project the methods
of music theory which stresses resonance
on a genre with a poetic essence
and undermine it's technical complex in-depthness
your text is feckless
and your intellect is breadthless
compared to the correctest leftist
who dismisses subjective ethics
along with your fallaciously pathetic references
compared to what I do on the beat
cause my mantras keep
you off your feet
after you read my stanza sheet
and you lost the teeth
from trying to recite this despite the fact that your pranas weak
I write till' my chakras leak
and by the time I'm done, even my clocks asleep!
come on an oddeysey/ with oddest freak
prodigy/ as we journey to find the black rock, it's deep
secrets probably/ can show you the way to stop the beast
to knock elites
off their thrones, and steal the Illuminati's flock of sheep....
talk is cheap
the average rapper oft repeats
a toxic heap
of simple minded topics, they should go find a cock to eat
I'm sick of the useless pile
rappers, who defile
the game and make people like you misconstrue the style
and just because I use a ruthless style
that's often crude and vile
don't mistake me for the crap that promotes gangs and truth denial
I leave those rappers eatin' through tubes, it's why all
those bitches put in grills to cover their toothless smile
I got a huge supply full
of weapons to contuse a guy's skull
I use the bible
to wipe my ass as I SCUBA dive all
the way to hell, and tell Satan I'll trade a doob for my soul
cause' I smoked up all my weed in the last few ones I rolled
but then I saw my chance to assume my rightful
place as the lord of darkness, and hell started freezing cause' dude, I'm ice cold...
I changed the status quo, now Satan's my true disciple
and I can smoke unlimited hash fumes, and pipe bowls
plus I have a fresh supply of tight holes
to pipe and bouncy boobs, delightful
people say I shoot lyrics like some type of human rifle
with vials of flourine and mercury, I'll give you an eye full
I put rappers in a gas chamber like Jews and cycle
through a rightful
dose of zyklon-b till' they bleed through all nine holes
my lyrics are the best, and don't forget it....
I know your head is
spinnin' from this flow, cause' my flows are endless
and their hotter than a racing Nascar's motor bed is...
see I'm the record rectifier
the death defier
with breath of fire
the super-symmetric rhymer
quantum string collider
I take the profession higher
I'm your bitches best desire
the sex driver, so check the tires
I'm never gettin' tired
I can freestyle for 3 days while I count each second my verse
lasts with no session timer
don't try this at home without a nebulizer
and a paramedic hired
to make sure you respire and you're kept alive, your
puny human lungs are no match for the depth of my words
my skills I will never let decline or
why is it the best alive are
than greedy deceptive liars?
cause' the retchid spiders
get to buy your
thoughts, with the media outlets acquired
by fake news weaponizers
who invest in keeping the truth supressed entire-
-ly, capitalism lets the finer
people be oppressed by worthless connivers
who only care about making sure the profits they collect are higher
Pro has conceded the arguments, the resolution is soundly refuted.
Here are two examples of masterpieces in lyrical design that rap cannot compete with:
- From Mozart's 'The Magic Flute,' Der Hölle Rache: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuBeBjqKSGQ Note how the motifs are worked throughout the performance to create lyrics that alternate between telling the story and showing the character's internal emotions. The scene itself is rather tragic, however Mozart crafts the lyrics around the concept of the 'queen of night' to make her display her own character in all it's brilliance. The supporting orchestra is married into the lyrics every time the performer pauses in her recitation and switches to pure song form. Rap lyrics have nothing on the depth and understanding of lyrical advancement as this example.
- From Luciano Pavarotti, Nessun Dorma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fYvVRLPVcs In this piece, every single syllable its own wonder. That sort of compliment can never be made of a rap, as anyone can essentially rap. These lyrics however are too lyrically advanced to be casually dissected and anything learned
Raps are lyrically primitive. They don't require a life-time of devoted practice and study in order to produce, and consequently aren't capable of competing with lyrical forms which do. Native tribal dances are more primitive than the styles in professional modern dancing for the same reason, most people can do them.
In conclusion, Pro has not supported the resolution, nor has he really attempted to. He should start a rap battle if he wants a rap battle, because this debate was not made to be a rap off.