The Art of Rap

Friday, June 15, 2012

When people think of music as art they may think of a piano sonata by Mozart or a thrilling piece of be-bop by Charlie Parker, but a new documentary suggests that the title of "art" should also be bestowed on hip hop.

Legendary rapper Ice T is the director of a new film called "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," which opens in limited release today. Jonathan Hailey is a hip hop expert and assistant editor of the He’s here to tell us whether the film makes a convincing argument for rap being art. MC Lyte, who is featured in the film, was the first female rapper to achieve gold status.


Jonathan Hailey and MC Lyte

Produced by:

Tim Einenkel and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [5]

victoriah from Miami Beach, FL

Maybe it's because all of the songs that open the story are really, really great examples of hip-hop, but I cannot see how anyone could say this isn't music - which I already thought, but which I am pointing out that to listen to these songs and say they are not art, not real music, then they must be tone deaf and poetry deaf.

Jun. 25 2012 11:06 AM
Supermario from Memphis, tn

By that argument, we have to consider companies that make paints artists and companies that make pianos genius composers. The real artist referenced in the previous comment is the first person the ever discover sound waves. Hip hop is art the same way that a painting by a master is art. An individual takes a series of tools and combines them in a way that inspires imagination and wonderment in the hearts of the viewer. I think the confusion is in the fact that hip hop is art, but not all practitioners of hip hop are artists.

Jun. 16 2012 01:00 AM
Radio Listener from USA

Why did Hockenberry need to bring up Trayvon Martin during the MC Lyte interview?

The white liberal guilt fetish is getting tiresome on this show...

Jun. 15 2012 11:43 AM

If art is a creative expression of oneself then Rap is Art. Naysayers were probably breaking vinyl while chanting "Rock n Roll has got to go" two generations ago. Or siding with those who believed Jazz was the devil's music four generations ago.

Rap is art because it displays an individual's skill for the entertainment of others while serving no "practical" purpose. Isn't that what Mozart and Beethoven did for aficionados of their works?

Jun. 15 2012 10:40 AM
Ender Locke

If we state that all hip-hop is considered art, then maybe we should classify it as modern art. The real artist behind hip-hop is those who spent the last 50 years creating the computer programs that resulted most of the beats and now alter the voices of the so called "artists".

Jun. 15 2012 07:25 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.