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Ed Waffle

Rap lyrics treated as a foreign language in British courts?

11 posts in this topic

Even if the judge were thirty instead of fifty or so, it wouldn't necessarily make any difference. The argot of any in-group is going to sound odd to outsiders, which is part of the point.

I quite like the idea of calling in a drug dealer to explain certain terms to the court.

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I am no fan of rap music but this entire case supports my theory that the lyrics are "sound and fury signifying nothing..." If lyrics are put together for their sound and rhythm, there can't be much in the way of meaning going on.

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I object! Eminem, though he has a bad image, his songs actually have sound and rhythmn with a message.

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I will join Calliope's objection, although not because of Marshall Mathers.

My reference is Leos Janacek. He studied the patterns of everyday speech of peasants, workers, shopkeepers and bureaucrats and wrote them out in standard musical notation. He went on to compose Jenufa, a true masterpiece of the lyric theater, using what he called "speech melody" in which his music and the words and sentences of the lyrics mirrored each other. There have been stacks of scholarly papers written concerning which was most important, the stresses of the words or the rhythm of the music, but even Janacek was ambiguous regarding this "chicken and egg" question in his letters.

He wanted to produce sung stylizations of everyday speech--in doing so he created high art.

Not sure if this addresses Mary J's point--but there are other cases in opera in which the sections of the text were chosen primarily for the way they sounded.

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And since when do they speak English in England, anway?

Just kidding!!!!;)

As has been said before, the US and UK are two countries divided by a common language. Never truer, although I doubt I could make sense of the lyrics.

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Just remember, there is a difference between what is in law, and what is in fact. Attorney Clarence Darrow had a saying, "When the law is against you, argue the facts; when the facts are against you, argue the law; when both the law and the facts are against you, give opposing counsel hell."

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Indeed, British rap is a lot different from American rap.

This was quite funny when it was reported on Radio 4. They have very plummy news readers, so them saying "shizzle my nizzle" in perfect RP was hilarious!:)

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It reminds me of some French rap groups, for example one from Marseille called IAM which sometimes used very typical Marseille expressions which probably wouldn't be understood by people

not used to it; there even are a few rap bands who sing partly in Occitan (regional language from Southern France), like "Fabulous troubadors" and "Massilia Sound System" (curious that they chose English names ;) )

Well, I even remember a song from a French rap singer (MC Solaar) mentioning proust, so everything happens...

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Sorry this is off-topic, but I LOVE MC Solaar! He sounds so sexy! Even when some of his lyrics are a bit silly.;)

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And then there's the guy who raps in Breton....:rolleyes:

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