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Hate Rap? Watch This!


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I subscribe to the BGT YouTube channel and was fortunate enough to catch that first performance shortly after it aired. The boys have succeeded in wowing everyone in their next (the semi-final) performance and won that stage. They are now slated to appear in the Finals tomorrow. It will likely get posted late tomorrow or surely by Sunday. I don't know if they're good enough to win, there is a musical theater boy band named Collabro who are wowing everyone as well. Fortunately, Bar and Melody are realistic enough to know that they may not win it all, but know that this is still a tremendous stepping stone for them. I know this because I spent an hour one evening reading all the news releases and watching all the interviews since that initial performance. Hell, Ellen Degeneris flew them to Cali for an appearance. Simon Cowell likes them and is quite likely to sign them and get them recorded, win or not.

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Yes, I know, we're the older generation and we should have no appreciation for rap, but these boys actually have a message with their combination of rap and music that's pretty awesome. Out of 50,000 original applicants/auditions, these two took third place. But don't feel sorry for the boys, they're going to do quite nicely out of it all.


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Considering all the finalists, I think they got it right this year. Lucy had a great voice, and the Collabro boys were just amazing.

As for Bars and Melody I thought they actually managed to make rap accessible with audible words that the older boy managed to balance with a counterpoint melodic line. It's different but I thought it worked.

I do wonder what's in store for the two boys. I know Simon Cowell is going to sign them up for a tour and an album, but what happens when their voices break? Will they still have a relevance in tomorrow's world. I don't know that Cowell is clever enough to encourage them to further their natural creativity towards the inherent drama of their musical presentation. I guess we will have to wait and see what puberty brings.

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Nope, still sucked.

Agreed. You either like rap or you don't, and it's not my bag either, man. :aak[1]:

I fail to understand is why a 13 year old from Port Talbot, Wales talks with a street accent that seems to have come from Jamaica via Notting Hill. His mother doesn't.

The picture of a proprietorial, grinning, Simon Cowell with his hands around their shoulders, I entirely understand, as I do the apparent £500,000 record deal. They'll have a lot of fun, see the world (from homogenous hotel rooms) and make some money. I only hope they make it out the other end okay.

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I'm kinda disappointed with the negativity I've seen in this thread.

What a bunch of cynics we've all become.

Still looking for someone to run the Forums. They'll be ten years old July 1st. Maybe it's time for new management.


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I don't believe that puberty will be a hindrance for the boys. At 15, it's quite likely that Charlie has accomplished all the necessary changes. Yes, his voice may still get a bit deeper, but he's not attempting to reach those really high registers anyway. As for Leondre, puberty won't affect his rapping. So long as he continues to write meaningful songs and Charlie keeps selecting appropriate counter melodies, they have every chance to make a success. It's going to depend on the relevancy of their messages and the management of their careers.

I for one, admire the boys. First, they are well spoken for boys their age. They are polite and appreciative. They do have a talent that could grant them at least a modicum of success for a time. But most of all, I admire the lack of fear in displaying their affection for one another. And I couldn't care less if they're gay or not. The fact that they display their love for one another in public, demonstrates a lot of courage. I wish them all the good fortune in the world, and I'll be keeping tabs on where their careers go.

The one encouraging fact about the contestants in these contests, as far as Bars and Melody is concerned, is that many of the non-winners do very well following the competition. Many of them doing much better than the winners. Well, I for one, will see.

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Well said Addym. My reference to puberty was meant in a rhetorical way, and I certainly agree with your remarks about the boys display of affection and future success.

As for the rap itself, I have worked with rap artists since early years of 2000 when the theatre I worked for organised the first hip-hop festival in Australia.

I said to one of the older rap artists that it seemed to me that the rap was testing the possibility of using more tuneful lines, more melody in delivery. He told me that they were, but in those days it wasn't exactly being pursued intentionally.

For me Bars and Melody have actually combined rap and melody successfully, but if you dislike rap (And I certainly do not like it in its garbled fast speed form where the words are delivered so fast it can't be understood) then you may only zero in on the rap form without actually hearing the dramatic and hauntingly beautiful juxtaposition of the words and the melody. You have to throw out your previous perception of "Oh it's rap...I don't like rap." Listen to what the boys have created as a new experience.

I thought the choir overrode Charlie's voice, or the mic setup wasn't what it should have been.

But finally, I have to say all criticisms aside, and please remember that I would prefer to listen to grand opera, I loved what the boys achieved, to the point where the whole effect has been replaying in my mind all day. I admit that I had to work past my initial dislike of rap to get to the point where I appreciated what they achieved.

A similar thing happened to me back in the early 1960's when I first heard the Beatles wanting to hold my hand. I thought it was noise, now I own all their albums. And I still love grand opera...street rap doesn't work for me, but Bars and Melody does. In fact what they have done is close to Wagnerian music-drama in that the words become interlaced with the music, dramatically. I can imagine their songs being used in a soundtrack to a movie or a play, soaring with the audience in tow, on a journey of deep emotions.

I wish them all the best.

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I find that with all music genres I may have a preference either for or against but there will be exceptions. For instance, I really like classical music but I don't like everything that Brahms wrote. I really don't like punk rock but I like XTC very much. I don't like rap but I do really like what these two young boys have created.

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I thought the choir overrode Charlie's voice, or the mic setup wasn't what it should have been.

I heartily agree with your assessment. The backup singers were a nice touch, but they were TOO strong. I also think they need to rework a bit of the arrangement. During their second performance, Charlie was forced to step on the end of Leo's rap and we couldn't make out what he said. But then, these technical issues will be resolved, I imagine, when they are placed in the care of a producer/director that is sensitive to the little nuances. I imagine Simon is a good music producer. He's made enough money at it surely, but the boys need ALL of their message to be heard, not have it be overshadowed by backup singers or each other. LOL.

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I fail to understand is why a 13 year old from Port Talbot, Wales talks with a street accent that seems to have come from Jamaica via Notting Hill. His mother doesn't.

I agree, it's very contrived. Howard Stern used to constantly slam teenage rap star Marky Mark in the early 1990s for his "wigger" urban hip-hop speak. "Yo-yo-yo, man! Homeys in da HOUSE!" Years later, Mark Wahlberg dropped the fake street voice, spoke like a guy who grew up in a lower-class neighborhood in Boston, and he's completely understandable. In later appearances on Stern, he completely copped to faking the accent just to gain street cred as a rapper. With these two affected British kids, it's absolutely ridiculous.

I don't have a problem with Eminem, who plays up the street voice in his rap hits but is actually a lot more educated and articulate in real life. And I think he's actually a talented guy, though I'm not a rap fan.

I've posted this before, but here's an example of a rap hit I can stand. All the clips are from a movie I worked on, 8 Mile, and when I was working on the trailers, I told the editor, "the movie is awful but this is a hit song if I ever heard one." It wound up as a huge #1 hit in 2002:


Say what you will, but there's real poetry in there. It's not my kind of music, but parts of the song are really, really good. And I'm totally just a 1960s/1970s/1980s kinda guy.

A similar thing happened to me back in the early 1960's when I first heard the Beatles wanting to hold my hand.

BLASPHEMY! :spank:

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BLASPHEMY! :spank:

Why blasphemy? As I said in my post, I own all the Beatles albums...it just took me awhile to fall in love, love, love, with them and their music.

I can cope with music likes and dislikes being generational, but it is true that much of more recent music is noise with distortion for a beat.

Personally, I'm not fond of Eminem at all.

Additionally, what others find contrived with Bar and Melody's voices. seems a bit unkind to me. The boys are young, impressionable and testing the medium to express their quite original creativity. I don't expect everyone to like them or appreciate what they do, but I agree with Mike that the negative comments are disappointing. Normally when I dislike something that others rave about, I find it best to offer a critical assessment, or say nothing at all.

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