Why Ben Shapiro Is Wrong About Rap

Why Ben Shapiro Is Wrong About Rap


this video is sponsored by Skillshare. hey, welcome to 12tone. I didn’t want to make this video. I didn’t want to have to make this video. I didn’t want to live in a world where this
video had to get made, but a couple weeks ago, professional opinion-haver Ben Shapiro
decided to reiterate his repeatedly-disproven argument that, technically speaking, rap isn’t
music, so I guess now we have to talk about it. *sigh* fine. (tick, tick, tick, tick, tock) so to start with, let’s look at what Shapiro
actually said: (SHAPIRO: “in my view, and the view of my music theorist father who went
to music school, there are three elements to music. there is harmony, there is melody, and there
is rhythm, and rap only fulfills one of these: the rhythm section. there’s not a lot of melody, and there’s not
a lot of harmony, and so it’s not actually a form of music, it’s a form of rhythmic speaking. so beyond the subjectivity of me just not
enjoying rap all that much, what I’ve said before is it’s not music, so tell me why I’m
wrong.”) now, long-time viewers may recognize this
argument, because I already made a video about it a year ago, where I explained why rap,
or as many fans of the genre prefer to call it, hip-hop, does often contain all three
of these elements, but what you may not know is that when researching that video, my primary
source for that argument was an article written in 2009 by none other than Ben Shapiro, which
means he’s been repeating this same lazy definition for at least a decade now. still, in spite of my better judgment, I’m
going to assume he’s serious when he says (SHAPIRO: “tell me why I’m wrong”), so while
the previous video focused on why his definition doesn’t even actually exclude hip-hop, today
I’d like to look at a deeper question: is this a good way to define music in the first
place? spoiler alert: no. now, to be clear, language is subjective,
and Shapiro is free to define music however he wants for his own personal use, but when
he says things like (SHAPIRO: “beyond the subjectivity of me just not enjoying rap”)
and attributes the claim to (SHAPIRO: “my music theorist father who went to music school”)
in order to argue that (SHAPIRO: “it’s not actually a form of music”) he’s invoking the
concept of technical language, implying that his definition reflects some sort of objective
truth, or at the very least that it would be supported by a majority of experts in the
field. but here’s the thing: I’m an expert in the
field. I’m a music theorist, and much like Shapiro’s
father, I also went to music school. and beyond that, I know plenty more music
theorists, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and other music experts, and I’ve never heard
any of them use anything even close to this definition. why not? because it excludes a lot of things
that are broadly considered music, but to understand how, we’re gonna have to define
our terms. let’s start with rhythm. does music have to have rhythm? well, that depends what rhythm is. in a broad sense, rhythm is just the spacing
of events in time, but that’s not a particularly useful definition here, because all sounds
occur in time, so all sounds would be rhythmic. instead, when talking about musical rhythm,
we’re usually talking about a structured, hierarchic pattern of sonic events or, to
translate that into English, we’re talking about beats. for example, this: (bang) would
count as rhythmic: we have a clear, perceptible pattern of strong and weak beats, and the
attacks fall at regular intervals. on the other hand, this: (bang) would be non-rhythmic,
because the distance between attacks is literally random, so there’s no way to feel any real
pulse. of course, this isn’t to say that rhythm has
to be simple. you can leave out parts of the pattern, (bang)
combine different pattern lengths, (bang) or use multiple patterns at once, (bang) and
they don’t even have to repeat: (bang) but at the heart of all of these is some sense
of pulse, some structured hierarchy of stress and duration that allows us to build a rhythmic
roadmap in our minds. and I think Shapiro would agree with me here: after all, he described
rap as (SHAPIRO: “rhythmic speaking”), which implies there’s such a thing as non-rhythmic
speaking, and thus a need for a more rigid model of rhythm. so with this definition, does music need rhythm? no. there’s a lot of ways to demonstrate this,
but probably the simplest is a concept called free time, which is exactly what it sounds
like: music written and performed without any clear meter or tempo. for example, early
medieval Christian liturgical music was mostly done in a style called Cantus Planus, or plainsong,
which was traditionally performed without any clear metric structure. plainsong is, in a lot of ways, the direct
conceptual ancestor of most Western classical music, so it’s hard to view it as non-musical,
but plainsong notation doesn’t even specify duration, because that level of rhythmic hierarchy
just wasn’t a part of the practice. in opera, free time appears in recitatives,
where instead of musical rhythm, singers mimic the natural rhythms of human speech, and it
also shows up in jazz, where it’s often called rubato and, again, rhythmic decisions are
loose and unstructured. free time even occurs in modern popular music,
although admittedly not often: the best example I could find is Hunting Bears, by Radiohead. now, it’s worth noting that listening to any
of these examples can still give you a momentary sense of rhythm: after all, the attacks aren’t
random. they’re being interpreted by a performer,
who’s controlling the stress and duration for expressive effect. but the thing is, the stress and duration
of speech isn’t random either. in fact, even things that are random, like
falling raindrops, can create a sense of rhythm is you listen to them the right way, but the
problem is that there’s no clear structure or hierarchy to that rhythm, which means that
if you follow this line of reasoning we wind up with a worthless classifier. if we want
to use rhythm to differentiate between music and non-music, we need a way to differentiate
between rhythm and non-rhythm, and since Shapiro seems to believe that the natural rhythm of
speech doesn’t count, structured beat patterns are probably our best bet, and free time doesn’t
have structured beat patterns. so that’s rhythm: what about harmony? well, what is harmony? for the purposes of
this video, I’m going to use the broadest definition of harmony I know: two or more
distinct pitches sounding simultaneously. now, this does create a bit of a problem for
us, since Shapiro says that, in hip-hop, (SHAPIRO: “there’s not a lot of harmony”) whereas an
actual examination reveals that many hip-hop songs have fairly standard chord progressions.
for example, Where Is The Love by the Black Eyed Peas is built on a loop of F, C, Dmi,
Bb, which you might recognize as the Four-Chord Progression, one of the most common harmonic
figures in Western music. and this shouldn’t be surprising: hip-hop
is a genre that was founded on sampling, or borrowing musical passages from songs in other
styles, so it’s only natural that it’d pick up some of the musical vocabulary of those
styles. I’m going to assume, though, that Shapiro
is simply ignorant of this fact, because I don’t know how to define harmony in such a
way that straight-up traditional Western chord progressions don’t count. that said, if we do use a more restrictive
definition, perhaps one that assumes a certain level of harmonic complexity, the fact that
we don’t need it becomes even easier to prove, so no matter what Shapiro meant, as long as
it involves multiple notes at once, which it pretty much has to, my argument will still
cover it. so with this definition, does music need harmony? no. and this one’s pretty easy, because there’s
an entire musical texture that’s defined by its lack of harmony. it’s called monophony, meaning one sound,
and that’s what it is: a single melodic line presented without accompaniment. or, well,
depending on how strict you want to be, it can include multiple voices singing in unison
or octaves, and it can even have percussive elements added in, but the point is there’s
only one pitch at a time, so no harmony. a good example is our old friend plainsong,
which, in addition to having no meter, was sung by a single performer, alone. harmony didn’t appear in these liturgical
songs until the development of the organum, or second accompanying voice, which first
showed up around the 9th century. but monophony is far from dead: you hear it
every time you listen to an a capella singer, or a solo piece for a melodic instrument,
like a flute, trumpet, or oboe. it’s also pretty common in non-Western cultures: traditional
Korean music, for instance, is often monophonic. and unlike free time, it does show up occasionally
in modern Western popular music, too: in my last video on the topic, I mentioned Queen’s
We Will Rock You, where for most of the song, Freddie Mercury’s voice is accompanied only
by body percussion and some octave doubling. there’s no harmony until the guitar solo at
the very end. but some people objected to this point, arguing
that even though no one was playing chords, the song still had them because melody can
imply harmony. and that’s true. take this. (bang) to my ears, at least, it’s pretty clear
that this: (bang) is the correct harmonization. but how did I do that? I mean, there’s basically only one melodic
note per chord, and these are not the only chords that contain these notes, so in theory
it could just as easily have been this. (bang) how did I know it wasn’t? well, because I’m familiar with traditional
Western harmony, and in that system, this one’s much more common. that’s an extreme example, but it demonstrates
an important point: unless your melody is literally arpeggiating a chord progression,
which We Will Rock You is not, there’s probably going to be more than one valid way to harmonize
it. to see this in action, check out Adam Neely’s
video on the 7 levels of jazz harmony, link in the description. this means that the implied harmony isn’t
actually an inherent property of the melody itself, but a product of the interaction between
that melody and your pre-existing harmonic vocabulary, and what kinds of chord progressions
you’re used to will change which potential harmony you hear. this becomes especially relevant when we look
at non-Western music derived from monophonic traditions: I mean, how can you imply a harmony
if your culture doesn’t have a harmonic vocabulary in the first place? effectively, while melody can imply harmony,
implying harmony isn’t the same thing as having it. which brings us to our final element: melody.
this is probably the hardest to define: the simplest version is that melody is a series
of notes played in succession, but in this context, what’s a note? is it just any frequency?
is it limited to some tuning system? is there some stability or range requirement? see, this is the problem with arguing about
definitions: once you start, it’s definitions all the way down. fortunately, Shapiro helps us out here by
clarifying that, in rap, (SHAPIRO: “there’s not a lot of melody”) so we have some indication
of where the line is, at least for him. of course, many rap songs, like Ready Or Not
by Fugees, or Empire State Of Mind by Jay-Z, also contain explicit singing, and even in
songs that don’t, there’s a good chance the beat features melodies performed on synthesizers
or other non-vocal instruments, a concept that, as a classical violinist, you’d think
Shapiro would be pretty familiar with, but for the sake of argument I’ll assume he’s
referring only to songs where the vocal delivery is exclusively rapping and the beat is entirely
percussive, because otherwise we’re forced to conclude that he just doesn’t know nearly
enough about rap to be speaking so authoritatively about it, and what are the odds of that? so in order to define melody, we’re going
to have to look at the difference between speech and singing which, conveniently, I
just made a whole video about and it turns out there’s not a lot. but there are some things that are more characteristic
of one than the other, so let’s try them out. like, maybe the distinction is range: speech
tends to be narrower, while melodies often run all over the place. but that seems unlikely: if you saw my video
on Losing My Religion, you’ll know the vocal melody of that song has a range of a perfect
4th, and studies show that, depending on context, human speaking voices can cover nearly an
octave, so it seems likely that many rap artists would show a similar range. but what about tonal stability? maybe melodies have clear, precise pitches,
while speech slides around haphazardly. except music has plenty of slides too, we
just call them glissandos ’cause we’re fancy. besides, if tonal stability is a requirement
for melody, how do you explain a singer like Bob Dylan? anyway, I could run through a bunch of other
possible answers, but let’s cut to the chase: the best definition I could come up with is
that melodies contain intentional pitch. that is, they use notes in such a way that
you can tell if one of those notes is wrong. now, speech also does this to some extent:
the contour of a phrase can carry a lot of semantic meaning: compare “that’s how you
define music.” to “that’s how you define music!?” but if
I’d gone like a half-step higher on that last syllable, it still would’ve conveyed the same
idea, whereas if I’m singing, say, Happy Birthday, and I go a half-step sharp on the last note:
(bang) that changes everything. now, to be clear, just because a note is intentional
doesn’t mean it can’t be spontaneous. like, if you’re taking a solo in a jazz song,
you may not know in advance that you’re gonna play an F# over that E major 7 chord. your hands may have just gone there instinctively,
but it still creates a specific effect in that context that would be lost if you’d played,
say, an F natural instead. this means this definition is still difficult
to apply to rap, because, consciously or not, many rappers will tune their voice to match
the key of the track, because it just sounds better that way. this is a fairly nuanced point, though, so
again I’m just going to assume ignorance on Shapiro’s part, but just like before, I don’t
think his definition is gonna be less restrictive than mine, so even if he’s purposefully excluding
that, we’re probably still fine. so with this definition, does music need melody? no. admittedly, this is a bit harder than the
others: melody is incredibly common across musical cultures, but that doesn’t mean there
isn’t music without it. besides rap and other spoken-music traditions,
this mostly takes the form of strictly percussion-based music like drumlines. now, it’s worth noting that drums can create
a sort of pseudo-melody: for instance, on a traditional trap set kit there’s three toms,
high, medium, and low, and you can move between these to create a basic sense of melodic motion. (bang) but, while these toms can be tuned
to specific notes, they often aren’t, and for the most part listeners perceive tom runs
as having a rough melodic contour, not an intentional, definite pitch. like, when a song changes keys, you don’t
see the drummer stopping to retune their instrument, because the difference just isn’t that noticeable.
as such, with the exception of instruments like the steel drum, which are specifically
designed to have melodic qualities, most drum-based music isn’t going to have a strong sense of
melody unless someone’s singing or playing a melodic instrument on top of it, and yet
drumline pieces are an iconic and important part of marching band repertoire. so there you have it: there’s music without
harmony, music without melody, and music without rhythm. heck, there’s even music without any of those
things, although we’d have to go pretty deep into experimental territory for that and I
feel like I’ll lose Shapiro if I start citing composers like LaMonte Young. but the point is none of these things are
a good way to differentiate between music and non-music, and requiring all three of
them is even worse. if you’re curious what a good definition of
music might look like, I actually already made a video on that as well, link in the
description, but I’ll tell you this much: good definitions tend to care more about reflecting
cultural experiences than nitpicking about technicalities. anyway I think we’re basically done here,
but in the interest of fairness, Ben, any last words? (SHAPIRO: “rock was an actual degradation
of skill for music from jazz, which was actually a degradation of skill from classical.”) nope. I’m done. I’m out. but seriously, Ben, if you want to learn more
about the craft of making hip-hop, Skillshare’s got some great courses to help you out. I’d recommend starting with their Trap Music
Production class, where songwriting duo K Theory walks you through their process of
making music. it’s focused on hip-hop, and specifically
trap music, but I think part of being a good musician is learning from as many influences
as you can, and a lot of their advice is useful in any genre. and that’s just one of the thousands
of classes on Skillshare, covering all sorts of different musical topics, as well as cooking,
programming, and marketing, which is a pretty important skill for a working musician. and
Skillshare’s even offering 12tone viewers 2 free months of premium membership with the
link in the description, which gives you full access to all their classes so you can try
it out with no risk. and if you do like it, plans are super affordable, starting at less
than 10 bucks a month, so why not give Skillshare a shot? and hey, thanks for watching, thanks to our
Patreon patrons for making these videos possible, and extra special thanks to this video’s Featured
Patron, Susan Jones. if you want to help out, and get some sweet
perks like sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, there’s a link to our Patreon on screen now. you can also join our mailing list to find
out about new episodes, like, share, comment, subscribe, and above all, keep on rockin’.

100 thoughts on “Why Ben Shapiro Is Wrong About Rap

  1. Some additional thoughts/corrections:

    1) I edited the Shapiro quote down for time, but I don't believe I altered the meaning in any way. However, for the sake of transparency, here's a full transcription of the entire quote: "The musical case against rap is that, in my view, and the view of my music theorist father who went to music school, there are three elements to music. There is harmony, there is melody, and there is rhythm, and rap only fulfills one of these: the rhythm section. There's not a lot of melody, and there's not a lot of harmony, and thus it is basically, effectively, spoken rhythm, and so it's not actually a form of music, it's a form of rhythmic speaking. So beyond the subjectivity of me just not enjoying rap all that much, what I've said before is it's not music, so tell me why I'm wrong."

    The quote at the end is from later in the same interview and was not altered in any way except for removing an unnecessary vocal stumble.

    2) Another point to be made about Shapiro's description is that "not a lot of harmony/melody" is not the same as "no harmony/melody", so even by his own admission, hip-hop contains all three of the elements required to be music. I chose to ignore this point because it's largely pedantic: It's clear from context that he means it doesn't meet the acceptable threshold for those qualities. The idea that such a threshold exists is worth challenging, but attacking his poor phrasing didn't seem worthwhile.

    3) A brief note on rap vs. hip hop: The two terms are often used interchangeably, but within hip hop culture they refer to slightly different things. Rap is the vocal delivery, and can be found in non-hip hop works like Killing In The Name Of, whereas hip hop is the genre, and can include non-rapped music like Killing Me Softly. Conflating the two is potentially dangerous, but I think given that Shapiro is talking about the work as a whole (Otherwise, if he's only referring to the performative technique of a solo vocalist, the harmony requirement makes even less sense.) it seems more likely that he's describing the genre, and thus I believe hip hop is probably the more accurate label for the object he's referencing. I mean, realistically, what he's probably attempting to reference is the overlap in the Venn diagram between hip hop and rap: That is, he's describing hip hop songs that contained rapped vocals, but he doesn't have the linguistic nuance to specify that. I doubt he's aware that non-rapped hip hop music exists.

    4) Quick note on rubato: In classical usage, it's not the same thing as free time. "Rubato" describes a specific manipulation of tempo where the player speeds up and then slows down, effectively "borrowing" some time from the earlier part of the phrase and adding it to the later part. However, in modern usage, especially in the context of pop and jazz, it's often used to describe passages that are effectively free time. Language evolves.

    5) For those curious, here's an example of traditional Korean monophonic music: https://youtu.be/qWMDJU7atI0

    6) Apologies for the drum lick. I didn't want to know it was possible either, but now that I do I feel like I shouldn't have to bear this burden alone.

    7) One thing that I tried to imply through tone in the script but should probably also state explicitly here is that I'm treating Shapiro's argument with a seriousness it doesn't deserve. It's a trivially refutable definition, one that basically any actual music expert would reject out of hand, and the fact that he's been repeating it in public spaces for at least a decade implies that he's more interested in justifying his pre-existing belief that hip hop isn't music than he is in actually learning about the issue. I know he said "tell me why I'm wrong" but I don't believe he meant it. That said, his arguments do get heard by a lot of people, and I believe many of them are willing to engage in good faith, they're just not being given any exposure to actual expertise on the topic. That's who this video is for, and I hope it reaches some of them.

  2. Why give the guy oxygen? He's clearly making the argument to troll people and get attention via engagement with his bait. Moreover the audience for this channel and the audience for Ben Shapiro is likely a Venn Diagram with zero crossover. Anyone who listens to Ben Shapiro isn't going to be tuning into a musical channel that regularly focuses on the importance of musical and cultural diversity and vice versa. So who is the audience for this? People who already disagree with Shapiro's claim but want to argue with extra finesse when and if their uncle at the next Thanksgiving dinner says "rap ain't music"?

    The fact is, Shapiro's opinion isn't really about music or musical theory at all. It's staking a claim in the culture wars using the language of music theory as a justification. But by that same token, I could argue that "Never Going to Give You Up" represents the apex of musical development using that language, because it's all rhetoric devoid of actual content. It's why I don't like him, because he's being essentially dishonest in his arguments. Constantly.

    That said, I hope this is a one off. I have next to no interest in the on-going political culture wars in America and the West. It's the slow brain rot that makes everything tedious and tendentious and I've seen other channels succumb to it.

  3. Types of music by the Shapiro system, Good music must fulfill all three criteria.
    Rhythm=R, Harmony=H, Melody=M (each example only has the letters I put next to it)

    R – drum solo, hip hop (Shapiro's version)
    -not music

    H – Gregorian chant
    -not music

    M – Violin solo
    -not music

    RM – Solo artists and standard hip hop (real version)
    -not music

    RH – Abstract jazz and some avant garde
    -not music

    MH – A choral piece that doesn't obey a rhythm.
    -not music

    RMH – Like, most of all popular music. Everything from The Beatles to Kanye West to Radiohead to Kendrick Lamar.
    – music (ironic considering the guy constantly flaunts how much he hates popular music and how he only listens to Mozart).

    I wish I had a father who went to music school too 🙁

  4. Come on. You have a fantastic platform to explicitly name racism here. Just say that he's racist and that this opinion and opinions such as these are racist. Say the other stuff too, but just call it what it is. :/

  5. Just a note for future topics to explore
    Hip Hop is a culture with accompanying music that features rap. Rap is simply a vocal style.

    I only bring this up because some pedants are going to take the inaccuracy as a means to tank the whole video.

  6. If you say 12tone is being political you're putting your own politics into this. Ben ben was wrong stop fanboying and listen to the real FAcTS aND LOgiC

  7. I only have one thing to say, well two actually, The Disposable of Hiphopcracy and, for the really erudite, ^Mc Frontalot.* Rap is definitely music. Ben Shapiro can go suck on a fire hydrant.

  8. So… having been brought up by a classical musician and exposed to Ligeti and Steve Reich from a young age, I guess it's always been obvious to me that rap is music.

    But it does bug me more than a little when people call a rap track a "song". I mean the ones with literally no singing. Sorry, it's not "song" in the same way that Rex Harrison acted a lot to music but didn't really "sing".

  9. What makes Shapiro entertaining is he's willing to confidently go where angels fear to tread. Which means when he's wrong, he's confidently so. Shapiro seems to me to be the sort of person who might have had 'music' crammed into him as a child, and because of native intelligence picked up an awful lot of useful music facts. His tin ear is exquisitely tuned… to a very narrow frequency, and so he's literally unable to hear what to others might reasonably be called music. (I don't like rap music myself, but I'm not confident enough in my hubris to accuse it of NOT being music, just 'cos, you know, I don't like it…)

  10. Hell yes! Thanks for not shying away from political topics. I have un subbed from just about all music channels because of the lack of addressing the ills of our American society

  11. "It's not a form of music, it's a form of… 'rhythmic speaking.'"

    Poetry, Ben. The word you were looking for was poetry.

  12. Let's be real here in recognizing that his "argument" is that stuff invented by white people qualifies as music (and is therefore good) and stuff invented by black people isn't. This whole line of reasoning from him is just a way to say that in a way that makes him seem smart and totally-not-a-racist-I-promise.

  13. In reality, Ben Shapiro's comments have nothing to do with music. He just uses music as a vehicle for his racism. Engaging him in a music debate assumes a legitimacy to his opinion (i.e., his opinion is one in the marketplace of opinions on hip hop). In fact, you/me have no idea what his definition of music really is, as the real opinion might not serve the racist message. I'm not sure if your video was an attempt to poke the bear (a fun thing to do), or if you really thought you could change his/someone's mind. In either case, I love your videos. Keep up the great work. Cheers.

  14. Ben Shapiro is the apex of the pretty classic, systemic issue whereby individuals try to use things they've learned through experience (regardless of their real truth value) to justify beliefs that they formed without experience. I think it's a human issue, however there is a clear line of this kind of reasoning being used by European culture in it's current form since the Enlightenment era. You could argue it's gone on since before then even but the explicit rationalism that became the focus of the Enlightenment is still central to this kind of thought today. Shapiro's argument is symptomatic of the same problem that caused people to believe in Phrenology or Social Darwinism. It's a racist trying to find empirical justification for their racism. It's really an insult to all forms of science, academia, and those who try to find truths in this world.

  15. Have you ever analyzed something by Rush? Personally I'd love for you to break down Xanadu or 2112, but I'd understand if you wanted to do something shorter and easier to analyze.

  16. I may have just fallen down the rabbit-hole writing my current honours thesis on shoegaze and noise rock, but my definition of music at the moment would come down to timbre more than anything else, especially in contemporary music where the recording is the most important version of the song. Especially when you start to consider John Cage's perceptions of music, which have had large implications amongst the musical community, it seem that Ben Shapiro is just ignorant of contemporary ideas and what makes other genres good. Benny boy should just stay in his lane (whatever that is).

  17. Music is whatever I listen to as music. Which means sometimes the sound of the rails or the clothes dryer is music to my ears and sometimes it isn't. But yeah, hip hop is music and no way jazz is a degraded form of anything.

  18. The fact of the matter is that Ben Shapiro often knows (and doesn't care) that he's hawking bullshit. His job is to use the aesthetics of objectivity and intellectualism to sell his ideology to any that will listen. That's the only lens with which his stated values and actions do not violently contradict one another.

    It's important to make these counterpoints for those who don't know any better, but when addressing Ben himself it's important not to assume intellectual honesty.

  19. even if you explain to him that he is wrong, he wont accept it. politics aside, this guys idea of debates is gish galloping then saying "facts dont care about your feelings"

  20. Well that was a smack down. I like Ben (generally) and hate rap (generally) but on this one he is dead wrong and ignorant.

  21. I honestly like Ben Shapiro, he's good at debates, I admire that
    However, it's stupid to criticize other stuff that aren't in his field. The other day I saw him criticize Infinity War. Yes, it's an opinion, I get that, but he gave a reason so idiotic that he made me think he watches movies the wrong way.
    You would think he'd know about music, but he clearly doesn't
    It's nice to see him be absolutely destroyed for thinking he knows everything about everything
    I don't even like rap xD, I just think it's stupid not to call it music

  22. Speaking as a fan of East Asian music and speaking specifically of Chinese opera, it also wouldn't fit Shappie's dad's definition of music either. You mentioned Korean classical music which, if I understand correctly, also sticks to a Confucian ideal of harmony which is monophonic. Neither would the music of a lot of indigenous cultures. But Mr. West is Best Shapiro has pretty much worded himself into a huge sinkhole at this point and isn't really worth listening to.

  23. Ben Saphiro is wrong about rap because his views about rap come from elitism, racism and bigotry. He's just a white rich guy looking down on "music of poor brown people".

  24. Fuck, Shapiro is a classical violinist? A good one, at that? I guess it just goes to show, being skilled at something doesn't make you immune to being an idiot.

  25. But Ben Shapiro regularly embarrasses ametuer college students on stage in front of a crowd that already agrees with him, so checkmate!

  26. Popular styles that don't necessarily require at least one between harmony, melody, and rhythm:
    -noise
    -ambient
    -jazz
    -classical
    -whatever

    Ben Shapiro should know that he likes some music that doesn't always have one of these three elements 😀

  27. His argument actually fell apart at the word "much". If this if your definition, and it has any amount, it meets your definition.

  28. Your argument is beautiful and elegant. The fact that you clearly demonstrate that his position is flawed AND give perspective as to why it's wrong with respect to things most people would reasonably agree about was awesome!
    Now I'm gonna leave because I already made the mistake of reading the comments on this video and I'm legit losing my zen at all the sanctimonious b.s.

  29. I love how you take the best possible version of Ben Sharpiro's argument and even improve upon it while arguing against it. This is called a "steel man" argument because it's the opposite of a straw man argument.

  30. So you're telling me that there's an area of knowledge Ben isn't an expert in but will confidently argue on to de-legitimise something he doesn't FEEL is worthy of recognition??

  31. "my wife is a doctor and my father went to musicke school, therefore I am right and you are wrong" — Shen "logic man" Bapiro.

  32. This entire video could have been summed up with "I'm going to assume ignorance on Ben Shapiro's part"
    When you think about it, that actually explains a lot of his opinions

  33. Ben Shapiro is literally wrong about EVERYTHING! It's amazing. If you had to ride in a car with him for like 10 hours, you might run the risk of dying from second-hand wrong….

  34. Using a broom in the right rhythm can be music, stomp did that on stage, turns out music is creative and restricted or conservative, who knew. If you can resample a dog barg to make it into an entertaining interpretation of the sovet hymn, you can do anything.

  35. First of all I should like you to consider what I believe is the best definition of music, because it is all-inclusive: “the corporealization of the intelligence that is in sound”, as proposed by Hoene Wronsky. If you think about it you will realize that, unlike most dictionary definitions which make use of such subjective terms as beauty, feelings, etc., it covers all music, Eastern or Western, past or present, including the music of our new electronic medium. Although this new music is being gradually accepted, there are still people who, while admitting that it is “interesting,” say, “but is it music?” It is a question I am only too familiar with. Until quite recently I used to hear it so often in regard to my own works, that, as far back as the twenties, I decided to call my music “organized sound” and myself, not a musician, but “a worker in rhythms, frequencies, and intensities.” Indeed, to stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called noise. But after all what is music but organized noises? And a composer, like all artists, is an organizer of disparate elements. Subjectively, noise is any sound one doesn’t like.

    Edgard Varese, The Liberation of Sound, Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 5, No. 1 (1966)

  36. This is an excelent video but, unfortunately, Ben's opinion is not a reflection of what he knows. Instead, it is what he wants to pass to the ones that are against his points of view. He has talked about opressing the other side several times, stating that "they" must opress the "other side" as much as possible, trolling, using modern ways, memes etc. He's not listening. He wants people to get triggered.

  37. Why are we even taking that dude seriously? Kid’s a fuckin’ clown. I can’t even imagine why he would be making such a big deal about something as trivial as whether or not rap is a form of music. Oh wait, yes I can: he’s an elitist prick.

  38. What do you think of claims that rhythm is the most important aspect of music – or at least of music that has a rhythm? Is that purely subjective, or is there something more to it? (My harpischord professor once said that to me and to be clear I don't think he was talking about excluding pieces without rhythm from the definition of music, I think he was referring to pieces that are supposed to have rhythm — i.e. all of harpischord music, even unmeasured preludes, which have it in performance.)

  39. Isnt rap an instrument or vocal style not a type of music, you can rap over any genra like metal see linken park or jazz see flying lotus or anything really.

  40. Can we all just agree that BS is, as his initials imply, full of crap, wrong about everything, and not worth our time and attention?

  41. Ben shapiro is a little opinionated boy that thinks he‘s cool because he‘s edgy and provocative with his overly simplified „facts“ about mostly broad and complex subjects.

  42. I see where you got confused. See he's not trying to make a legitimate point about music theory, he's trying to pander to base of old racist viewers on Fox News.

  43. "professional opinion-haver Ben Shapiro" xD
    This has to be the laziest and most ridiculous profession a person can have. 😀

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