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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Soundcloud rapping: the rejected form of artistic expression

Soundcloud rapping: the rejected form of artistic expression

SoundCloud is a popular social media platform for musicians and listeners alike, which is gaining popularity inside and out of the WIS community. There are many SoundCloud rappers at WIS, but this platform is  an often overlooked form of expression. It allows the user to create and share music, as well as mix it and auto-tune it with ease.

SoundCloud, the world’s largest music and audio sharing platform, is a Berlin, Germany based music sharing website. According to an extended ramblings report on soundcloud, the website has over 175 million global monthly users, and 10 million SoundCloud musicians. According to SoundCloud’s CEO, Kerry Trainer, with every minute that passes, 12 hours of music are uploaded onto SoundCloud. Soundcloud has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, and the website now reaches 25 percent of mobile users in the USA.

SoundCloud lets anyone record their own music and share it with the world, and it’s a user friendly platform which allows for anyone to mimic their favorite artists’ music styles.

“It’s kind of like Chance the Rapper. He didn’t have a record deal and he was able to create his own music without [it] and I think that SoundCloud, especially as a music sharing site, offers the opportunity for people to do that” Ms. Beta Eaton, dean of upper school students, said.

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SoundCloud has gained popularity recently inside of WIS, with multiple students having created accounts for their rap music. They are on SoundCloud constantly, frequently dropping music, and gaining a following inside and outside of WIS.

“Even if I’m an amateur musician and my music isn’t as high quality as somebody who’s a professional, SoundCloud still allows me to express myself. It gives me the opportunity to practice music making as well as mixing, mastering and editing,” freshman Alexander Danielyan said.

Alexander Danielyan started making music on the platform last year, got more into it, and started being more serious about it in the spring and over the summer.

Although recording a song and posting it is easy, really creating something unique and high quality requires meticulous audio craftsmanship.

Freshmen Richard “RichMazi” Tamirisa’s album cover Richard Tamirisa is a freshman SoundCloud rapper, who has been rapping for about a year, and was the first to post music on soundcloud at WIS. When asked about the technical part of the music making platform, he said. “I record it, isolate the vocals from the beat and from the ad libs and send it to a guy who mixes the music and get it back after a few days.” 

Because of SoundCloud’s user friendly software, anyone at WIS can listen to SoundCloud musicians around the world, and anyone listening to SoundCloud can access the works of WIS musicians. The criticism helps WIS rappers grow, but having listeners in the school also leads to disapproval for some musicians.

“Some people that listen to my music may think it’s trash, but there’s a deeper meaning to it that most people don’t understand. SoundCloud lets me talk about things I don’t usually talk about, like secrets or personal things [the listener] wouldn’t understand unless you know what I go through on a daily basis,” freshman Tamirisa said.

Lyrics are important in the song, as well as  how it sounds, what it represents, and the “professionalism and feel of the song” Richard

Danielyan feels that a big part of a rap music’s validity comes from the lyrics, and their meaning. For him, most of his songs lyrics are about “struggles finding my artistic and musical vision, as well as my own struggles in general.” He said sometimes it takes him hours to write his songs, and that his favorite part of making music is the song writing process.

Another SoundCloud rapper at WIS, sophomore Lucas Brudniak also recently released a song, which was met with criticism from  teachers, as well as students.

“We had a conversation, this was Lucas and I talking about the ideas of his song, and how rap, although a popular form of music, is stemmed from the black community and that’s the origins of this genre, and that’s not to say that people who don’t identify as black can’t use it, but when a song is created that may be posterizing or taking from that community and using it as your own is not the right way to go about creating music, and it’s not something Lucas owns,” Ms. Eaton said.

Lucas said “Offending people wasn’t my intentions, I just wanted to be creative and have fun.”

“A continual discussion within rap and hip hop is the talk of women in a misogynistic nature and all of those  things were in his song. Especially in this time when we talk about the #MeToo movement and consent,” Ms Eaton said.

Although Lucas’ intentions weren’t offending people, because of the popularity of the song, students at WIS came to Ms. Eaton, complaining about the songs’ “vulgarity and demeaning nature,” according to Ms. Eaton.

WIS doesn’t have any specific rules in terms of SoundCloud and rappers, at WIS, but they can be encouraged to be taken down by the faculty if they are offensive. Soundcloud rules are still not completely decided as it is a new, popular form of artistic expression for WIS students.

As said by freshmen Tamirisa “I love SoundCloud, and making music, and if people criticize me it just makes me want to do it [SoundCloud] more.”

By Federico Opertti

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