Beth Fine

Educational Fiction Author – Serious Thinker – Child at Heart

What’s in a name? (My two cents about Rap)

RAP: Everyone has an opinion, so here’s mine…

As much as I enjoy Ice Tea on Law and Order, understand his show-biz savvy to exploit his notoriety to the hilt, and admire his idea of rap competitions to get kids involved with words, I would appreciate his putting a “d” on his name (Iced Tea) and helping kids understand that “words mean something.” For instance, defining the term “musical genre” and admitting that calling Rap music or musical genre expresses a creative misnomer but not an accurate definition.

I will not throw stones because I often suffer the penchant to use misnomers and misdefinitions myself. Rap could be called a poetry genre or a cheer, even a form of “chant” that uses several tones of the chromatics scale. But to me it fails as music unless I categorize it as a “novelty” not a genre. The novelty king Ray Stevens gave us: “I’m My Own Grandpa, “Harry, the Hairy Ape” and even the now politically incorrect “Ahab the Arab,” …catchy, memorable lyrics that don’t rhyme with “witch.”

The genius behind Ray Stevens is that he also could compose a classic like “Everything is Beautiful” and even got his pronoun agreement correct in the line, “in its own way.” Unfortunately, he either yielded to poetic license or contemporary pressure to make the next line ungrammatical, “Everyone’s beautiful in their own way,” instead of “in his own way.” Arrrgghh! Pet peeve alert!

Oh well, I guess I’ll call it a wrap for today. 🙂 I’ve already beat this dead horse in a previous blog.

And now, my daughter informs me that the name is Ice-T.

I need a fig newton.


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