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 Post subject: From Lofi to Nofi HipHop. Could it exist ?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:54 am 
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For most it'd be bad to start by quoting Wikipedia but... I needed a starting point. Something to ignite maybe a debate but not spawn trolls... The "nofi" entry of wikipedia defines it as " music or media created outside conventional technical standards ". The whole technical history of HipHop can be defined as such from the various sampling techniques to the subversion of consumer audio equipment but it built up something akin to a tradition. Could LoFi still exists alike Trap, Crunk or Drill music are undeniably recognized as genres conflicting with traditional HipHop ? Isn't it just a flavor taken as a set of techniques more than something with a true identity or maybe articulated around some unwritten manifesto, traditions maybe ? Exactly, LoFi as a revival of traditional HipHop producing techniques is a mimicry of boombap golden years, isn't it ? Some kind of white sheep ever grateful to the founding fathers of that style. What makes it more than that ? What makes it something that can grow as a genre having a relevant discourse even if conflicting with what is accepted as true vibes ? Then wikipedia about how it sounds goes on with " It has been suggested that No-Fi music is: on the edge of losing control or collapsing into non-music, nihilistic to the standards of acceptable composition, bastardizing, mocking of convention, unclean, containing "natural" noises and various sonic artifacts, such as natural reverb and echoes, distortion, tape-hiss and/or feedback, lack of sound-picture clarity, improvisation suggesting the lack of a separate "truth" behind the origins of a piece, and the use of noise as an "instrument" (similar to Noise artists) ". You already know what elements shared with LoFi HipHop I am about to quote : unclean, distortion, tape hiss, lack of sound picture clarity, improvisation, noise as an instrument. Like Rage Against The Machine belonging to the fusion genre melting rock with conscious lyrics rapped over, LoFi could be in fact the foray of experimental music in the HipHop domain. Just give a look at groups like Death Grips or Clipping. Unfortunately maybe, one day, in a dark near future, HipHop could end up like TripHop : a dirty word. Or a word encompassing a disconnected myriad of genres without any true vibes, any true identity. A nightmare where muzack will rule all that is HipHop. What are you ready to leave behind of that LoFi aesthetic to prevent that if it could happen ? Could LoFi give birth to NoFi HipHop ? What could NoFi HipHop sound like ? That's my final question. If you have any tracks you could intuitively qualify as NoFi even though you never used this word I'd be interested to hear it.

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 Post subject: Re: From Lofi to Nofi HipHop. Could it exist ?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:43 am 
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If anyone's No-Fi it's my man James Ridulfo
https://soundcloud.com/jamesridulfo
https://soundcloud.com/intensivecare

+ some Paul Hares stuff that clips more than usual
https://soundcloud.com/paulhares

so I think we already have it.

'Lo-Fi Hip Hop' as a movement or "genre" (Lo-Fi is a style/adjective modifier for existing gernes, not a genre itself) won't be able to grow, at least in any widespread regard, because of the hypebeast appropriation of the nomenclature.

Most people think "lo-fi hip hop" is a genre, and the first thing that comes to mind in reference to it is false-flagging chill-SC-beats-wave stuff, lofi.hiphop, and the hundreds of regurgitated LO-FI HIP HIP TO STUDY TO streams to anyone either not super-deep into it, or a newcomer, or whatever. That stuff that's really trendy on SC (I think it's finally starting to die now that most false-flaggers are jumping ship to edgy SC trap), super hi-fi beats with the most mild LP filter of all time, guys that hear that cassette tapes make stuff sound "super lo-fi, dood" so they buy a tape deck and then make forum posts asking why recordings on the tape sound so much worse than the beat in their DAW. It's so ridiculous it makes me laugh but I know why that happens... dudes who grew up dubbing shit off the radio to cassette are extremely familiar with the sound and miss it to some degree and then kids who are too young to know wtf cassettes sound like have absolutely no point of reference for them and are just confused.

I think most people who make actually lo-fi sounding hip hop have just given up on the lo-fi tag because of the current scenario's baggage. I think the 3 possible scenarios are

Least likely - The bastardized lo-fi hip hop term will fall out of popularity of its own volition before completely besmirching the proper use of it. I think this is not that likely cuz I feel that A) it's already completely besmirched, and B) people still call the popular radio genres with screaming vocals "Screamo" years and years after pop radio stole the term from the actual genre

Pretty likely - underground lo-fi producers who are really invested in it will come up with a stupid codename to refer to 'the true shit' like "Skramz" did for the Screamo scene

Very likely - no one will advertise being lo-fi anymore and it'll be much harder to find people who make really unclean sounds that you're after

IMO we'll most likely have half and half of the last 2. Damn, didn't mean to mega-rant. Sry 4 soapbox.

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 Post subject: Re: From Lofi to Nofi HipHop. Could it exist ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:39 am 
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Lofi is an adjective. It's a critics term. It can apply to anything. You're right on this. Note that all the other genre of HipHop use a unique term, for example, boombap, crunk, g-funk, drill, trap. When it comes to Lofi you need to group the terms " Lofi " and " HipHop ". It seems in need for some balance. In my next sentences understand " putting an emphasis on " as summoning the imaginary that derives from the most accepted definition of the term. On one hand, if you put the emphasis on " HipHop " the first thing that comes to your mind is " be true to the game ", " be authentic ", " be real ". So low fidelity Hip Hop becomes something quite peripheral to the HipHop genre, yet still sharing a common musical horizon, even paradoxical, a constant invitation to forgery. On the other hand If you put the emphasis on " Lofi ", it refers to " low fidelity " and is opposed to " high fidelity ". It is obviously constructed on that latter technical term and HipHop owes a lot of its evolution to technological advancement in consumer and professional electronics. As the last batch of the industry will sound crispier and adopt the latest technological advancements, Old School HipHop will be more and more classified as lofi sounding. When you're describing those youngsters looking for that tape grain in their sound, almost a quest for the Graal, completely confused at their discovery, you sensed well that they are willing to approach HipHop from a technical insight, more exactly from its founding techniques. This could well expand itself to the lyrics. One day you'll here about Lofi rappers whenever rhymes won't fit the triplet canon or will be about addressing serious matter in our societies. Hi-fi will always be synonym of living the present to the fullest, being completely swallowed into it, for example JBL slogan for its Hi-Fi systems in 1957 was " every note a perfect note ". You can easily end the slogan by " for perfect moments ". Everything new coming from the industry is more " in the moment " than reflecting on it therefore an omnipresent use of vynil simulation effects by lofi tunes. It is almost a signature, a reflective state inducing technique. For some it illustrates Lofi as an underground reaction to trap music but the output is too massive to be underground and is proven mainstream by neverending playlists available. In the heydays of the radio, the technique of vibrato was used by violonists to instill a live ambience in their performance. This is the same goal pursued with that vynil sim effect : make it more emotional to balance the absence of visuals. Those streams you dislike are satisfying a demand, certainly growing, that is still unfit for profit. Indeed, you said truthfully, very likely lofi could become an umbrella term and will be abandoned by those who want to keep it real. But HipHop as a means for reflecting on society wasn't thought truly this way in the first place so the failure of Lofi or any genre is only due to his. It was more club oriented, trying to expell disco from the dancefloors and it devised its own techniques in order to do so. In some way, if Lofi HipHop is to stay, it surely would have achieved a balance in recycling all those techniques into something that's vaguely HipHop, at best, music for afters in HipHop night clubs or relaxing virtual reality soundtracks. So when I say Nofi, I am more in the situation where I put emphasis on " HipHop " and make " Nofi HipHop " something akin to an Escher drawing, a total paradox, a caricature that severes it definitely from the HipHop genre as I foresee Lofi being rejected. Rejected for being falsely innovative and become the object of criticsms that were previously directed towards trap music. No discourse of its own. Nothing that is close to relaying bits of information which is a curse in a networked era. Therefore the Bourgeois figure arise from it making it more of a target. Its salvation resides in its capacity to organize itself in ways differing from those of the industry like in the cassette culture of the late 70s and its tape trading system but also its ecclectism. There used to be the term " abstrakt " to describe HipHop instrumental music. I read " hoodie music " in a tweet by Kev Brown. Thanks for the soundcloud links. For more surrealistic rants including my own check my tweet that directs to the reddit comments. https://mobile.twitter.com/metaafrica/s ... 7226728448

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 Post subject: Re: From Lofi to Nofi HipHop. Could it exist ?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Lofi existed for years but was mostly frowned upon and looked as consumer standard recordings. Hip Hop had to be in hifi to stand out at the time.

But as the consumer market evolves, we are able to get professional gear for low prices. And so lofi no longer became a drudgery for the beat makers but an option on a panel of your sampler. So you have many people experimenting and fluctuated what we have today.

But for me, the lofi movement is a happy accident. I couldn't afford an MPC3000 at the time so I had to buy cheap consumer alternatives and I was not the only one, many aspiring artists and talented people who couldn't afford the equipment our heroes used started on low standard gear. We just became creative within the limits of the devices. The music just came sounding lofi but I'm pretty sure we were going for hifi standards. However, people were loving that sound, it was different to them because it was a different time in the early 2000's and the underground sound was defined by these recordings. Not just in Hip Hop but in other genres too. Then people started throwing the term lofi, which was an excellent term at the time because mainstream was so clean and hifi, you knew right away that you were listening to a dirty lofi piece. So underground had its own place again.

Its great that it was a mystery to the younger crowd. You had cats with full blown studios that couldn't get a lofi sound and find them on forums asking how. Meanwhile his favorite lofi track was done with a turntable and an SP, recorded through the mic input of a cheap laptop. :lol:

But I don't like the term lofi, its gone to the hipsters now and the music is not as creative as it once was. We couldn't afford options so we were content with what we had and find ways to peak a machines limits, thats the difference between the lofi of then and now. Its a gimmick now like Ronald McDonald rapping on commercials.

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