As you know, I’m a huge fan of old-school rap music. I love Dr. Dre and the rest of the NWA crew. I also like A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, NAS, The Wu-Tang Clan and many, many more. I grew up with this rap music and just like the rock music I grew up with from the 80s and 90s, it has stuck with me throughout the years.
A lot of people have taken famous rock albums and re-imagined them using classical instruments. There are Metallica albums that have been redone using only the cello and many similar projects. Of course there is also the famous Metallica album that they did along with a full orchestra, with violins, cellos and everything else that goes along with it.
I want to do something similar. I want to take a classic rap album and redo it using only the violin. Obviously my new idea is not really that new. But it’s something I want to do and I think it’s cool. And instead of doing this with rock music, I decided to use rap music. That might be a bit more novel of an idea, no?
I haven’t decided on the album yet, but I’m thinking maybe something from Wu-Tang Clan. Probably their first album, since it is better. The only problem there is that the production quality was not all that great. Okay, not the production quality. That was wonderful. I mean the sound quality. It just doesn’t sound as good as their second album or really most albums.
Despite that, I think I’m going to use it anyway. What I’m looking to do is basically replace the beats using only the violin. The problem, obviously, is going to be the bass. How do I get the bass sound with the violin? I might have to use a cello or a similar instrument with a deeper sound, but I’m thinking of ways to avoid that.
Maybe I can use the violin, but just play it like a drum for the bass parts. I don’t know yet. The other parts, though, I can play with the violin. Don’t you think that sounds cool? Having this all-violin beat and then superimposing the Wu-Tang’s great raps on the top of it.
Why the violin you ask? Honestly, I don’t really know. I did learn the violin a little bit when I was a kid, but I quickly switched to the trumpet. I don’t even know why, I just found it cooler at the time. These days I still occasionally play the trumpet, but I haven’t played the violin in years. Maybe that is why I’ve chosen to do this with the violin. I am just looking for an excuse to pick one up and play again. And it’ll probably take me a little bit of time to get back into it, but since I’m emulating a rap album, I don’t really need to be too great at it, do I? I really just need to master a couple of riffs. That is the main advantage of going with rap music. It is very repetitive.
I realize as I’m writing this, that this probably sounds like a stupid idea. But I think it’s fun and anything fun really can’t be seen as stupid. I know no one will buy this, and I don’t even have the rights, so I can’t ever even sell it or publish it anywhere. It’s just a little project for my own enjoyment. Just something I want to try.
Let me know what you think of this. Do you think the violin is the right choice of instrument for this or would you rather see me use a different instrument? If you were doing it, what instrument would you use? Would you even use rap music? Or would you use some other genre of music? Let me know your answers. I’m really curious to hear and you input might actually influence what I end up doing with this project.