I don’t listen a lot, but there’s a reason or two why. None of which are a judgement that it is ‘bad’ or unskilled, just that it doesn’t reward me as a listener for why I listen to music.
One, the lyrics, once heard, generally offer very little depth about the human condition. They are more about circumstances and settings. It is part of the construction of the idiom, which prizes meter and rhyme over content. I find that if something of value is said, it is often immediately paved over with another stream of lyrics, diminishing my ability to savor the thought.
Also, since wordplay is the driver, once I’ve heard it, and have been impressed, the replay value drops quickly. It’s like a comedy routine or album–once I know what’s coming, it’s no longer a pleasurable thing to listen to for me.
Both of these things are coupled with an almost deliberate obliteration of melody, or at least a purposeful reduction of its role. And melody is what hooks me in and brings me back. For others of course, it’s rhythm, and they dig it.
I like much of what I listen to, but my feeling walking away is that I’ve seen a great juggler or shredding guitarist, something I don’t need to see again for quite a while—and not that I have been given something to consider and reconsider. I should point out that I also very very rarely re-watch movies–I get no pleasure in repeating a spoken line of dialogue once I’ve heard it.
And finally, I listen to music because it is human. Once you start looping and sampling, it becomes machine-like and loses its human connection to me–I can no longer hear the ‘natural’ in it. It becomes like the beeping of a school bus when it backs up—I tune it out because it is not communicating anything human or animal.
Hip hop is the dominant music force and has been globally more successful that rock ever was. And it’s not like I haven’t spent a lot of time listening to its many iterations over the decades. But It doesn’t speak to me, and that has very little to do with the subject matter of the songs, and more to do with the idiom itself.