Rap Appreciation

I’ve been excited about the hip-hop NGR concept for months now and I was so thrilled we got to do it. I’ve longed believed that the playful and powerful verses in rap lyrics are of literary merit in addition to being great to bump to.

Growing up my generation was still not encouraged to listen to rap. It wasn’t mainstream and the little that was getting radio play was quite a bit homogenized. Vanilla Ice and Criss Cross may have made the local radio station airplay but public enemy was making news! Clearly controversial then and still stigmatized now the genere of hip hop is ripe with questioning, showing off, politically motivating, and celebrating language.

So in that spirit I want to share with you a few of my favorite Rap lines & verses.

The following are examples of word play and experiments with language in rap:
“Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.” – Lil Wayne (get it the G is silent)
“Obey me like peasants / or get opened like presents.” – Juelz Santana (play on rhyme)
“just check me, I’m chess, bitch.” – Lil B (double meaning of check)
“‘I’m going to do it again like nigga backwards'” –lil wayne (Palindrome albeit misspelled)
“I’m a literary genius/bury niggaz with words/a cemetery linguist” – Slaughterhouse
“My attitude is celibate, I don’t give a fuck.” – Fabolous (def. Of celibate – related to slang)
“I’m in the green like a crouton.” – Drake (double meaning green)
“got summer hatin on me cause I’m hotter than the sun, got spring hatin on my cause I ain’t never sprung, got winter hatin on me cause I’m colder than y’all, and I would I never, I would never, I would never fall.” – Lil Wayne (extended metaphor)
“I’m a fucking walking paradox / No, I’m not.” – Tyler, the Creator (playful definition)
“I don’t owe you like two vowels.” – Lil Wayne (vowels are aeioandu two of which are words)
“I’m a father, I don’t drink with kids / These youngins think they hard / I think harder than they think they is / I’m ’bout as proper as my English is / Hope I did my thing before I die for the things I did.” – Method Man

I also love the Humor & Wit demonstrated in rap –Here’s Some Funny Shit:
“So I started selling cocaine *and* weed, merged the business / That white girl helped a nigga, Fergalicious.” – Fabolous
Still got the glock and I still got the 40, put me under pressure I’m a pull a Robert Horry (shoot)- Lil Wayne
“I’m so far ahead of you, we got a time difference.” – Lil Wayne
“If Lil Jon can ice his cup, I top that shit and ice my nuts”- ghostface
“I got techniques drippin out my buttcheeks/ Sleep on my stomach so I don’t fuck up my sheets”-biggie
“You don’t like it, you can blow me like an old Nintendo cartridge.” – Na’Tee
“I’m going harder than a midget jumping over me.” – Tyler, the Creator
“Step to this and get shanked up/I knocked out so many teeth, the tooth fairy went bankrupt”-Big L
“Fuck a Maserati / I pull up in a minivan, swaggin’ like mommy.” – Lil B
“I’m old enough to know better / young enough to not give a fuck.” – Fabolous

Finally not all rap is light-hearted there are some really great militant and revolutionary m.c’s from chuck d, to common, to boots riley!

“…as I leave my competition respirator style / climbed the ladder to success escalator style / hold ya’ll breath, I told ya’ll, death controls ya’ll, BIG don’t fold ya’ll / I spit phrases that’ll thrill you / your nobody till somebody kills you” –biggie (ready to die) foreshadowing of that album

“Go to hell this is god engineering, this is a hail mary pass yall interfering.” – jay z

Death to the pigs is my basic statement
I spit street stories ’til I taste the pavement
Tryin’ to stay out the pen while we face enslavement
Had a foolproof hustle ’til they traced the payments
I was grippin’ my palm around some shitty rum
Tryin’ to find psalm number 151
To forget what I’m owed, as I clutch the commode
Alright, put down the bottle and come get the guns
Now get off the chain like Kunta Kinte with a MAC-10
They want us gone like a dollar in a crack den
Steadily subtracting seeds and stems
Mind cloudy through the wheeze and phlegm
I weed my brain off that and the Jesus hymns
If we waiting for the time to fight, these is thems
Tellin’ us to relax while they ease it in
We gettin greazed again
truth I write is so cold it’ll freeze my pen
I’m Boots Riley it’s a pleasure to meet you
Never let they punk ass ever defeat you
They got us on the corner wearing pleather and see-thru
All Y’alls’ gold mines they wanna deplete you
I ain’t just finna rap on the track, I’m finna clap on em back
N it’s been stackin’ to that
Five hundred years fore Iceberg ever leaned back in the ‘Lac
Before they told Rosa Black in the Back
Before the CIA told Ricky Ross to put crack in a sack
Before Gil Scott traded rappin for smack
This beat alone should get planum plaques
I’d rather see a million-a-us ecstatic to scrap
‘Cause if we bappin’ them back we automatically stacked
-Boots Riley

The fat nigga singing “show over” in opera
Leader of the crack Rat Pack, I Sinatra
They say I dissed Oprah, I’m like “so what?”
I never get to jump up n down on a sofa
Now watch me as I Cruise like Tom through the slums
Where the education’s poor and the children growing dumb

In the section of the city where civilians don’t come
Where Mr. Cosby and Mrs. Winfrey won’t come
Unless it’s a hurricane, then FEMA don’t come
Comin live from the city where the Dreamer came from
Standing on the same corners that he stood upon

I got violence in my waistband, death in my palm
Ask em am I a bad guy? “Ya goddamn right!”
I done seen how ya do a nigga when he doing right

The Dream died on a balcony, standing at a hotel
Now niggas whipping coke gel that I hope fail
He desegregated – put black with the white
No longer marching for rights – they sparking a pipe (that’s life)
Pipe dreams, crack fiends, cars look like ice cream
Kids see the bling bling, and they want them nice things

All cuz of tennis shoes, our kids drop out of schools
They said be like Mike, so ball nigga (that’s life)
-Killer Mike

 

Mimi First

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~ by mimifirst on July 19, 2011.

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