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Why were there no dinosaurs in the Bible? How could God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit be the same person? Now shut up. Shame and physical desire were inextricably linked. At least until I got older, met the girl who would become my wife, and started listening to Prince. Prince died yesterday. He was The depth of his talent was staggering — one of the most expressive guitarists of all time and merely great at several other instruments ; a coy, elastic vocalist with a pitch perfect falsetto; an innovative producer and arranger; a tireless and explosive performer.

His love songs were come-ons, and vice versa. He luxuriated in pleasure, in a way that felt rebellious, even political. I picked up Purple Rain during a time when I was driving a lot — several minute trips a week to be with my impossibly gorgeous girlfriend. And Prince was the soundtrack to this awakening. The afterworld. A world of never ending happiness. You can always see the sun — day or night. This opening is so important.

It haloes all the emotion and eroticism to come. Prince was rewiring my subconscious, giving the steely nun who lived in there some pharmaceutical-grade sleeping pills, and leaving me open to fully appreciate the line on the record that stays with me the most to this day, the line that would probably still get my vote as the sexiest of all time:.

Hearing this while yearning to be with the love of my life affected me more than any prayer ever could. Because my lust was not sinful. It was a pure thought. Hello readers of words and listeners of sounds!

Here are my 20 favorite tracks from the year that was. The common thread running through them all is that I thought they were good. With that chorus blasting, any other high would just seem redundant. When delivered in the right way, few things are sexier than a plea. Add an irresistible dance song with defiantly independent lyrics, and you might try to walk on water.

But when the warm weather hits, that groove sounds like it was meant for today. Share this: LinkedIn. Like this: Like Loading Best OfMusicSongs Anderson. Slugdge — Esoteric Malacology It all started with a pun.

Lucy Dacus — Historian Lucy Dacus songs unfold like realizations. Swamp Dogg — Love, Loss and Auto-Tune By the time an artist gets around to releasing their 22nd album, the best we can usually expect is a respectable return to form under the guidance of a savvy producer — a Time Out of Mind or American Recordings. Caroline Rose — Loner Is it possible for an artist to be low-key ambitious? CupcakKe — Ephorize When a brilliant, charismatic rapper is just starting to blow up, there are few things more exciting for a listener — being there for that moment, pressing play on the album that could put them on the short list for Best Rapper Alive.

Robyn — Honey Nobody used dance music as a weapon of resilience like Robyn did in the first decade of a scary new millennium. Beck — Od elay After scoring an accidental smash hit with the slacker-M. AlbumsMusicR. Thank you, Prince. And god bless you. Now, you can always see the sun. Certainly none of them would rap it like Nas does. Literary verse, by contrast, concerns itself with rhythm and meter. It goes without saying that when compos- ing Annabel Lee the only beat Poe worked with was the par- ticular metric ideal he had in mind.

It was contingent, then, upon Poe to represent on the page both his idiosyncratic rhythm and the vestiges of the ideal meter from which it came. To put it another way, Poe has to be both the rapper and his own beatbox all at once. That means that while, like Poe, he composes his lines with a regular meter in mind, his lyrics need not carry the burden of representing that meter—the beat of the instru- mental track does that for him.

Given a sense of the rhythmic order against which Nas com- posed and performed his lines, it is easier to fit the lyrics to the beat. Indeed, it may be hard to fit them anywhere besides where Nas put them. Without the benefit of the beat, we are left to guess at how the words fit together and upon what syllables the stresses fall.

Can I hit it in the morning without giving you half of my dough and even worse if I was broke would you want me? One likely could not, for in- stance, discern the following unusual stresses that Jay-Z gives to his performance: Can I hit it in the MOR ning without giving you half of my dough and even worse if I was broke would you WANT me? This is only possible in oral ex- pression; it depends upon the interrelatedness of two spoken words and the relation of that same pair of words to the beat.

For a rapper whose style is normally distinguished by its con- versational quality, such self-conscious artifice is a testament to his rhythmic versatility—or, as Jigga himself might say, to his ability to switch up his flow. The rhythm of the human voice is 3000 - Amper Clap - Transcendence (File able in ways the beat is not; a slight slip-up in the voice is usually of little consequence, while in the beat the results can be disastrous.

Flow includes the idea of effort- lessness, of not struggling against the beat but working within it to accentuate the rhythm in human tones. For instance, Black Thought, the prodigious lyricist for the Roots, has a powerfully rhyth- mic flow that marks his signature rhyme style.

Could flow potentially compromise poetic complex- ity in rhyme, wordplay, or other elements of style? In an in- sightful interview with The Guardian, British rapper the Streets makes a reasonable case for the potential excesses of flow.

What stands out about his flow is the way it refuses to flow. Like water through leaky pipes, his lyrics alternately spill out and clog up in relation to the beat. At times he defiantly sets his flow against the rhythmic di- rection of the rest of the song.

Flow takes its meaning from its musi- cal context. Nowhere is this more obvious than with MCs that rely upon their delivery above all else to define their style.

One such artist is Twista. He would lose the title, regain it, and then lose it again, but it was clear that he was one of a rare breed of speed rappers. The fraternity of speed rappers includes artists as different from one another as Bone Thugs- N-Harmony, Big Daddy Kane, and OutKast, all of whom oc- casionally rapped at tempos that stretched the bounds of human breath control. Few, Album), were as committed to speed rapping as Tung Twista.

Tempo is sound over time. When given a beat upon which to rhyme, the beats per minute present the rapper with the minimum, optimal, and maximum syllable load. As an oral idiom, rap is governed by these physical constraints of the human voice. Like singers, rappers must understand and practice effective vocal phrasing. Phrasing is all the more significant given that, more than most other forms of popular music, rap emphasizes clarity.

The most common of these is altered pro- nunciation. Sometimes an MC will say just enough of a word to make it clearly discernable before going right into the next phrase, all the while staying on beat. Other times they will employ dramatic pauses, for both artistic emphasis and practical necessity. The English language contains thirty-five sounds and twenty-six letters. Somehow, out of all of this, rhymes are born.

A syl- lable is the basic organizational unit for a sequence of speech sounds; it is the phonological building block of language. Syllables matter to rap for several rea- sons. In literary verse, syllabic prosody relies upon the number of syllables in the poetic line without regard to stress.

Haiku, for instance, fol- lows this method. Most modern poetry in English, however, favors accentual meter—poetry that patterns itself on stressed syllables alone. Stress, as we discussed earlier, is the vocal emphasis accorded each syllable relative to the empha- sis given to those around it. The English language naturally contains so many stresses that no other organizational princi- ple for meter makes sense. Manipulating the numbers of syllables can function quite effectively in rap.

I like being read. The way you do that is by having a lot of words, a lot of syllables, different types of words. By doing so, one notices patterns of repetition and difference. In the lines that follow, Eminem creates a syl- labic pattern of around ten syllables, which he then disrupts by expanding the number of syllables to nearly double by the end.

Back when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, 9 syllables this is how we used to make the party start. After listening to this track, try tap- ping out the natural beat of the syllables.

The difference be- tween that tapping and what you hear when Eminem rhymes is best defined in the last elements of flow that we shall dis- cuss, pattern and performance. One usually does not think of nineteenth-century Jesuit poet-priests and hip hop at the same time, but English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins has something to teach us about flow. Hopkins demarcated this stressed sylla- ble with an accent mark to instruct his readers to give the syllable extra emphasis. I do not say the idea is altogether new.

However, I had to mark the stresses. As it was for Hopkins, rhythm is often born for MCs long before the right words arrive. I take the typ- ical words, or I pick a two-word, three-word pattern. This frees an MC to try out different flows for a given beat before actually writing a rhyme.

Such a technique sim- plifies the experience of rapping by stripping it down to its most basic element: rhythm. Having generated a range of flows that work well with the beat, an MC might then go about developing the other figurative, thematic, and narra- tive elements of a verse. Inspiration for flows is all around the rapper who would keep an open mind and open ears.

Of course the haunting rhythm that compels an MC to rhyme is as individual as the given artist. Other times, the beat chooses the MC—or, more specifically, a producer tai- lors a beat to fit the distinctive vocal qualities and style of a given rapper. Get out of the way. A beat at its best is a reason to rhyme. The best way of illustrating this individ- uated relationship between an MC and a beat is to listen to different artists rhyming on the same track.

Is the Soul Machine. The instrumental track sounds like a kind of funkafied cartoon theme song, complete with intricate xy- lophone and harpsichord loops.

Cee-Lo rhymes first using a highly styl- ized, stop-start flow that bobs and weaves as he verbally jabs the track. Even without the music, one can see in the tran- scription his distinctive patterning of two and three syllable phrases: Well, hello.

Howdy do? How are you? Who me? I can spit on anything, got plenty game, authentic. The overall effect of his flow is to emphasize the speed of the track, making the beat seem as if it is faster than it ac- tually is. Who the only little nigga that you know with bout fifty flows, do about fifty shows in a week but creep on the track with my tippy toes Shhh!

Where Cee-Lo chops up ordinary speech patterns in unusual syllabic units, Ludacris runs his syllables together by emphasizing—and accelerating—normal speech patterns. The rhythm is now ordered not by natural speech stresses but by creative pairings of syllables.

Ludacris patterns this section of his verse on an economy of stressed syllables, no more than three and usually two per line. What results is a playful flow that emphasizes the back-and-forth momen- tum of the track even as it creates its own rhythmic logic through its patterns of emphasis. Whenever they perform rappers make a series of complex poetic decisions—not the least of which involves rhythm. Once there, they are far from finished; they must then attend to the linguistic purpose of hip-hop poetry: the rhyme itself.

When T. What they do instead is rhyme in a cadence. Rhyming words gives rap its song, underscoring the small but startling music of language itself.

Everyone knows rhyme when they hear it, but few stop to examine it. Rhyme is the concordance of sound. A skillfully ren- dered rhyme strikes a balance between expectation and novelty. It might be useful to think of rap rhyme on a sliding scale of listener expectation, with one end representing unwaver- ing rhyme regularity and the other no rhyme at all.

Free-verse rap, rap that does not rhyme at all, is rare, if not nonexistent. At the same time, rap that rhymes incessantly and perfectly soon grows tiresome. The most common rap rhymes are end rhymes, those rhymes that fall on the last beat of the musical measure, sig- naling the end of the poetic line. Two lines in succession with end rhymes comprise a couplet, the most common rhyme scheme in old-school rap.

In addition to defining the line, 3000 - Amper Clap - Transcendence (File serves a secondary purpose of organizing rhythm by dividing sound into recognizable units.

Like the cho- rus in a song, a refrain or rhyming pattern, once set up, re- wards our anticipation. The overall effect of the perfor- mance rewards our anticipation by balancing expectation and surprise in its sounds. Rhyming renders familiar words unexpected and fresh. Whether falling at the end of lines or cropping up some- where in the middle, rhymes result in heightened, artificial, almost ceremonial remixes of everyday speech.

For instance, chain rhymes— extended runs of the same rhyme sound over a series of lines, often with both end and internal rhymes—have become in- creasingly popular among MCs in recent years. Without melody, with rhythm alone, rap organizes words into forms that are strange yet familiar to the ear. Many other genres of popular lyric can take rhyme or leave it. And in recent years, liter- ary poetry has seemingly neglected rhyme or, if not neg- lected it, subsumed it more fully into its form, eschewing discernable patterns of end rhymes for subtler arrangements of internal ones.

Rap celebrates rhyme like nothing else, hearkening back to a time when literary poetry still unabashedly embraced the simple pleasure and musicality of verse. To put it an- other way, rhyming words begin different but end the same.

This balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar is the very spirit of rhyme. Where the similarity is too great, boredom sets in. Skillful rhyming involves finding a balance between identity and difference. On the other hand, when the difference between words is too great, no rhyme registers at all. Broadly understood, rhyme also includes a host of other linguistic strategies that rely upon the echo of sound across words. Al- literation, once called head rhyme, is older even than rhyme itself.

Most of us were first exposed to rhyme as children through nursery rhymes or childhood songs that emphasize patterns of sound.

Rhyme appeals to adults for many of the same reasons it appeals to kids, most notably because it is a source of pleasure tied to a purpose. Rhyme is no mere adornment in rap. Rhyme works on the brain as well as the ear. A new rhyme forges a mental pathway be- tween distinct but sonically related words and carries with it both linguistic and cognitive meaning.

But it is more than a matter of content—be it women and cars or prisons with bars—it is also a question of poetic form. Rhyme exercises its sound in the construction of meaning. The meaning will emerge as one of affinity and opposition. Rhyme accounts for a large part of what makes great rap great.

End-rhyme, then, is not only a delight to the ear of the reader when used well, but a spur to the imagination of the writer. If you can say anything in any way you choose, chances are you might not say anything at all, or at least any- thing worth remembering.

How do you say what you want to say but in a way that maintains that necessary association of sound that your listeners expect? Exceptional MCs, like skilled literary poets, balance sound with sense in their rhymes. In- stead, they relinquish control of their rhymes to one or the other. The results can be disastrous. A rapper insistent on ex- pressing a particular meaning in particular terms may find it almost impossible to rhyme at all.

Much more common, however, are those rappers so insistent on how their rhymes sound that they lose control over what they are actually say- ing. They spend so much time making sure that one line rhymes with the next that they fail to develop metaphors or tell stories or make observations. The result is not simply rhymes that sound the same, but rhymes that say the same things.

Some rap critics, and a fair number of rap fans, have be- moaned the limited thematic range in mainstream rap in re- cent years. The culprit they most commonly blame is big business—the record labels, radio conglomerates, and other commercial forces that treat rap as product rather than po- etry.

When MCs settle into familiar pairs of rhyme words, they also tend to settle into familiar themes and attitudes. Someone who sets out to sound like 50 Cent will likely use many of the same rhyme words that 50 employs and, as a consequence, end up rapping about the same topics.

Em- inem, for instance, had to conceive a bunch of new rhyming words to describe the experiences of a working-class white kid from a trailer park in Detroit who rises to superstardom. Similarly, as Andre has grown throughout his career—from southern playa to ATLien to whatever his present incarnation happens to be—the words he rhymes have grown along with him.

The point is that rhyme is not simply about the relationship of two or more words, two or more sounds—it is also about rhythm and image, storytelling, and, above all, meaning. In the hands of unskilled poets and MCs alike, rhyme can be an impediment, an awkward thing that leads to un- natural sounds and unintended meanings. But rhyme well used makes for powerful expression; it at once taps into the most primal pleasure centers of the human brain, those of sound patterning, and maintains an elevated, ceremonial dis- tance from regular speech.

Rap rhymes are often characterized as simplistic, but nothing could be further from the truth. Over the years, rap has un- dergone profound shifts in the range and variety of rhymes that MCs create. Rhyme comes in numerous varieties, each with a distinct function in sound and sense. Rap uses both. Kurupt of- fered author James G.

Like Perfection. World domination. Totally, with no Hesitation, you know what I mean? These are perfect rhymes. Philly, you know. These are perfected rhymes. Where you could take a word [sic] like we will and you connect that with a full word like rebuild, you know what I mean? You got two words in we will.

One word in rebuild. But perfect rhyme connection is the key to writing when you write your rhyme. And meaning too. Them are the keys to writing a rhyme. Perfect rhyme connection.

And style. While perfect rhymes satisfy our rhyming mind, slant rhymes tease us a little, denying us the satisfaction of com- pletion. The result is often a creative tension. Literary verse from the nineteenth century until today has witnessed the rise of slant rhyme from an occasional variation of form to a form in itself. Emily Dickinson is the poet most often associ- ated with slant rhyme, but she is not alone.

Poets like Ger- ard Manley Hopkins, W. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, and Wilfred Owen have made slant rhyme an accepted part of modern poetic practice. This speaks to the growing influ- ence of conversational style in literary poetry, something it shares with rap. Slant rhymes are common in rap, just as they are in other poetic forms found in the oral tradition. Oral ex- pression is generally more forgiving of sonic difference, offer- ing a wider definition of what constitutes rhyme. Rap celebrates both perfect and imperfect rhymes, often using them together to achieve subtle effects of sound and sense.

Slant rhymes, they suggest, testify to a lack of discipline and originality on the part of the artist. Such criticisms, however, ignore the fact that oral poetry has always been more liberal than written verse when it comes to what constitutes rhyme. Rap, like oral poetry through the ages, goes by the ear rather than by the book. Rap rhyme took a formal leap with the popularizing of multisyllabic rhymes. He often employs it to connect a single multisyl- labic word with a balanced multisyllabic phrase.

He then strings together lines, sometimes in couplets, sometimes in fierce runs of the same rhyme. Compared to conventional monosyllabic rhymes, multis not only provide a broader range of possible complimentary words, but also achieve a sonic effect of speed and virtuosity. Multis are also sometimes associated with more-complex and thus potentially less-commercial lyricism. The fear is that if the rhyme calls too much attention to itself, it will leave too little attention to the beat, or the hook, or the other elements of a song that tend to ensure mass appeal.

In four lines he delivers eight multis—some perfect, some slant; some indi- vidual words, some two-word phrases. Rhyme 61 For range and quality of multisyllabic rhymes, one con- temporary artist comes to mind: Pharoahe Monch.

He does all of this without sacrific- ing meaning or getting forced into unintended expressions. Some of the most formally sophisticated rhymes often es- cape notice, in large part because they work so well. After all, the reason MCs conceive elaborate rhymes in the first place is not to show how clever they are, but to put words together in such a way that they do something to the listener. One of the most reliable ways, therefore, to uncover poetically inno- vative lyrics is to pay close attention to those lines that stick in your head, that just sound right.

Like any rap fan, I have many such lines stored in my mental catalog. On the page and, even more, in the performance, the lines gain an effortless, almost offhanded eloquence that liberates the lis- tener to enjoy the line in the sound alone. Looking behind the rhymes takes none of that pleasure away. What it does instead is add a measure of respect to the craft of fitting rhymes to beats. MCs inevitably run up against the boundaries of expres- sive possibility through rhyming two words together.

In re- sponse, they often Album) rhyme techniques that cross the limits of word pairs to fashion rhyme groupings made up of several words that relate to one another in rhyme. The Noto- rious B. By contrast, broken rhyme, or split rhyme, involves rhyming a single multisyllabic word with several monosyl- labic words.

But where broken rhymes were nearly always played for comic purposes in literary verse, rap has made them a com- monplace element of its poetics. Rap has given broken rhymes a new and larger life. Like multis, broken rhymes have becomes more pervasive and versatile as rap poetics has developed. Not surprisingly Big Daddy Kane, the mas- ter of the multi, was also fond of broken rhymes.

The same holds for Kane. In a verse where he is extolling his lyrical excellence, the bro- ken rhymes manifest that very excellence with audible evidence. A host of effects accompany rhyme, all relying upon the echo of sound across poetic lines. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sound. S Vital Energy Utopia Instrumental Mix Suction Transcendence Status Granules Xenomorph Amper Clap Civilizations. Amper Clap Gray Lord.

Amper Clap NEO. Amper Clap - Marked Time. Connect with me on:. Complete list of Amper Clap music featured in tv shows and movies. Copyright Tunefind LLC. Browse All. TV Shows. Trending Music. Amper Clap 3000 - Amper Clap - Transcendence (File Electronic Performer Amper Clap Productions.


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