Thursday, March 31, 2005

Great moments in lyric writing, vol. 1

Jay-Z, feat. Bun B and Pimp C - Big Pimpin'
Nigga it's the - big Southern rap impresario
Comin straight up out the black bar-rio
Makes a mill' up off a sorry hoe
Then sit back and peep my sce-nawr-e-oh
Oops, my bad, that's my scenario
This is lyric writing worthy of Shakespeare. No, we're not being sarcastic. Rap lyrics have to stay musical despite the lack of a melody, and good lyricists will have a keen ear for sound and rhythm of their verse. The above is a fine example of the more unusual rhyme "ahrio". As if impresario and barrio aren't impressive enough, he rhymes it across two words with "sorry hoe". And then, in a brilliantly comical, but unpretentious, self-conscious moment, he "tries" to continue the rhyme with "scenahrio" but realizes his error in pronunciation and corrects it in the next line.

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