XP THE MARXMAN / ANALYSIS / "NO DOUBT SON"
Let’s look at XP THE MARXMAN’S rap stats on a song called, “No Doubt Son,” produced by ICEROCKS, featuring, MADHATTAN. To kick things off, we found that XP used more than 6 literary techniques on the track, but by far his most used technique is imagery. “Go ahead sign your name on that toe tag / stab you with the pen you use for your note pad.” It’s dark images like that that add a gritty cinematic effect to the track. He also uses subtle two and three word alliterations that add to the flow, “full time felon flow get up and get that / valley boy reppin’ yeah the squad got mad straps…”
As far as rhymes are concerned, XP spit 50 internal rhyme schemes and seven end rhyme schemes that added up to 187 individual rhymes in 38 bars. There is one rhyme scheme in particular where he rhymes the ‘A’ sound 21 times in a row, and another where he rhymes with an “ate” 11 times.
On average, XP THE MARXMAN delivers 4.9 rhymes per bar, and has a high of ten rhymes in one bar in particular.
But something extra dope we been working on is tallying emcees multi-syllable rhymes. It’s something that for a minute Rhymecology’s been saying we need to do, and so after tweaking our coding program a tiny bit, we got the technique locked. Depending on the analysis package, some emcees can get rhymecology himself to count your multis. In the case of XP, in the two verses we analyzed, over half of his end rhymes were quadruple syllable multis, but that most of his end rhymes are actually double syllable rhymes.
Yo, shoutout to XP THE MARXMAN! Thank you for having us analyze your bars, and everybody check out his most recent album, it’s called, “Nomads,” and it’s produced by Icerocks. He has a ton of dope emcees on there too, cats like Hus Kingpin, Big Twins, Supreme Cerebral, Roc marci, and madhattan among others.
SAUCE IS MATISSE / ANALYSIS / "BEING ME"
Peace world! This is Rob Nise live and direct from Rap Seminar, and today were breaking down the rap techniques of Sauce is Matisse. Before we get in to his charts though, let’s get into his name. It turns out that Matisse has many meanings. In French, the name can mean “gift of God,” or “free spirit,” but it can also be an allusion to the French Artist Henry Matisse who was known for his vibrant use of color but who was also a sculptor and printmaker. Sauce is Matisse however is an emcee out of Charlottesville, Virginia, and like Henri Matisse he’s a multitalented artist. Not only does he rap, but if you need an audio engineer, look no further.
Aiight, let’s take a look at his rhymes. In a feat of super human rhyme abilities, the kid spit 226 rhymes in 28 bars on his song called “Being Me” produced by Nate Will. Now that’s a lot of rhymes for real, more than half of them were internals-- he used 153 internal rhymes to be precise. In total he uses 53 different internal rhyme schemes, and seven different end rhyme schemes, not including the hook.
Now, here’s where all of this starts to add up. On average, the emcees we’ve analyzed drop 3-4 ½ rhymes per bar, but Sauce is Matisse takes it to another level with an ave. 8 rhymes per bar and a high of 12 rhymes in one bar specifically. This is not normal folks!
But what’s really stands out is the structure of his rhymes. There’s one technique that he uses called Paromiosis, now I know it sounds like a crazy illness or whatever, but what it really is a “Parallelism of sound between the words of adjacent clauses whose lengths are equal or approximate to one another,” or in other words Paromiosis happens when a series of consecutive bars contains rhymes in the same places. For example, when he says,
I got my vans on, but I ain’t a skater though/
I got my band on, I won’t ever date a hoe/
I’m never bland naw, I be bout that flavor, dope
He rhymes one sound at the beginning of each bar, another sound in the middle of each bar, and finally he rhymes yet one more sound at the end of each bar, and these rhymes are in the same place for all three bars. But he’s not only a rhymer, he’s also literary. With a total of 20 imagistic words and 16 allusions, one of his strong points, aside from rhyme, is figurative language. Sauce is Matisse also uses a technique called Polyptoton, but y’all gonna have to google that one for y’alls selves! Shoutout to the kid Sauce is Matisse, and to Nate Will on this crazy wild instrumental.
Ayo, big salute to everybody listening. Get at rap seminar to order your lyrical analysis, and be sure to follow us for more lyrical break downs! Peace.
DIRTY NEEDLES / ANALYSIS / "4-MATIC"
Lyrical Analysis Transcript:
Peace world! This is the Rap Analyzer for Rap Seminar and we’re breaking down “4-Matic” by Dirty Needles produced by Kollectiv.
Let"s put it this way, the way he’s pushing these rhymes around, I can only describe him as a rhyme bully. Like when words see him coming they be tryin to run the other way! But for real, he spit 106 rhymes in only 28 bars, 72.6% of which were internal rhymes. His internal rhymes are straight belligerent. Like when he rhymes tyrannical with animal and Hannibal, or when he rhymes lacerations with “flambé him,” you can really see his creativity and aptitude for word play.
Another thing we noticed is that he has this technique that he uses where he rhymes two consecutive words a time. For example, when he says, “I’m the dirtiest nerdiest individual” Or “I’m an oddity oddly enough”. This is clever wordplay that gives his flow a unique sound.
Since he has such a high rhyme count, his average amount of rhymes per bar is also pretty high at just shy of four rhymes per bar. His highest amount of rhymes in a bar is 8, and his low is one. In total he has 36 different internal rhyme schemes, and 10 different sets of end rhymes. This tells us that he has a diversity of rhyme sounds in his bars, unlike for example, Kool G Rap who tends to rhyme one sound over a series of many bars. Now one technique isn’t better than another, they’re just different approaches that emphasize different approaches that emphasize different things.
And finally we get to the quantification of his literary techniques. By far, imagery is the most used technique in his arsenal, with a total of 45 imagistic words, followed by allusion and metaphor. One of our favorite techniques that he used on the track is polysemy. This happens when a line shows the possibility of containing more that one meaning. In verse one he uses polysemy when he says, “Fly over your head without a fucking Leer Jet.” The line can either mean he’s literally flying over your head, or it can mean that what he’s saying is intellectually beyond your comprehension. So at the end of the day, he either has super human abilities, or he is way smarter than you! Either way, he’s most definitely on another level. Ya’ll make sure to show Dirty Needles some love by lighting his IG up with mad fire emojis, and of course purchase and stream his music wherever and whenever possible. Ayo, this is Rob Nice, sending a shoutout to everybody listening, y’all be sure to follow rap seminar for more lyrical breakdowns.
KOOL TAJ THE GR8 / ANALYSIS / "TALKIN' HIP-HOP"
Peace. let me tell ya’ll something, Kool Taj The GR8 is not here to play no games wit ‘chall whatsoever. He hit us up a few months ago to run his charts, and of course we said, “yes, send us the lyrics,” but yo, Kool Taj don’t write lyrics down, so guess what? That’s right, we transcribed all 44 bars of our favorite track on his album, “Down the Block and Around the Corner.” He had so many allusions to the early players in the game that we actually had to research what he was talkin’ ‘bout and whatnot.
The track we chose is called, “Talkin’ Hip-Hop.” This song is a masterful ode to the four elements of the culture, and not only that, but it’s a historic account of how the culture was created. As far as literary technique is concerned Kool Taj scored a triple double. Earning double digits in the areas of image, allusion, and metaphor. He kicks the song off like, “Graff writers, djays, breakers, and emcees / with out us this world would be empty…,” and these opening bars set the stage for what is a detailed rehashing of the origins of one of the most prevalent cultures in the world.
If you’re new to the game, this song is a must. If you’re hip to the game, this song is most definitely a must. With bars like, “Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore / man they had it on smash / back then the dj was the shit / Coke La Rock grabbed the mic, first emcee to spit…” you gotta have a pen and pad out so you can take note of the legacy. With that being said, in the next few charts, we’re going to break down some of the more technical elements of Kool Taj’s lyricism, so stay tuned!
In this video, we talk a little about the rhyme placement and rhyme techniques that Kool Taj uses in "Talkin Hip-Hop."
INTEL SELEKTAH / ANALYSIS / "GOD'S DON'T KILL"
When we first discovered Intel Selektah on IG last year, the Rap Seminar squad was in agreement that this is how Hip-hop should sound. His rhymes are raw, his subject matter is intelligent, and most of all, dude got flows for real.
You may have already seen him rip that “Onion Head” instrumental, but if you didn’t, do yourself a favor: go to your preferred streamer and tune in. It’s been a long time coming, but the next series of analysis charts and write-ups will delve into the literary techniques and rhymes he employs on a song called, “Gods Don’t Kill” featuring Mcmxciv.
Rap Seminar loves finding patterns in emcee’s rhymes. In poetry, for example, a “couplet” is two lines of verse that are joined by an end rhyme. An end rhyme pattern in a series of couplets equaling eight bars would look like this: AA, BB, CC, DD. These are units of rhyme that are coupled in two. Now, we say all of that to say this: Intel spits 7 couplets in around 15 bars of rap, but what’s really interesting is that the first line in most of his couplets set an idea up, while the second line drives the point of the idea home. The kid is literally throwing a series of one-two punches for the entire verse- the first punch is the set up, and the second punch is gonna make you feel it.
Don’t get it twisted tho, he doesn’t use his rhymes to throw shots at people- he uses them to tell the story of a person whose aim is to live righteously and who uses his writing and music to keep himself out of the beast, but due to his life circumstance is stuck living the street life.
When he says, “Just a product of the world, abandoned by the mother (A) / lost his brother to the same street that swept him right under (A) / only found peace in the rhythm (B) / the black and white composition help him avoid prison systems” (B), you’re seeing two couplets that explain how the subject’s writing keeps him out of trouble regardless of how the world has failed him and those around him. And this, my peoples, is the age-old story of survival. It’s the story of what a person must do to make it through the trials and tribulations of their life’s circumstance.
We’re about to get into some of the images Intel delivers on “Gods Don’t Kill,” featuring. Mcmxciv, but we gotta talk about poetry a little more first. Lol. Though rappers are more than poets, the poetic element in rap is undeniable. Rappers and poets both use similar literary techniques, they both use narration, and perhaps most importantly they both speak emotions that readers and listeners recognize as their own. Poets and emcees put things in ways we haven’t heard, and can capture different angles of familiar subjects.
Now, in our opinion the strongest writers speak through images, and we think it's true of most genres of writing. In fact, freestyle guru, Supernatural says that, “creativity is one of the closest energies we have to God.” He specifically says the word, “creativity.” To “create” means to bring something into existence, right? It means to make something that was once abstract tangible and perceivable to others.
In storytelling, imagery is what makes a writer’s story real for the audience. For example, when Intel Selektah says, “I just paint a picture and let the image climb in ya head,” we know images can’t climb into someone’s head in real life, but because of the way he uses metaphor and personification, he makes the impossible a reality, and the image itself can survive in our minds. Intel uses poetic technique throughout his verse. For example when he says, “the black and white composition help him avoid prison systems,” we can interpret “black and white composition in two different ways: He’s either (1) using “black and white” as a symbol of the subjects ability to see right from wrong, or (2) he’s describing the notebook where the subject writes his rhymes so that we can understand the role of writing in his life. Though he may not have intended both meanings, they’re both perceivable to the audience, regardless.
At the end of the day, when he describes the physical nature of something, it allows the audience to interpret the meaning of that description for themselves, and it’s in the possibility of more than one meaning that emcees can add texture to what they create.
KING MAGNETIC LYRICAL ANALYSIS / "GUN CHARGE"
Peace! Yo, on the real, there are emcees that carry on tradition super righteously, like if you listen close you can hear the Hip-hop Gods in their rhymes, wordplay, cadence, and points of reference. If they were serving up meals it would be some kind of comfort food- something that can always bring you home no matter where you find yaself.
This time around, the chef is none other than @KingMagnetic . His new track, “Gun Charge, produced by @custom60625,” is a super creative view into the world of holdin’ heat. The track isn’t just creative thematically, but the delivery is straight up art. After studying the track real close, and thanks to our new @rapseminar lyrical analysis software, we found that King Magnetic spits 49 different internal rhyme schemes and 13 different end rhyme schemes in just two verses.
The content of the song touches on everything from different types of ratchets and where they might be toted, to how people get caught up with gun charges, to the celebration of having beat the charge as evidenced in the hook where he joyfully exclaims, “I beat a gun charge!” The joint just dropped on all the streamers, and guess what? King Magnetic made the instrumental by @custom60625, plus the acapella, and even the clean version available for all y’all djays, emcees, and people with lil’ kids that be understanding cuss words and whatnot! On top of all that, the maxi-single also includes a ridiculous track called, “More Belligerent” featuring @tom_savatm, @twin_gambit, and @gqnothinpretty.
Ayo, support the God by streaming this new joint and sharing it on your pages. Trust me, if you’re a “true to the essence” type of Hip-hop head, you won’t be disappointed . Be sure to follow @RapSeminar for more lyrical breakdowns. -Rob
Imagery, aside from rhyme, is the single most used technique in rap music. Some emcees use it more than others, but at the end of the day it nearly reigns supreme. The simile is imagery, metaphors are imagery, and allusions can also evoke images. The appeals to the senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste are also housed under the umbrella of imagery.
At the end of the day, the emcees who are the most imagistic describe things in tangible concrete ways so that those ideas can be perceived through any of the five senses. When we studied the bars @kingmagnetic spit on his new single, “Gun Charge,” produced by Custom Made we found that he used 62 imagistic words in 55 bars. Now, you know we gotta do the math right? If he dropped 62 images, in 55 bars then that means that on average he has more than 1 image per bar. This literally means that damn near every bar has something that’s perceived by any of the five senses. Peep game, these are two bars from the first verse; try to find the images:
“I got a bunch of people punctured lungs with eagles when they come to see you/ choke you like doing dabbing, even shooting stabbing like a bunch of needles…”
Images like the ones in the bars above allow listeners to draw their own conclusions on what the sum of the images come together to actually mean. In the case of King Mag’s images we put things together, like, okay, 1) he got a bunch of people, 2) lungs are being punctured quite possibly with 3) eagle’s beaks, 4) they choking people, 5) dabbing, 6) shooting, and 7) stabbing with 8) a bunch of needles. Ayo, these don’t exactly seem like the safest people to be around, and because of how he lists things that we can see, we are able to understand this fact without him straight up telling us, “there are dangerous people around.”
It’s one thing to be able to say something, but it’s another thing to be able to evoke a sensory experience, and this is exactly what King Mag is able to do. -Rob
King Mag’s average amount of rhymes per bar (RPB) in his song, “Gun Charge,” produced by Custom Made, is slightly above the general average at a solid 4 RPB. On the upper end, he capped out at about 9 RPB. What stuck us most though is that he delivered 49 different internal rhymes schemes, and one rhyme scheme in particular that was 26 rhymes long (swipe for an image of that)!
Anyhow, forgive me for nerding out on ya’ll. Let’s just say that King Mag be doing his thing, statistically speaking, and otherwise. If you’re into East Coast rap and haven’t gotten into his catalog, go ahead and do that.
Also be sure to keep a lookout for his third album titled, “Third Time’s A Charm.” Shoutout to King Mag! Thank you for letting us analyze your new joint. -Rob
JOELL ORTIZ LYRICAL ANALYSIS / "COCAINE FINGERTIPS"
Before we get into this Joell Ortiz, “Cocaine Fingertips” analysis, let me say this: the majority of emcees we’ve analyzed at the Seminar so far, on average, spit 3 rhymes per bar, which is pretty dope. Every once in a while tho, we analyze an emcee who got maaaaaaad rhymes. @hott424 is one of those, and so are @whoisjamalgasol, and @wordsworthbklyn, but today, thanks to @nickyblueeyess, we get a chance to really see what Ortiz is doing, and wow, his rhymes are complex to say the least.
To quote, @generalbackpain (another dope emcee you gotta peep), Ortiz’s “rhyme inside a rhyme game is superior,” and we totally agree. As you can see in this chart right here, on average he gets around 5 rhymes in per bar, however, there are other bars on “Cocaine Fingertips” where he delivers 11 rhymes. Now if you’re a skeptic, you're probably looking at me sideways right now, but on the real, after tallying his internals, end rhymes, and alliterations his numbers are way up there.
Now, I know saying so ain’t proof, so here you go, here is the Logos (count how many rhymes you find in these few bars: “My mind be on Interstellar, extraterrestrial, Biochemical, celestial weaponry / I can think you into residue (Pew) / Don't even need the worst of me to get the best of you (You).” Yo. Pause. He said, Don’t even need the worst of me to get the best of you! Come on son! These is bars right here! Now let me say this, I’m Dominican, but my man Joell Ortiz got me reppin’ Puerto Rico right now. Lol. Ayo, listen to his Mona Lisa album, produced by @apollobrown, but don’t just listen to listen, listen to learn. -Rob
To survive in the current rap landscape, you gotta have some punchlines tucked away for a rainy day, or for when somebody thinks shit is sweet, so to speak. There are battle rappers who are maaaaad nice with the poetry of aggressive lyrics, but after hearing “Cocaine Fingertips” by @joellortiz, produced by @apollobrown, I low-key really wanna see him battle somebody in a lyrical UFC type situation. I would most definitely bet on the kid! (Ayo, before I show y’all these next bars, let me say this… (Parental Advisory – Trigger Warnings and all a that! These next lines are scary): “I just wanna say, fuck you and every male that you look up to / Yo' daddy, brother, and uncle / Your basketball coach, the public school mascot that used to hug you / That pastor that butt-fucked you, holy shit Yeah, holy shit.” Pretty grimy right? But wait it gets worse (Sticky Fingaz voice), “…Military instillation Install some more lead in you / then make you write ‘yaowah' a million times in blood, legible.“ Yo really!? Now I gotta write God’s Hebrew name in blood a million times!?
Aside from this, Ortiz also uses a technique that we didn’t add to his bar graph, called “Symploece” (forgive me @thewilliethekid for speaking on your intellectual property), but Symploece is a technique WTK has pioneered, and put simply it’s when an emcee uses various forms of the same word or root word in close proximity. For example when Ortiz says, “Neighbors BANG on the wall and shit / 'Cause I'm BANGIN' the walls and shit / BANGIN' that off the wall and shit,” he uses two derivatives of the word “bang.”
Now, for all you sticklers out there, yes, “Bang” is also a Homophone, because the word itself can have many different meanings. Plus, since he’s repeating the same words towards the end of each bar, it’s also an example of Epistrophy. Anyhow, these bars are kinda like a 3 for 1, and this is the magic of the poetic nature of rap! But, yo, as we’ve mentioned before, rap is more than poetry, because the voice is a sonic instrument that must ornament the MUSIC.
Big up to @nickyblueeyess, cause had it not been for him, we may not have gotten into these magnificent bars. -Rob
Here it is folks, @joellortiz delivered 223 rhymes in approximately 41 bars . “Cocaine Fingertips” is literally a rhyme bonanza. Aside from the rhyme percentages you see here, his most used type of rhyme is assonance rhyme. We don’t usually include this kind of rhyme in the chart because it overlaps the other categories of rhyme and would throw off our numbers, but as a subset, the majority of his 223 rhymes are assonance rhymes, as opposed to consonant rhymes. Ya’ll already know this, but assonance happen when the writer rhymes with vowel sounds, and it’s probably the most popular rhyme category as a whole. If you emcee, you most likely use this type of rhyme a lot. It’s nearly impossible to avoid.
Okay, my people, let me send huge shoutouts to @joellOrtiz, and @apollobrown for this amazing project, and to @nickyblueeyess for funding this run of charts! Infinite salutes. -Rob
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