The beauty of J.Cole's bars

Originally published at: The beauty of J.Cole's bars | Boing Boing

skills shown. ok, impressive. but I can’t get past the flow, it’s the same pattern introduced by Bone Thugs. I get that it’s canon now, but that sing-songy shit always left me cold. like, people who didn’t like rap could enjoy it because they make it sound like singing. Vice once called Bone “barbershop rap” which they meant as a compliment but calling it that just emphasizes how gimmicky it is to me.

I can acknowledge Cole is rapping his ass off but it’s just not for me.

2days later edit:
guess I’ll @dnealy since we seem to be the only people interested in talking about rap skills

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I used to be quite averse to flow centric rap too, but I actually place flow’s importance BEFORE lyrics nowadays. I’m more focused on a song working on a melodic level first. Once they’ve got that down, then I move to the lyrics.

Billy Joel said it best, “you date the melody, and marry the lyrics.”

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there is room for both in the world, there’s no point in saying it’s wrong. but the two revolutionary things about rap music was it was the first music to be made by recontextualizing existing music (i.e. collage) (or one of the first, musiq concrete I think started in the 60s?) and secondly it was the first music, or at least the first Western music, where the vocals were percussive rather than melodic in nature.

trying to insert melody into the flows just seems to be missing the point. but I suppose those who do it could argue that it’s another level of skill. I can accept that. I can also accept people deciding they like it without needing to justify it to anybody. but again, it’s just not for me.

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