Friday, January 23, 2009

'Anatomy of a Rhyme I: DJ Kno vs. 50 Cent'

Alright, so anybody that knows me can see that this could easily be titled 'The Blowout.' DJ Kno, of Cunninlynguists, is not only one of my favourites on the boards, he is officially one of my favourites behind the mic. The verse showcased here is undeniably genius. 50 on the other hand is one of my most hated artists in a long time. If any rap fans read this, I do expect a backlash, but I stand by it. Maybe 50 can rhyme, I'm not going to lie and say I'm the authority on everything 50, but this verse obviously loses out.

First up is DJ Know: 'Cunninlynguists - Things I Dream' (Dirty Acres)

Fumblin with a sweat on my fingers, something impetuous lingers
Become infected with feeling, so I'm electing this evenin
To end my life without reason, cus I'm indicted for treason
Closin my eyes and I'm leakin, drag the knife til I'm bleedin
Cus its light that I'm seeking, feels only right that I'm meetin
With Jesus seeking redemption, but he don't need my repentance
For he who feels my intentions, sees that my deepest depression
Is feeding me to these demons, that lurk and feed on my essence
The pain is deep in my chest, and I keep repeatin my blessins
Ever since a meek adolescence, that saw me beaten by freshmen
Parents repeatedly sentenced, heroin needles on dressers
They used to feed their infection, I can't repeat indescretions
So I pause for reflection, long for honest affection
And gettin lost in the music, is only soothin for stretches
Cus if you knew where my head is, when I'm doing these records
You'd never listen to my music again, I can't let you
(see the things I dream)

I really don't know what to stress first in this verse. I will start with the deep, almost haunting personal feel that this verse has, mix that with the amazing vocabulary and you have an amazing rhyme. But that's not all, lets break down how the verse actually comes together. Not only does he have every half line rhyming, but each rhyme is similar. So close in fact, that on first listen you could swear every word he utters rhymes. I will admit that this is one of my favourite verses of all time, along with some of the most impressive verses form other emcees. Now we will look at lines 6-9 and we'll see that he seemlessly switches to the regular a-b-a-b rhyming scheme. Then transitions into a something that seems like everything rhymes and nothing rhymes simultaneously. If you have any doubts, listen to the song, it's the last verse, you will see what I`m talking about.

Next up 50 Cent: '50 Cent - Heat'

My heart bleeds for you nigga, I can't wait to get to you
Behind that twinkle in ya eyes, I can see the bitch in you
Nigga you know the streets talk
So they'll be no white flags and no peace talks
I got my back against the wind, I'm down to ride till the sun burn out
If I die today, I'm happy how my life turned out
See the shootouts that I've been in I'm by myself
Locked up I was in a box by myself
I done made myself a millionaire by myself
Now, shit changed motherfucker I can hire some help
I done heard about the 50 grand you put in the hood
But ya shooter fin'nin to get get shot it won't do 'em no good
With a pistol I define the definition of pain
If you survive ya bones'll still fuckin hurt when it rain
Oh you a pro at playin battleship well this ain't the same
Lil homie this is a whole different type of war game
See the losers end up in shackles of motherfuckin chains
Or laid out in the streets leakin out they brains

Hate me all you want, it must be known that 50 can't rhyme. I'm not even going to mention the TWO videos that he has for this song, and how horrible they are, but instead just stick to dissecting this rhyme. Ok everyone, let's look at they rhyming scheme of this verse. Oh look, line 1 and line 2 rhyme . . . wait a minute . . . those words look similar . . . almost as if they're the same word. Oh my . . . they are the same word, and this happens for the next seven lines! Enough about that, even good lyricists have been known to use this technique from time to time. Let's regroup at line 10. From here on out it looks like he grabbed a rhyming dictionary, pointed at a word, took the first word that rhymed, and ran with it. 'Hood rhymes with Good, well done Curtis' his 1st grade teacher said while smiling patronizingly 'Game also rhymes with Same, good word recognitiong Curtis.' And if I might say something, 'shackles of motherfucking chains'! Are you for real, I wrote poems in highschool better than this.

Alright, at the end of this debacle, we have a clear winner. I feel like I should have kept DJ Kno in my back pocket for when I had a viable competitor, and maybe he will surface again, but until then my friend, enjoy the non-existent trophy. Don't get to proud though, 50 might just pull out his machine gun. You know 'machine gun shells gone tear ya back up.' Enjoy it Kno, you deserve it.

I'm Back, Again. And I Apologize To All That Actually Care.

Now, I know I've been gone a long time, and I have been having some thoughts about whether to bother coming back at all, but I decided that I might as well. I really didn't feel like studying anymore. So I have decided to do something special, besides a best of 2008 cliche list that I will be working on for a while, I will be doing 'The Anatomy of Rhyme.' I can only hope that Kanye will read it and stick behind the mic. I will be comparing the rhymes of artists that everyone knows to artists that you might not have heard, and see how they compare. Now keep in mind, I agree that you can argue that they are different types of rhymes, you shouldn't hold gangsta' rap to the same standards that you do hip-hop. But I really don't care what I should and shouldn't do, rappers should always be held accountable for their rhymes. I might even through in a gangsta v. gangsta, mainstream v. mainstream, or even the beloved underground v. underground matchups. This will be an ongoing theme, so stick around my friends and we shall see who reigns supreme. I want to try this out for the first time, if you happen to stumble upon my posts and feel like you disagree with me, or agree with me, or just want to say something, let me know. Drop a comment, post in the shoutbox, always loving the feedback.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Wisdom of a Sage

I can't believe it's taken this long to do, but I have a sampling of the best releases in the repertoire of one of my favourite hip-hop artists, Sage Francis. One of the most honest and intelligent lyricists alive today. There isn't really much you can say, if you've heard him, you know how amazing he is. If you haven't heard, then once you do, you'll know.

Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust
Country: USA
Genre: Hip-Hop
Track List:
1. The Buzz Kill - 4:05
2. Sea Lion - 3:01
3. Gunz Yo - 3:03
4. Escape Artist - 4:15
5. Product - 2:15
6. Voice Mail Bomb Threat - 1:39
7. Dance Monkey - 2:35
8. Sun vs. Moon - 3:28
9. Agony in Her Body - 4:17
10. Crumble - 2:00
11. Ground Control - 3:52
12. Lie Detector Test - 2:47
13. Bridle - 2:11
14. Slow Down Gandhi - 4:52
15. Jah Didn't Kill Johnny - 2:49
Total Play Time - 47:27

Download: Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust

Sage Francis - Personal Journals
Country: USA
Genre: Hip-Hop
Track List:
1. Crack Pipes - 2:25
2. Different - 3:20
3. Personal Journalist - 2:53
4. Inherited Scars - 4:35
5. Climb Trees - 3:57
6. Broken Wings - 3:59
7. The Strange Famous Mullet Remover - 2:39
8. Smoke and Mirrors - 3:13
9. Message Sent - 4:24
10. Eviction Notice - 3:31
11. Pitchers of Silence - 2:46
12. Specialist - 4:13
13. Hopeless - 1:12
14. Kill Ya' Momz - 1:59
15. Black Sweatshirt - 2:08
16. Cup of Tea - 2:14
17. My Name is Strange - 3:21
18. Runaways - 6:07
Total Play Time - 57:47

Download: Sage Francis - Personal Journals

Non-Prophets - Hope
Country: USA
Genre: Hip-Hop
Track List:
1. Intro - 1:32
2. Any Port - 4:29
3. Damage - 5:04
4. That Ain't Right - 3:47
5. Disasters - 2:11
6. Fresh - 3:39
7. Mainstream 307 - 4:02
8. Mill - 0:42
9. Spaceman - 4:26
10. Xaul Zan's Heart - 5:06
11. New World Order - 5:00
12. Tolerance Level - 4:07
13. Cure - 5:09
14. Outro/Bounce - 5:06
Total Play Time - 54:21

Download: Non-Prophets - Hope

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back Again!

Hello everybody, I know it's been a while since I've been on, but school, work, and the never ending pursuit of sleep have taken over my life.

It is about time to make my final list for 2008, and there have been some pretty solid releases in the last 2 months. I have only been disappointed by the lack of a new dredg album. It was supposed to be out, but has since been delayed into non-existence at the moment. Not sure what the final word is on the release date, but I think it's sometime in the early new year.

In the moment I am ignoring my chem prof, and am not quite sure what I'm going to upload. On the tram ride home I will think of something and will upload a few things for you when I get back home.

And guys, I've been gone for two months, why are there no comments anywhere. Extremely disappointed in you folks. Pick that shit up my friends.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thrice - The Alchemy Index Volumes III & IV

Thrice - The Alchemy Index Volumes III & IV
Country: USA

Genre: Post-Hardcore/Punk
Track List:

Volume III - Air
1. Broken Lungs - 4:14
2. The Sky Is Falling - 4:21
3. A Song for Milly Michaelson - 5:07
4. Daedalus - 6:00
5. As the Crow Flies - 2:22
6. Silver Wings - 2:10
Volume IV - Earth
1. Moving Mountains - 2:55
2. Digging My Own Grave - 3:04
3. The Earth Isn't Humming - 4:58
4. The Lion and the Wolf - 2:42
5. Come All You Weary - 4:08
6. Child of Dust - 3:09
Total Play Time - 45:16

Download: Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. III: Air
Download: Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. IV: Earth

Thrice - The Alchemy Index Volumes I & II

Thrice - The Alchemy Index Volume I & II
Country: USA
Genre: Post-Hardcore/Punk

Track List:
Volume I - Fire
1. Firebreather - 4:24
2. The Messenger - 2:09
3. Backdraft - 4:08
4. The Arsonist - 4:13
5. Burn the Fleet - 3:46
6. The Flame Deluge - 3:27
Volume II - Water
1. Digital Sea- 3:44
2. Open Water - 3:46
3. Lost Continent - 4:30
4. Night Diving - 6:02
5. The Whaler - 4:09
6. Kings Upon the Main - 4:56
Total Play Time - 49:14

Download: Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. I: Fire
Download: Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. II: Water

Thrice - Vheissu

Thrice - Vheissu
Country: USA
Genre: Post-Hardcore/Punk

Track List:
1. Image of the Invisible – 4:14
2. Between the End and Where We Lie – 3:56
3. The Earth Will Shake – 4:29
4. Atlantic – 4:02
5. For Miles – 4:27
6. Hold Fast Hope – 4:01
7. Music Box – 4:46
8. Like Moths to Flame – 4:26
9. Of Dust and Nations – 4:50
10. Stand and Feel Your Worth – 5:52
11. Red Sky – 4:17
Total Play Time - 49:14

Download: Thrice - Vheissu