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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:02 am 
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pave,
I agree that Eminem is a little more intricate than Rakim. But when I said "better rhyme structure", I was talking more about the utter PERFECTION in which Rakim executed his words. Certain lines he came up with are just fucking brilliant (which is why I said he's more witty than Em, and still stand by that).
And I think you're sorely underrating his complexity too. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em is his most 'perfect' performance, but there are others that show more intricacy in rhyming.
Take these parts from "Untouchables":

When I detain it's a brainstorm
Never the same form
Every brain I rained on is warm
Takin a trip through memory lane to melody
See if you can tell if these
thoughts to fell MC's
could do you justice
but you cant touch this
Some kid tried to bust this
but he just missed.
I'm universal and much more merciful
So versatile with the style it's reversible
I get away even if I say a curse or two
But first let me bust another verse for you.

I break to meditate, not a peep, concentrate
till I'm deep awake, but not asleep
At the same time risin' and advertisin'
What is true, keep advised, and you can stay wise
I'm untouchable.
*okay that one is only single-syllable rhyming, but it's still brilliant*

You fold and lose control
so hold your partner closer
You're supposed ta
keep your composure.

It's clear so therefore you need a ear or
inclined in the mind
with some kind of idea for
the style I'm advertisin' what is true
Keep advised that you stay wise
I'm untouchable.

*Again, Eminem is more complex with multi-syllables, but I damn sure wouldn't say its "not even close".


Last edited by Negative Creep on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:21 am 
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Again, I agree with what you're saying there, Neg.

I think the great thing about Rakim was that he just had an incredible voice. That, he just seemed to have an inherent understanding of the effect of the sound of words, aside from analysing things on a rhyming/syllable basis or their underlying meanings/allusions. And then you combine that with his impeccable sense of rhythm. A commentor on thisarticle (which is pretty poor to be honest) sums it up perfectly:

I dunno… I think this example actually shows a weakness in your analysis — if the God MC isn’t ranking highly then you’ve gotta be missing some variables.

Quote:
First of all, I don’t think “Paid in Full” is actually that strong or consistent as an album – it was thrown together in a hurry, wasn’t it? It seems pretty obvious to be a couple of brilliant singles and a bunch of weaker filler.

More importantly, it looks like your analysis focuses only on rhymes — how many syllables there are, how many of them are rhyme syllables, etc. But to my ear the remarkable thing about Rakim is how he makes music out of things besides rhymes. And that’s chiefly due to his timing, delivery, charisma, and sound choices.

Some examples from “I Ain’t No Joke,” probably his best song:

“Even if it’s jazz or the quiet storm
I hook a beat up, convert it into hip-hop form”
Your analysis would consider these weak lines — only words of one or two syllables, only one rhyme (which consists of only one syllable and appears in the most predictable location). But it’s magical, thanks to the way he says “I hook a beat up” (and plays with those percussive consonants).

“They think that I’m a new jack, but only if they knew that
they who think wrong are they who can’t do that”
NOBODY has timing like that. R dances around the beat in a way that’s hard to quantify.

Still, it might be worth looking at number of enjambments — that’s something you could quantify, where Rakim might be an early standout. Or not, but still worth analyzing.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Well-said Georgi.

Also, Rakim actually got MORE complex when he went solo. Check these lines from "Waiting For The World To End":

Through my travels I try to take righteous steps
Because right or left could mean life or death
No matter how trife it get, my sights is set
But it's twice the threat when the nights is death.

My mental windows refuse to close, they get exposed
To the neighborhood info where the poison wind blows
A deadly plague spreadin negativity, viciously
Until every city be in ghetto misery
But don't let it get to me.

I see destruc-tion, even little kids trust none
They bust guns, that's what they get a rush from
When I see em, we build and have a real discussion
"Yo Ra, what's the jewel of the day?" "What up, son"
"You got ambition?" Shorty said, "Man listen
I got demands for livin, can't stand division
Make grands on my mission, till everything glisten
Women in the Expedition, no plans for prison

*DAMN!*


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:40 am 
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Do my eyes deceive me, or is Rakim not even on the current list at all?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:39 pm 
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You mean the one on the main page? That doesn't include rap yet.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Isaac Brock should be added.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:09 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
pave,
I agree that Eminem is a little more intricate than Rakim. But when I said "better rhyme structure", I was talking more about the utter PERFECTION in which Rakim executed his words. Certain lines he came up with are just fucking brilliant (which is why I said he's more witty than Em, and still stand by that).
And I think you're sorely underrating his complexity too. Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em is his most 'perfect' performance, but there are others that show more intricacy in rhyming.
Take these parts from "Untouchables":

When I detain it's a brainstorm
Never the same form
Every brain I rained on is warm
Takin a trip through memory lane to melody
See if you can tell if these
thoughts to fell MC's
could do you justice
but you cant touch this
Some kid tried to bust this
but he just missed.
I'm universal and much more merciful
So versatile with the style it's reversible
I get away even if I say a curse or two
But first let me bust another verse for you.

I break to meditate, not a peep, concentrate
till I'm deep awake, but not asleep
At the same time risin' and advertisin'
What is true, keep advised, and you can stay wise
I'm untouchable.
*okay that one is only single-syllable rhyming, but it's still brilliant*

You fold and lose control
so hold your partner closer
You're supposed ta
keep your composure.

It's clear so therefore you need a ear or
inclined in the mind
with some kind of idea for
the style I'm advertisin' what is true
Keep advised that you stay wise
I'm untouchable.

*Again, Eminem is more complex with multi-syllables, but I damn sure wouldn't say its "not even close".


I don't see what's so complex about those rhymes. It's all pretty basic masculine and feminine rhyming couplets ("tell if these ... fell MCs" is pretty unusual, but that's it) with a tiny smidge of internal rhyme scattered throughout.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Wait, let me guess, now Rakim is overrated, right?

Check out Waiting For The World To End.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:23 pm 
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All he's saying is its not that intricate. And its not.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:24 am 
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Well that's only one song out of his catalogue. Personally I think Untouchables is one of his best.

And again, listen to Waiting For The World To End.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Posts: 1600
Have all the Tool fans left? Can we take Mayonnaise off the list now?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:58 pm 
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no


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:44 am 
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damn :sad:


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Dead as this forum unfortunately is, I still feel like mentioning Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian)... Of the names considered for an eventual top 100 here, I think, as a Magnetic Fields fan, that Stephin Merritt seems like an odd-one-out... The Magnetic fields aren't particularly well known outside certain indie communities, and his lyrics, from a linguistic point of view, isn't that intricate or noteworthy that they can support him a placement on this list despite being pseudo-obscure... Above-mentioned would fit the bill better (though the fact that he's not even an obvious candidate for the list makes Merritt seem even more weird fit for this list).


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Lyricists Of Rock 'n' Roll
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:09 am 
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Can anyone else see Cohen in the top 5?


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