In the United States, the fusion of rap and poetry

In the United States, the fusion of rap and poetry

The younger generation of artists is taking the coexistence between the two genres to new heights. Tired of hip-hop and interested in social networks, he pursues common literary and political ideals.

Lotto, 22, of Atlanta, had lyrics, words and phrases popping into her mind on her cell phone or came to her during online shows performed during epidemics. One of the words that comes up a lot this year is “epidemic” – which is not surprising. Lotto used it twice: the first summer, during a session Freestyle Organized by American Hip-Hop Magazine XXL To release its release dedicated to “10 rappers to watch in 2020”; Second, on the first track of his album Queen of Da Soup, Which made its debut with a major registration company last year.

“I fell a hundred pieces of jewelry during an epidemic” [J’ai claqué 100000 balles pour des bijoux en pleine pandémie”], She beats. Regular rap bragging, to celebrate the newly acquired wealth here. But brag about spending $ 100,000 [environ 80 000 euros] For a diamond-encrusted chain and watch, a health crisis around the world can sound very arrogant, although Rob often promotes selfishness and overt consumption. Lotto knows this. This explains why she adds after two or three lines: “I donated too, so don’t make fun of me!” [“J’ai fait des dons aussi, alors ne jugez pas !”]

Literally similar work

Ask Lotto, and you will understand what she means by the word “epidemic.” For his freestyle XXL, She wipes it with liquid on a nanjilla instrument so the word seems to be pronounced at full speed. In The younger N is richer [où elle reprend le même vers sur l’achat de bijoux], Which, in a constant rhythm and fast violin style, makes it even more valuable. It no longer says “epidemic”, but “PANDémie”, shifting the significance from its natural state. She colors the word with the dragging Southern discourse, and she puts a part of her hometown of Atlanta into it. But she also does what brings rappers closer to poets: she works on language. “Rob is poetry, She assures me. The only difference is, We work on a beat.

Many poets share this idea. However, there is a boundary line between rap and poetry, which is justified by old prejudices regarding these two types of expressions: poetry lives only on paper, only with rap music; Poetry is subtle, rap is rough; Poetry is an art, rap entertainment only. All of these are based A priority Young, poor, blacks and mestizos, autodidactes, voices, sometimes rough, which, in fifty years, exported the southern heritage of the Bronx to all four corners of the world.

Today, however, a new generation of artists, rappers and poets are deliberately bringing the two genres together. They all draw from the same vocabulary, reach their audience using the same social networks, and the same economic or political issues that make them react and create. Rapers, like poets who revive a collection of stylistic practices largely ignored by twentieth-century poetry, demand their connection with the latter. Very old formal instruments such as rehearsals, standard rhythmic structures and especially rhymes thrive in songs today, especially on rap.

Sound more than meaning

This harmony of rap and poetry is as much a matter of language as of men. Many artists of these two genres rose to prominence between 2010 and 2020 at the height of hip-hop, in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. As the year [les rappeurs] DI and Gucci Man. Poet Saeed Jones and rapper J. Cole is from 1985. Ruby Kaur, best-selling poet, was born in 1992, so the same age [la rappeuse] Cardi b. Hip-hop had given them a rich culture on par with CP, long before they published a text. The rappers of previous generations had significant successes in the legal struggle for art. They proved that rap could be profitable – without yet managing to maximize its profits – leaving a collection of music and texts that the new generation could admire, criticize, hide or reject.

In its first forty years, Rob was defined by his artistic ability to highlight aspects that were overlooked by contemporary poetry on paper, was it the overuse of Gift of Cabin illustrations on the track? Characters aerobics (1999) or Nicki Minajin protein and trace voice performance Monster By Kanye West (2010). However, the last decade has challenged and changed the aesthetics of rap: flow – the rhythm created by the flow of words and voice – is still melodic and repetitive. Rob, at least in its commercial version, has become less narrative and more complex in terms of the richness of the rhymes and metaphors. Fully paid D’Rick B. & Rakim (1987), d Centralism of Mount Lorraine Lorraine Hill (1998) or Black album DJ-Z (2003).

It is easy to interpret this latest turn as a decline in quality and knowledge; In fact, it demonstrates the artist – and their audience – the desire to revisit the poetic and musical qualities of rap in a way that resonates best in these turbulent times. Bob Smoke, a 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper, was killed in a robbery in Los Angeles in early 2020, and had a baritone voice that could load even the most ordinary words with hunting power. His 2019 hit Dior, He amplifies the open vowel-like “O” of the title, pressing the letters to highlight the velvet roar of his voice. When rapper Tyra Waugh, 25, from North Philadelphia, uses the same word in his song Dora, Released in 2020, she wants to rhyme with many other words. Dior then echoes “Door”, “more”, “Porsche”, “of course”, “horse”, “platform”, “worship”.

What impresses most of these artists in Dior is not the luxury associated with the brand, but the structure of the word on the tongue. In contemporary rap, sonority takes precedence over meaning, and it simultaneously defines rhythm, rhymes and vocal fabric.


Adam Bradley

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