Picking a favorite genre is an incredibly difficult task for me. Though one of my favorite genres is definitely hip/hop-rap. The song that I have chosen is “untitled 02 | 06.23.2014” by Kendrick Lamar and falls under this genre. This song qualifies as rap due to the timing of Lamar’s spoken word in relation to the beat. What I love about rap music is that the music behind the rap doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional hip-hop beat. In this song, Kendrick experiments with some free Jazz. Though, on top of the Jazz, there is some heavy bass and rapid snares that help Kendrick keep time and give the song more of a hip-hop feel. In this song, Kendrick switches up his timbre over and over while displaying his ability change up his flow in such a rapid yet smooth manner.
The first rapper I listened to was Eminem, and this was at a very young age. For the most part, I had no idea what he was talking about, I had no idea what flow was, and didn’t really know anything about the genre. I was drawn to it, though. I liked the way that each of his songs felt like they were telling a story. Some of the stories were angry, some of them were funny, some were sad, some were dark, and some were just all over the place, but no doubt each song told a story and I loved that. Most genres have the ability to tell a story, but I felt like rap gave a much more raw story, and I like how so much can be said in such a short amount of time. I didn’t know what flow was, which is the way the lyrics and rhymes interact with the rhythm, but even at a young age, I could feel when a rapper would keep their flow or switch up their flow. Lupe Fiasco actually has a song called “Switch”, where he switches his flow every time he says “switch” which is a really good demonstration of flow.
This song speaks to me not necessarily because of the lyrics, but because of the flow and the instrumentation. I love Jazz, and experimental music and Kendrick incorporates this into this song. The lyrics are good too, as he speaks about struggles, spirituality, God, and his friends. The song is all over the place in regards to lyrics and flow and it reminds me of someone whose mind is racing with thoughts. I feel like that is what Kendrick was trying to portray in this song, and I can relate. I think the structure of the song and the fact that it is all over the place is the reason that I am drawn to it.