Archive for April, 2011

Reflective Analysis 101

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I been away from active duty for quite a while, exams and stuff takes a lot of time, there for it’s been quite a while since i done anything in terms of music and sadly it’s not going to change very much before i’m done with school. I am however pretty happy, my girl and i have started our own little wellness program (good healthy breakfast and meditating) and it keeps me relaxed and keeps me from bouncing of the wall, since i’m spending most of my time in school, learning something i’m never gonna use (due to a weird system, that allows me to chose a class, but doesn’t nothing to secure that your choice matters).

Well enough of my ramblings on life, what i’m here to ramble about is music.

Let me take you back, till round the time i first started rapping. See one of the things i like about hiphop is the reflectiveness of the genre. Unlike other genres there are no real boundaries, no direct , the instrumental side draws off of all genres, due to the influence of sampling and the vocal presentation are actually the same there where used by the beatniks, just over different rhythms. What is crazy is that people often forget to apply this reflective analysis to the lyrics. It’s a simply concept, pick a poem, genre, or style of writing and analysis it’s qualities, then write “your” version. You analysis the characteristics and apply them to your lyrics. This is not easy, but it’s great fun. It may sound corny or nerdy, but it can really give you a fresh perspective.

However many people have reacted to this idea (when i have presented it to them) with a “but your lyrics are suppose to be unique and real”. While i agree with this, they don’t get it, fact is that everything have been done, it’s no longer shocking to rap about guns and crime or lap dances and one night stands, it’s been covered, as everything has been. So how do we stay fresh, well unless you are going to invente a new language to rap in, only way is to look back.

Try this exercise (Yeah school is in session now), take your favorite song, the one that makes you go crazy when it comes on, okay. Now listen to it, focus on the lyrics, write notes on how they are laid down, how they are phrased, any particular lingo used, accents, references, similarities, metaphors, wordplays, expressions or proverbs used, basically everything. Okay, you got it down, this is your base for an analysis, yes it’s hard work, but if you skip here, you can’t do this okay, don’t be lazy.

Okay now analyze the tracks, where does the metaphors come from, what do they do to the track, where does the proverbs come from, the expressions, what is associated with the lingo used what are the references referring and why? okay you get the picture, as a general a 3 minute song should be around two pages of bullet points, if you can get away with bullet points (i can most of the time, but not always), if it’s your first time, i suggest that you write a full analysis, consider it homework.

Now part two get that old song you never got right, look at your analysis, now reverse engineer the song, adding in the Proverbs and so on, no not the exact same (unless you want to), but in the same way, use the analysis to see what a metaphor should add, what a wordplay should, what an accent should add. To put it simple, you want to integrate the stuff in such a way that they add the same qualities to your track as they did to the track you analyzed, you shouldn’t change the topic, this is about the form not the content.

This is the simple version, this is the first version i drafted, tried and workout, i got a couple of more that i’ll share with you on a later date.