Art with No Easel: Jay-Z on poetry

24 Aug

We love Jay-Z’s Decoded. You should have your own copy.

In the Negative Space section of the book, this riff on the connections between poetry making and song making:

“Since rap is poetry, and a good MC is a good poet, you can’t just half-listen to a song once and think you’ve got it. Here’s what I mean: A poet’s mission is to make words do more work than they normally do, to make them work on more than one level. For instance, a poet makes words work sonically — as sounds, as music. Hip-hop tracks have traditionally been heavy on the beats, light on melody, but some MCs — Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, for example — find ways to work melodies into the rapping. Other MCs — thing about Run from Run-DMC — turn words into percussion: cool chief rocka, I don’t drink vodka, but keep a bag of cheeba inside my locka. The words themselves don’t mean much, but he snaps those clipped syllables out like drumbeats, bap bap bapbap. It’s as exciting as watching a middle weight throw a perfect combination. If you listened to that joint and came away thinking it was a simple rhyme about holding weed in a gym locker, you’d be reading it wrong: The point of those bars is to bang out a rhythmic idea, not to impress you with the literal meaning of the words.”

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Badger, Party of 7

ART, HOMESCHOOLING MOTHER OF 5, ALL THINGS DOMESTIC, MY CRAZY LIFE

BOOK RIOT

Book Recommendations and Reviews

james (w) moore

unreliable writings/ramblings

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Vinita Words

It's always about writing...

David J. Bauman

Author of Angels & Adultery

MarLa Sink Druzgal

"Traveling MarLa"

The Drugstore Notebook

Portable poetry and books on display // Poesía portátil y libros expuestos

Beth Gilstrap

Writer * Reader * Editor

Anthony Martin

The website of fiction writer Anthony Martin

Anthony Wilson

Poetry, Education, Research

maria engberg

polyaesthetically being in the world...

momoby

Just another WordPress.com site

UnIambic

(The poetry blog of Grant Clauser)

Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Just another WordPress.com site

Largehearted Boy

a roominghouse for the servants of the duende.

%d bloggers like this: