Monday, August 4, 2008

Bubble Gum Rap


Most people that know me know I have my own terms and expressions to describe things. One expression I've been using regularly now is Bubble Gum Rap. Let me explain this term. Bubble Gum Rap is rap music with no substance- it's like bubble gum tastes real good for about 2 minutes and then the flavor disappears, and you're left feeling hungry for real food. That's the exact thing that happens with rap music... you're left starving for real music. The term applies to beats and lyrics individually or collectively. As far as beats; if you've ever heard music that sounded like a 5 year old got a hold of a toy keyboard chances are you've heard bubble gum rap beats- simply put it's simplistic... a beat, cheesy melody, and voila it's done.

In regards to lyrics, bubble gum rap refers to a very basic rhyme scheme with no substance. These two together have become popular and threaten the integrity of hip hop/rap music as they become more popular then other forms of authentic hip hop, and other artists try to jump on the 'what's making bread' bandwagon. In a nutshell bubble gum rap is dumbed down music with dumbed down lyrics. If you've ever heard ANY of Soulja Boy's records you've heard bubble gum rap.

I'm not even trying to hear that nonsense he told MTV about him being able to be lyrical if he wanted to be. You either have it or you don't (which he clearly does not); and if you don't have it, it's not something that's easily obtainable. It's something that is developed and honed to perfection. Artist like Gza, Keith Murray, Rakim, and the often over looked yet highly skilled Pharaoh Monche are examples of true lyricists. The way they are able to convey their thoughts via vivid imagery and creative poetry is truly a skill and talent. Nowadays we see cats who have talent but forsake skills.

Age and race have nothing to do with it either. I know of a white emcee that can hold his own with any emcee and he's got lyrics for days. Check out his myspace here: APATHY I also know young cats from around my way that would body Soulja Boy, because they practice and perfect their craft.

Lyricism is all about word selection, imagery, metaphor manipulation, and delivery just to name a few aspects. It's not something that can be turned on and off by young cats who's basic vocab consists of niggas and bitches and various cuss words. Now I'll give young cats out there some expensive advice for free, enhance your vocab, and elevate your minds and you'll have the proper resources to be on the path to being a true lyricist.

Peace