Inspiration Challenge: Rap Music.

This may seem a little odd but, really good rap lyrics are so poetic, to me they’re just like poetic social commentaries and really good rap lyricists should, in my opinion be more recognized by literature, poetry loving peoples. One of my favourite’s from more recent times is Plan B aka Ben Drew, this man is so so clever. He released an album that has a little bit more of a soul feel to it and said in interviews after this initial release that he released it in order to build up some money and some credibility as a musician before doing what he was really passionate about, which was rapping. His album ‘Ill Manors’ is amazing. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rap because in terms of lyrics and beats you can’t get much better, there seems to be this whole thing about one of the beats in the track ‘I am the Narrator’ being taken from Eminem’s ‘Amityville’ when actually, Eminem also sampled that. Either way his lyrics are amazing, and when just read aloud, read like poetry…

Going further into this idea, I kind of see rap, especially good underground rap as a lot of the good stuff doesn’t make its way into the mainstream charts (hmm I wonder why), as a replacement to the rebellious Punk music of the 70’s and 80’s who were there to take a stand on the government during the riots and the poll tax. It seems every so often there is a strain of music that comes along and really makes you think about how we treat certain people, how our society manages things, in the 60’s it was folk, in the 70’s and 80’s like I said it was Punk and now we have artists like Plan B making comments on things like the London riots in 2011, saying things that aren’t easy to hear and that can make the middle/upper middle class uncomfortable. Any great form of literature forces you to question, think, re-evaluate reality or society and in my opinion, great rap lyricist do this.
Here’s some good examples.

From the last verse of ‘Live Once’ from the ‘Ill Mannors’ album.

Life is like a game of monopoly
The ones that get a head start buy up all the properties
Start acting like their aristocracy
And make the late comers pay the price for not rolling the dice properly
They might be winning now but success is a false economy
Playing a game of chance whether recklessly or responsibly
Lady Luck’s no brass, can’t buy her love it comes for free
She’s a slut, no class, picks up random dudes she wants to treat
Yeah she could be warm with you on Oxford or on Regeant Street
She’ll be gone once you pass go along with your winning streak
Land on Old Kent Road, the end you deemed was way too cheap
To invest in, and you left them and wish you hadn’t
Now you deep in debt with peeps from white chapel east
Who got plastic red Ibis hotels on every street
Sucking all your fake P’s until you can’t receive
Even though its only make believe
That’s a metaphor for life
The only one you’ll ever need 

From ‘Lost my way’ final verse, same album as above

God said: “Let there be light”
Created Adam and Eve
Then he gave them eyes and told them both to both believe
In something they’d never actually physically see
But then the devil came along and planted a seed
And doubt started growing from the ground like trees
Right up to the sky so profoundly seen
To be the only thing in this life that wasn’t a dream
Made from stone, steel and iron beams
The council blocks they defined the mean
And bullied the sky so that everybody can see
Some birds are caged and will never be free
And gradually people began to change their beliefs
Until god was nothing more than just a fictional being
The worship and money merged all colours and creed
Into one true religion that was driven by greed
Corporate machines trying to sell you shit you don’t need
On television and the ad breaks in between
Until people only cared about material things
Not lives with other fellow human beings
And I’m guilty of it too, or so it seems.

Now, I know there might be some music snobs out there but anyone who is into social commentary, modern poetry and generally good lyrics, I don’t know how you could argue that this isn’t like a form of poetry…
I personally think people should stop judging rap on the stereotypical stuff that’s out there that is about getting wasted, doing drugs and fucking. You would never judge the entire form of poetry on the basis that you don’t like a certain poetry movement, so don’t do it with rap either…


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