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Learn to rhyme, already!

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I’m in general agreement with Michele here on the idiotic war/anti-war songs. And here’s the thing that really bothers me – if it weren’t for the controversy and news coverage, nobody would be listening to the damn things. Both Darryl Worley’s Have You Forgotten? and the Beastie Boys In a World Gone Mad are not only trite exploitations of the war debate, they’re bad songs.

I grant that I have a general distaste for country, but I won’t completely black it out. I like Johnny Cash and some Garth Brooks and the occasional other song here or there. But Worley’s song is just plain awful. As for the Beastie Boys new tune–have you heard it? Musicwise, it sounds like it was written circa-1985 by Run DMC. Only not nearly as good. I think it’s disgraceful that, in the name of controversy, we’re forced to listen to this crap.

Jesus, they can’t even rhyme! Look at this from Have You Forgotten?:

And you say we shouldn’t worry ’bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Bin Laden does not rhyme with “forgotten”! That’s terrible! Not that the Beastie Boys are any better.

Now don’t get us wrong ’cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it

America and hysterica? What the hell is “hysterica”? And “thick” and “it”? That’s not even close! Ugh. Excuse while I go put on some Sex Pistols and get these damn war songs out of my head.

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About Alex Knapp

  • Paul

    I agree that both songs are pretty lame.

    That said, one of the things that is really compelling to me about a lot of rap music is the playful use of slant rhyme, which is a legitimate poetic device.

    Here is a rap lyric with some slant rhymes that work for me. I am not picking this particular track because I think that it is a work of genius. It’s just the first thing that came to mind that most people will be familiar with (I have not listened to rap music in years) that illustrates my point.

    Straight outta Compton, crazy m*f* named Ice Cube
    From the gang called N* With Attitudes

    [“Cube” and “Attitudes” do not strictly rhyme, but they come close — a slant rhyme]

    When I’m called off, I got a sawed off
    Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off
    You too, boy, if ya f* with me
    The police are gonna hafta come and get me
    Off yo a*, that’s how I’m goin out
    For the punk m*f* that’s showin out

    [the interest in these lines is in the rhythm is paced so as to put the rhyming sounds in the right place in the meter]

    N* start to mumble, they wanna rumble
    Mix em and cook em in a pot like gumbo

    [slant rhyme brought into emphasis by the exact internal rhyme in the first line]

    Goin off on a m*f* like that
    with a gat that’s pointed at yo a*

    [“that” and “a*” are pretty far from rhyming, but Ice Cube fixes this by emphasis on the vowel sound that links the two words]

    Etc. It strikes me that rap that rhymed in a strict formal pattern would be really boring. The slant rhymes give the style its improvisational flavor, it’s sense of verbal playfulness.

  • http://www.hereticalideas.com Alex Knapp

    That’s a point I hadn’t thought of. (And good use of NWA, btw–love those guys.) However, you have to admit that “America” and “hysterica” is incredibly lame…

  • Paul

    Absolutely lame, no question.

  • The Theory

    the best rhyme is lyrics with NO rhyme.

    sheesh. rhyming is overrated.

    peace.

  • Pat Martin

    Have you nothing better to do with your life?

  • Pat Martin

    Have you nothing better to do with your life?

  • mo money

    aLL YALL MUTTER FUCKERS IS LAME IF YOU DONT SHUT THE FUCK UP I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU WHAT IM MEAN CAUSE IM THE RHYMEING KING DO YOU SMELL WHATS IN MY JEANS.

    BITCHES

  • BITCH

    HEY BITCH IM THE NIGGA FROM THE STREETS ILL CUT U UP THAN FUCK UP ALL AROUND THIS MUTTER FUCKING SCREEN NOW DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE FUCK IN MY JEENS NIGGAROW

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    This post is six months old. I’m just saying.

  • Eric Olsen

    Speaking of “Airplane” – I speak jive.

  • MO MONEY

    YEA I SMELL WHATS GOING DOWN BUT ALL THIS SHIT IS GOING TO TURN AROUND NOW IM NOT WITH IT NOW ILL FUCK U UP THAN ILL CUT U UP THAN THROW YOU DOWN THE DRAWN IF U NO WHAT I MEAN SO YOU BETTER FUCK WITH SOMEONE ELSE CAUSE YOU ANT READY FOR ME SO LET ME SEE WHAT IT MIGHT BE.SO GO BE A DICK CAUSE U SMELL LIKE SHIT SO GO CRY TO YOUR MOM AND FUCK A WORM
    BITCH

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    LMAO!

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Here’s a friendly tip: When creating multiple email accounts in order to pretend to be more than one person, make them slightly more distinctive than just one numeric digit’s difference. And, um, show a little variation in style, too. It might fool people more effectively.

    Or it could be that one simply needs to learn to type. That’s always a possibility.

  • Eric Olsen

    I like the part about the worm, though.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Honestly, I was just posting to get the nastiness off of the comments listing on the front page. Though TDavid took care of it the second time, by then I was curious. Ah well.

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    He really appears to want someone to ‘smell what’s in his jeans.’ I think I’m going to pass, but thanks for the offer.

  • http://eat.godscock.net Prince Trunks

    Alex Knapp, you need to stop riding the 80’s “cool” punk train, and figure out that THE SEX PISTOLS SUCK ASS!!!!!! If you’re not from the United Kingdom, then waht the fuck does it mean to you? “Anarchy in the U.K.” What the fuck is that supposed to mean to me? I’m Canadian, and yes, Canada may have been colonized by England, but now we’re now an autonomous society, and the Queen has a figure-head position, we watch her wave, and applaud for her, but really, she has no power over here. But back to the point, if you want to listen to decent punk, get some Rancid, Ramones, or old AFI, before they went mainstream. Oh, and no one held a gun to your head to listen to the Beastie Boys or Darryl Worley.

    Peace.

    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

    “And a good time was had by all.”

  • duane

    I, too, have been entertaining the notion that I would so much enjoy being acknowledged as a Rhyming King. My lyrics have in the past always tended to revel in pastoral simplicity, an attempt to convey the gay delight of my cliffside saunterings, excursions through luxurious landscapes, and …ah, but I’m rambling.

    I have been listening with great interest to some of the rhyming of our young generation — Ah, youth! — and have decided to put a somewhat harder edge on my rhymes. Here is just the briefest snippet of my latest creation. I would most certainly welcome comments:

    O’er Ilion’s plains, where once the warrior bled,
    And once the poet raised his deathless strain
    O’er Ilion’s plains, a weary driver led
    His stately camels: for the ruined fane

    Wide round the lonely scene his glance he threw
    For now the red cloud faded in the west
    And twilight o’er the silent landscape drew
    Her deep’ning veil; eastward his course he prest

    … and it goes on.

    Oh, yes, I had nearly forgotten…BITCHES.

    Well, what do you think Mr. Mo Money (I just love that!).

  • hoe

    helpppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

  • E

    I realize I am replying to an article from 2003, but still: Ice Cube’s not trying to rhyme gat with ass. It goes like this:

    Goin off on a motherfucker like that
     with a gat
      that’s pointed at
       yo ass