Lyricism, Where Did It Go?
01 Jan. 2012

Lyricism, Where Did It Go?

When you hear music, what do you listen to? Is it the beat that makes you want to dance, the hook that you can’t wait to sing in the shower, or the lyrics that make you think. You may want to feel obligated to say the lyrics but we both know that would be a lie.  Lyrical artist such as Compton’s very own Kendrick Lamar, have had to put out countless numbers of underground singles, mixtapes and videos just to get looked at. Ok, good lyrics don’t necessary lead to a good song but who are we fooling, it is a big part.

There are multiple artists (you should who they are) who clearly don’t have the knowledge of what lyricism is, but yet they are on magazine covers, TV shows and are getting played on our radios daily. It has become so bad, I have heard songs where the lyrics have no flow, don’t rhyme or even make sense.

It seems that with our current generation of ‘real music fans’ all you need is a catchy hook maybe a decent beat to become successful. You may not even need a decent beat if you got a good feature to carry you to the finish line. The top artist such as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Drake do have lyricism and still make good music. However, let’s face it; they are a drop in the ocean. What happen to the days where a good verse or punch line would make you get out of your seat, download the song, put it on your phone and recite the lyrics all day?


Music (especially hip hop) has become incredibly dull recently. If it wasn’t for the hip hop heroes such as Kendrick Lamar, dropping albums such as Section. 80 and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,   I think my iTunes playlist would be empty. Now don’t get me wrong, I too am a fan of songs like Rick Ross’s club banger B.M.F and Waka Floka Flame’s Hard in the Paint, but that’s only once I’m in the club with on my third glass. One of the hottest songs out right now is YMCMB star Tyga, Rack City. Catchy beat, a hook that’s easy to learn and lyrics that don’t really have a purpose and it’s a hit.

Ask the new generation who one of the most lyrical artists ever, Andre 3000 is and they’ll give you the blankest of looks. Ask them who Soulja Boy is and they’ll rap his verse, dance his dance and sing his choruses. Music once was about the equal blend of good lyrics, beats, hooks and choruses. Unfortunately, I guess hip hop is going in a different direction, whether I follow in the same direction, I think we both know the answer to that.

Written by Amari Ellington

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About the author

Amari Ellington
Hip Hop is more than music, its a culture! Follow me on twitter @MarsBar4Real

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