2. "I am a self-proclaimed lyrical nerd..." In response to Reply # 0
I read and study lyrics to so many songs I can hardly imagine how many lyrics I have memorized. But that said, when I first buy an album and listen to it, the music is the first thing that sticks out. I feel like that's only natural (though it may not be the same for everyone). Once I've listened a couple of times, I am able to better digest the lyrical content but it never comes across right away. It takes usually several listens before I am able to fully engage myself in the lyrics.
So while I will say I have always been partial to lyrics/singing, the music is always what I hear first. And I am in the camp that if the music isn't any good, the lyrics are kinda pointless and lost within it. A good example of this is Reflection Eternal's 2nd album. Kweli was spitting all over that album, but I couldn't begin to tell you what about because I can't get through the bland ass beats well enough to actually listen to how hard he's spitting. But from the few times I was able to listen to the album all the way thru, I remember being sad that I would never fully appreciate what Kweli did lyrically on that album because the beats sucked so bad.
4. "the combination of both is important" In response to Reply # 0
I don't listen to great lyrics with horrible instrumentation, and vice versa I need a complete package to really enjoy it
__________________________________________ CHOP-THESE-BITCHES!!!! ------------------------------------ Garhart Ivanhoe Poppwell Un-OK'd moderator for The Lesson and Make The Music (yes, I do's work up in here, and in your asscrease if you run foul of this
... but as I write this it becomes pretty circular.
I love plenty of music with terrible displays of vocal skill, like Bob Dylan and Husker Du. I happen to enjoy their songwriting so I can get past it. Individual lyrics don't positively matter to me much though, it's the rhythm, phrasing, melody, and sound of the words used that matter to me more. Lyrics do matter to me negatively though; while they rarely make a song they can easily ruin it for me.
Conversely, I know plenty of people who feel the exact opposite way I do. Shitty singing and obtuse lyrics drive plenty of people away from plenty of great music and towards something easier on the ears.
And, all that being said, if you don't like the music that goes along with it you won't care how pretty/ awful the lyrics/ singing are.
Interesting side post possibilities: -Name the Smash Hit instrumentals... how many can we come up with? -When was the last Smash Hit Instrumental, and what has happened to them?
I think the way I look at it is that good lyrics can seal the deal (NOT make a song, just cement it as 'good'), but bad lyrics can kill a song. Most lyrics however just complement the song, don't make or break it.
That said, it's hard for most people to separate lyrics from the vocal melody.
>Interesting side post possibilities: >-Name the Smash Hit instrumentals... how many can we come up >with? >-When was the last Smash Hit Instrumental, and what has >happened to them?
Combine them into one "Instrumental Smash Hits" post asking the second question in the onset.
>I think the way I look at it is that good lyrics can seal the >deal (NOT make a song, just cement it as 'good'), but bad >lyrics can kill a song. Most lyrics however just complement >the song, don't make or break it.
>>I think the way I look at it is that good lyrics can seal >the >>deal (NOT make a song, just cement it as 'good'), but bad >>lyrics can kill a song. Most lyrics however just complement >>the song, don't make or break it. > >Great summary.
does this mean that writing good lyrics should be more difficult/dangerous?
10. "It depends on the type of music and whether music or lyrics" In response to Reply # 0
By "type" I don't mean genre tho...
Let me give 3 examples, using 3 songs from the same genre to help the point.
Exhibit A: Take "We're All Killaz" by Shock G http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi1AVy49eyA The music itself doesn't do much for me. The song is even set up in such a way that his lyrics are what grab your attention before the music really drops anyway. The lyrics are humorous and thoughtful. The music is kinda goofy and serves to facilitate that, and it totally works. It's one of my favorite songs. Had the music dropped first without any lyrics, I might have skipped it or not listened until way later.
Exhibit B: A song that was just released... "Oil Money Gang" by Rick Ross. https://soundcloud.com/maymaybachmusic/rick-ross-ft-jadakiss-oil The music drops first and it's already sick as fuck. Ross and Jada's job is simply to not fuck that up. I'll listen to it just because the music is that good and the rhymes aren't terrible.
Exhibit C: "Troy" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wEw05-Ef5Q This begins with a simple horn loop, then some bass, but CL starts rapping as soon at the beat drops. His lyrics are immediately introspective and engaging. I remember hearing this when I was younger and being just as lost in the story as I was in the music. This is back when I was much more musically focused than lyrically, so that was quite a feat.
12. "i feel like, when it comes to lyrics" In response to Reply # 0 Tue Jun-04-13 01:43 PM by Kosa12
my scale is different in rap than it is other genres
mainly because for me it is the genre that focuses(ed?) most on lyrics. And maybe when I say "lyrics" here, I'm probably reffering more to rhyming. like if a rapper cant put words together well i.e gucci mane, wacka flocka, chief keef or some shit like that i really cant listen to them. even if i like thier voice/flow
im probably a "lyrical nerd" or w/e, in ALL genres( i mean, fuck, i wrote my thesis on argentine rock lyrics), but rap more than anything, probably because rap got me into music in general. I love trying to find out what lyrics mean/interpreting them
yes the beat is what draws me in first, but i normally can't fuck with rappers i see as "horrible"
wheras in other genres, if i like the singer and i like the instrumentation, even if the lyrics are weird/i dont understand their meaning......i can still rock with it(probably). I'm not saying I'm not extremely picky with music that isn't rap though (I AM. BELIEVE ME). And there is also the "bob dylan effect" that people that are describing here, I rock with that too.
but obviously at the end of the day, if i hate the music, i wont get to the lyrics in the first place. thats a given
16. "Yep, it did. Another great example: Don't Worry, Be Happy." In response to Reply # 14
I was wondering if it should be considered music by virtue of the fact that the person is singing... or at the very least, the background vocals considered music? I guess is matters whether or not we consider the voice an instrument.
That could lead to the argument of whether or not even rap becomes poetry without music, because Lodi Dodi is all voices.
15. "I think you're confusing 'music' and 'instrumentation'" In response to Reply # 13 Tue Jun-04-13 02:01 PM by lonesome_d
an acapella song has a melody, which is music. To have 'no music' it would have to be spoken word, and even then arguments could be made that it would qualify as 'music' due to the rhythm and 'implied melody' (c) the Damaja in the spoken delivery.
the real test here is: Would those songs still be good w/o words?
17. "So break this down for me..." In response to Reply # 15
>an acapella song has a melody, which is music.
so I got melody = music
>To have 'no >music' it would have to be spoken word, and even then >arguments could be made that it would qualify as 'music' due >to the rhythm and 'implied melody' (c) the Damaja in the >spoken delivery.
Would you say this is like Lodi Dodi without beatboxing or the rhymes girls used to say on the playground, etc.? The only way to remove melody seems to be to just talk, which not even rap music does.. well, most of it.
>the real test here is: Would those songs still be good w/o >words?
What are we testing? Whether they're music or not? What do you mean by "good"? Seems that would be subjective.
19. "the whole question is subjective" In response to Reply # 17
'which is more important to you: the words or the music?'
as I said in my response, a lot of people have trouble maintaining any sort of separation between the words to a song and the melody of that song.
If the words were more important, it seems to me that you'd spend more time reading the lyrics on the inner sleeve (where they exist virtually independent of the music) rather than listening to the record it holds. but that's not what you're asking.
>Would you say this is like Lodi Dodi without beatboxing or >the >rhymes girls used to say on the playground, etc.?
>The only way to remove melody seems to be to just talk, which >not even rap music does.. well, most of it.
>>the real test here is:
>What are we testing?
we're testing whether the words, independent of the music, are as important as or more important than the music. Simply listening to an a capella doesn't create the necessary division between the two to help advance one's thoughts on the matter.
So, sing one of those songs you mentioned, but vocalize sounds not words. Is it still good? Catchy? Does it lose that magic something?
Or, recite the words, or read them on the paper. Do they charge you as much as listening to them in song form does?
18. "I think people put too much emphasis on the content of lyrics..." In response to Reply # 0
Words have a ''sound''-an "a" sounds different from an ''o''. I'm fairly sure several big hits would have been lesser hits with different lyrics even if they have the same melody without even taking the content/meaning into consideration even if it's hard to prove (and no, I'm not counting songs in different languages that gets translated).
Also, there's a rhythmic quality to words that go beyond the ''sound''; certain melodies will sound rhythmically awkward with certain words; the singer will have to ''bend'' the words to fit the melody rhythmically which can work but it can also sound shit and then there's also the way a singer enunciate a word vs the way another singer do it.
TONS of factors basically and I'm not sure they are major but they are definitely not irrelevant...