7 Things I Would Rap About If I Had Any Musical Talent


(Source: Thought Catalog)

By Laura Jayne Martin

I love rap songs. I love R&B songs. I have zero musical talent. These are the second, third, and fourth most important facts to consider when perusing the following article. The most important fact to consider is that, were I talented, my musical alias would be either Lotsa $nackz, D.J. Tanner, or Lil’ Young Old Big Cheesy Bastard. (God, I love cheese, television, and cheesy television.) Anyway, since childhood I have dreamed of one day writing my own rap lyrics, only to see my dream consistently dashed by my complete lack of flow. Other obstacles to my rapper career include: too old, musical inexperience, outdated rhyming dictionary, fear of producers, innate dearth of technical ability, and my boombox has no more batteries. Currently, I have about as much a chance of releasing my own rap album as does any middle school principal. Sad, though admittedly tangential, is the fact that I also have almost no chance of becoming a middle school principal.
This is disturbing for several reasons. Chiefly, how the hell am I ever supposed to get an awesome nickname if I can neither be a rapper nor a middle school principal?! While I stew in this disappointment please indulge what I believe to be the top seven most overlooked rap song subjects. Or more accurately, what I would write my rhymes about, were I to have the ability to write them.

1. Pretzels

I’m wondering if Seinfeld cursed me/Because “these pretzels are making me thirsty.” I know; it’s not great. But just think about how amazing it is going to be the first time someone actually manages to rhyme another word with “pretzel.” And think of how much more amazing it will be if that person is DMX. I want to be at that concert — eating a pretzel.

2. Menstruation

Who wouldn’t love to hear someone go hard for three verses about endometrial lining? I’m not talking about one couplet that’s really just an attempt to insult someone else’s masculinity; I’m talking about an ENTIRE song devoted to the ovarian cycle—follicular phase through luteal phase. I feel like there are men and women out there up to the task — and not just like a verbal Cathy cartoon either. PMS rhymes with a ton of stuff, so I get that it’s tempting. However, I think it’d be more rewarding to hear something along the lines of “I’m slightly annoyed and putting raisins into me, efficiently/so I can avoid an iron deficiency”.

3. Sour Candy

Okay, so candy does get rapped about sometimes. However, I’m tired of listening to overused sexual metaphors. I want the next person who raps about candy to actually be talking about candy. Sex is great. You know what else is great? Candy. You know what’s even better? Sour candy — and I want to hear people talk-sing about it over a delightful beat.

4. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The phrase “stand clear of the closing doors” presents a multitude of lyrical options. Do you know how many words rhyme with clear and door? Rappers do. People in rap or R&B lyrics are always kicking in the door, knocking on the door, or opening the door. There’s at least enough material for two remixes. Potential song titles I’m hoping include: “Stand Up Motherf-cker, That Seat is Full of Pee!”, “Track Work”, “Welcome to the G Train: You’re Gonna Miss That Appointment”, and “How to F on the F.” The latter hopefully would have more of an R&B vibe and contain the sultry hook, “Ladies and gentlemen. We are being held temporarily, so hold each other temporarily!”

5. Baby Haircuts

There aren’t enough songs about haircuts to begin with, and there are even fewer songs about baby haircuts. Get it together, rappers of the world.

6. The Boxcar Children

Are you even aware how incredible these children are compared to children in general? Most plain children just enjoy vigorous running, jumping, or games, and have smaller bone structure than adults.  THESE children banded together and lived in a boxcar for, like, years! If anything deserves an anthem it is four fictional children roasting potatoes in a fire pit after a day at Surprise Island.

7. Nature Valley Granola Bars

So much of rapping is a power struggle. What better way to illustrate ultimate domination that the rain of granola that accompanies one’s life after they eat merely one of these breakfast snacks? There is no more safety. There is no more lighthearted fun. There is just a pervasive, never-ending existence of granola. Granola in your crotch, granola in your pencil sharpener, this same granola will even manage to get into OTHER granola that isn’t even in your apartment yet, but you will buy from the store in the future. Forget threatening weapons and menacing promises, forget bravado. Swagger is nothing. Granola is king of the hill—and we need rap songs about it.

Your Preteen Hip-Hop Fan May Be Headed for Trouble


Lil Wayne

New research from the Netherlands suggests a youngster’s music preference can predict whether he or she will be a shoplifter or vandal four years later.

(Reprinted from The Guardian)

by Tom Jacobs

Concerned that your 12-year-old is on the road to delinquency? Newly published research suggests an easy way to either assuage or confirm your fears:

Check what’s on their iPod.

“Music choice is a strong marker of later problem behavior,” a research team from Utrecht University in the Netherlands writes in the journal Pediatrics.

Specifically, the scholars report, kids “with a strong early preference for music types that have been labeled as deviant—hip-hop, heavy metal, gothic, punk, and techno/hardhouse—were more engaged in minor delinquency in late adolescence” than their Beyonce- and-Bieber-loving peers.

The study featured 149 boys and 160 girls attending urban high schools in the Netherlands. They took surveys at ages 12, 14, 15 and 16, in which they rated their appreciation of various musical genres. They also reported “how many times they had committed minor offenses, such as shoplifting, petty theft and vandalism in the previous year.”

After controlling for such factors as academic achievement, the researchers found “evidence that an early preference for different types of noisy, rebellious, non-mainstream music genres is a strong predictor of concurrent and later minor delinquency.”

Specifically, those kids who loved hip-hop, metal, gothic and/or trance music at age 12 were more likely than their peers to exhibit delinquent behavior, both at age 12 and age 16. Those who preferred rock, R&B, punk and techno at age 12 were not more likely to be delinquents at that age, but were more likely to engage in such behavior by age 16.

The researchers, led by Tom F.M. ter Bogt, caution that “public claims that engaging with ‘deviant’ media will inevitably lead to problem behavior are wildly exaggerated.” They point out that the study measures not hard-core criminality, but rather “typical adolescent norm breaking behaviors that tend to disappear in early adulthood.”

They also note that, in their study, gradually developing preferences for non-mainstream music in the years between 12 and 16 was not related to delinquency in late adolescence. Rather, the correlation was found only among kids who were already heavily into alternative music at age 12.

The researchers believe such youngsters tend to congregate with peers who have similar musical tastes, creating cliques that are cut off from mainstream influences and behavioral norms. “In peer groups characterized by their deviant music taste, norm-breaking youth may ‘infect’ their friends with their behaviors,” they speculate.

If they’re right, it isn’t the music per se that leads kids into delinquency (although anti-social lyrics could conceivably play a role). It’s more the fact that kids who gravitate to other nonconformists at a young age miss out on the benefits of being part of mainstream society—including the positive influences of popular peers.

So if your preteen is listening to Metallica, some early intervention may be in order. On the other hand, if he or she is into Mozart or Monk, fear not: Such kids may also be outside the mainstream, but this isolation does not manifest itself in a negative way.

Indeed, the researchers report, “Preferences for classical music related negatively to delinquency at age 12.”

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