April 19, 2012
As we are fast approaching year-end, many of us would probably be focusing on looking good this summer. While spending your hard earned Christmas savings on a new pair of designer jeans, stunna-shades or smart-phone might be well deserved, it would be wise to also consider buying something of true substance this holiday season. So before you get all blinged-out, may I suggest purchasing some dope reading-material that will elevate your mental and up your game. If you deem yourself an inquisitive hip-hopper, there are number of books you can check out on Hip-Hop culture, and quite a few that explore the predominant element in Hip-Hop namely, Rap or MCing. How to Rap: The Art and Science of the HipHop MC is the latest scroll out there that examines this craft.
How to Rap features interviews by established and respected artists in the Rap world, giving advice and vital tips to aspiring MC’s and experienced alike. Author Paul Edwards took Rap and broke it down into four main parts which essentially make up Rhythm and Poetry which is, Content, Writing, Flow, and Delivery. With each part being discussed and commented in detail by variety of artists ranging from Old –School rhymesayes , underground MC’s, to more commercial rappers . Among the commentary given is will.I.am’s critical intro saying; “Study, know all the facts….if you want to be an MC, you’ve got know where this sh*t comes from”.
While knowing the history of the art form is key, How to Rap also stresses the importance of keeping up with what’s going on in the game. Regarding rhyme flow Sean Price says; “I’m one of those dudes that who listens to everybody, and take a little bit of everyone’s style and put it in my own bowl. Be able to adjust to anything that is going on right now”. By observing other artists’ style and sound will certainly help develop your own. Over the years methods of putting down your rhymes changed, from using the traditional pen and paper to using smart-phones and laptops to write and store your lyrics on. The use of the internet as resource when doing researching your rhyme topics is evidence how Rap has become more hi-tech.
Unlike many books available focusing mainly on the business side of the industry, this one is primarily covering the finer details of Rapping, how to grow and be successful artistically. Noting the tendency of many rappers today spitting about cash and material things, Wise Intelligent comments; “….Money is definitely necessary, but it’s not good for the soul to go without knowledge”.
Amidst the jam-packed text examining the nitty-gritty of Rapping, How to Rap also covers interesting aspects like ghost writing, bar counting, studio sessions and live performance. With a gang of interviews from array of artists such as Chuck D, E-40, Tech N9ne,Kool G Rap, Royce Da 5’9”, Lady of Rage and Nelly giving hot tips on the most influential genre in the music industry, Paul Edwards put together a well balanced and gripping manual that I would recommend to heads with keen interest in the art of MCing.
Review By Kold Stone