Ever Wanted to Write Hip Hop Music? Then you Should Start Using Slant Rhymes…

Young boys and young girls I know you’ll like this post.

If you’ve been thinking of writing hip-hop music, you should start using slant rhymes…

Remember I explained types of rhymes yesterday? You can have a look at the post again to know what I’m referring to.

So why do hip hop writers/singers use slant rhymes instead of perfect rhymes?

To truly understand this, you should first of all understand the origins of hip-hop music.

  • hip-hop music originated in the Unites Stated in the 1970s.
  • It started with inner-city African Americans and children of immigrants from the Caribbean countries.
  • Hip Hop music developed as a part of hip hop culture.

Hip hop culture consisted of the following:

  • Mcing or rapping
  • Djing or scratching
  • Break dancing
  • Graffiti writing

Well hip-hop music at that time was considered as a voice for an otherwise underrepresented groups- the “disenfranchised youth” or those from a “marginalised background”.

They had this music as an outlet to express their feelings and reflect the harsh realities of their social and economic, even political life.

Of course with time the music developed with other influences (like the influences of disco), the transition to recording etc..

But rapping remained a main part of the music.

So what is rapping?

rap is poetry

  • Rapping is also called emceeing
  • It’s a vocal style in which the artist uses rhythmic language.
  • The artist speaks in rhyme and verse.
  • The artist uses instrumental or synthesised beat.

So as you see, rappers have to use rhymes because the music style itself requires a certain type of rhythm to it.

In fact, the basis of rap itself is rhyme.

But think about it.

Why would rappers use perfect rhymes if what they want is to express their deeper feelings, which are most of the time negative ones?

So these are the reasons why they use slant rhymes:

  • Perfect rhymes would not properly express their feelings
  • Rappers feel different- they don’t necessarily have to follow the status quo
  • Rappers are innovators- they want to try something new
  • They consider perfect rhymes as limiting or too strict
  • Perfect rhymes restrain their creativity and flexibility
  • They see perfect rhymes as clichés (overused and stale)
  • Slant rhymes provide more freedom of expression
  • They can tap into their and people’s emotions with slant rhymes
  • They can defy expectations with slant rhymes

Here are some examples:

Read the texts attentively to identify the slant rhymes (some of them are internal ones).

  1. Poem “I Cry” by Tupac Shakur

Tupac Quote About Life Tupac Wallpaper Quotes - Wallpapersafari

  1. Lyrics from “Mockingbird” by Eminem

eminen lyrics

  1. Lyrics from “Never Let you Down” by Kanye West


Of course hip-hop music has its critique too.

There is actually a lot of controversy about what it portrays- violence, materialism etc…

But is it not an artistic reflection of the reality of some societies, societies plagued with violence and materialism?

Now it all depends on how you perceive the music and of course views are different.

However, it remains that hip-hop singers are a new generation of poets we cannot ignore when learning or writing poetry.

We just have to look at their language, rhythms and rhymes to know this.

What do you think? Share your views!

You can also share other extracts form songs where slant rhymes are used. And why not try writing some yourself?

By Rachel Martin


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