Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

Hot answers tagged

53

Rap is rhythmic speech. Speech has pitch any time there is a vowel sound or other vocal cord-produced sound happening. (F and S sounds are examples of sounds that don’t require vocal cord movement.) As rhythmic speech, rap definitely has pitch; it’s just not necessarily (or ever?) what we would call melodic, nor is it in equal temperament and organized into ...


17

The whole point of rap is that it's not in particular pitches. If it was, it'd be singing, and easily reproduced on piano - or any other musical instrument. As it's basically talking, it isn't attributable to a particular key, so won't be classed as 'music that can be written in notes'. Or 'music that can be played in notes'. You may be able to get close on ...


15

The most common meaning of "bar" that I've heard is as a synonym for "measure." So in 4/4 time, one "bar" equals one measure, which equals 4 beats. In 3/4, one bar would be 3 beats, etc. A tune is usually made up of a certain number of measures (or "bars"), such as the Blues which is often called "12-bar blues." I think what 50 cent was saying was that ...


13

Apparently, and somewhat confusingly for a musician, in rap slang "bars" are not bars as in "measures" but rather simply verses (2, 3, 4). They may or may not correspond to a single (musical) measure. By extension, "bars" can mean "verses", "lyrics" in general: Kash's confidence and sense of self spill all over her catalogue with bad-bitch tracks that ...


11

Taking them one at a time: Is Rap music? Yes, or rather, Hip-Hop is, but in many ways it is meta-music. Going back to "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang (the first release of the music beyond it's core audience), it took and recontextualized the bass line to Chic's "Good Times". The DJ technique is to take pieces of pre-existing songs and ...


11

They refer to non-tonal/non-harmonic sounds; be it drum sounds (these sounds don't follow a harmonic structure), or dead notes on a string instrument, or, as is the case in this example, rap (the rapper speaks the words without tuning them to a specific pitch). This is useful for notating rhythm parts that don't really have a pitch. It's used instead of "...


10

Not just in hip hop, this is called a double-tracked vocal. It is simply two vocal takes, recorded onto two tracks. Alternatively it could be two people performing in unison. On sung vocals, double-tracking thickens the sound, and hides a certain amount of pitch imperfection. In rapping, the thickening is still there. You could try to approximate it using a ...


9

Rapping is essentially rhythmic speech. The sound of speech can have a very complex structure. It consists of: pitched sounds (mostly coming from the voice box), which can (simplistically speaking) be at any arbitrary pitch within the range of the voice, and have their pitch rapidly varied unpitched 'noise' sounds, such as plosives, fricatives, and other ...


8

It is not so much a matter of controlling your voice, but your ability to clearly articulate consonants and vowels. This is largely controlled by your tongue's dexterity. If you are rapping quickly, you will need to work on articulation at fast tempi. Tongue twisters are a great way for developing agility. Also, know your text so well that it is ...


8

In theory you can. In practice it would be almost impossible without mechanical assistance. Here is an example of what it might sound like if you could:


7

Do rap/hip-hop musician sample jazz parts? Yes. If you can sample jazz for hip-hop, then you should be able to live perform it in hip-hop too. You should be able to play some jazz piano patterns and have it fit. I'm kinda old so I think of groups like Us3 and Jazzmatazz, but I know current musician also use jazz samples now. I just cannot name any names....


6

Back in my day (you young punks) there was this thing called "Patter - Song," which comprised a full tune and spoken lines (preferably poetic) for vocals. Cake pretty much does/did this. And there's the (in)famous example of Rex Harrison not singing all the numbers in My Fair Lady. So unless you want to try to recreate the African Drum Communication via ...


6

If you play and sing it yourself, then it's a cover. If you merely use editing tools to change it around, then it's a remix. A remix generally doesn't include a new performance or recording, it's merely editing and changing what has already been recorded. A cover is a new recording or performance of a song written by someone else, or sometimes it's a new ...


6

The words and lyrics issue aside, the main reasons you cannot reproduce the "notes" of rap credibly on a piano are: (1) the lack of pitch bending capability, (2) the lack of means for altering the tone and dynamics continuously along each note like you can do with vocals. Many rap songs actually sing tones roughly around some particular notes of the scale ...


5

A fascinating question I have also pondered - here are my thoughts. Someone once told me music is anything with rhythm and/or tone. Rap has both of theses. 1) As a kid of the 90's, I completely identify with this question. The other day, my parents gawked at the mere mentioned of rap and asked, "Rap? Is that still going on?!" Of course rap is music. Spoken ...


5

Rap, as well as rock and pop, are composed in almost as many ways as there are people. Some will compose in front of a piano and write sheet music, sure, but traditionally this was not the case. Rap came from the streets, with artists laying down backing from records they owned and rhyming or singing over the top. And there are still numerous artists who ...


4

In the end, the relative levels of the different tracks (instruments) in a mix is a matter of taste and it's an artistic decision. However, as you are just getting started, there is one basic skill that, if you master it, will help you acheive whatever relative levels you want to have in a mix. The hardest mix to make is one where all the instruments have ...


4

Is Rap music? Yes of cause it is. Do I need to learn conventional music for learning hip-hop music(rap)? No but it helps, many artist know how to play musical instruments Which books, videos or other resources should I follow? You need to listen to more artist and types of rap old and new. Expand what you listen to there is so much more richness and ...


3

Duston's answer is correct, but I wanted to add a supplementary answer for the context of the OP's question, which contained an example of a rapper referring to the "bars" of a hip hop instrumental. A bar is a term that is easy to define, but the explanation of its usefulness and uses to music as a whole can get a bit abstract and/or lead to more questions (...


3

Making sure to breath down and supporting your breath with your diaphragm, rather than to the chest, and not to exhale all your air at the same time is extremely important for anything that requires use of breathing. This is called 'breath support' or 'full breathing'. If you're doing it right, you should feel your stomach inflating when you breath in, ...


3

Short answers: 1) Yes, rap is music. 2) No, you don't need to learn conventional music, but it can definitely help. 3) There are no specific books or resources you should follow. Develop your own style based upon what you already know, and incorporate any new knowledge, further developing it. 4) Yes, there are plenty of instrumental covers of rap music. ...


3

This is the 'holy grail' of the beginner sound engineer - how to make a mix that's portable. The only way to really do it is practise. Headsets of any kind are notoriously forgiving compared to speakers, so concentrate on getting it right on many sets of speakers. Mix, play it on 10 different systems, see if you can figure the 'global average' of what's ...


2

Do most hip hop and rap artists sing in correct tune with and in the same key as the instrumental part? I think the best answer here is Yes, many do, but maybe not most. The vocals for hip-hop and rap are often very different from pop vocals, but many times there is singing in the same key as the instrumental backing. Actual rapping is normally not in any ...


2

Had a moment to go search some lyrics for the aforementioned rap. As far as it goes, there's not a lot of unique happening in there...it's basically rhyming couplet lines, many of the rhymes are partial or forced. Thematically, it's right up on the surface, pretty much right down the middle of the pipe for the genre. There's a lot of rap that does very ...


2

Rap verses can be conveniently notated in the usual way. Proof (you might want to right-click and zoom in):


2

I think the answer to "Can Rap be played on a musical instrument?" is no. If you meant can rap music use musical instruments then of course, but you will have heard that in the music you already mentioned. So I think you are asking "can you have rap music that only uses instruments, and no vocals"? i.e. Can you have instrumental rap music? I don't think ...


2

I believe you are talking about breath control. In short, some things you can do are to pay attention to the pitch of your voice while rapping. Monotone is bad- almost EVERY rapper varies his pitch from syllable to syllable (or word to word). Vary your timing when rapping not according to the the words you are saying, but in response to the timing of the ...


2

The main point of using an audio mixer over software is having good manual controls to work with. To get the same with a Digital Audio Workstation, you need a digital control surface. To be useful for fine-tuning a mixed version, it needs motor faders as well (meaning that the software can also move the controls). Digital controllers with rotary knobs can ...


2

The most common way this is done is by having members of the crew join the lead in rapping certain words. Sometimes the entire crew. In the studio it may be just the rapper over dubbing his own vocals, as per Meaningful's comment. You could try using a chorus effect on the vocals, and pan the wet and dry mixes - this will expand the sound stage a bit, but ...


2

Adding on to other answers given, on the B.Reith track you refer to the lyrics you have quoted last exactly 3 bars. The rapper has therefore "thrown away three" by spending three bars repeating the same thing.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible