Project: Rap lyrics for a potential project I’m really excited about
I come up with my best ideas at the most inopportune times and places. Common locations where creativity slaps me in the face: in the shower (I can bring neither a notebook nor my laptop in there) and church (where I squeeze my ideas into the margins as I take notes on the sermon).
Tonight, however, it was while I was running at the gym. Naturally this stroke of potential genius would hit me at the beginning of my run. I run for an hour. And I tend to be forgetful. So most of my run was spent praying desperately that I’d just remember the lyrics.
Unfortunately (maybe fortunately), I had that whole hour to write lyrics in my head. I kept on trying to stop myself, fearful I’d lose something great before I had a chance to drive home and scribble these things down. But there’s no bridling creativity when it hits, so I kept reciting the words to myself over and over again, occasionally adding more. On the plus side, it made the run fly by. I had a really good run tonight, actually...but this isn’t a work out blog, so...
Anyway, got home - remembered the gist of everything I wanted to say, but not in the exact words. And with me, when things suddenly hit me, it’s right the first time. So kind of disappointed that I lost my original words, but I think if I keep revisiting the lyrics, I’ll be able to get something just as good. Maybe even get back to what I came up with while I was running.
I don’t know if this will end up being too long. I’m about to type up my scribbles now so I can get a clearer look at them and put them in order. This is what the lyrics look like on my notebook:
So yeah, typing them in a necessity. But first - a snack.
One of the most dangerous things about rhyming - it coming off as super cheesy. That line I just typed up...yeah, doubt that’ll be making the final draft.
Ripped off...I mean, paid homage to Jason Mraz in there. Subtle reference - even if anyone recognizes it from his song, they won’t put two-and-two together. But it’s one of my favorite lyrics of his for the sheer bluntness of sincere emotion behind them, and it really fits here. It really fits more than I can even explain right now...
The thesaurus = a writer’s best friend. Especially since this use of it helped me score some alliteration. Love alliteration.
This rap is a hybrid. In addition to the things I came up on the track, I’m pulling from a bunch of previous works. In fact, I pulled out a poem I wrote 5 and a half years ago for this. The rest is a bit more recent - a song from this past summer, and a poem from February...that I just happened to rediscover last night, before I even had the idea for this. That’s pretty awesome. God’s at work in the subtlest ways. It all connects...gotta love it!
I took the best parts of that song and stuck them in this rap. Hmmm. I mean, I don’t think I’ll regret, but I was fond of the music of that song. Not like I’m pursuing a singing career - I don’t have the right to, vocally - but with the right help, it could be something someone else could sing. Oh well, push comes to shove, I’ll write a new part to it. Or reuse the words and use it as a companion piece haha
Oh, I love imperfect rhymes. They’re up their with a thesaurus. And this case was so accidental too. It was like “Oh, wait...’friend’ kind of sort of rhymes with ‘mean it’ if I say it right - now I don’t have to come up with another line!”
First verse - a page and a half. This is gonna be a long rap. Better make this catchy as heck. But I’m pretty satisfied so far. Some definite good moments in there. The kind where you feel a little elated as you read over the line because you know it’s gold.
I kind of want this chorus sung rather than rapped. Why can’t I have Demi Lovato handy in my back pocket? Is that creepy? I don’t care - I’d have Demi sing every hook of one of my raps if I could.
Half of the power of this rap is gonna be in delivery. I don't mean theatrics in the way that Nicki Minaj does 'em. I want this to be conversational, but still retain that rhythm. And I want sincere emotion to ring through. Which it will...because I'm sincere about what I'm saying here. Probably the most sincere I've gotten in a rap. This is something that has meant so much to me for years.
If someone listens to this rap, and nods their head fervently in a "preach it, girl!" sort of way, then mission accomplished. Or you know when you hear a good line - whether it be in song, rap, slam poetry, sermon, whatever - and it hits you hard and you let out a soft, but meaningful "Ooooh!" Almost like this grunt that signifies that that line registered with something in you. I want that reaction out of this rap.
I think you may be able to tell by now that it's not a satirical rap I'm working on here.
I like building miniature motifs within stanzas. I don't know if anyone will ever analyze my words to the extent to pick up on it, but even if it's not glaringly obvious, I think it definitely adds something to the overall feel. I used to think analyzing text in high school was a joke - it's so subjective. But as I grow as a writer, I realize that these metaphors, themes, motifs and all sorts of literary devices do exist in the words, just wanting to be found. Writing is so layered. What an art! As technical as it may seem, I think it's definitely a right brained thing.
Okay, good, the second verse isn't as long so it cancels out the extreme length of the first verse. Now to verse 3...but it's also short, so it's kind of more of a bridge part. Except I envisioned an actual bridge part while on my run, so I dunno. And actually, I was struggling with verse 3, and I've said so much already. I might just keep half of it.
Almost done and I'm stuck on ONE line. I need a rhyme. Ironically, I just created a rhyme right here. Ugh - okay, so I've been super vague about the subject of this. But I've thrown in some secret hints throughout this post. But this time around, I'm gonna tell you that this is a hint: I need a word that rhymes with "worth it" and for a reason I won't state (but I think it's pretty obvious), I can't use "perfect." You know what a writer's third best friend is (specifically a writer of poetry)? Rhyming dictionary! Or in the modern age, rhymezone.com.
Just occurred to me to look up the lyrics to Pink's "Perfect" and making sure I'm not unintentionally ripping her off with any of my rhymes. I barely know the song, so it would definitely just be coincidence/no one owns the word "perfect" or anything that rhymes with it, but you know, just wanna make sure, since that song is currently popular.
Oh, it seems like she rhymes perfect with...perfect. That's perfect! hahaha I'm corny. But good, that means I don't have to worry about anything. So apparently "unchecked" and "perfect" rhyme...and despite my initial skepticism, I see that they do. I'm not using that, though.
Okay, found my rhyme! Second draft done! The night's still young as far as I'm concerned, so...well, you'll find out where I decide to go from here in the next entry, if it's anything creative.