Whose Line Is It Anyway: Rappers Vs Lyricists

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WRITTEN BY: Trenesse Wade

I love music. There are so many genres to choose from. There’s gospel/ Christian music for those looking to elevate their soul. There’s also Trap music for those that love the rappers, you know the guys that get paid to brain wash men into to wanting to what they want and like. Then there’s this new genre of Trap Soul. Trap Soul is a combination of rap, R&B, and lyricism; Bryson Tiller is one of the rising Trap Soul artists that I personally love.

Not to go on a tangent, but Bryson Tiller really opened my eyes to music. For years, I have loved music. My love and appreciation for music goes back to the age of record players. On weekends, my dad would clear the furniture and put on a record. I am definitely that one friend that loves to belt Whitney Houston’s “I’m your baby tonight”, until her voice goes out. But I never really understood the lyrics.
Up until recently, I realized that I was never listening to music for content. I was listening to music for the sound, the beat, the vibrations. Rather than allowing the words of the music to guide my thoughts on the song, I went straight for the melody.

When I began my music playlist on iTunes, I really decided to take the songs I added seriously. I made a major mistake I let a friend add her songs onto my playlist. That was a mistake because I based the music I listened to, on what my friend had already listened to. I limited myself to only Wale, Drake, Beyonce, Rihanna, and Jay Z. Every artist mentioned is a household voice and at this point, other than Jay Z and Drake, none had a distinct sound.

Rihanna was transitioning from good to bad, but still good. Beyonce was crazy in love and riding until the wheels fell off on “03 Bonnie and Clyde”. So music was a very different scene than it is today. Other than Lil Wayne, I had a very hard time listening to rappers because I couldn’t identify. Just to give a little background, I am a 26 year old college graduate (soon to be graduate school graduate). I grew up in Pembroke Pines, Florida, which is a suburban community in South Florida. My family is upper middle class and migrated to this country in the 1960s.

When listening to the rappers of the early 2000s, I couldn’t connect because of the packaging of the content. Lil Wayne made it easy to decipher the content because he turned everything into a simile, used symbolism and personification, and told the truth. Similes are very easy to construct, but very few people understand what they are. But when the right simile is used, you will never forget it. A simile is comparing one subject to another subject, using the words like or as.

Nicki Minaj, whom I love and have the utmost respect for, used similes in a majority of her music when she started. She used a lot of comparisons in her music as well. In my opinion, that makes Nicki a lyricist to me. But she can definitely become a rapper when there is money involved. Which is why I love the versatility in her music, similar to Wayne. Nicki has the ability to transition between lyricist and rapper. At least we know her music is here to stay because she can rap, write, and act. Not to go on a Team Barbie rant, but Nicki is now the prototype for the mainstream female rapper.

But as a Nicki fan, I want her to channel her inner Lil Wayne and get back to lyricism. I love a song to twerk to, but I need more songs to love too. There is an overabundance of female artists that talk about the negative in the world, I want a female in Rap or Trap Soul to bring back the positivity in music. I definitely think Nicki can achieve it, if you does a little study on Gucci Mane.

Gucci is what I like to call a hood poet. In Gucci’s music you will find a vast array of similes, the use of personification, and you definitely will get the truth. Although, several people would refer to Gucci as a rapper, I’m torn between rapper and lyricist. The song “Lemonade”, uses nothing but personification. Gucci told the face you make from sour lemonade and made a song about his haters. The chorus was catchy and the content made sense; the subject matter was consistent throughout the song.

After listening to a few rappers, I realized that very few of them talk about the same subject throughout a song. Many rappers jump all over the place, the content is not consistent through the song. As I writer, I love when a story is consistent. After all, these rappers are telling stories to the public, it’s up to us to see what’s real or fake.

I truly appreciate when I come across organic music. Music that isn’t altered by mixing and mastering or written by a ghost writer. While scrolling on Dat Piff, I came across an artist by the name of Mike Jack. The name stuck out to me because I wanted to know why he chose two first names as an artist name. After visiting his social media and watching his interaction, I decided to give his music a listen.

When listening to Mike Jack, the first thing that comes across my mind is the South. A southern drawl over trap music, is how I can best describe Mike Jack. Although he doesn’t sing like T-Pain, Mike Jack is definitely on his way to establishing a name for himself in Tallahassee and Atlanta.

Mike Jack, short for Michael Jackson, grew up in the South. He moved to Tallahassee for school and is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi. He told me to personally send a “roo” to the Southern chapters of Omega Psi Phi. Mike Jack start pursuing music full time about a year and half ago.

For about 4 months, him and friend went from smoking hooka and visualizing their musical dreams to performing at a DJ Demp event in Tallahassee and touring with Field Mob. More recently Mike Jack has performed at “The Deal” at Enclave in Atlanta and will be performing at the BET Hip Hop Awards coming up in July. He will also be performing at Magic City in Atlanta,so be on the lookout for more from this emerging artist.



Listed below are a few links for music and media from Mike Jack Musik.

Social Media




Music “CRW” “Let Me Know” video

Darshay K. Lampley is a Broadcast Journalism major and Creative Writing minor at Jacksonville State University. Upon graduating, she anticipates a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. Darshay is an entertainment journalist, on-air radio personality, and is currently writing her first book. Darshay believes that her ambition along with her strong faith in God will lead her down the pathway to success. "God is within her, she will not fail." Psalm 46:5

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