Monday, April 16, 2007

The Anatomy of a Song

I have a secret longing to rap. Not to have my song played on the radio or to fund a clothing line or to ironically get shot two days before I would have died of a heart attack.

Just to rap.

I finally decided I would give it a try. But what would I talk about? Novelists are advised to "write what they know", but does this apply to song? Because it took thirty years for anyone in the rap game to come forward with "Chicken Noodle Soup", and we've all known about that for years.

Is it about what the listener wants? That can't possibly be the case, because every time I hear "lovely lady lumps" I remove my headphones. Then I go get a mammogram.

I suspected a good rap song, like comedy, is about what matters to ME. I thought about starting with what it's like to be biracial. I am both black and white. Split down the middle. As if I had two different color eyes. YES! That's it! Suddenly a rhythm was developing. Should I be beatboxing in a grocery store? I started scowling and swooping from side to side. An enthusiastic man's voice echoed in my head: "This is the reallest, illest shichoo ever heard!" Then a distinct stream of dialogue came. The tone was angry and honest. It painted a picture. I put it to paper:

People always judge. You know how it goes...
I keep my BROWN eye open and my BLUE eye closed.

I couldn't wait to share this--this BIRTH of RAP--with my best friend, so I called him immediately. He paused after he heard it.

"What do you think??" I eagerly asked.

--You know that "brown eye" is another term for anus, right?

I would have been PERFECT for the White Rapper Show.


Carolyn said...

Yo - the White rapper show wasn't all it was crackered up to be.

Abbi said...

Really? It looked like a honkey tonk good time.