The key to good hip-hop is this – the music and lyrics need to work together. They need to enhance each other like a movie script and an actor. A script is great by itself but it doesn’t truly come alive until it is produced.
Rap music goes way beyond beats and lyrics when it is produced well, just like movies. Unfortunately, a lot of music these days is not produced well. Lyrics are haphazardly thrown over a beat and then a record is quickly released. If the producer and rapper took more time to work together we could have some amazing records out there instead of a plethora of mediocre ones.
I know that when I write, I like to write specifically for that beat. I find that the beat tells me what to say and how to accentuate my words. I never really thought that it should work the other way too.
Maybe the best way to make a song is to write to the beat to make sure that the words fit the rhythm and the flow of the music. Then the producer should go back and redo the beat to make sure that it accentuates the words and fits with the rhythm and flow of the delivery of the lyrics.
I realize that this takes time and that the music industry doesn’t always want to invest this time. Too much of the songs that make it to the airwaves are underproduced. They sound sloppy. With a little more time and effort, we could have better quality songs on the airwaves.
I don’t listen to much of what is on the radio or the video channels. Most of the hip-hop I listen to is from the underground. I like to hear intelligent lyrics with a nice flow and a good beat. Too much of the popular rap music these days is just not up to par with my high standards. And I think we need to demand the best from our music. If the music isn’t good all the way around, I don’t think we should support it or sub par music will continue to be produced. We need to demand better. It’s important.