In a past interview, Eminem was discussing why he admires Nas so much and used Nas’s debut single “Half-Time” as an example of something Nas does that most rappers can’t do. This is what he had to say.
One of the reasons I picked half time was because there’s some rhyme schemes on there that most rappers till this day probably can’t do and that’s one of the things that has made Nas so great over his career.
He was rhyming entire sentences and I’m like what the f**k is this?
In this example, Nas is rhyming a lot! I counted him rhyming 27 times! He doesn’t rhyme 27 words, his rhyming is actually much more deeper and nuanced than that.
Not only does he have multi-syllable rhymes like “blast tha herb” and “that’s my word” but he even goes deeper than that and rhymes pieces of syllables together. Because even a single syllable can have multiple phonics you can rhyme with.
For example on the first line the word “the” rhymes with “that’s” because of the first phonic sound of “th” in each word, but the 2nd phonic of each of those words “uh” and “at’s” don’t rhyme.
He also rhymes the second phonic of “the” with the second phonic of “my”. Now on paper you would be fair to say these words don’t rhyme, but Nas makes them rhyme because he changes their pronunciation to “uh” by saying the words like this “thuh” and “muh”.
I like to call this technique “bending words” and I have a whole video dedicated to demonstrating this.
Now Eminem said most rappers can’t do this and I agree 100%. Most rappers aren’t skilled enough to rhyme on this level but I know my subscribers aren’t your average rappers and I believe many of you can, so after you finish this video, accept this challenge and drop a few of your bars in the comments section below and show off how much you can rhyme!
And I would never ask you to do something that I wouldn’t do so allow me to get the party started.
COUNT IT UP!
Within my 4 bars of lyrics, I rhymed 31 times!
You may notice some duplicate words that rhyme that I didn’t give myself credit for such as “to” on line 2 and “to” on line 3. That’s because while they do technically rhyme, they were not written with the intention to be rhymes because of 3 main factors.
1 They’re not connected to each other in time
2 They’re not a part of a multi-syllable rhyme scheme.
3 They’re the same word so it’s not as impressive.
In my opinion, those 3 factors play a major role in making your rhymes really pop! But all three of them don’t all have to be in place in order for your rhymes to stand out.
For example on line 3 I have “I’m” highlighted and on line 4 I have the 2nd “i’m” highlighted and not the first “i’m”. This is because, even though the first “I’m” is lined up close in time to the “I’m” on line 3, it’s not woven into a multi-syllable rhyme scheme. So yes, it does technically rhyme but it’s just not significant enough in my opinion.
The second “i’m” on line 4 is connected with “pack” “I’m pack” which rhymes with “I’m act” from line 3. So while they don’t line up in time with each other, this rhyme still pops really nice due to It’s multi syllable rhyme scheme.
Also, I feel it’s important to say that rhymes aren’t everything. What you’re saying is most important, so don’t just rhyme for the sake of rhyming because your message may get lost.
Don’t let your rhymes take away from what you’re trying to say.
While rhymes are impressive, it’s best if, they’re used as enhancements that are meant to support your message.
2-Pac was never known for how dense his rhyme schemes were, he was known for making timeless music that touched people’s souls and is still impacting people till this day!
With that being said, show off your rhyming skills in the comments section below!
My name is Cole Mize with colemizestudios.com where I strive to make you a better rapper now. If you’re trying to perfect your rap skills make sure you get yourself a FREE copy of my eBook The #1 Fundamental To Rapping below and always remember, when it comes to rapping, there’s no rules, there’s only techniques. Peace!