I don’t like reading nursery rhymes to my kiddo the normal way they’re meant to be read. I try to give the words some flavor and bounce her on my knee while reading. But while doing that I had a thought, “oh my gosh, this sounds exactly like all popular rap songs today.” As a hip-hop lover myself, that was a terrible, terrible thought.
This is a song called “Mask Off,” by Future. It peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017.
Two cups, Toast up with the gang (A)
From food stamps, To a whole ‘nother domain (A)
Out the bottom, I’m a living proof (B)
They compromising, Half a million on the coupe (B)
Drug houses, Looking like Peru (C)
Graduated, I was overdue (C)
I highly do NOT recommend it.
This is a nursery rhyme called “The Going to Bed Book,” by Sandra Boynton. It is listed among Publishers Weekly’s Bestselling Children Books of All Time.
The sun has set, Not long ago (A)
Now everybody, Goes below (A)
To take a bath, In one big tub (B)
With soap all over, Scrub scrub scrub (B)
They hang their towels, On the wall (C)
And find pajamas, Big and small (C)
I highly DO recommend it.
The comparison here is obvious, as it is very literally an ABC rhyming pattern. And while writing this I do clearly mean it as a slight towards modern rap music, but it’s not to say the song is necessarily “bad,” just that the lyrics take a back seat to the rest of the track.
Just like how I felt the need to add flavor and bounce to the nursery rhyme for my 8 month old, modern day Hip-hop and Rap music needs flavor to go along with the words. This flavor though, is provided by the Trap beats, catchy melody lines, synthesizers, and everything else on the track, which lends the lyrics the opportunity to be preschool level writing, yet still be considered a hit song.
And just to prove, how simple it can be (A)
To write a rap, that’s so elementary (A)
This last paragraph, will completely rhyme (B)
It can be a hit, just give it time (B)
I hate so much, that I’m actually doing this (C)
But now it’s the end, and I’m finished (C)