Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lyrical Comprehension

The other night, the homie Randall hooked me up with dinner at In N Out. I will never forget this especially since I am definitely in a horrrrrible financial situation. Over here dying of hunger n ish. This post isn't about that though. One question that he asked me when we were eating was which one of my songs is the most vicious. He didn't use those exact words but something along the lines of trying to pinpoint a song from my own opinion concerning great lyricism.

I came up with a few but primarily:

We had a conversation about these and I realized that the way in which I created all of these songs, those similar to these, and parts of the 5 minute tracks is by entering a certain mind state. Sure this may sound dumb or whatever but come up with some of this stuff, I essentially go into another zone that takes place internally. Not through drugs..not through writing anything on paper...just pure electricity.

I know that if ever I was sponsored by a well known artist or label or even if I were to straight up become more recognized in the hip hop game, I would make more efforts and actually schedule time to enter this zone, thus allowing for this style of rap. It takes energy.

The conversation led to identifying different things that were great in the lyrics.
Not sure if I ever mentioned examples of lines but some of these continue to be some of my favorite self-made lyrics. Peep a line from each song. The question I have for you, is, what do these lyrics mean to you when you hear them?

Sure, most artist avoid explaining their works of art, sue me.
I truly believe that some artist may paint a crazy picture randomly, accidentally create a sculpture out of some new clay, say a bunch of confusing polysyllabic words that 'sound' cool.....I kind of forgot how I was going to end this sentence but something along the lines of people do easy stuff or stuff on accident and it's only when the critic applauds such a thing that the person doing the stuff gains a new mental value of their stuff that they know they created either randomly, accidentally, or with very primitive talents executed in extra average amateur execution mode and then suddenly all of their future work and even stuff done in the past is looked upon as pure excellence and true professionalism.

This may not even make any sense because I'm finding it pretty difficult to express this idea that I have that could be applied to most, not all, of these critically acclaimed artists whether their fine art field is in painting, music, whatever.

enough of that. basically, here are a few lines taken from, in my opinion, pinnacle points of lyricism in each work of art. Not necessarily the highest of the high point in each song but, rather, a relatively high point assuming that higher elevation requires more energy and wit to compose even though such things are difficult, if not impossible, to measure.

I would like to hear your opinion of the significance of each line.

The fact that I would want to hear your opinion on something that I created could understandably come across as being on the verge of narcissism if you were to ignore the fact that asking your opinion on someone else's lyrics and wanting to engage in a discussion about them would only allow for limited closure, meaning that because no one ever really knows the intent of any given author other than the actual author, all answers could pretty much be assumed correct. We'd go in circles for hours. Some of us may feel like we are wasting time. Almost like english class. Dudes have been deceased for years and yet we are assigned to argue our points of view concerning their essays. I'm not knocking it. What if the author was there to be like - no, you're wrong. Ohhhh nice idea, nope.
That'd be keeping it more REAL. imo.

ok, here are some lines. I am very much aware of the difficulty of trying to explain just the lines mentioned without making since of them with lines said either before or after them.

(from Demolition Double:)

" it makes me feel Blue like Meanie, that's why i go in like Owen on the verse, I'm Birch "

(several bars before and including the following lines in GAS:)

"this should remind you of Chris since it's cold when you play it.
I don't dumb down like Cole cause my goals to make you think till you link me to you favorites."



Jayn Doe said...

The description of how your craft is formed does little to elucidate for me the mystery of your talent, haha.

As for the lyrics you've chosen to discuss, I can only speak on the last line you pasted ("I don't dumb down like Cole cause my goals to make you think till you link me to you favorites") because it's the only one of the three that I can actually recall on the spot.
To be honest, I don't know who this 'Cole' character is, haha, but the line stands out to me because it's a very bold statement (in my opinion) and it's justified in the very likelihood of the listener eventually accepting the implicit invitation to pin you as one of their favorite artists. Of course the effect of this line would be much different for a first-time listener, but its wit definitely intrigues the audience and incites closer attention to your lyricism.

If there's a riddle I'm missing though, I wouldn't be surprised.


WordsSmith said...

" it makes me feel Blue like Meanie, that's why i go in like Owen on the verse, I'm Birch "

In the lines leading up the above, you talk about people saying you lack the ability required for the hip-hop scene i.e flow, you also say it hurts when people say you are unable. In the lines quoted above, I believe you explain how you deal with the negative criticism, and that is by creating a new name or persona as a protection to your feelings or what you do in regular life. I came to this conclusion by my knowledge on the novel 'a prayer for Owen Meany' and the film 'Simon Birch'. Simon Birch is loosly based on the novel 'a prayer for owen meany', but before production began, the author requested that the names of the charachters be changed as he did not believe the novel could be made into a film succesfully. In the possible outcome of failure, the author wanted to keep the integrity of the original work. Like I said above, I think that because of the haters, you may have believed success wasn't on the horizon, and made yourself an alternate persona or name as a fail safe, a way of keeping your integrity in everyday life.

Hope I'm not real missing the point of the lyrics. Let me know ^_^
You made me think a lot about it though.
Much admiration.

Turbo said...

Thank you Jayn for this comment.
What you said concerning the idea of inviting the listener is right on the ball.
About the Cole thing, it's definitely a semi obscure reference but I knew for sure that some would get it. (not saying that things in my music are said with the intention of having someone else understand)

Off topic but I really appreciate the way you type. Seriously. Ever since I made that error when "could of" should have been "could have" and you brought it to my attention I was like...that's wussup! haha

Turbo said...

Words Smith...
That is 100% correct.! got that portion of the line completely correct but there is definitely more to it.
The entire Owen Meany / Simon Birch reference runs a little bit deeper on the defensive side and there are even offensive meanings in the all of the lyrics surrounding "a prayer for Owen Meany".

I use the terms defensive and offensive as a means to allude to a subtle sporting event reference that is both in the novel and....

well, I'll let you tell it!

On the right track

WordsSmith said...

I believe you are refering to the moment in the story where owen/simon is at the baseball game.
Taking the movie as the reference, Simon's team are losing to another team in a baseball game. The coach puts Simon out as the batter in the hopes that Simon will get three strikes, and the loss for the team will be quick and easier to take. As Simon is batting up, his peers ridicule him about his ability to hit the ball. I think you are referencing this moment because his peers and, as you said, your peers ridicule your abilities to perform. The events that follow in the film are also referenced in your lines to follow the lines in question, '' all of ya'll should think fast because one fast ball will leave you merked in the dirt..''
In the film, while receiving negative criticism, Simon bides his time, picks his moment to swing, and succeeds with hitting th ball a great distance. The ball travels across the field and kills a woman, leaves her ''merked in the dirt''
I thought that to mean this; while you may receive criticism, you are telling the listener that, like Simon, you will bide your time, adjust your focus and essentially kill [the beat, negative criticism etc.]

Once again I Hope I didn't miss much.

Thinking hard on it now, in those few lines you paint a vivid picture of how you present yourself as an artist, it is tuely great T, and Long may it Live.

Turbo said...


*spoiler alert to anyone who has yet to read "a prayer for Owen Meany"

merked in the dirt. The baseball sporting event when Owen kills his friend's mother, Tabitha.
There's more, man, there's more.
Would you believe that there is both another sporting event and yet another death that is connected to all of this without having to be completely farfetched in reasoning?

PlatinumAssassin said...

I really like that you did this, T (kinda missed it the first day lol). Like you mentioned in the original post, it is good to hear feedback from the author of a piece of work as opposed to arguing valid points back and forth endlessly. I always found it funny when a teacher would assume I wrote things for some completely unrelated reason. I have typed out a good # of your lyrics and have had conversations about its content, style, meaning.

I comprehended the lines to about the depth of WordSmith and Jayne did (both of which who seemed to have killed it).

All in all, awesome job and please keep on tossing us thought provoking, witty, revealing, lyrical content.

WordsSmith said...

okay this is a long shot but here goes..
By saying you feel ''blue like meanie'' perhaps you are referring to the wrestler The Blue meanie. To say you feel like the blue meanie after ridicule on your abilities wouldn't be uncommon, as he is a comedic wrestler with minimal skill. This reference has opened the door in the lyrics for other wrestling references, and you follow suit with a reference to Owen Hart or the 'Blue Blazer'. You say that you ''go in like owen on the verse'' , Owen used to descend from above, usually using the element of surprise getting the jump on his opponent. This would make perfect sense in the lyrical portrait you paint, as you may come as a surprise to your 'opponents' when you arrive to the challenge in charge of the situation. The sporting death is then brought to the mind again with owen harts death in the fashion that he used to ''go in'', and if I recall correctly he broke his kneck, as did tabitha when struck with the baseball.

Really hope I got this too :)

P.s still amazed at how all of this was brought about in the few lines you did it in

Turbo said...

Platinum thank you very much. I definitely will consider doing this more often because I know there are so many things that are left unnoticed.

ladies and gentlemen.... looks like this line is pretty much summed up. Thank you WordsSmith.

Owen Hart
Owen Meany
Blue Meanie
Simon Birch -

Consider these references inside of a folder.
The folder is open through the word SIMON.

which opens up a ton of other stuff. You already know this because the name is repeated a number of times.

Simon Says good job! haha

WordsSmith said...

Super happy I was correct in my analyses ^_^
I'm a huge fan of this sort of carry on, gives a better look at the more in depth lyrics.

Takumi said...

It should remind you of Cris (Cristal Champagne) since it's cold and also something about Chris Cole the pro skater is my guess for the G.A.S. bars?

Oh, but honestly, from Demolition, I thought going in like Owen on the verse, I'm birch was a reference to Zoolander.

(Owen Wilson wondering what the bark on trees were made out of in the beginningish.)

But, as always, scramble UP. Thank you for this demonstration of your bars being broken down. This has been fantastically educational.

masmurdurah said...

maaan. i had this whole big thing typed out... but idk what happened to it. :(
... /sigh

i do like to see this kind of lyrical analysis. although i didnt get the reference, because im not familliar w/ the book, but it was very easy to understand the depth. which is exactly why, you, double, need to blow up. you need to add that level of though back into "rap."

"i think thats crazy... he just woke up an hour ago." - my thoughts exactly.

Koran said...

"this should remind you of Chris since it's cold when you play it."
A reference to Chris Martin the lead singer of Coldplay.

"I don't dumb down like Cole cause my goals to make you think till you link me to you favorites."
Cole is a character from the TV show Martin. He was REALLY dumb.

I know my idea of what they refer to are a little simpler than everyone else, but the simplest answer is usually the best.

Turbo said...

Interesting observations Takumi. Pretty cool but I can't take credit for something that I didn't intend to do.
Mas Murdurah...i HATE when that happens. Ctrl + C FTW.
Koran....absolutely correct. Chris MARTIN Cole from MARTIN.

There's more to it though. You definitely nailed the basis of it. Oh yes indeed.

Anonymous said...

Ok, to go more into that last line... Turbo I think you were referring to Lupe. When you say, "I don't dumb down like Cole,cuz my goal is to make you think till you link me to your favorites," that's a reference to the relationship btwn you and Lupe, who happens to be one of your favorite artists. Many people may link you to him because of the similarities. Like Bishop G did when he told you that you were unoriginal, prompting you to release the vicious "Dumb Double".

Also, in the show "Martin", Martin was always trying to get Cole to think and stop being so dumb. Additionally, the guy who plays Cole is an actor/comedian who's career has been relatively low-key.I remember when he was on "The Cosby Show", but he's not well-known for much else except for his role on "Martin". By way of the show, he's linked to one of the favorites, Martin Lawrence!!


Donniemnemonic said...

" it makes me feel Blue like Meanie, that's why i go in like Owen on the verse, I'm Birch "

I never heard of birch but I definitly know Owen. Often looked upon as the underdog but definitly had a circle of fans, I'm sure people already touched on it but I feel this line is about you talking about being the underdog. It gets to you people don't recognize your potential so you try harder like O.Hart would.

"this should remind you of Chris since it's cold when you play it.
I don't dumb down like Cole cause my goals to make you think till you link me to you favorites."

Once again the Chris reference sorta eludes me. I was thinkin Kris Kringle maybe, Xmas reference. But the cole line is pretty straight foward, Cole was a character from Martin that wasn't the sharpest crayon. Your basically saying you aren't going to simplify your style so more people can get it. You intend to make it dive into it until they realize the nuances, and 10x outta 9 they'll enjoy it.

Koran said...

This lyrical analysis is a great idea & you should do it again.

I still can't believe I'm the only one who got the Coldplay ref.