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Cassidy Myers

Music Mondays

My boyfriend and I often have the debate of lyrics vs. beat. He'll take a good beat regardless of the quality of lyrics over it and I'll always choose the song with great lyrics over a terrible beat. As a fan of lyrics, and rap lyrics specifically - no other genre of music has the word play, double entendres and rhyme schemes as rap - Genuis.com is one of my favorite websites for a verse by verse breakdown of the meanings of the lyrics. 

 

Because Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book is still my favorite album of 2016 (and really the last, like, 5 years), here are a few bars from Blessings, my favorite song on the album, broken down with the help of Genius.com:

 
I'm at war with my wrongs, I'm writing four different songs
I never forged it or forfeited, I'm a force to be reconciled
They want four minute songs
You need a four hour praise dance, performed every morn
I'm feelin' shortness of breath, so Nico grab you a horn
Hit Jericho with a buzzer-beater to end the quarter
Watch brick and mortar fall like dripping water, ugh!

 

Chance starts by expressing his desire to right his wrongs by writing songs that are more gospel-focused, and one song alone isn't enough to achieve this. In the subsequent lines, he expands on the path he took to get here - not selling out to record companies, doing things his way and announcing that he's a force in the music industry, with a slight twist. By switching "reckoned" with "reconciled", he's not looking to succeed at the cost of other musicians, but rather to change the industry for the benefit of all artists.

 

The alliteration with for/four is symbolic, as the number 4 is important in Christianity. The last few lines represent the biblical Battle of Jericho, where the Israelites surround the wall protecting the Land of Canaan and blow trumpets to knock the walls down. The walls here represent life's struggles, with music being the destruction of those walls. Nico Segal (a.k.a. "Donnie Trumpet") is Chance's friend and the other half of the duo's side group, The Social Experiment. Appropriately, Nico and his trumpet are featured throughout the track.

 

This is only a snippet of a great song and an even greater album. If you haven't yet, I hope this will convince you to give Coloring Book (or at least this song) a listen.

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