We all have our favorite lyricists and it’s based on a multitude of factors typically. The actual lyrics or words of hip hop is only a percentage of the music, as we all know and it can be hard to get to the genius of some lyrics if the beat just isn’t on point. But I want to go over some songs where I’d like to point out the lyrics that deviate from the redundant topics that Jay-Z even has a song titled ( money, cash, hoes). I’ll call this abstract lyrical songs as they’re all from a different point of view or touching subjects no one would normally associate with hip hop. It’s this type of lyrical genius that made me a fan and will keep me one forever.
1) Ghostface Killah- The Forest.
Ghost is a personal favorite of mine simply because he can touch every topic and add an unusual splash to it. On The Forest, Ghost makes an entire song using cartoon characters. Listening to it will give you a little nostalgia as he mentions some characters you’ve probably forgotten, but used to watch as a kid. He takes the cartoon characters and transports them onto the street corner where they go through daily life or the types of stories Nas told on Illmatic.
:It happens every night, I seen it, shoot outs in Jellystone Park
Kermit had the whip, he dipped from the Narks
They bagged Woody, Shaggy shot dead in his hoodie
2) Nas – I Gave You Power. Nas writes this song from the first person point of view yet, that person isn’t actually a person. He writes the entire song from the perspective of a gun, hence the title of the song. He goes through being in one mans hand and the power that man has versus those unarmed. He talks about being thrown away, concealed, and used yet he has no say in it. He details in depth what a gun can go through on the streets. Finally at the end he decides to not give the person power but instead to take the power in his/it’s own hands.
SONG LINE: My body is cold steel for real, I was made to kill, that’s why the keep me concealed.
3)Dead Prez – Be Healthy
Dead Prez was always a little bit more about originality and thought than other artists, but this one was an unusual topic and ahead of it’s time. They stressed a different way of life and higher elevation both in the physical and mental states. The entire song is about a better way of eating and proper nutrition. They detail a vegetarian way of life in depth. It’s essentially the vegan version of Goodie Mob’s Soul Food. Side note if you haven’t listen to Cell Therapy go do it and thank me later.
I don’t eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets
only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat
I’m from the old school, my household smell like soul food, bro
4) Gravediggaz- Diary of a Madman.
You can pretty much take the entire first Gravediggaz album and it would fit my criteria but this song in particular I always found interesting. It tells a story so well and so clearly that it’s as vivid as any horror movie you’ll watch these days. The artists go to court for a murder and plead insanity with each giving their testimony of the encounter. If you haven’t heard this album and want to hear something different I highly recommend you listen. But beware, its not something everyone will find acceptable and certainly not something you just vibe to and relax.
Song Lines: ( I realize this one is a lot more than a line but it’s so well written and gives you a snapshot of the album all at the same time I felt it was worth it)
I got tackled with handcuffs And shackled in restraint
At the bottom of a Holy Tabernacle
They gave me nothing to eat for two weeks
And sewed my eye lids open, so I couldn’t sleep
About to die from thirst, that’s when the minister
Quenched my jaws with a cold glass of vinegar
Upon my wounds they seasoned me with salt
And nailed my hands, feet to the form of the cross, ah, I cry As the blood drips inside of my eye, refusing to die
Visions of Hell tormented my fate
So I chewed my fucking arm off and made an escape