Rap Lyrics Essay

Poetry is language that is more intense than the ordinary language. The elements
of poetry make it recognizable that there are techniques and styles that add to
this intensity. These elements can be found in the lyrics of many rap songs,
especially within the lyrics of “What’s It Gonna Be” by Busta Rhymes and
Janet Jackson. Rhyme is the most practiced element of poetry. It is defined as
being the repetition of sounds in language. You can find this repetition within
many verses of “What’s it Gonna Be”. For example, in verse one “Baby
just tell me how you feel, we livin it and just givin it to you real”. The two
ending words “feel” and “real” gives the song a rhyming effect. Another
example of rhyme is in lines eight and nine of verse one. These lines say, “
To my people who regulatin the dance floors, better step in yo business and
handle yours. “Floors” and “yours” also add the rhyming effect of this
song. The rhyme in “What’s it Gonna Be” classifies this song as being
somewhat poetic. Poetry communicates experience, and experience comes to us
largely through the senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and touching).

Imagery is a mental and visual impression that appeals to one of the five
senses. Visual imagery is a sense thats expressed throughout “What’s it
Gonna Be”. For example, verse two line twelve says, “Paintin a picture I see
it’s hot on the window”. “See” is the keyword in line twelve that shows
visual imagery. Hearing is another sense that’s used frequently within this
song. For example, the chorus says “Gonna make, gonna make, your body scream
out yeah!” This verse is very effective in expressing the sense of hearing.

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When it is read, the exclamation mark brings this verse alive. If the
exclamation mark wasn’t there the keyword “scream” still classifies this
as an example of imagery. Voice is another element of poetry that this song
seems to have. The speakers in “What’s it Gonna Be” are Busta Rhymes and
Janet Jackson. The chorus is sung by Janet and the verses are rapped by Busta
Rhymes. The tone of “What’s it Gonna Be” is somewhat excited and fast
paced. When you read the chorus it gives you an energetic feeling. For example,
“Gonna make, gonna make, your body wet. Gonna make, gonna make, your body
scream out yeah!” When reading this the commas and exclamation mark speeds up
the pace of the song. Theme is the overall idea expressed within a story, song,
or poem. The primary theme of “What’s it Gonna Be” is sex. Busta Rhymes
and Janet are telling the listeners of this song all the things they can do
sexually. An example of this is, “And makin you women say (ahh) baby come
on”. Busta Rhymes has a somewhat “cocky” approach to sex. Janet Jackson
also has this same “cocky” approach. For example, “Gonna make, gonna make,
your body cream”. When Janet refers to “cream” she’s saying that she can
make someone reach their sexual peak. Overall this song’s theme has a very
strong sexual meaning. Figurative language is defined as words that mean
something other than the actual meaning. The majority of rap songs have a large
amount of figurative language. “What’s it Gonna Be” has a abundant amount
of this. For example, “full fledge hittin with Busta Rhymes and Janet and you
know its…”. The word “hittin” means sex, so in other words this verse is
saying “full fledge sex with Busta Rhymes and Janet”. Another example of
figurative language is, “Making you people just wanna bounce and get busy”.

“Bounce” refers to leaving and “get busy” means having sexual
intercourse, so this verse says “making you people just wanna leave and have
sex”. In conclusion, “What’s it Gonna Be” has very strong poetic
elements. This song had rhythm, theme, imagery, and voice. Actually I couldn’t
find that many figures of speech, such as a metaphor or a simile, but I could
find some figurative language. Overall I feel that this assignment made me
realize how poetic some rap songs can be. This assignment also made me become
familiar at recognizing the elements of poetry.


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