When I first heard “I Ain’t No Joke” on Video Music Box, I was floored! Hip-Hop was universal in the sense that the messages spoken were told clearly and many could relate. If not, those who couldn’t heard another side of a story. But the WAY it was told was different. It was story telling. Rakim came out and didn’t just take the story to tell but would cleverly manipulate the rhyme scheme of a lyric and import metaphors, theories, religion, and rhyme not only the last words, but the last 3-5 words. He’d weave rhymes in the middle of bars to rhyme 2-3 times before ending. That wordplay changed hip-hop from that point on. Introduce: The Lyricist.
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