Arts & Entertainment, Music
Using Poetic Lyrical Techniques
Lesson time 13:00 min
Nas explains the value of using poetic techniques in lyrics: wordplay, analogies, metaphors, figurative language, slang, and cultural references. He shares examples from his own lyrics and shows you how using these techniques can improve yours.
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Topics include: Play With Words · Metaphors · Cultural References · Analogies · Slang · Embrace the Flaws
[MUSIC PLAYING] - The words need to taste like clear fresh water in your mouth. You need to be happy to say these words. You need to fall in love with words. You need to fall in love with the way you sound and the way your voice sounds and the way you sound spitting off words that express the vigor , express the angst and the attitude in you. [MUSIC - NAS, "IT AIN'T HARD TO TELL"] - I leave your brain stimulated, niggas is frozen. Speak with criminal slang, began like a violin. end like Leviathan, it's deep, well let me try again. Wisdom be leaking out my grapefruit, troop. I dominate break loops, giving mics men-e-strual cycles. Street's disciple, I rock beats that's mega-trifle. - I leave your brain stimulated, brothers is frozen, speak with criminal slang began like a violin, end like Leviathan. It's deep, well let me try again. Wisdom be leaking out my grapefruit troop. I dominate break loops, giving mics men-e-strual cycles. Street's disciple, I rock beats that's mega-trifle. You need words that do that for you so that when you're giving them the attitude, when you're saying these words, you're actually saying words on top of your own attitude. The words you're saying are matched with your attitude and it's double the explosion. When you're creating a song, start where you feel it's comfortable for you to start. I don't always pressure myself at the top because then everything I write will be super intense. But if you just take the pressure off and let's see where it goes, you know, then you know. Then you kind of get your rhythm going. Make sure you feel good. When you're saying it, when you're listening to yourself say it, it should feel good to you. [MUSIC - NAS, "IT AIN'T HARD TO TELL"] - I leave your brain stimulated, niggas is frozen. Speak with criminal slang begin like a violin, end like Leviathan. - When I say stuff like begin like a violin, end like Leviathan, the metaphor is I begin sweet and I end different. I begin lovely, fluffy, soft, beautiful, sounds, imagery, and ends with uncertainty, mystery. And it's just a play on words, words that rhyme that are not being used together as a norm. You can use one word in more than one way. It ain't hard to tell, I say wisdom be leaking out my grapefruit, troop. - Well, let me try again, words still be leaking out my grapefruit, troop. - That's a little wordplay there. My grapefruit, meaning my head. You know, my grapefruit. You find different ways to describe things. It's how you throw words around like a pro. In a way, that makes your mind go, wow, that was just beautiful. When crafting lyrics, metaphors are important. Those are like the brain busters. When you can come up with a great metaphor, that can change everything in a positive way. It can really take you into a career. And the metaphors have to be a way of unpacking a story and in a way that makes you think, like, how did this guy just say compared this one thing to ...
About the Instructor
From the landmark album "Illmatic" in 1994 to the Grammy-winning "King’s Disease," Nas has been exposing truth through rhymes and vivid street poetry for more than 25 years. Now he’s sharing his journey, the evolution of Hip-Hop, and a brand-new song with you. Hip-Hop, lyricism, flow—learn how to tap into the power of your own voice and turn your experiences into music with one of rap’s all-time greatest artists.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
Grammy-winning rapper Nas shares his journey through the evolution of Hip-Hop, breaks down some of his biggest hits, and writes a brand-new song.Explore the Class