Multisyllabic rhymes

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In rapping and poetry, multisyllabic rhymes (also known as compound[1][2][3][4] rhymes, polysyllable[1][5][6] rhymes, and sometimes colloquially in hip-hop as multies[1]) are rhymes that contain two or more syllables[1][7] An example is as follows:

Touch her not scornfully, / Think of her mournfully.[7]

Multisyllabic rhyme is used extensively in hip-hop, is considered a hallmark of complex and advanced rapping,[8] and artists are often praised for their multisyllabic rhymes by critics[9][10] and fellow rappers.[3][4] This is in contrast to its use in the majority of other forms of poetry, where multisyllabic rhyme is rarely used, apart from in comic verse where it is used for comic effect[5] by poets such as Ogden Nash.[5]

Usage in Hip-Hop[edit]

The book How to Rap breaks multisyllabic rhymes down extensively.[1] In it, Kool G Rap gives an example of this kind of rhyme, rhyming "random luck" with "handsome fuck" and "vans and trucks".[11] Other examples in the book include two syllable rhymes such as rhyming “indo” with “Timbo”[12] and rhymes with irregular numbers of syllables such as “handle it” and “candle to it”.[13]

How to Rap shows that multisyllabic rhymes are used by the following artists: Big L, Big T, Canibus, Inspectah Deck,[1] Big Daddy Kane,[11] Kool G Rap,[11] Eminem,[11] Big Pun,[11] Arrested Development,[11] Masta Ace,[11] Lady of Rage,[14] Snoop Dogg,[15] Jay-Z,[16] Beastie Boys,[13] Esoteric of 7L & Esoteric,[12] Game,[12] Busta Rhymes,[17] Method Man,[18] Nas,[18] and Tupac Shakur,[19] although there are many more not specified throughout the book.

Multisyllabic rhymes are one of several rhyming devices which have increased in usage throughout the history of rapping,[20] along with such devices as internal rhymes and offbeat rhymes.[20] Music scholar Adam Krims, writing in 2001, noted the following artists as exemplifying the increased complexity in rhyming, including use of multisyllabic rhyming: “members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, AZ, Big Pun, Ras Kass, Elzhi, and Makaveli just to name a few”.[20]

Usage in Poetry[edit]

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) used multisyllabic rhymes in a comic, satirical way, as is common in traditional comic poetry.[5] For example, in his poem ‘The Shrimp’ he rhymes "translucence" with "nuisance", and in his poem ‘The Axolotl’ he rhymes "axolotl" with "a bottle" and "whaxolotl".[5]

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89) is one of few poets who used multisyllabic rhymes to convey non-satirical subject matter.[6] An example of this is ‘The Bugler's First Communion’,[6] where he rhymes "boon he on" with "Communion".

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 87.
  2. ^ http://www.allhiphop.com/stories/reviewsmusic/archive/2009/11/04/22011446.aspx
  3. ^ a b Eminem, with Sacha Jenkins, 2008, The Way I Am, Dutton Adult, p. 17.
  4. ^ a b Eminem, 2004, 'Yellow Brick Road', Encore, Aftermath/Shady, Interscope.
  5. ^ a b c d e Anderson, Linda, 2006, Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, Taylor & Francis, p. 235.
  6. ^ a b c Hogg, Richard M., et al, 1998, The Cambridge History of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, p. 625.
  7. ^ a b Yoshida, Minoru, 1952, Word-Music in English Poetry , The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 11, No. 2, Special Issue on Oriental Art and Aesthetics, Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetics, pp. 151-159.
  8. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 87-91.
  9. ^ Shapiro, Peter, 2005, The Rough Guide To Hip-Hop, 2nd Edition, Penguin, p. 213.
  10. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p169632/biography
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 88.
  12. ^ a b c Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 100.
  13. ^ a b Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 99.
  14. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 89.
  15. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 90.
  16. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 91.
  17. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 103.
  18. ^ a b Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 108.
  19. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 109.
  20. ^ a b c Krims, Adam, 2001, Rap Music And The Poetics Of Identity, Cambridge University Press, p. 49.

References[edit]

  • Edwards, Paul (2009). How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC. Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-816-7.
  • The craft of lyric writing. Sheila Davis 1985 Writer's Digest Books ISBN 0-89879-149-9
  • "Fishing by Obstinate Isles: Modern and Postmodern British Poetry and American Readers" Keith Tuma 1998 Northwestern University Press ISBN 0-8101-1623-5