Author: Robert Komaniecki
Publication details: INTÉGRAL The Journal of Applied Musical Thought, Volume 34
Abstract: In this article, I argue that pitch plays an important role in the structure and delivery of rap flows. I demonstrate the ways in which rappers manipulate pitch to create a structural parameter that can operate independently from or in tandem with rhythm and rhyme. Furthermore, I argue that pitched vocals take a wider array of forms in rap music than in other genres of popular music, ranging from carefully-pitched singing of modern rap flows to the imprecise and exaggerated declamatory features of speech that distinguished rap from other genres during its formative years. I assert that all rap flows can be classified as using pitch in one of five different ways, with each technique carrying its own unique set of analytical implications.