July 6, 2022

One other identify for this mode is “Mixolydian-flat-9-flat-13,” which is the way it’s described within the Berklee technique. In commonplace jazz parlance, we would name it “Dominant-flat-2-flat-6.” It’s akin to the Hijaz Maqam scale in Arabic music, the Bhairavi in Hindustani (North Indian) music, the Hanumatodi raga in Carnatic (South Indian) music, and Dastgāh-e Šur in Iranian music. And you will discover it in southern Spain (the Andalusian area of the Iberian Peninsula). Because the identify “Phrygian” implies, its origin traces again to historic Greece. Briefly, this mode is used everywhere in the world.

However in Western pop music, Phrygian Dominant is so uncommon that I can consider solely a handful of songs which have used it. Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and Radiohead’s “Pyramid Music” are two that instantly come to thoughts — though in each instances, they mix Phrygian (a minor mode) with Phrygian Dominant (the identical mode however with a Main third as an alternative of a minor third), leading to an octatonic (8-note) scale known as “Spanish Phrygian.” In any case, I feel it was a valiant transfer for Kendrick to open his album with chords derived from this rarely-heard-in-Western-pop music mode.

Returning to Determine 2 above, we will observe that the sparse piano rhythm makes room for Kendrick’s vocal to observe a quick triplet sample, not not like his rapping within the climax of “DNA.” However right here, Kendrick’s supply begins rhythmically tight with the grid, and restrained in tone, earlier than constructing in power because the part grows in depth with chords shifting to D♭Maj7 and C7 (implying the ♭VI and V7 chords of a brand new key heart, F minor).

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OK, What Precisely Is Stream?

Each type of in style music possesses its personal central traits. For instance, the defining options of bebop embrace complicated chords and improvisation. In European classical music, useful concord and voice main are paramount. For rock & roll, it’s blues tonality and rhythm. With hip-hop, maybe its central attribute is the structural function that lyrics play — and, particularly, the best way rappers convert phonetics into music. This concept is encapsulated within the idea of “circulation.”

Stream is a rapper’s artwork of supply utilizing rhythm and articulation. We viscerally distinguish between completely different rappers’ flows primarily based on how they sound and really feel — e.g., Lauryn Hill’s neosoul circulation on “Doo-Wop (That Factor)” vs. Rakim’s poised supply on “Juice (Know The Ledge)” vs. A$AP Rocky’s sparse swagger-filled circulation on “D.M.B.” As hip-hop has developed over its 50-year historical past, flows have gotten extra assorted and complicated, with Kendrick Lamar probably serving as the proper avatar for the present-day state of this development.

Stream covers numerous completely different points of a rapper’s efficiency. In his e-book, Rap Music And The Poetics Of Id, Adam Krims describes complicated flows by their “a number of rhymes in the identical rhyme complicated, inner rhymes, offbeat rhymes, a number of syncopations, and violations of meter and metrical subdivisions of the beat.” In his paper titled “On The Metrical Strategies Of Stream In Rap Music,” Kyle Adams, Chair of the Music Concept division at Indiana College, describes flows primarily based on articulation and meter. “Articulative methods” refers to how the rapper vocalizes the phrases (legato vs. staccato, and so forth.), whereas “metrical methods” refers to when the rapper says them (placement of rhyming or accented syllables, the variety of syllables per beat, and so forth.). With respect to metrical method: Spinoff circulation is a kind of verse building the place the rapper derives the position (in time) of their syllables from the metric subdivisions of the beat they’re rapping over. In distinction, generative circulation is a kind of verse building the place the rapper’s vocal rhythms don’t essentially correlate to the underlying beat.

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In follow, the derivative-generative circulation dichotomy is definitely a continuum, with all hip-hop artists using some mixture of the 2 types (the spinoff aspect being extra frequent). Notably, Kendrick Lamar’s potential to circulation at every of the 2 extremes of the continuum, and in every single place in between, is sort of outstanding. The music “King Kunta” demonstrates his experience on the spinoff finish of the spectrum, whereas “For Free,” reveals Kendrick’s mastery of generative circulation. And “United In Grief”? The completely different components of the music fall at numerous factors in between the 2 ends.

The part described in Determine 2 above exhibits Kendrick inserting vocal rests on downbeats, and forming exact eighth-note triplet rhythms inside the voids left by the piano chords. In impact, his circulation generates a crystalline construction of subdivisions the place none exists within the backing (piano) monitor. In distinction, the subsequent part demonstrates Kendrick reinforcing an current rhythmic construction, however whereas emphasizing and de-emphasizing subdivisions in shocking and virtuosic methods. See Determine 4 under.