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View Full Version : Wierd time signatures in hip-hop


tancen
02-13-2007, 05:39 PM
Why does hip-hop songs always have to be in 4/4? is it because no rapper are able to rap in another time signature? As far as i know, there are about none hip-hop waltzs, and that would be cool to hear... I really think some dj should try out making a beat in 5/4 or 7/8... i would be realy amazed if that happened :P

Bedlam
02-13-2007, 05:57 PM
it just doesnt flow well, plain and simple

Sun Tzu, Tha Soul Controllah
02-13-2007, 08:47 PM
it just doesnt flow well, plain and simple

^^^ what he said

it doesn't sound right

Tito_Para Enfrente
02-13-2007, 08:58 PM
I Know What U Guys Are Talking About. I Dont Know. / As An M C.. Im Trying To Get At Producing Too..

I Just Write.. But I Dont Even Know How To Spit In Bars..

With One Paper .. I Just Go On From There I Dont Stop

Memory Man
02-13-2007, 11:13 PM
Nas' Heaven from God's Son is in 6/8 and flows well. there are others as well...

Bedlam
02-14-2007, 01:38 AM
^ I don't think so. It's got a constant snare that is never off its pace. Sounds like 4/4 to me.

Ginnsey
02-14-2007, 07:32 AM
Pritty much "nearly" all music not just Hip Hop is in 4/4.

J-DON
02-14-2007, 01:25 PM
Spaceship by Kanye is 3/3

Sun Tzu, Tha Soul Controllah
02-14-2007, 01:26 PM
Spaceship by Kanye is 3/3

a 3/3 time signature is not possible

da kid toney
02-14-2007, 03:26 PM
im always on 6 / 6

Jon Quest
02-14-2007, 04:47 PM
spaceship is in 4/4...

Sun Tzu, Tha Soul Controllah
02-14-2007, 07:10 PM
im always on 6 / 6


ur always on theif mode fuck outta here

J-DON
02-14-2007, 07:19 PM
yes 3/4, my bad.

GENERAL WISE
02-14-2007, 09:45 PM
I am always on 6/12's

btw no idea wtf a time signature is.

Memory Man
02-15-2007, 01:45 AM
^ I don't think so. It's got a constant snare that is never off its pace. Sounds like 4/4 to me.

count the beats. kick-2-3 snare-2-3.

it's in 6/8. only odd meters like 7/8 would have an irregular snare pattern.

tancen
02-15-2007, 05:22 PM
tonedeff and louis logic both rap in diff. time signatures at times

Others than 6/8? can you upload examples?

jocke
07-24-2009, 07:25 AM
I'm planning to write a rap song in 11/8. It will be divided like 2+2+3+2+2. If you want to hear my rap music, it's on www.myspace.com/viknullardig haha

MadConductor
01-18-2010, 11:21 PM
The Mad Conductor has just released a four song EP entitled "Central America". It is a hip-hop record where all the songs stray from traditional 4/4 time. This has not been done very often but can sound very interesting and cool if done properly. Give the single "Cross Gates Estates" a listen at Myspace.com/themadconductor or go to Amazon.com and hear the samples, the mp3-EP is available on Amazon for $3.56. This may be the next step in hip-hop music.

BIG D O
01-19-2010, 02:00 AM
most are 4/4 because that's what works for a steady loop....Hip-Hop production is creative enough within the 4/4 measure....

only other music that uses other time signatures is orchestral music or music that doesn't derive it's ryhtym from drums/percussion...that's the way it is most times anyway....

Cthulhu
01-19-2010, 02:28 AM
most are 4/4 because that's what works for a steady loop....Hip-Hop production is creative enough within the 4/4 measure....

only other music that uses other time signatures is orchestral music or music that doesn't derive it's ryhtym from drums/percussion...that's the way it is most times anyway....

Not true at all. There's plenty of jazz in non-4/4 time signatures and that's a very rhythm section driven genre.
Lots of extreme metal, particularly technical death metal uses odd time signatures with frequent changes and the drums are extremely important in driving and accentuating songs in those genres.
Plenty of experimental electronic music such as breakcore use drums samples in odd time signatures. Listen to just about anything by Venetian Snares.

SL33
01-19-2010, 03:26 AM
Not true at all. There's plenty of jazz in non-4/4 time signatures and that's a very rhythm section driven genre.
Lots of extreme metal, particularly technical death metal uses odd time signatures with frequent changes and the drums are extremely important in driving and accentuating songs in those genres.
Plenty of experimental electronic music such as breakcore use drums samples in odd time signatures. Listen to just about anything by Venetian Snares.


nice post.

fatboybrandon
01-19-2010, 08:44 AM
Others than 6/8? can you upload examples?

s732BigTxZk

the little excerpt at the end of Slum Village's Fall In Love where T3 sounds like he's freestyling


then I like songs like these where the beat is still 4/4 but a sloooow tempo and the MC is rhyming in an increased time signature, also the percussion is increased making it sound faster:
MheKZ5lNEcY

qKYSfCimZNA

Enimem - Superman

Dr. Dre - Forgot About Dre

Ghost In The 'Lac
01-19-2010, 09:58 AM
Nas' Heaven from God's Son is in 6/8 and flows well. there are others as well...

great example, this beat works really well

im pretty positive alot of Madvillainy and the Further Adventures of Lord Quas are not in 4/4

also Donuts and mid 90's rza

fatboybrandon
01-19-2010, 10:21 AM
Some Hi Tek hot shit:

qKPlttAw70Y
dope beat from his first solo release, this feels dreamlike to me the way the rhythm is flowing and smooth sounds used

rgQQBevFZhA

Love Language is still 4/4, but the length of meter between when the snares land is longer than usual, making it feel like an original time signature of hip hop


somebody asked about Jazz timing earlier in this thread, I don't know anybody who flipped a Jazz time sig in hip hop better than J Dilla on Electric Circus's "I Am Music" w Common. This one of my favorite cuts on that album, Common flows like water even on this weird time signature:

mrUvlCHTBXM

I consider Jay Dee and Hi Tek two dudes who brought alota heat and creativity to the table for hip hop production in the early 2000's, I guess this is a small example of that

Cthulhu
01-19-2010, 04:58 PM
not hip-hop, but this Venetian Snares track is definitely of interest to rap heads as it features numerous samples from Sway & King Tech's "The Anthem." I'm not sure what time signature it's in, but a lot of his stuff is in 7/4.

1w1e0Wv2Yg8

fatboybrandon
01-19-2010, 06:20 PM
This banger from Jay-Z to end The Black Album in 3/4 time, this song stood out to me on the first listen to what I thought would be his final LP.

bNLP0In4Oi0

BIG D O
01-20-2010, 12:56 AM
Not true at all. There's plenty of jazz in non-4/4 time signatures and that's a very rhythm section driven genre.
Lots of extreme metal, particularly technical death metal uses odd time signatures with frequent changes and the drums are extremely important in driving and accentuating songs in those genres.
Plenty of experimental electronic music such as breakcore use drums samples in odd time signatures. Listen to just about anything by Venetian Snares.

death metal and jazz don't derive their rythym from the percussion to me....those derive their rythyms from the instrumentation....you ride along with the flute, horn, sax, guitar etc., more so than the drums/percussion which in those cases are simply used to like you said accentuate....accentuation ain't punctuation....

you are right that other genres do use more than the standard 4/4, but it's rare.....most of the time when it comes to rock, blues, country, jazz, funk, Hip-Hop, soul and pop that's gonna be the time sig my man....and if not that, then 2/2....

only types of music that consistently uses a complex time sig is a waltz or a ballad of some sort as well as Italian or French folk dance music....

I'll give you the nod on the experimental and electronic music comments because i don't mess with that stuff at all and to speak on that would be way outta my depth...

oDoUoSoKo
01-20-2010, 01:06 AM
This banger from Jay-Z to end The Black Album in 3/4 time, this song stood out to me on the first listen to what I thought would be his final LP.

bNLP0In4Oi0
thats not so very unusual...plenty of HH songs in three

MAYOR QUIMBY
01-20-2010, 01:49 AM
What time signature would the song "MONEY" by Pink Floyd be? Or "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles?

5hundred&one
01-20-2010, 02:06 AM
Not true at all. There's plenty of jazz in non-4/4 time signatures and that's a very rhythm section driven genre.
Lots of extreme metal, particularly technical death metal uses odd time signatures with frequent changes and the drums are extremely important in driving and accentuating songs in those genres.
Plenty of experimental electronic music such as breakcore use drums samples in odd time signatures. Listen to just about anything by Venetian Snares.

jazz & metal don't rely on rhythm nearly as much as hip-hop. neither have roots in dance music for one thing. jazz is driven by the rhythm section, but it's not naturally a rhythmic style of music. just sayin.

Some Hi Tek hot shit:

qKPlttAw70Y
dope beat from his first solo release, this feels dreamlike to me the way the rhythm is flowing and smooth sounds used

rgQQBevFZhA

Love Language is still 4/4, but the length of meter between when the snares land is longer than usual, making it feel like an original time signature of hip hop


hi-tek's dope, good post.

What time signature would the song "MONEY" by Pink Floyd be? Or "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles?

money is 7/4 in the verses & 4/4 everywhere else. you might think it would be more common, but it's hard to sing over, and if you listen to money, the verses are very fragmented and he only sings short lines at a time, which is the easiest way to make it work. that song is genius. all you need is love is also in 7/4 mostly, but it's even more mixed with 6/4 and 4/4 during some parts. to find out a time signature, learn what a beat and a measure are and then listen to a song and count the beats per measure and how many measures there are in a section and that's the time signature.

7 beats in 4 measures is 7/4 for example.

another example of 3/4 is drunk and hot girls by kanye west & mos def.

SL33
01-20-2010, 03:27 AM
* rates the thread






http://birdmanstuna.com/birdman8.jpg

Edgar Erebus
01-20-2010, 03:49 PM
This is in 5/4.

tdMIf9DSe0M

Cthulhu
01-21-2010, 01:48 AM
death metal and jazz don't derive their rythym from the percussion to me....those derive their rythyms from the instrumentation....you ride along with the flute, horn, sax, guitar etc., more so than the drums/percussion which in those cases are simply used to like you said accentuate....accentuation ain't punctuation.....

jazz & metal don't rely on rhythm nearly as much as hip-hop. neither have roots in dance music for one thing. jazz is driven by the rhythm section, but it's not naturally a rhythmic style of music. just sayin.

Trying to reply to both but also to some specific things.

To BIG DO, well I would also say punctuate as well, especially for metal, but for jazz too.

For both of you: I'm no expert on jazz, but all the basic major stuff like Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Nelson, etc. sounds very rhythm oriented to me. Sure, the solos become the focus of attention, just like the lyrics/flows do in rap, but you'd be nowhere without the drum backing, even if it's more subtle than in hip-hop.

To Juice Box, how can you say jazz doesn't have roots in dance music? Ragtime, swing, big band, and bebop were all made originally for people to dance to. Only the blues element of jazz doesn't really stem from a dance music and the more sophisticated, less danceable styles of jazz, like modal and progressive jazz didn't really emerge until the 60s. The first few decades of jazz were all styles meant for dancing as well as listening.

As far as metal goes..... yeah none of it is rooted in dance music, but it has its forms of "dancing" although metalheads would probably be upset if I called moshing dancing. In any case, a number of styles of metal, particularly brutal and technical death metal, have rhythmic "cues" for mosh pit behavior that could be considered analogous to cues for dancing in other types of music. This is essentially what "breakdowns" are, even though the overuse is becoming a trendy thing in crappy myspace metalcore/deathcore bands.

In any case, here's some examples of metal where the drums and rhythm are extremely important. Indeed, the guitar riffs might still be the main attention grabber of the song and perhaps the basis of how they wrote it, but the drumming is almost equally important. It doesn't merely accentuate the song, it's an indispensable building structure, plus the guitars actually play "percussive" parts.

Bowq1s9ohDY
(many would say Flo Mounier's drumming actually steals the show on this one. Check out the beat construction on 1:04).

nPw0JUptfUM

peSZycHnC_c

Cthulhu
01-21-2010, 02:02 AM
back to hip-hop:

these songs sound a little off-kilter, but I'm not good at counting time signatures so I can't tell if they aren't actually 4/4 still:

Djjev7n3N5I
uE7mfZCEd2M

EDIT: nvm, I think they are still 4/4. Rhymes aren't in normal meter, though.