Lyrics vs. Entertainment – The Discussion

There’s always this heated discussion about artists that have “bars” are somewhat “better” than the ones who lack lyrical ability but can entertain the masses with their creativity in which they make music. So the question is, which one of these are better? Those who have bars and can go bar for bar against some of the pioneers of Rap & Hip-Hop? Is it those who can rock crowds and can entertain those with just the simplest of ease without any “so-called” talent?

Let’s get to chopping this topic…



So what is it do I mean by the word Bars? If I were to give a definitive definition that most people would agree with it’d be this:

1. An intricate and/or clever description of a rhyme within song using literary devices such as a metaphor, simile,  alliteration, play on of similar words, etc.

Example: Eminem – “Bad Meets Evil” (ft. Royce Da 5’9)

(Click on each bar to have a breakdown of each bar)

I don’t speak, I float in the air, wrapped in a sheet
I’m not a real person, I’m a ghost trapped in a beat

I translate when my voice is read through a seismograph
And the noise is spread
Picked up and transmitted through Royce’s head

Trap him in his room, possess him and hoist his bed
‘Til the evilness flows through his blood like poisonous lead

Told him each one of his boys is dead
I asked him to come to the dark side

He made a choice and said…

So if you selected each breakdown of the bar, you would notice that Marshall is using a ghost scheme within these 10 bars:

“I don’t speak, I float in the air, wrapped in a sheet/I’m not a real person”
Considering ghosts are commonly described as a floating, white sheet along with not being alive. Simple bar.

“I translate when my voice read through a seismograph and the noise is spread/Picked up and transmitted through Royce’s head”
A seismograph is a device used to detect vibrations of the undead or the supernatural. In this, Em is stating that whatever Em is saying, the message is being relayed through Royce Da 5’9. Simple but also intricate

– “Trap him in his room, possess him and hoist his bed/’til the evilness flows through his blood like poisonous lead
Possession is a common action that ghosts are capable of doing. Another common element in possession is one individual being hoisted in the attempt to have the ghost exorcised from the host’s body.

But there’s more to just the scheme within the bars. Did you notice that Em also displays his multi prowess at the end of every bar as well?

I don’t speak, I float in the air, wrapped in a sheet
I’m not a real person, I’m a ghost trapped in a beat

I translate when my voice is read through a seismograph
And the noise is spread
Picked up and transmitted through Royce’s head

Trap him in his room, possess him and hoist his bed
‘Til the evilness flows through his blood like poisonous lead

Told him each one of his boys is dead
I asked him to come to the dark side

He made a choice and said...

So scheming and using multi-syllables was what is presented: BARS.



So what is it do I mean by the word entertainment? Well considering there is a definition for this, I’ll provide this:

1. “The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.”

Example: Lil Uzi Vert – “Super Saiyan” (or formerly known as “Super Saiyan Trunks”)


That bitch she say that she waiting (ay)
Lil Uzi go super saiyan (ay)
That bitch she told me she taken (ay)
I still fuck her and she take it (ay)

Most of these bitches be trifling (ay)
None of these bitches I’m wifing (ay)
My main bitch I swear she dyking (ay)
Most of these bitches one night em (ay)
Hit that bitch like I’m a viking (ay)
Drink in that purple like viking (ay)
1-2-3-4-5 I pint it (ay)
Fuck with that chasers I dirt bike it (ay)
Reading her mind like I’m psychic (ay)
I am a Leo like lion (ay)
Better than me then he lying (ay)

Money older than joe biden (ay)
Swervin around in a rover (ay)
Them bitches came with a choffeur (ay)
My 4.5 don’t got no holster (ay)

Lets stray away for the bars. We’re speaking strictly on ENTERTAINMENT. Notice the flow and cadence that is being carried within the song? Besides, the “ay” after every single, notice how the flow is consistent throughout. That alone has impacted a handful of other artists to adopt this same flow (and even the “ay” ad-lib or the “yeah” ad-lib at the end of every bar) as well. To further constitute towards this definition, look below at the live performance of Uzi’s “Super Saiyan” track below.

Simple but it explains itself, yes? The way in which Uzi gives off the energy in the opening bars and the way in which the crowd rocks with him are all things that constitute towards the entertainment aspect. So the question is…

Entertainment vs. Bars: Which One Of These Is Better?

Answer: There isn’t one.

Now you start to wonder why isn’t one better than the other. This is because both of these cater to the listener’s needs. If you read in my DJ Khaled Major Key album review, I touched on the topic of two rappers. Let’s take in consideration about these two rappers again:

Let’s say Rapper A approaches you and says, “hey can I spit a verse for you real quick?” You state, “yeah sure.” Rapper A spits you an entire 16 of materialstic, commercial non-sense but the flow & multis were immaculate. But if Rapper A had said that to me, I would say, “your flow is dope…but what are you REALLY saying to me? You just told me what other artists in the game are saying: money, cars, clothes, jewels, etc.”

Now let’s flip this: Let’s say Rapper B approaches you and says, “may I spit you a verse for you real quick?” You state, “yeah sure.” Rapper B spits you an entire 16 of intellectual, intelligent bars but yet again, the flow and multis were immaculate. Now if Rapper B had came up to me with it, I’d say the same thing: “your flow is dope…but what are you REALLY saying to me? You just rapped to me what other artists in the game are saying: too many $50 dollar intricate words, rhyming bars just to rhyme bars together but it just goes wayyyyy over my head and frustrates me as a thinker. I need you to dumb it down to a point where it makes sense but it’s still clever.”

One appeals for those who like the more conscious, conceptual writer while the other appeals to those who wish for high-octane and energetic artistry played at parties and clubs. However, neither of these are better than the other. Allow me to vent…How many times have you heard that Kendrick or J. Cole is trash? How many times have you heard that Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane or Future is trash? Well let me be one to say that ALL 5 of these artists are NOT trash artists. You just don’t like what the one you believe to be is bad is providing to you content wise.

Think about it: Gucci Mane, Future and Uzi don’t aim to the conscious crowd because that’s not their type of music. I’m talking to the lyrical miracle, hip-hop snubs who much rather play verses with a message in the club. These artists are NOT.FOR.YOU. So why bag on them for what type of music that they make? Think about this…are they playing Digable Planets, ATCQ, and/or De La Soul at the function for more than a minute thirty? NOPE. Are you gonna listen to Gucci Mane, Future & Uzi for the sake of gathering some sort of conscious message whenever you need to be in your thoughts? NOPE. And that’s the problem…

Listeners are being ignorant of the purpose of what each artist can provide and should not demand something that is needed from the artists. If I wanna turn up or need to drive somewhere in the car, I’ll bump the old Trinidad Jame$, Sauce Twins, Migos, Yung Nessly or Lil Pony aka Lil Bronco (yes that is an artist and the boy is FIRE might I add) as I much well please but NEVER will I say an artist sucks because their talent and/or artistry isn’t what I desire it to be. If I wanna hear some bars or need to listen to somebody with some lyrical substance, I’ll just watch any rap battle I would decide on watching or listen to Kendrick, Los, Big Pun, or whomever. No matter what, I will not clown an artist for something that they do not specialize in. If lyrical rap is their skill, then I won’t say they’re trash because they don’t make hit records (reason be is due to the fact most of the ones that do, do not).

But What About XXL 2016?


…what about XXL in general? You’re upset because it had a handful of artists that you felt as though didn’t fit the bill? Guess what..


Take it or leave it, jokes on you. Do I agree it could have had a better roster? Sure. I wanted Tsu Surf, Tre Capital, Casey Veggies, and a couple others but again…y’all voted. If you were under the impression that XXL was for the individuals who had bars, you’re very mistaken. The XXL Freshmen is originally intended to showcase artists who have some buzz but are on the rise. Plies, Rich Boy, Young Dro, Gorilla Zoe, OJ The Juiceman, Lil Twist, YG, Future, Kid Ink, French Montana, Roscoe Dash, Trinidad James, Kirko Bangz, Chief Keef, Rich Homie Quan, Lil Durk, Kevin Gates, Lil Bibby, Ty Dolla $ign, August Alsina (the last two being the first RnB XXL Freshmen ever), Fetty Wap, Kidd Kidd, OG Maco, Shy Glizzy, K Camp, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Desiigner, G Herbo & Lil Yachty we’re not only all VOTED for but also unlike their lyrical counterpart-classmates. Alone, each style of rap is explored upon from a regional point but also what media and entertainment (the industry that is) wishes to further investigate on.

But let me also talk to the club bangin, “I on’t wanna hear no bars, I’m tryin’ to get ignant” listeners…first off, no one is asking you to listen to people with substance. To go out of line and state that no one wants to hear “dictionary rap” is insulting. Yes I understand your favorite trap rapper has “better beats” and “flow” but we’ve plenty producers who can make better beats ALONE without the help of any vocals: just ask any Phonk genre producer then come back to see me (DJ Yung Vamp what up). At the end of the day, you have to respect what these artists with overall conscious and/or substantial content because their audience is aimed for the thinkers or the ones seeking lyrics.


It’s best to just listen to your favorite and preferred artists. If you’ve never listened to a specific artist before, know what it is you’re getting into before you have the urge to say “I think (insert name, track, etc. here) is trash.” Additionally, know what to expect when listening to artists as well. If you’re seeking lyrics and/or substance, follow suit with what artists are relative to that genre and vice versa with club bangers and turn-ups. I say this so that way those of you with musically inclined tastes won’t sound ignorant in the Hip-Hop community.

End Discussion


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