“It Ain’t Hard to Tell”

Iconic Rap Voices

Mike the Visionary 

24 May 2023

Iconic Rap Voices 

Aside from the amazing production found throughout the various subgenres of rap music, the voice of whoever’s rapping is generally what draws listeners to pay closer attention. In this week’s  It Ain’t Hard to Tell piece, I’ll be analyzing some of the most iconic voices from the past few generations of rap music. The analysis will be broken down into two categories: charisma, and anger. 

Artists that rap with anger in their voice happen to be some of my favorites. Rappers such as Jadakiss and Styles P rap with anger, but aren’t screaming at you. This allows their listeners to feel and hear everything that’s being said. There are even elements of someone’s voice that make the anger sound both cooler and more recognizable, such as the raspiness in Jadakiss’s voice. That raspiness is a very distinct sound, and never fails to compliment the tone of the beat or the content of the track. On another level of angry rap, there are artists such as Raekwon and Prodigy, who aren’t screaming at you, but the volume of their voice matches the intensity of their bars. The best instance of this would be Raekwon’s entire verse on “Criminology”, it’s almost as if he’s forcing you to listen to his story. For modern rap fans, the final level of rapping with anger would be an artist such as XXXtentacion. Although X isn’t always screaming, it would be wrong to not credit him for bringing this style of rap music to mainstream. His style of anger can sometimes be difficult to understand, but the most important thing that I’ve learned from that is, certain styles of rap music are sometimes intended to vibe to, not to be lyrical.  

Artists with immense charisma bring some of the best flavor and aura to rap music, something that artists such as Ghostface Killah and Method Man have both proven overtime. Whether it’s their solo work or simply being featured on a track, these artists have always provided their fans with the best/ most suitable type of energy for certain tracks. Ghostface Killah and Method Man are my prime examples from the 90’s-2000’s era of rap music. These two have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they can lyrically walk on any boom-bap beat. What sets them apart from others, is how they’re capable of rapping over both the grimy beats of the 90s and R&B tracks in the same exact tone. “Holla” and “One” are two different tracks, yet Ghostface can be heard rapping with the same swag and a similar tone. Akin to Ghostface, Method Man can be heard doing something similar on the tracks, “I’ll Be There for You (featuring Mary J. Blige)” and “Bring the Pain”. Ghostface and Method Man obviously weren’t the first to rap over both boom-bap and R&B, but the style in which they did it has an impact on how current rappers do it, such as the artists of Griselda (Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine).


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