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November 14, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-14

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2B - Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

A history lesson on
hip- hop's hype men

Daily Arts Writers dig through recent
Spotify releases to find the tracks worth
revisiting or discovering.

f you've ever been to a hip-
hop show, you've probably
noticed that guy jumping
around next to your favorite
rapper, barking out the last few
words of
every lyric
and pumping
up the crowd
with the
usual "wave
your hands
side to side"
or "somebody JACKSON
scream!" HOWARD
This guy, the
hype man,
has been an integral part of hip
hop since its inception in the
late 1970s. The concept of a hype
man makes perfect sense for
rap culture, as freestyling and
battle-rapping - two of the most
basic forms of hip hop - are as
dependent on the cheering of the
crowds as they are on the indi-
vidual lyricist's ability.
Flavor Flav for Public Enemy,
Spliff Star for Busta Rhymes,
Tony Yayo for 50 Cent and Mem-
phis Bleek for Jay-Z are just some
examples of hype men who have
played important roles in rap-
per's performances. For Wu-Tang
Clan, every member doubles as
both a rapper and a hype man,
while producers such as Swizz
Beatz, Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon
and Diddy all play hype man-
like roles on the stage and in the
On the other hand, hype men
can get boring and annoying. I've
been to countless rap shows, and
it's always refreshing when a rap-.
per performs without his hype
man or DJ yelling every other
word. Today, rappers continue
to use hype men on stage. In the
booth, however, it's a different
story, as hype men have never
had the same presence in the stu-
dio as they have on stage. Instead,
it's on the artists to pump them-
selves with double-layered vocals
and, most importantly, random,
shouted ad-libs.
Many popular rappers use
their own catch phrases as
momentum trampolines for
their own rhymes. Jeezyuses
a plethora of cryptic, smoker's
lung-sounding shouts after his
verses, while Rick Ross's guttural
unghhhh and barks of "BAWSE"
can be expected on almost every
song. Waka Flocka deserves
recognition for his insane use of
and repeated self-made gun
sounds, while Gucci Mane will
forever be known for his trade-
mark "BURRRR" and "Yeahhhh-
hhh." Ad-libs like these, such as
Big Sean's "Oh Gawd" and French
Montana/Kanye's "Hannnnnnh,"
give artists signature identifiers
and provide more emphasis to
each verse.
Southern rappers in particular
- Jeezy, Ross, Gucci Mane, etc.
- have a particularknack fornot
only creating repeated ad-libs, but
also for shouting outhilarious and
threatening back-up vocals that
pertain specificallyto the lyrical
content itself, not just a random

Itotook half a seasonto doit,
but "Masters of Sex" moved past
awkward foreplay and finally
got down to
business in
Sunday night's
"All Together
really are OfSex
coming "All Together
together for ow"
the fledgling
drama: The Showtime
fabulous Alli-
son Janney
is involved in a multi-episode
affair, there are two established
love triangles forming around
Virginia, Jane can spell anes-
thesiaand, oh yeah, Masters and
Johnson have started having sex
(scientific sex, of course, butsex
For the first time, the second-
aryplots lineup with the main
plot to make apoint. Every
character is trying to figure out
her or his ownsex life, whether

word. Especially in the last three
or four years, Atlanta artists such
as Future, Rich Homie Quan and
Migos have released hit songs
in which the backingvocals are
just as important as the lead.
Most renowned is former Three
6 Mafia member Juicy J, who,
coming from Memphis, shares a
similar cultural background as the
aforementioned Southern up-and-
Many rappers simply repeat
their last word for emphasis, but
a select few have mastered the
art of explanatory and absurd ad-
libbing. Because I find this trend
hysterical but also quite fascinat-
ing in the cyclical evolution of hip

"Drowning in compliments, pool
in the backyard that look like
Metropolis," Drake raps at the
beginning. Migos follows with
"Metropolis?" and it's not really
clear whether he's genuinely per-
plexed as to what Metropolis is or
if he's just egging Drake on.
My other favorite comes when,
after Drake spits, "I do not fuck
with your new shit, my nigga,
don't ask for take on it," Migos
shouts out, "Don't ask for my
opinion," warding off potential
questioners in case Drake's mes-
sage wasn't clear enough.
Juicy J


hop, I'v
years. G
son unli
(ain't n
"That c
feel son
ho!)," R
one's ov
his ad-li
the star
she ma!
look lik
just a cr
ing nibb
Tyson b
field's e
Rich H
for look
lutely k
can't he
so ridic
Migos i
from A'
their tr
on the:
born. D
first mi
song, a:
own ad
to do th
ping, M
also she

e come up with a few of my Juicy J is, right now, the
ad-libs from the past few undisputed king of ad-libbing. In
et ready for an English les- addition to his signature shouts
ike any you've ever had. of "Yeah, ho!" "Bitch!" "Yessir!"
"MMHMM!" "You know it!"
e of Way"- Rich Homie "Strippers!" and, of course, "We
Quan Trippy Mane," Juicy is a master
of creative and vulgar back-
the second line, "Ain't no grounds.
what he'll do for the paper Take "Durr She Go," a track
o telling!)," to the chorus, featuring Travis Porter off his
ustom Breitling make you mixtape Rubba Band Business 2.
e type of way (I'm shining "What's yo name, nigga?" back-
ich Homie has certainly ground Juicy shouts, leading real
ed the art of becoming Juicy to rap, "They call me Juicy
wn hype man. However, J, I'm in the getting-high busi-
ib magnum opus comes at ness." Talking about a certain
t of his first verse, singing, stripper he had relations with,
I get to biting on her ear Juicy raps, "And I've done shown
ke that Tyson face (don't everybody cell phone pictures
e that!)" First off, this is (naked!)," adding naked just to
'azy line, and connect- make sure you truly understand.
bling on a woman's ear to My favorite mixtape of his,
biting off Evander Holy- Blue Dream and Lean, overflows
ar is genius. Just imagining with ad-lib gems. "Errbody
omie yelling at his woman Wave" has a great selection,
ing like Mike Tyson abso- including my personal choice:
ills me; I mean, what if she "And they reaching in your pock-
lp it? ets for them Franklins (that's
mine!)" In this line, background
ace" - Migos featuring Juicy really places you at the
Drake scene of this robbery, and it's easy
to imagine him smackingsome
ad-libs in this song are guy for some money and shout-
ulous that they basically ing, "That's mine!"
d me to write this article. Juicy clearly loves adding more
s a group of three rappers description to his lines through
tlanta who blew up when his ad-libs. On "Get Higher" he
ap anthem about Versace rhymes, "I'm so fucked up play-
Drake's ear. He hopped ing PS3 (my favorite!)," while on
remix, and a banger was "Lucky Charm" he raps, "She
rake's verse takes up the short and red, remind me of
nute and a half of the a dynamite (she hot!)." "Been
nd instead of doing his Gettin Money" is funny even
-libs, he enlisted Migos for Juicy: "I gotbad bitches
iem for him. Perfection walking round me, tan perfect
d. (white hoes!)." I'm not really sure
whether he's complimentingthe
white girls around him for being
-libs serve a tan, or what this means, but the
fact that he shouts out "white
tal purpose hoes!" is worth mentioning.
Ad-libs like these, as stupid as
n modern they seem, serve vital purposes
in pumpingup listeners and
rap music, making certain lines more mem-
orable. They also give artists
their own recognizable identi-
ties. "You know it!" Juicy shouts
ugh Drake is the one rap- on "Geeked Up Off Them Bars"
igos's overly enthusiastic after rapping, "Juicy J one crazy
ounds give the song an high ass nigga," the perfect com-
'new dimension while pliment to just another line of
owcasing Migos's hilarious plane insanity.


ARTPOP - Lady Gaga
The tracklist alone for ARTPOP seems like a
work of bizarre Gaga performance art in and of
itself. "G.U.Y."? "MANiCURE"? "Fashion!"? What
is this album? After a first listen-through, you
won't have many answers. ARTPOP has moments
of classic Gaga pop and moments of ... something
entirely different, including a confusingly trappy
track featuring T.I., Too $hort and Twista. Though
it lacks cohesion, ARTPOP on the whole outshines
its Top-40-ready lead single, "Applause." Feel free
to skip that one during your full-album listen.

"Perfume" - Britney Spears
Whereas the heavily EDM-influenced "Work
Bitch" shows off Britney's bad side, "Perfume"
is a stripped-down Britney ballad that's more
"Lucky" than "Toxic." The lyrics are admittedly
simplistic and schmaltzy, but there's an emo-
tional vulnerability to "Perfume" that makes it
clear why Britney herself said releasing the song
feels like she's sharing a piece of her heart. If
nothing else, "Perfume" at least seems to be the
perfect material for alate-night karaoke session
fueled by alcohol and feels.


"All Bad" - Justin Bieber
In his latest Music Mondays gift, J.Biebz goes
on the defensive, most likely in response to the
tabloid troubles the teen has faced lately. Regard-
less of whether his apologetic words are true
or not, it's a catchy track, a slice of post-R&B
moodiness that marks a departure from his more
bubblegummy Believe hoppers. Airy instrumen-
tals and whispery vocals lend to the bleak angst
Bieber is really driving home with his most recent
work. Hey, it's really not so bad.

"A World Alone" - Lorde
Every time you start feeling bad about your-
self, just think about the fact that Lorde is 17
years old and probably more talented than you'll
ever be. With a stark guitar line and breath-
taking vocals, "A World Alone" is the perfect
closer for her debut studio album, Pure Heroine.
The teenaged art pop princess croons, "You're
my best friend and we're dancing in the world
alone," perfectly capturing the introspective
tone of the whole album.

personality. Almost every ad-lib
here is golden, and it's impos-
sible to pick the best one, but I
have a few that are real favorites:

Howard is searching for a
hype man. To apply, e-mail


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