A Rap Connoisseur’s Favourite Poetic Rap Lyrics Explained

Aymes Sarah
7 min readOct 16, 2020

If you think this genre isn’t deep, you’ve been listening to the wrong kind of hip-hop

Photograph by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

I am a massive hip-hop fan. I’m not only talking about the stuff on the radio because some of those songs admittingly lack substance: I’m talking about lyrical hip-hop.

Rap was created to be a voice for Black people and has been a perfect outlet for oppression and racism ever since.

It has also been a voice for other people of other nationalities that may not have these deep roots in the genre, but still enjoy performing the music and writing the rhymes.

Atmosphere, God’s Bathroom Floor

From a head full of pressure
Rests the senses that I clutch
Made a date with divinity but she wouldn’t let me fuck
I got touched by a hazy shade of god, help me change
Caught a rush on the floor from the life in my veins

I’ll start this list with my favorite rap group, Minnesota’s Atmosphere. Slug, who is the rapper of the group and writer of the rhymes, writes storytelling hip-hop lyrics about struggles he’s never experienced.

This is my favorite thing about this group, Slug is so good at capturing the essence of struggles he has never had himself. Ant, Atmosphere’s deejay, picks the perfect musical backdrop to showcase Slug's amazing wordplay.

This song is about drug addiction. He is describing an overdose and how he intended to kill himself but a higher power didn’t allow it and his life is spared. After he realizes what has happened, he begs for the strength to kick his addiction.

These lyrics are set to a deep drum and sax beat, making for a beautifully haunting, melancholy song.

Ice Cube, Bird in The Hand

I didn’t have no money so now I have to punch the
Clock like a slave, that’s what be happenin’
But whitey says there’s no room for the African
Always knew that I would clock G’s
But welcome to McDonald’s can I take your order, please
Gotta sell ya food that might give you cancer
’Cause my son doesn’t take no for an answer

This man needs no introduction, he was one of the founding members of the legendary rap group N.W.A. Ice Cube, along…

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Aymes Sarah

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊