Listening to music can be a great way to improve your English fluency, just as long as you take the time to 1) sing along 2) reflect over what’s being said.
One of the best genres of music to dive into is rap. When it’s bad, it’s really bad. It can be formulaic, talking about money, girls, and money and girls.
But when it’s good, it’s really, really good. Rappers can be some of the best wordsmiths out there. More prolific than any poetic. Quick witted with a variety of ways to deliver the same message. These are the perfect kind of speaking models for English learners.
And yes, I understand it can be tricky. Sometimes even native speakers aren’t even sure what rappers are talking about. That problem can cause a lot of debate over misheard lyrics. There’s even websites dedicated to interpreting the meaning to songs.
To help ease into things, I made a new rap. Let’s check out the lyrical choices and the meaning.
Uhhh, I want to talk about a love so ruthless, I call it ‘ruthless love’. Cuz it doesn’t matter what it chooses, makes you feelin’ stupid.
To me, the intro is the hardest part of rapping because they hardly ever make any sense. I did my best to replicate that here. I give a brief preview of the song with some unnecessary repetition.
“It doesn’t matter what it chooses” refers to the fact that no matter the outcome, love can make you feel dumb.
Love is ruthless
Love’s an irritant
Love’s a black hole
All the time spent
Love can be cold and heartless. It’s also annoying. And just like a blackhole that sucks things in, love’s like that too! And in that chaos, you lose track of time.
All the money spent
All that money lost
Love is heavy, man
Love can be expensive (think of all those dates). And when things don’t work out, instead of feeling worthwhile, you’ll feel like it was all a waste. Love can be overly serious. Double meaning on heavy here.
Love’s a bad boss
Long nights and long days
Got you Screwed over
Workin overtime but underpaid
Love can push you around (like a bad boss; being bossy). Like a bad job that asks you to work long unnecessary hours, a bad relationship can ask the same kind of effort from you.
Minimum wage, Minimum wage
Can I get a raise?
Keep askin for a raise
But I can’t get a raise
People often complain about not being paid enough for their work. In a bad relationship, you might feel like you’re not getting fair treatment. Even if you try to negotiate something better, you just get denied.
Rays of sunshine
Love’s kinda cloudy
My love was only with you
But your love was without me
Word choice of rays because it rhymes with raise. Often, when people think of love, they think of sunshine. But the truth is, love doesn’t always shine so bright (i.e. cloudy). And here’s the real kicker: it turns out the love mentioned in this song was one-sided.
Love is ruthless
What it chooses
The capstone of the recurring theme of the song: love can be rough, illogical, and painful.
Got a rap request? Send them my way! letstalk (at) commdao.com