The Instigator
ShadowKingStudios
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
charlie97
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Hip Hop: Flow is the Vocal Presentation of Your Lyrics--Not the Written Text

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ShadowKingStudios
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 971 times Debate No: 61357
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

ShadowKingStudios

Pro

Any opponent accepting this challenge will lose.

There is a common misconception that lyrical text demonstrates lyrical flow. First, this is utter crap.
Second, there is no logical argument feasible against the practicality that the way you write your lyrics will determine the way they can be recited. These two points are not equivalent.

The error made by many DDO rap debaters is that written words equal flow. Not only is this misleading, it's completely not of Hip Hop origins. In fact, the first time I witnessed a person mistaking lyrical text as flow was from DDO member Mikal. This member has led his clique of followers & some anti-Mikal-shitty-fhucking-character haters to spew this wad of pungent fecal throughout DDO, while never providing a credible, Hip Hop-affiliated source as defense. Akin to Joseph Goebbels's claim "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it"--many on DDOers believe this big fat lie propagated by Mikal. There is no reliable, authoritative Hip Hop source validating it as veracity. If there is, here is your opportunity to discredit me, force me to adopt your "alleged" truism, & make me retreat to silence.

Premise:
Flow is the Vocal Presentation of Your Lyrics--Not the Written Text


Resolution:
(Pro) Flow is the Vocal Presentation of Your Lyrics;
(Con) Flow is the Textual Presentation of Your Lyrics.


Proposition:
Proving your case upon a preponderance of evidence[1]:
1.) Consensus definition of flow;
2.) at least one credible Hip Hop guru (emcee, producer, historian, journalistic critic) with an opinion validating your case;
3.) independent Hip Hop analyses; and
4.) a coherent, logically presented case.

Not all points are needed to establish your case, but a preponderance of them is needed to meet the burden of proof.

Burden of Proof:
Shared; with a determined victor presenting a preponderance of "reliable Hip Hop-affiliated sources".


DDO Voting Criteria:
Conduct- Debater adhered to the Propositions of #1, #3, & #4.
Most Convincing Argument- Debater with the best convincing Proposition point of #3 & #4.
Reliable Sources- Debater with the higher number of reliable Hip Hop-affiliated sources.
Comment- Detailed RFD of Debater's strongest ("most convincing") argument.
Round FF- Mandates NO AWARDED POINTS. To DDO mods, if any points are awarded to a debater with a forfeiture, please remove those points based on this judging criteria.



Proceedings:
R1- Pro's Presentation & General Rules (ANY amendments by Con must be presented before accepting challenged, published in R1, published in comment section, & followed by Pro stating "I concur with amendments by Con". Con's acceptance.
R2- A consensus-based definition of flow. A minimum of 3 correlating definitions of flow; dictionary definitions that relate to rap only; encyclopedia entries that relate to rap only; debater can add a famous rapper's quote about flow.
R3- At least one credible Hip Hop guru with an opinion validating your case and/or independent Hip Hop analyses of what is flow in Hip Hop.
R4- A concise, fact-laden argument supporting your position. ANY serious allegations that are not common knowledge must be supported by a linked source. DO NOT MAKE a statement in like manner: "Vote for Me".

Opponents are permitted to expose blatant misrepresentations by the other one time per fallacy. Concise rebuttals for defense of allegation. Voters are free to count it against the debater with points in favor to the debater who exposed them.


1-http://dictionary.law.com...
charlie97

Con

I largely disagree with the manner in which debates are structured and organized on this site; my arguments will thusly be presented in a concise and socially practical manner. In other, simpler terms, I won't structure this argument as anything more than a direct dialogue between me (Pro) and you (Con).

Your argument, as I understand it, vests its prime contention in the idea that the written word does not dictate the way in which a verse is recited in a rap song; in other words, the written word is secondary and not intrusive to the "flow" (or spoken word, verbal presentation, etc.) of a given rap song.

To begin, I present a counter-example: an excerpt from Eminem's "Business".

"You 'bout to witness hip-hop in it's most purest/more rawest form/flow almost flawless/most
hardest, most honest known artist/chip off the old block, but ol' Doc is, {back}/looks like
Batman brought his own Robin/oh God, Sadam's got his own Laden/with his own private plane, his
own pilot/set to blow college dorm rooms doors off the hinges/oranges, peach, pears, plums,
syringes/{vnn vnn}, yeah here I come/i'm inches/away from you/dear fear none/hip-hop is in
a state of 911/ so..."

Firstly, your perspective erroneously neglects the complexity of literary devices; particularly the nuances of syntax and rhythmic formation. Adopting your thesis would mean that the Shakespearean Iambic Pentameter would not work, as it fundamentally contradicts the nature of your argument. In truth, much has been said about the written word, but mainly in media theory. As Neil Postman put it, the spoken word is temporary while the written word lasts. Rappers write with this idea in mind: what they write, (ie, the lyrical content of their music), will likely outlive the music itself. In knowing this, they typically attempt to infuse their unique flow on a functional level. In my example, I'd like to draw attention to a particular line:

"set to blow college dorm rooms doors off the hinges/oranges, peach, pears, plums,
syringes"

In this case, the written word came first, and Eminem and his producers were forced to engineer a rhyme scheme and chord progression that would fit the diction in such a way that it wouldn't prove intrusive to the song's flow. Effectively, Eminem built the song's flow around the written word. In the line above, "oranges" would break a flow that did not establish the prerequisite ("doors off the hinges") in such a way that "orange" could be modified. As orange does not have any rhyming words in the English language, a modification was made; it is here that the written word most clearly intrudes and modifies a flow. This is how music works. The written word comes first, and the music is built around its foundations. Indeed, though there are exceptions as to how a musician writes his music, flow is dictated by the written word. This is not true when it comes to poems, as the phonetic arts predate the written word. That is not to say, however, that rap can transcend the written word.

Though we cannot neglect that there does exist a few parallels between them, rap songs and poems are fundamentally different in one important way: Rap, as we know it, is, as I see it, a modern take on poems, influenced by popular culture and cultivated by a fundamentally commercial and selfish desire to sell. By such a definition, Rap is a creation of popular culture; a creation that resulted from the influence of the written word. Media theory plays an important role here. Marshall McLuhan, a media theorist most known for "The Medium is The Message", said that " All media are extensions of some human faculty -- psychic or physical". The written word is an exception to this assertion, as it exists psychologically as an abstract concept but simultaneously manifests in the real word, through some form of media.

Ultimately, it's what the author of a given piece intends to write that dictates the flow and direction of that piece. Rap is no exception. The written word, or intended abstraction, entirely determines the presentation of any given piece.
Debate Round No. 1
ShadowKingStudios

Pro

R1 was for acceptance not arguments.

Flow.
As I've stated it is the vocalization of your words & how you pronounce them in order to maintain rhythm & cadence.
According to Genius.com's the Rapper's Flow Encyclopedia, Martin Connor explains flow: "The three categories we can use to describe a rapper’s flow that concern us here...[He then gives 3 terms that pertain to vocalizing words.] When I say the word “flow”, it means the rhythmic structure that arises in a rap from the interaction between the rapper’s words and the strictly musical rhythms of those words...."[1]
[1]- http://genius.com...
Martin Connor, a credible independent Hip Hop analyst? You decide: http://genius.com...

I was prepared to unleash a plethora of credible evidence explaining flow pertains to your vocalization of words with rhythm & cadence. But as I read Con's arguments I saw them riddled with false or irrelevant claims. So instead of flooding you with facts upon facts this round about vocalized flow (but keeping to the guidelines), I'll address Con in rebuttals that crumble his case with elementary revelation.

Rebuttals:

"Your argument, as I understand it, vests its prime contention in the idea that the written word does not dictate the way in which a verse is recited in a rap song..."
- Actually Con, my prime resolution is the opposite: "Flow is the Vocal Presentation of Your Lyrics." There is nothing scientific or theoretical about this resolution. It is as simple as it is state. Flow, in Hip Hop, is your vocalization of your or someone else's written or orally-heard lyrics. If I write a rap it is my written lyrical guide. But the moment I begin to vocalize the text the written lyrics are transformed into a workable flow of harmonious sounds.

"...your perspective erroneously neglects the complexity of literary devices..."
- Actually the mere simplistic understanding of my resolution locks one's mental aptitude into the logical fact that "flow" is born out of the pronunciation of "words" whether written down then recited or created instantaneously through the artistic form Hip Hop calls "freestyle".

" Adopting your thesis would mean that the Shakespearean Iambic Pentameter would not work, as it fundamentally contradicts the nature of your argument."
- You have not given a visual example of an iambic pentameter, therefore we have no evidence to substantiate your allegation of it "not work[ing]" or "contradict[ing] the nature of [my] argument." Please provide visual evidence & not speculation (or like the respectful courtroom legal term "facts not in evidence").

"...much has been said about the written word, but mainly in media theory..."
- Are we going to deal in theories or realities? Indeed, my R1 presentation of the rules, to any logical-thinking person's inspection, emphatically mandates verifiable evidence not theoretical guesswork. I humbly bring out this prediction I made, my first words written were "Any opponent accepting this challenge will lose." No, I didn't state this out of vainglory, but out of understanding of the erroneous sentiment that written words means flow in Hip Hop. And here, you begin your argumentation with a theory.

" Rappers write with this idea in mind: what they write, (ie, the lyrical content of their music), will likely outlive the music itself."
- This is a very titillating statement. But sadly it is one of speculation since you did not follow the rule of providing "a famous rapper's" words about "flow" nor citing a "credible Hip Hop guru" to "validat[e] your case." We have no evidence of any rapper testifying as you claim that they "write with this idea in mind: what they write...will likely outlive the music itself." Yes, a very titillating statement, but it lacks an authority to substantiate it.

"In this case, the written word came first..."
- This argumentation is all wrong. Where is the proof that Eminem wrote these lyrics before he vocalized them? Wait, before you answer. Here is the 800 pound gorilla that completely destroys this argument: perhaps Slim Shady freestyled them before writing them, making flow come before the written words. I'm not attempting to prove the contrary, just revealing your allegation is unsubstantiated, effectively nullifying your angle of argument here because its guesswork.

"In the line above, "oranges" would break a flow that did not establish the prerequisite ("doors off the hinges") in such a way that "orange" could be modified. "
- Wrong, sir. The removal of "oranges" does not "break the flow", a removal would simply eliminate a rhyming word. The vocalization would still be smooth, the rhyming rhythm would still be audible.

"As orange does not have any rhyming words in the English language..."
Evidence #1
"Pull up to the park in somethin foreign
Tangerine Porsche same color a orange"[2]
[2]- http://rap.genius.com...
(Click on 0:55 I set for instant reference)

Evidence #2
Here in the link below we see a rhyme dictionary basing orange's many rhyming words off syllabic phonetics.
http://www.rhymezone.com...


"...flow is dictated by the written word..."
- Umm, who is contesting that? I never said or without clarity ever implied flow isn't dictated by the written lyrics. My argument isn't the written word does NOT determine flow; but rather, and rather restrictively, flow isn't written lyrics. The two are not synonyms. One is like father, one is like son--they're not Siamese twins. The familial reference is a model upon which to distinguish the two characteristics, not a diagram upon which both are comparatively equivalent.

"...however, that rap can transcend the written word..."
- My opponent does not have a grasp on the understand of the musical genre "rap". Rap is independent of written words. Here is it's cultural definition: "[Rap] is "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics"[3] Wikipedia is sourcing a dictionary! Wiki further defines rap as "includ[ing] "content", "flow" (rhythm and rhyme), and "delivery".[3[4] Nothing about written words. The latter portion is sourced from "How to Rap 2: Advanced Flow & Delivery Techniques" a book analyzing the art form rap. Notice again what is mentioned about the books contents on explaining Advanced Flow & Delivery Techniques:
"Edwards asks advanced wordsmiths for advice on rhythm, melody, pitch, timing, enunciation, percussion, playing characters, rhyme schemes, and rhyme patterns." Nothing is mentioned about the pen & pad, Hip Hop slang for "wrote down lyrics".[5]


[3]- http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4]- http://en.wikipedia.org... (Wikipedia reference)
[5]- http://roychristopher.com... (The actual parent source)

"Though we cannot neglect that there does exist a few parallels between them, rap songs and poems are fundamentally different in one important way: Rap, as we know it, is, as I see it, a modern take on poems, influenced by popular culture and cultivated by a fundamentally commercial and selfish desire to sell. By such a definition, Rap is a creation of popular culture; a creation that resulted from the influence of the written word."
- I'm not being snide but all that except your last sentence was surplusage. Irrelevant. Reiterate: "a creation that resulted from the influence of the written word." This is theory like he claim, and we know from experience & a simple dictionary a theory is an unproven claim that seems to be true or might be true. I will demonstrate that his media theory claim lacks any serious contemplation.

In Wikipedia's sidebar on Language it reads "Cuneiform is the first known form of written language, but spoken language predates writing by at least tens of thousands of years."[6] Is it not reasonable to assume, based on scientific history that spoken words came before written words, that ghetto spoken rap came before written rap? Con's media theory argument is based in speculative bad rhetoric. There's no meat on that bone.

[6]- http://en.wikipedia.org...

"...what the author of a given piece intends to write that dictates the flow..."
- I'm sorry, but isn't that argument EXACTLY THE SAME as my resolution? "(Pro) Flow is the Vocal Presentation of Your Lyrics." The difference is the grammatical construction of the wording. But both are saying the same resolution which is in violation of R1. As I have said so many times, you-all are misinterpreting "flow" for "grammatical pacing." How you write your lyrics [short, long, extremely long] will dictate your grammatical pace but you can flow them many different ways [slow, fast, super fast, chopping].

In writing, such as novels, pace is "the management of action and time throughout a story;"[7] "pacing [is] briefly detailing the action that links one scene to another,"[7] and again, "Pacing is the movement of time in a story that drives the plot forward."[7] Some people erroneously describe this literary technique as "flow" using the word as an establishing technical term rather than a descriptive of how well the story progressed; instead of using it for how the story's climax was accomplished, which pacing already does. This is why many DDO members confuse the two words. They're taking a fiction-based technical term & using it as the equivalence of a vocaized musical technique. One is for written, one is for spoken.

In Hip Hop, however, vocal pacing is similar to vocal flow, the former deals with the breaths you take to deliver your flow; the latter is the audible rhythms & cadence you put behind your spoken words. That is why people often exclaim: "Dude has mad flow!" That flow was bomb!" "My flow so cold..."[8].

[7]- http://classroom.synonym.com...
[8]- 2nd Video
charlie97

Con

charlie97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
ShadowKingStudios

Pro

Shameful.
Argument Extended for Rebuttal.
charlie97

Con

charlie97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ShadowKingStudios

Pro

Argument Extended for Rebuttal.
charlie97

Con

charlie97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
Oh, crap. One of Michelle's minions. I rebuke you Lucifer!
Posted by apb4y 2 years ago
apb4y
Why the f*ck would anybody accept this challenge? It makes no sense.
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
Flow is how you sound saying something not what you say.
Posted by Uniscious 2 years ago
Uniscious
Repeated use of the word "Nigga" is not flow but rather clutter, making most rap lack the element of "flow" as you so describe it.
Posted by Palmo10 2 years ago
Palmo10
Listen up. Hip hop was actually meant to be a religion called Holy Hip Hop.

They think that ra, allah, jehova are just different names 4 the same God. It's so unbiblical n utterly untrue. Knowing dis now, u shudnt b singing or dancing hip hop anymore.

U mite come against me bcuz deep down u wish dat it wasnt tru. But it is, and even KRS one wrote a book about d religion.
Posted by RichardCypher 2 years ago
RichardCypher
This debate demonstrates you're right Shadow. I noticed people writing in their RFDs "his flow" "better flow" in reference to typed text. But now that someone challenges them to prove their claim everybody is silent. And that's the mark of a follower. They're waiting till their leader speaks.
Posted by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
I can almost put money on it that no one will take this
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
We do.
Posted by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
That's kinda my pet peeve. A ganster is someone who belongs to a group or hierarchy engaging in criminal activities for a common purpose. Not these people who say "oh look at my plastic gold chain, oh look i'm sagging, my snapback so clean, im so gangsta! " you know what, I take back all the bullcrap i said about education. We need education on DDO and we need it desperately lol!
Posted by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
Of course. My point is the stupidity in calling rap text, rap flow. This is like saying an old white woman who hits you over the head with her purse & says, "fhuck you, punk-@ss boy" is "gangsta". Hitting & cursing aren't the requisites to gaining the label "gangsta" which is slang for gangster, which is the label for a member who is actively in an organized crime group that commits illegal activity. There is nothing gangsta about an old white woman refusing to let you mistreat her. Another example, Mikal used the term "my nigga" in a battle rap in a wrong application: "My nigga I just want to let you know that you actually look like a bisexual ostrich".
My nigga has only two ways it is used 1.) "with friendly purposes" or 2.) "to alleviate a tense situation where you really don't want any beef".
"Is that my nigga, Pete over there?" (friendly)
"My nigga I don't want no trouble" (to alleviate hostility)
"Yo, my nigga Earl gonna hit you up on the 411, cuz." (friendly)
"Why you niggas beefin'? It ain't gotta be that way, my nigga." (to alleviate hostility)

It's plain & simple:
Mikal has shown no flow, because Mikal has never vocally rapped on DDO
Blade of Truth has flow, because BoT has rapped on DDO.
Truth Seeker has shown no flow, because TruSeek has never vocally rapped on DDO
Ryuu has flow, because Ryuu has rapped on DDO.
Danielle has shown no flow, because Dani has never vocally rapped on DDO.
TWG has flow, because TWG has rapped on DDO.
Etc. etc. etc.

Lyric + Vocals = Flow
1+1=2
1+0 does not equal 2
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RichardCypher 2 years ago
RichardCypher
ShadowKingStudioscharlie97Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: edited: con ff
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
ShadowKingStudioscharlie97Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con cited no sources for his claims by any hip hop guru, didn't establish a consensus for flow, and no hip hop analysis. Con says that the written word is 2nd to spoken word. Pro defends by saying that flow is vocally presented lyrics and cites credible sources. Con goes on talking about media theory, but still cites no sources. Pro in essence establishes rap as "spoken poetry." Con's argument falls apart as he's attempting to argue that flow is dependent on the written word when Pro's position was that flow is not written, but orally presented. Inevitably, Pro wins.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
ShadowKingStudioscharlie97Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture