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2- Popularity and musical applications of triplet flow in rap music - Timothy Roth, University of Manitoba

9:00 AM, Sunday 26 May 2019 (2 hours)
Coffee break   11:00 AM to 11:30 AM (30 minutes)
In today’s popular hip-hop, it is common to hear lyrics delivered primarily in triplet subdivision, seemingly in contrast to the duple feel of the underlying beat. This so-called “triplet flow,” while present in hip-hop since the 1980s, has found widespread popularity and has been subsequently refined and developed in recent popular rap music. The aurally distinct nature of triplet flow allows for a convincing case study about trends and developments of rap flows. Stylistic analyses of hip-hop flow have been made by Duinker (2017), Condit-Schulz (2016) and Ohriner (2016); however, the corpora constructed in these studies lack temporal scale and cannot be used to describe changes over time. This paper presents the results of a corpus-based analysis consisting of 519 rap songs released between 2012 and 2017. I define three subsets of triplet flow, based on various accent patterns, and track their usage across the six-year window in order to characterize the growth and development of triplet flow. I will also present examples of triplet flow employed in selected rap songs, including Migos’ “Versace (Remix)” (2013), Drake’s “Grammys” (2016), and Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.” (2017). The musical applications of triplet flow are discussed, particularly in reference to the types of flow proposed by Krims (2000).
University of Manitoba
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