Let's talk Kool G. Rap. The thing about this piece that always got me was how economical G. Rap is with the details. He needs two or four lines, tops, to give you the lay of the land

I'll explain a man sleeping in the rain, his whole life remains
Inside a bottle of Night Train

Or:

I gotta color TV, CD player and car stereo.
And all I want is a castle
I also got a .38, don't gimme no hassle

Also, the fact that virtually every character in G-Rap's urban landscape is anonymous. There are no people in G. Rap's world--just drug dealers, a daughter with pneumonia, "a young girl undressed in the back seat of a Caddy\Calls her man Daddy." It's like everyone is either defined by what they do to others, or what was done to them. The result is that when G-Rap invokes the personal, it hits extra hard:

Upstairs, I cover my ears and tears
The man downstairs must have had too many beers
Cause every day of his life, he beats his wife...

Of course the music and alliteration in there is lovely--but that's almost a requirement of the form, and it's a specialty of G-Rap's. Again, what it causes is a kind of contrast when you hear a line with little internal rhyme or alliteration--"human beings are laying on the pavement\Cause their a part of a mental enslavement."

Anyway that's me talking off the top of my head. I heard this in 1990, as a freshman in high school. It just blew me away.

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