Style Over Substance - Song Break Down

This is the song breakdown for “Style Over Substance” Featuring Erik Lamb. This song was inspired by the logical fallacy that says; just because you say fancy words doesn’t mean your argument has any validity. I liked how it seemed to be easy to apply to rap music. How everyone’s a rapper but are they really saying shit? Is that car in the music video theirs? Or is the out of state license plate a dead give away that it’s a rental? 

As always I’m stoked to have my brother Erik Lamb featured on this album. Erik and I have been working together from the beginning, and he seemed up to the task of this song.

“Same shit, different rappers mouth/ 

Living a life, you can't brag about/”

I’m a true believer that your art is a reflection of yourself. If you’re spitting bullshit, I can smell it from bar number one. I have been fooled and I’m sure I will be again. If you say you’re hustling and you never do the work, you’re full of shit period.

The cabbage patch is truly sauerkraut/ 

Overcompensate till they're blackin'-out/

Are your really making that money? Are you trying so hard to hang with the homies that you’re killing yourself? Cabbage being a reference to money, I though it would be fun to make a joke about how things are not always as they appear. I also love sauerkraut and when I finish this album I’m going to treat my self to some beer brats. 

Cultivated, from the golden age/

The new wave makes you disengage/

This line goes out to my thirty something, those stuck in 94’ rappers. Clinging to the past like it was the one that got away. I love “old-school hip hop” but I truly thing that for hip-hop to stay relevant it’s going to have to evolve and grow. I could spend three paragraphs bitching about how a lot of “new” rap sucks. How that style makes me wonder if you are on the spectrum?

No stage presence, no substance/

All wordplay, but no function/

I had an idea that I wanted to write a formula for hip-hop. Like A+B over C+D= Style Over Substance. I basically wanted to write all the shit you shouldn’t do and put it in a verse. I can’t tell you how many rappers, stand like The Statue of Liberty on stage and don’t move around. Erik Lamb and NME the ILLEST are in my opinion masters of stage presence, and not just because they are my friends. Come to a show and see for your self.  

I think you need a healthy mix of stage presence, substance, wordplay and a reason for why you’re doing it. What is your unique perspective that you can bring to the culture? While I’m still ranting, please for the love of Buddha stop rapping over your own vocal track.

No heart, and all the ego/ 

Starve the art love the placebo/

Vocals peak with a lo-fi buzz/ 

Talk is cheap, saying you get shit done/

This line is dedicated to the rappers that get gassed-up in the studio. You think your takes are perfect and are the next big thing. You quickly post an un-mixed track to soundcloud. You sound like you were too drunk or too high and it sounds like shit.

You rap because you want to be famous and think it is a get rich quick scheme. There are people that have done it yes. The real truth is they worked their asses off, you just didn’t see it.

I’ve never rapped this much about rap. It was a fun departure, but I felt like I wanted to get these ideas out there and this song kinda of just worked.   

Beats bang but the crowds all comatose/

Lyrics mumble like you just overdosed/

Just a little something to get off my chest/

Got the whole crowd shouting out S.O.S./

Growing up I idolized (still do) my favorite rappers. I though that being a rapper was like being a professional athlete. I remember seeing flawless sets and perfection. Like they cared if they didn’t do a good set. I have bombed sets, and just fucked up, I think everyone does. The great artists take serious time with trying to put on a good show. I guess I just feel slighted when I see acts that don’t take it seriously. I will definitely give them the benefit of the doubt but get out of here with your bullshit.

 

 

 

 

 

john skobrak

The Danger Room, 300 State St, New London, CT, 06320, United States