A Syllable by Syllable Breakdown of Some of the Most Influential Rap Songs in History

Vox writer Estelle Caswell enlisted the help of writer and rap analyst Martin Connor to do a syllable by syllable breakdown of some of the most influential rap songs in history. The video looks how rappers put beats, bars, and rhymes together in different ways and the effect those combinations have on their music.

From the simple nursery rhyme–like bars of Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” to the smooth East Coast flow of Notorious B.I.G.’s hit song “Hypnotize” to the speedy delivery of Kendrick Lamar’s “Rigamortis,” rhyming in rap music has not only evolved, it’s gotten better.