Why do rappers always say yeah, even when they don’t mean it? This is a question I have been asking myself since I first heard “Domain.” At first listen I thought “Y yeah” was some kind of a new generation cliche, and I continued to repeat it in my head until I actually heard the song on repeat in a club. In fact, I listened to that song over, trying to figure out how it would make sense in the context of rap.
Most artists, especially those that are known for their self-confidence, don’t really see the need to constantly state the obvious, as they don’t think they need to. But it’s not a question of confidence; it’s more of tone. Some artists who are known for their street credibilitywhere “Yohoo” is their main refrain, have a tone of casual menace to them. Other artists, though, have a tone that is conversational, almost casual.
So why do rappers do this? Most likely, they are able to get away with a lot more than their competition because of their versatility. The only way one rapper can effectively carry a song is if he has a wide range of topics to talk about. This allows the listener to choose exactly what he wants to hear. Most listeners won’t even realize that the lyrics are alternate versions of the original, as they flow seamlessly together.
Some rappers use the double entendre to keep their audience’s attention. “This is the worst song ever!” becomes a line that gets stuck in your head and stays there until you hear it again. Other times, they’ll repeat words that have multiple meanings (eg “She sells sea shells on the shore’s the baddest mother on the block.”). These words are powerful enough on their own, but once you add in the image of the artist and the ability to know what will keep an audience’s attention, it’s even more powerful.
Another reason why some artists have hit songs without writing them is because of the technology available to them at the time. In particular, sampling is a common practice used by many hip-hop artists. Sampling is when an artist uses another artist’s song without permission. As someone who has seen countless chart-topping rap songs, I can tell you that the technology available to artists in this day and age is astounding.
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Why do rappers always say yeah?” begin to write your own. Write about the things that excite you. The ideas will flow, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to fame and fortune.