BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Nov. 2, 2015, Toronto, ON - Why is it that the more slurred and indistinguishable the speech, the more sticky a song sets in our brains? Could it be that the more open to interpretation the lyrics, the more meaningful it is for us as the listener? Or rather, while we work hard at deciphering ‘what he just said,’ these slurry tracks encode themselves deeper and deeper into our brains - no matter how silly we may actually think the song may sound.
Take for example 2 Chainz’ 2012 jam ‘I’m different.’ I’ve tested this out with many different people now, and rarely have I ever heard anyone actually get the line correct after the opening rhetoric. Most often, I’ve heard the following phrase be described as a reference to some unknown person or object called a Massilamissin pulling up to the scene with 2 Chainz. So what is a Massilamissin, you ask? Sadly, neither of these, as 2 Chainz is actually pulling up to the scene with his ‘ceiling missing’.
In fact, this tactic actually pervades beyond 2012 into 2015. Just check out Drake’s latest jam, ‘Hotline Bling.’ Now, did he just say ‘I know when dea holibli-’ or ‘I know when that hotline bling’? Was that ‘ever since I left the C.D.U.’ or ‘ever since I left the city, you’?
Slurry or not, you can’t disregard the effectiveness of this new-school grammatical rhetoric and its permeating ability to make lyrics stick. Perhaps in a few years we’ll even evolve past this to ‘st-t-l-th’ and start talking like this to create better and better hooks.
But who knows...
*note: If you're like me and really want to test your slurry-skill listening ability, try this song out for size -- I got completely lost.