I think it’s amazing how quickly our brains associate certain phrases, or rhythms, or just sounds with certain images. Titling this post “cold-blooded” probably instantly conjured images of lizards and snakes in the heads of most readers, even though that’s not what I’m writing about. I’m actually writing about word association and the fact that I am bloomin’ cold all of the time.
Following the association thread, as I was thinking of this post a song lyric caught my attention, because it was saying the same thing I was essentially thinking. Taken from Eminem’s “Not Afraid”, the line is
I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in the rhythm for you to know it’s a rap
This fascinated me, because at the same time that I was thinking about how clever our brains are for doing this linguistic cross-association, Eminem chose to lyrically contradict me. I completely disagree with his line (respectfully, of course), because I think that his skilled use of rhyme and rhythm is exactly what makes his work so brilliant, and it’s what immediately alerts me to the fact that I’m listening to an Eminem rap.
This is all very similar to the research I’m currently doing into crossover in metre between North Africa and southern Spain. One of my most vital points is that it’s difficult to claim there’s no interchange between these two cultures when you can hear it in the poetry they were each constructing. The beauty of our minds is practically their simplicity. Nine times out of ten we work on the basis of “I liked that, I’ll do it like that”, and thus themes, rhythms, phrases get passed around, and meanings get changed until something like “cold-blooded” immediately creates the image of a lizard, and three bars is enough to distinguish the creative prowess of Eminem.
It’s pretty fantastic.