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Paul Edwards - How to Rap 2 and rap notation (book excerpt) lyrics

The Flow Diagram

Lyrics are shown frequently in flow diagrams throughout this book. How flow diagrams work is explained in detail in the first How to Rap, pp. 67–79, but here is a brief reminder, as they will be used more extensively in this book.

These are the opening lyrics from the Pharcyde's track “Drop” (00:26), from the album Labcabincalifornia, in a flow diagram: The flow diagram shows us several pieces of information:

[Lyrics from: https:/]

• The numbers along the top of the diagram show the 4 beats in a bar of music, so that we can refer to where lyrics fall in relation to the beat (for example “funk” falls on the 2 beat, “-lete” falls on the 3 beat).

• Each new line in the flow diagram represents a new bar of music (the first bar begins “Let me freak the...”; the second bar begins “more junk than...”).

• The syllables that fall directly under the beat numbers are in bold type—they are stressed and said in time with the 4 beats in the bar, in order to keep the lyrics in time with the music (such as “Let,” “funk,” “-lete,” and “punk” in the first bar).

• If there is a rest in the flow, then no lyrics fall under that particular beat number (such as the rest on the 3 beat of the second bar just before “I jet pro-” and the rest on the 2 beat of the fourth bar, just before “They couldn't”).

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