Myka 9 Rap Flow Analysis

Hey guys, this is today’s exclusive analysis for the week. I took a listen to Haiku d’Etat, which is made up of 3 rappers (including last week’s Aceyalone.) One of their songs,Triumvirate, heard on YouTube here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGn357lFs1Q), is the one I listened to, and it was my favorite song, in terms of a good rap married with a good beat. One of their 3 rappers, Myka, on the first verse, I think had the best flow on it, which is saying something, since Aceyalone is on it too. There, Myka weaves in and out of the beat seamlessly. I completely believe the old school cred that is usually cited for him: Myka simply does have that within-the-beat delivery. His delivery is really unique, with that quick bass flow; Rick Ross and Bun B have bass (lower) voices too, but they flow over slower beats, and their rhythms are slower too. But Myka 9’s delivery does remind me of Chali 2na’s delivery, who was in Jurassic 5. You can hear Chali 2na on Jurassic 5’s “What’s Golden” on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsZKrctSDaw. He starts rapping at 2:24, although Myka’s 9 voice is noticeably lower.

So what stands out to me about Myka 9 is his tight phrasing. I don’t mean “tight” there as in the slang word for “awesome,” I literally mean tight: well-thought out, in a closed structure almost. He falls on the beat a lot; his sentence starts and ends where the bars do generally. He also repeats his rhythms from one bar to the next. Where he innovates on those old school characteristics are where he places his rhymes, and his rhythms. Those opening rhythms (on the syllables “our function is,” “no wonder its”) are some pretty different rhythms that no old school rapper would use intentionally, but Myka 9 does because he repeats them over and over. Then, he also uses internal and external rhymes. For instance, all of those different rhythms that open each one of his sentences are rhymed together (again, like on the words “our function is” and “no wonder its.”) Then, after those rhymes that open sentences, he also laces rhymes inside the sentence (for instance, on the first sentence, he rhymes emCEES/breeze/thieves/me.) He does this throughout all of his phrases in those 8 bars. Finally, Myka continues these 2 different rhymes groups (the opening one on the vowel sounds “uh” and “ih”, such in “function is”) and the one on the vowel sound -ee throughout his entire verse.

So you can see how Myka has married old school rap techniques with new school techniques to make a style:

Old school:

  1. 1-bar phrasing
  2. Phrases that start and end by the bar
  3. Even rhythms

New school:

  1. Extended rhyme groups
  2. Internal rhyming
  3. Unique rhythms

Pretty dope style.

Thanks guys!

Martin Connor is a music teacher & writer from Philadelphia, PA, with a music degree of high distinction from Duke University who is currently studying for a master’s degree at Brandeis University in Boston, MA, while focusing his research on the vocal melodies of the rap genre. He has contributed freelance articles to HipHopDX, Complex, and Pigeons and Planes, and had multiple articles from his website, www.RapAnalysis.com go viral on BET, The Source, XXL, and MTV. He teaches rap lessons online through the music school LessonFace, and has a book, The Artistry Of Rap Music, forthcoming from the McFarland Publishing House, scheduled for release in late 2017, as a follow-up to his 2014 contribution to their anthology "Eminem & Rap, Poetry, Race." He welcomes all comments, compliments, insults, and restaurant suggestions at mepc36@gmail.com.

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