Popular rap songs today have similar patterns and flows that make them stand out to the crowd, thus attracting many new listeners. To understand what’s going on, we have to dive into each and every trending song and examine the similarities. We’re not going to list any songs here but we want you to think about the top 5 songs you listen to. We now have to break each song apart and hear exactly what’s going on.
How Popular Songs Become Viral
Popular songs become popular because they reach a crowd that is accustomed to a certain sound. Whether its pop, hip hop, or country, there is a general sound that everyone in each community loves. Of course, there are other artists within each genre that goes the opposite direction and creates a completely new sound. But they also are probably considered ‘popular’ too.
What we have to do is examine what that sound actually is. Most of the time the top artists are laying the trends with the sound of the beat and the flows and acoustics of the vocals. All of this can be replicated and you will start to see that loads of popular artists use similar beats and patterns within the production. As well as vocal flows and styles, you will notice the similarities between all the top artists. This is what determines as popular and therefore it would be smart to implement the same attributes to your own production.
How To Study Trending Songs
To study trending songs or your favorite tracks we have to break down the components that make up the song. We recommend starting with a couple of aspects such as rhythm, beat patterns, breaks, and panning for producers. For rappers, we recommend starting with the patterns of each lyrical flow, rhyme schemes, ab libs, and tone of voice.
At Support Hip Hop, we have many factors that we quantify into numbers to see the differences between different songs and genres. We are excited to share with you some of the key ways we go about studying popular songs.
Rhythm is the repeated pattern of movement or sound. Each popular track has an ear-catching melody. Recording the melodies movement will give you an idea of what kind of movement you want to introduce into your own music. All these should we recorded on paper somehow. When you involve more senses into learning, you will intake that knowledge much more.
Beat patterns are present throughout the entire track. Therefore it’s critical to take notes on the patterns of the drums, hi-hats, kicks, etc. Recording the patterns will bring new insight into the way the producer brought the song together. Each genre has its unique patterns and so it is important to understand how each genre go about their beat patterns.
Breaks are quick pauses that emphasize surprise and build-ups to significant parts of the song. Studying when breaks happen is a perfect way to learn about offbeat techniques and surprise factors within each popular song.
Panning is the direction of the sound projected. If you listen closely, you will be able to see that certain sounds like hi-hats, melodies etc. travels from the left region to the right. This is an art form in itself and takes lots of experience to master. Panning is a nice subtle attribute to study from popular tracks because it gives you major trending production secrets. It’s also similar to left and right processing, which you can learn here.
Lyrical flow has to do with the vocals of the artist and how it moves. Whether it’s fast or slow, you have to examine the patterns of the movement during periods of time like a bar or verse. Moving along the spectrum during vocals introduces the concept of dynamic range. With dynamic range in mind, it’s recommended to switch up the flow in order to keep listeners interested.
While each artist has their own unique flow, their rhyme schemes are actually quite similar. Paying attention to these schemes will give you an idea of how artists pick and choose their bars and lyric content. The good thing about rhyme schemes is that they are usually easy to detect since the different rhymes schemes repeat itself within a song.
Adlibs are quite essential for popular songs. Many think ad-libs are underappreciated by beginners but if you were to listen to many of the top songs you will see that most of them have ad-libs. The important factor in ad-libs is not necessarily the words but by the timing. Finding a perfect spot for an outburst is a great way to boost the energy of the song.
Tone refers to the pitch of the sound or vocals in certain areas of the songs. Many popular tracks features the artist switching up the tone of their voice to bring more dynamic range into the mix. This is an attribute that many beginners struggle with because they keep the same tone while performing various flows etc. This will dull out the sound.
Remember that this is just the beginning of analyzing popular songs. You may go into depth into more attributes of songs and come up with your own patterns in reference to these. Adaption comes with solidification then transforming it into something new. Comment below on what you think can be another attribute to examine!