If your flow is hitting a bunch of rocks in the stream it’s altering its path and it’s not so smooth. A really bad rap flow is like a dam on a rap song.
Something I notice about Eminem's style is it values rhyme-scheme over flow in a way almost no other rapper on Earth does. This is actually what makes Eminem so iconic in the rap industry other than him being white and breaking boundaries etc. Eminem likes to 'bend words' and make all elements of rap revolve around both high speed and high rhyme consistency. In the verse that Con provides us, the following is how Eminem opens:
"The thought of retiring is makin' me want
To set your daughter on fire with a soldering iron and
What up ma, I'm applyin' for the rim job, are you hirin'?
I'm hopin' to fill up your openin'
Oh but I know I gotta meet a lot of requirements
First I gotta accept you're in a lobby in Ireland"
This is a classic Eminem-failing-to-be-alpha scenario but we are focusing on flow here so I'll stick to that. The flow doesn't really work at all if you read it straightforward in an American accent past line 2. The first 2 lines flow smooth, I'll admit that but what happens is that to show off or hit with brutal OMG HE SAID THAT type stuff he flows him applying to rim job his mother in a way that doesn't actually fit the flow but does correctly rhyme then the flow breaks up even more so as he leads to 'know you gotta meet a lot' which in no way at all fits the pace or 'sliding flow' that was going on before that line. He says 'gotta' twice and the words before and after 'gotta' don't even rhyme or flow so it's not even a half-rhyme it's confusing what he was doing there but he flows well at the end by making the 'lot of' and 'lobby in' have intricate flow meaning that when he goes a little faster with 'lobby in' it actually audibly sounds just the same in flow as 'lot of' where he stretches the word 'of' in a way he doesn't stretch 'bby in'.
The rest of the rap is also strange in flow such as here:
But bein' brought up so wrought up inspired
But I don't know why, it's still like I'm caught up inside a whirlpool
Not an appliance, but applyin' this science, I psychotically rhyme
And it's like stars are aligned all in alliance
Heart of a lion, balls of Goliath
Obscene talk intertwined like a beanstalk and a vine
The half-rhyming of 'lion and Goliath' is actually fine by me. That's example of making your flow more liquid and smoothly gliding your lines along even when there's inaccurate rhyming so as to allow you more flexibility but what Em does poorly is to put 'twined' and 'vine' in the line after where the 'i-en' rhymes that were going smoothly cut back to the harsher 'eye-n' it's not the same there's not 'eh' sound in vine and rhyme like there is in science and alliance. This rap is far from terrible and is Eminem when he was really trying hard to impress so I admit it's not a bad rap at all but I am going to explain now why Paz slaughters 'flow' in a way Eminem never has or even does today.
With Paz it's hard to pick a song where he shines with flow because there's literally no song where the flow doesn't make you sit in awe.
Therefore I'll pick based on other factors like rhyme scheme and perhaps pleasure to the ear (which partly is linked to flow).
Jedi Mind Tricks - God Forsaken [JMT is a group/label of which Vinnie is not just a Founder but the main starred artist so this song isn't a group-work type thing, it's him]
In the following sections of the song, Paz flows so well I am not even sure you could find a flaw at all. It's terrifying how liquid and unbroken his flow is to me personally:
The big four fifth gonna split 'em in the middle
In a little I'mma riddle, I be feeling kind of brittle
I was dealing with the ghetto I was feeling for the ghetto
I was feeling for the metal and my feet was on the pedal
I was feeling like Geppetto I was showing them the plans
And the pain fall worse if you know it in advance
It was going to the hands and it's over with a dance
And you're walking over sands in the holiest of lands
Flawless tbph... Sure, he repeated Ghetto I concede that but it flowed flawlessly and that's the point I'm making here.
If they holier than I then they holier than Jah
Holier than anybody roaming in the sky
It's colder in July the blacksmith anvil popping off low key that'll get your man killed
Turn 'em in the landfill turn 'em into particles
Avoid [?] pro, make him [?]
I had to kill 'em honorable and I had to kill 'em fast
And I had to build a legacy I had to build a path
I be building with the gods so I gotta deal with math
And I'm all about fetty so I gotta deal with cash
And the shotty pointed at him so he had to do the dash
And he had to break north and he had to do it fast
You cannot find a single point in his execution of this part of the rap in terms of flow. It was phenomenal how when he altered the flow, even the transition was so smooth.
That’s all that flow is. Vinnie’s flow is pure liquid, even fi it has pauses in it, the pauses themselves are part of the flow… He’s that perfect.
I will give you an example of his pause-inclusive flow and show how even if he has ‘breaks’ it is so elegantly done:
In '86 everyone was smokin' them OooWeez
I was in front of the mirror and tryna be Cool C
Me and Chico was inseperable then
We would day dream about bein' legends again
'87 came but really Pa, shit ain't changed
We was playin Just-Ice and absorbin' his pain
It's the middle of the crack era, I ain't complain
There was money everywhere, it was part of the game
I was tryna write rhymes but I knew they was wack
I was young and I was dumb and I knew it was that
I heard Steady B rhyme and I knew it was crack
See these records change everything, crucial to that
It's the end of the 80s that's when Chic moved to Cali
My father died too, it was loneliness around me
It was hard tryna put all of this shit in perspective
And the only thing I had was my records
Or how about:
[Verse 1: Vinnie Paz]
I pop a pill and zone, my voice alone'll fuckin' chill your bones
The AR-15 beam leave you still as stone
I'm workin' twenty-four-seven while you chill at home
I'm on the block with my people where the killers roam
I'm in a killer zone, where police can trap me
I'm ready to go to war with them like we Iraqi
We in the last days, only Darkness passes
No more pure air, only bloody muddy ashes
Yeah, you need to recognize the God is Seth
'Cause I was born inside of Egypt near the Gaza Strip
Don't make me cock the fifth and put the flame to em
And thug it out like the Israeli's and Iranian's
Remember when I put the pen to the pad
When I heard "Style Wars" by Lakim Shabazz
And in the lab, everything was constructed with Stoupe
And y'all know that no one fuckin' with us as a group
[Verse 2: Vinnie Paz]
I'm a Cannibal Corpse, .38 snub splatter your thoughts
Peel your skin off of your body like animal cloth
I'm the reason for the Carthage in Hannibal's force
I'm the reason for the carnage in parable's lost
And I'll put the heater right where your lungs at
And none of y'all would be around if I could bring Pun back
You want the horrorcore Vinnie? He brung that
Along with the .44 militant gun rap
I break bread with the brothers I trust
Cause I know that if I'm ever in some trouble, they bust
Could never be us, we too raw for the rap now
Anybody with a tape recorder can rap now
I pull a twelve gauge shot at you, back down
And then the last thing you hear is the gat sound
From the city where they framed Mumia
We gonna break him out, run up with them flames and heaters
[Verse 3: Vinnie Paz]
I carry heavy fists, I'm a biological terrorist
If you ain't been in war, then you don't know what terror is
You try to help people but do nothin' like therapists
It's basic rules to the game, cousin, you never snitch
Or you can see the type of lead that my Beretta spits
Or take you through the torture chamber and behead the bitch
Yeah, I'll put your body to the blades and choppers
And teach you about the disruptive symbol of chakras
If you believe what they tellin' you, the beast and them won
That's why I speak about survival and need for a gun
I stand for what them thugs is repping'
But they don't know the government is usin' drugs as weapons
And drug injections, was taught by the prophets before
About the cavalry of shadowy prophets of war
It's hard to grip, so I spit it at a different degrees
But the inner earth holds more water than seas
This is one of MANY raps where you literally will be in utter awe, like jaw-dropping IRL type awe at how the hell he flows without a single flaw in it. Even his slowing, pausing, switching of the rhyme scheme transitions without a single ‘cut up’ element to it.
I will now just paste some links (one or two may be from R1) of Paz at his flow’s finest.
^ Three totally different flows, all undeniably Paz-like because the only thing you need to make a flow Paz-like is raw liquidity to it, phenomenal.
Rhyming Scheme Intricacy
Eminem and rhyming go hand-in-hand. I’ll admit that, here and now. Eminem can rhyme like Paz can rhyme, they are on par with one another. Paz, however, is by no means lesser, it’s direct equality. I will showcase Paz at his finest rhyme-wise now. There is one thing though to note, Eminem ‘bends words’ and frequently pronounces words off-kilter to make them rhyme in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. Paz at times will do this with his accent ‘saying ‘au’ and ‘o’ or ‘aw’ depending on the situation, I’ve noticed) but he ‘cheats’ far, far less. Regardless, the bending itself is a skill so I am not downing Em for that. They are equal beasts at rhyming and I challenge my opponent to prove otherwise. Being equal here doesn’t mean Em isn’t inferior in the other categories. Also, Eminem raps faster, this allows him to put in more ‘rhymes per minute rapped’ but Paz has so much else to his raps and as many, if not more, overall raps than Eminem (because Paz has a verse here and there in ‘group raps’ from Jedi Mind Tricks to Army of the Pharaohs to Heavy Metal Kings, he’s been involved in groups and this means one verse from him counts as one song allowing him to rack up more than Em overall but Em got A LOT so it’s not much more. If you go to Paz’s spotify you are seeing only around a third of his verses/songs purely because the rest are under JMT and AOTP.
[Verse 1: Vinnie Paz]
Intelligent infinity, malevolent epitome
They consider me as the most deadly weapon from Italy
That'll include the Benelli semi-auto artillery
Literally cryogenically treated to be invisibly
Symphony slicker than sixty Sicilianos from Sicily
Motherfuckers talking but never gonna do shit to me
I'm about to set it on motherfuckers officially
Rip they spine out and just put them out of they misery
No more mister nice guy, everything maliciously
Who can stop me now you with Luca Brasi where fishes be
It's impossible that you're righteous without the dignity
If it's a problem you motherfuckers can come and visit me
Notice how flawlessly smooth it flows? If Em rhymes this much in one go, it doesn’t flow remotely as smooth as he will jam too many rhymes to fit with a smooth pronounciation and delivery. This is why Em struggles if he doesn’t go fast, the speed masks broken flow by allowing him to go fast where he should be pausing and almost stuttering as he completely alters the syllable scheme of one sentence to the next as he has 3 rhymes in a row whereas only one of them was in the line before under that rhyme-type. A good examples would be one of his old-school CLASSICS:
I'm supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders, I ain't never supposed to show it
My crew ain't supposed to know it
Even if it means goin' toe to toe with a Benzino
It don't matter, I never drag 'em in battles that I can handle
'Less I absolutely have to, I'm supposed to set an example
I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide 'em
If some shit ever does pop off I'm supposed to be beside 'em
That Ja shit, I tried to squash it, it was too late to stop it
There's a certain line you just don't cross, and he crossed it
I heard him say Hailie's name on a song and I just lost it
It was crazy, the shit went way beyond some Jay Z and Nas shit
And even though the battle was won, I feel like we lost it
I spent so much energy on it, honestly I'm exhausted
And I'm so caught in it, I almost feel I'm the one who caused it
This ain't what I'm in hip-hop for, it's not why I got in it
That was never my object, for someone to get killed
Why would I wanna destroy somethin' I helped build?
That wasn't my intentions, my intentions were good
I went through my whole career without ever mentionin' ****
And that was just outta respect, for not runnin' my mouth
And talkin' about somethin' that I knew nothin' about
Plus Dre told me stay out, this just wasn't my beef
So I did, I just fell back, watched and gritted my teeth
While he's all over TV, down-talkin' the man
Who literally saved my life, like fuck it, I understand
This is business, and this shit just isn't none of my business
But still knowin' this shit could pop off at any minute, ‘cause—
Notice how he had to say ‘supposed’ twice within 3 lines purely to make it make sense and rhyme? Sure, that’s not too bad at all and Eminem isn’t ever bad this is about amazing vs very good. Eminem is very good, Paz is amazing. The jittery flow is so blatant but still good. Again, Eminem is good at flow, Paz is phenomenal.
Let’s keep showcasing Paz’s rhyming:
[Verse 2: Vinnie Paz]
My whole team a bunch of muhfucking apes
Gorilla put the lama to your muhfucking face
But I ain't tryna catch another muhfucking case
If you wanna make wine, you gotta crush a couple grapes
I know a couple Avalon, know a couple Piru
Got a couple shooters that's ensuring my survival
Y'all are writing novels, I'mma write a bible
Vinnie selling gas and it coming out the nozzle
And I don't want trouble, I'm just trying to hit a lick
And if it's really drama, money, hit me on the hip
They trying to give him twenty, cause they hit him with a brick
He stupid and he know it, so he getting what he get
I got 'em ducking bullets like he leaning off a Perc'
If you ain't getting fetty, what's the meaning of the work?
If it ain't the fifteenth, he fiending for the first
I hope you’ll understand it ain't no grieving in the dirt
Yes, yes he said ‘muhfucking’ THREE TIMES, and couple twice but notice how in this rap he displays the capacity to alter the rhyme scheme constantly? What I mean is when he goes from ‘couple grapes’ to ‘couple Piru’ and from refers back the the ‘lama’ and ‘Avalon’ rhymes by later saying ‘drama’ and ‘[under]stand’? This is extremely subtle aspects which add to his pure liquid flow.
Not even gonna write this one out, just listen to the rhyme scheme. After the first verse skip to 3:37 or so and Paz begins towards 3:40 again. The middle verses are not him.
Delivery - Paz wins just like with Flow but this time even more so
This is Eminem’s weakest element, period/full-stop. Eminem doesn’t know how to properly deliver raps and he never had to learn as he was so great at rhyming and puns that people bought his tracks for his ingenuity anyway. Eminem has a ‘whiny kid’ delivery but even more than that is the way he makes it too blatant he’s trying hard. When Paz delivers it not only is phenomenal how deep and powerful he makes his voice go, never EVER in monotone but that in every single rap he is soothing as hell. Some may say ‘but his voice croaks due to drugs and/or smoking and drinking’ well, yeah he has a rasp and yes he was an alcoholic in the past. Life isn’t easy for all of us and some are born with tendencies to get addicted to things, his father died when he was young and he got into a bad crowd. Paz is a real deal gangster not some ‘joke’. He’s not even ‘gangsta’ he’s white-Mafia gangster, literal G. He brought rap to people who only listened to metal and punk rock (he hates punk rock but the crowd in his area liked both, he loves metal though). Anyway, delivery is only heard, you can’t explain delivery, you can only hear it. It’s about volume, how pleasant the voice is and how easy the rapper makes it seem they are pulling it off from how they sound and/or look when performing it.
I’m not even sure there’s a single Eminem song with fantastic delivery but I will admit some are most certainly better than others. One of the least-bad ones by Eminem is ‘Legacy’ from his Revival album. That was delivered brilliantly I’ll admit but that’s a rare gem in his collection.
Now for Paz at his finest, The GOAT of delivery tbph:
Just gonna spam links for this part, you have to listen anyway.
^ his best song of all time in so many ways IMO from a technical standpoint (it’s the one I posted at start of R1)
That will do for now.
Puns/Metaphors/Similes as well as Lyrical Quality
Just gonna post links and lyrics here, no questions asked. Eminem likes puns, Paz isn’t a ‘funny rapper’. When Paz drops metaphorical punchlines, it’s not a ‘hahah damn that was good’ it’s a ‘wow HOT DAMN that stings brutal and is impressive’. He does it in both personas; angry islamic anarchist gangster and the heartfelt philanthropist.
If you really need me to explain the depth of metaphorical play here, that’s fine, if Con says it’s hard to grasp I’ll go into depth in R3 purely on this.
See, I always have respect, 'cause I always talk fact
The .38 and the .50 caliber, hawk black
I always left with nothin' but I always brought back
I always been a hustler, I probably go off that
Y’all don’t wanna go to work with the boy
There’s only two words that describe me: search and destroy
I don’t think you wanna get murked by the boy
My shit is military, y’all's is like a nursery toy
It’s hurtin' you boys
My team ain’t even hungry, we famished
I murder everybody, fuck collateral damage
I’m animal savage with Hannibal’s habits
I’ll mangle your cabbage
I walked into the parish and I strangled the faggots
I hang with the baddest brothers, put their trust into Jesus
Run with brothers who’s 40 guzzlers, Islamic extremists
Ugly and ignorant is how they perceive us
I don’t care, I’m tryin' to deal with my personal demons
I’m takin' my own life, I might as well
And that's where I’m goin'
Because the Devil’s inside of me
I’m takin' my own life, that’s where I’m goin'
Except they might not sell weed in Hell
I’m takin' my own life, I might as well
And that's where I’m goin'
Because the Devil’s inside of me
I’m takin' my own life, that’s where I’m goin'
Y’all don’t wanna go that route
Broke motherfucker need to throw his throwback out
If you see me drinkin' somethin' good, I stole that stout
If you see me drinkin' in the hood, then roll back out
On the real, I don’t want no one to bother me, cousin
Rappin' is just a little fuckin' bit of part of me, cousin
I’m just tryin' to have a drink at the bar with my cousin
I ain’t mean to be rude, God, pardon me, cousin
I stay strapped, Lord, gun in the tuck
Young boys act wild, Lord, funny as fuck
I scrap southpaw, Sonny'in' you fucks
Look at you, Lord, on the floor, bummy as fuck
What? My life been defined by death
So I guess if everybody dead, mine is next
My father dropped a jewel on me, time forgets
It’s not as easily the mind forgets, y’all know what I mean?
Drag you to Hell, I’m evil dead, you can call me Sam Raimi
These motherfuckers want a verse but they can’t pay me
Fuck a funeral home, put 'em in the sand maybe
Y’all are actin' like you’re big, like you’re mad gravy
Y’all don’t wanna beef with the god
Don’t have the brain power to compete with the god
Y’all should retreat from the god
Before you get turned to meat
Somethin' to eat for the god, peace to the gods
I carry heavy shit, big guns, John Rambo
I’m a spot rusher like Pakistani commandos
How you go to war when you’re standin' in sandals?
Now you’re dead and your family handlin' candles
Don’t even call for a truce
I’m about to end this whole motherfucker
When I call for the troops
Reservoir dog walk with the troops, and I burn this motherfucker down to the ground down to its roots
^ This entire rap is god-tier wordplay.
Let’s keep going.
This is Rock of Gibraltar rap
The Springfield M14 show you where the coffin's at
You motherfuckers don't belong in rap
Fuck with me you got a better chance taking an abortion back
You lack flavour, put some sauce on that
I went to the Great Wall, put my fist through and walked through that
Where this motherfucker's fortune at?
I'm a levitate his body, make it spin like a Laundromat
Motherfucker I was born to rap
I've been making records wild long, never did a song that's whack
How many have accomplished that?
I was wild as a young boy, shouldn't have put moms through that
Vinnie Paz been to Nam and back
I ain't never put the guns down cousin so my palms is black
You a bitch, I ain't involved with that
I got a big trunk and that's where Vinnie keep all of his corpses at
Silverback Gorilla walk through the minefield
We don't see eye to eye how you define real
Y'all are wondering if I'm out of my mind still
I just need some liquor and pills and I'm chill
I run with Puerto Rocks, Morenos and vagabonds
And Paz will shoot this motherfucker up like Barrie Bonds
I'm like a military doctor, Vinnie carry arms
My shit is military proper, Vinnie carry bombs
I kick in the door like BI did
And the automatic weapons look like TI crib
Vinnie fat, you'll never see my ribs
I don't call it loading bullets, I refer to it as feed my kids
All I think about is slaughtering y'all
This little motherfucker named Charles Hamilton is harder than y'all
It's in the garbage with y'all
Listen to all you Myspace rappers, I'm a father to y'all
I write in the rain, turn beautiful night into pain
I turn life into a frightening game
I don't have love in me, it's just ice in my veins
My fist Hammer of Thor, I Tyson the game
This rap shit deep in my heart
Y'all was sleep from the start
But that just led to unbelievable art
And on top of that the god is unbelievably smart
My bare fists turn trees into bark
Y'all don't want any improvement at all
Y'all are devils, y'all are torturing the rule of law
My mind is a computer of war
And it's typically the biggest motherfucker that'll usually fall
Give me one take cousin, the god out
A forty of eligibility
The forty Glock popping your eyes out
Now you never get a chance to see what the god 'bout
That’s enough for now, I’m running out of characters.
Check the wordplay in this though:
Let’s move onto something that Pro didn’t bring up, subjects addressed and personas
Paz addresses everything from corruption to vegetarianism. Eminem’s most meaningful rap was whining about people having guns in such a poser-like anti-Trump rap with Kehlani but I’ll admit it was well-written and executed.
Now let’s give you links and leave it at that.
^ Music Industry making people sell themselves out.
^ before his voice was raspy, it sounds like it’s not him but it is he’s just much younger.
^ Refers to his depersonalisation disorder and the tricky contradiction in psychiatric treatment in that the meds don’t help how they say they will but the therapy doesn’t work due to the trap of the neurochemical imbalance. Takes neither side on the matter between the two schools of thought, expressed suffering is all. So poetic, my God.
^ Three of his many anti-corruption raps. The last of the three is the best and least-conspiracy-type one it just states facts beyond any doubt.