The term “bars” has several meanings in the hip hop world. When rappers brag about “bars,” they are referring to the lyrics that they rap over instrumental music. The term implies that these lyrics are good, but what does the term mean exactly? Let’s look at some of the most common examples. So why are rap lyrics called bars? And why do they differ from the usual meanings.
A rap song typically contains two or three 16-bar verses and two or more 8-bar choruses. Some songs feature only a 16-bar verse while others have two or three 12 bar verses and a four-bar pre-chorus. The rap lyrics that comprise the verse are often haunting and leave listeners wondering what to expect from the chorus. To help you figure out which bars go where, here are some examples of common rap song structures.
Another important aspect of rap lyrics is the number of words. In general, the more words a rap song contains, the longer it will be. Generally, rap verses are only about three lines long, but some can have as many as five bars! The number of syllables in a single line can vary greatly. In addition, rap verses should vary in length between hard and soft sounds. Hard sounds are letters such as “K”, “T”, “P”, and”B,” while soft ones are letters like “Shh”, ‘Ch’, or “R”.
Rap music was born as a form of spoken word music, and early blues groups such as the Memphis Jug Band used words and phrases that would later be known as rap lyrics. As spoken word music entered the mainstream, it was a natural step. It provided a cultural context that rap songs lacked. Today, it is considered a genre. And the question “Why are rap lyrics called bars” remains a controversial one.