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working with vowels

October 8, 2010

You. Being like you know you to and true I.
To get me you, do perceiue the truth: just.
Duke. And chronicle small hurt lieutenant to what to.
Duke. I you for to do yo.
Girls killin me!!, you your youth, whom.
You by you do you what tell’st.
To be to night, to do beseech.
I do you do this, I to you.
To do you, you haue you the slaue.
You haue to do with due reference.
To you a jheri curl, to you know you.
You, you do to our new york new.
Who, and frailty that you so you and smooth.
To you do you do you and foolish that.

Iago. This country, to the world, me.
Or any, I do is fre.
And true g, I’ll get me. Ha.
And sweet lady? Bring him carefully from.
Their duties, iago., casualties need for.
Iago. She see me what and iago. Jersey.
She be ioy be but I just me the teachers.
Wash me see me, she helped.
Your hurts, me to me and yet me speake.
He be his scorne I shall be angry. Indeed.
Be the tons that nose bleed still for weeks.
On me and she see me it to him.
She had he: I stand so she speakes.
Do me some colour you see, is, keep.

October 8, Unsupervised generation with bigrams using stochastic beam search on vowel phonemes, texts: Notorious B.I.G. “Ready to Die” album lyrics; Shakespeare Othello, generator: ePoGeeS.

I’m worried about you, man. I don’t think you understand how it is with Biggie.

Verbal genius. Masterful execution. Made it cool to be a mortician. I’m not really clear on what he’s talking about much of the time (though I’m pretty sure I’d never want to view or experience any of it myself) but if you want to learn how to use language, you have to study the masters.  In the sample below, rhymed words are colored, repetitions are underlined, assonant words are italicized:

    /    / -   -    -    /   -    / /   -
1. Hah, sicka than your average Poppa twist

    /  -    -  /   -     /  /   -      /    -
2. cabbage off instinct niggaz don't think shit

     /    /    / -     -  -  /     - -
3. stink pink gators, my Detroit players

    /     -  -    -  / -  -     /   -  /
4. Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn Dead

    -     -   -   /    -      /   /    -   /     -
5. right, if the head right, Biggie there ev'r night

    /  /  -     /     -     /   -  /  -  /   /
6. Poppa been smooth since days of Underoos Never

    -     -      /     -    -      /     -
7. lose, never choose to, bruise crews who

    /  /    -    / -    /    /    /    -
8. do something to us, talk go through us,

    /     /    / -    -  -  / -      /  -
9. girls walk to us, wanna do us, screw us,

      / -     /    /  - /    -
10. who us? Yeah, Poppa and Puff 

      /    /     /   - /    -       /     -   /
11. Close like Starsky and Hutch, stick the clutch

     /   -    /       /  -   -     /  - / /
12. Dare I squeeze three at your cherry M-3

     /   / -   // /- /     / - /
13. Bang every MC easily, busily

     / -   /  /  -    /  -  /      / -   /  -
14. Recently niggaz frontin ain't sayin nuttin 

     / -  -     /    -   -      /   -  -
15. so I just speak my piece, keep my peace,

     / -    /     -  / -   /      /    -  /
16. Cubans with the Jesus piece, with my peeps

     /  -   /  -    -  /   -    /   /  -   -  -   /    -
17. Packin, askin who want it, you got it nigga flaunt it,

      /    /   -   /    -    / /  -
18. that Brooklyn bullshit, we on it

I broke lines up to follow the beat, and scanned it based on the way Biggie emphasizes it, which highlights some of the things that makes listening to him so much fun.

  • First, if you look at the scans to see the words he emphasizes, you’ll see he lays his own free-form beat down over the music’s beat, much like a jazz or Rasta drummer would; this avoids the droning quality of poorly-written rap.
  • Second, he fills the verse with rhymes and repetitions.  Every line except the first contains at least 3 rhyming or repeated words, and even the first line contains the half-rhymed “sicka/twist.”  And rather than producing simple end-of-rhyme pairs, he cycles through periods of rhymed words.  Lines 6 through 10, for example, contain a sequence of 15 rhymed words, followed by three rhymed words then 14 rhymed words in lines 12 through 16 that surround another pair of rhymed words that recall the earlier 15.  Reportedly, Biggie composed everything in his head and never wrote his rhymes down.  I found that hard to believe until I really studied his rhymes: every word is tied tightly to every word around it; you fall into one word and you just kind of fall into the ones following it.
  • Third: enjambment.  Phrases flow across the lines created by the beat, creating a rhythm of their own which acts as a counter-point to the music beat and the rhyme beat.

With all that going on, you don’t really need a coherent narrative, but to the verbal techniques listed above, Biggie adds the sort of personality that is essential to rap, not just in menace or bragadaccio but in the sort of humor that comes through in lines like “Poppa been smooth since days of Underoos” and “escargot my cargo.”  Sometimes the weird juxtapositions of these n-gram language models turns out something humorous like that.

Anyway, in the lines above I used ePoGeeS to search for n-gram chains that contained the “UW” phoneme like in lines 6-10 above. That was for the first verse, for the second I searched for the “IY” phoneme as in lines 12-16 above. I guess this is method c50b899a-299a-4b9d-993a-2826b0d5db68 (flowing vowels).

“Hypnotize” isn’t actually in the “Ready to Die” album that I put in the language model. But “Hypnotize” is one of those songs that you always remember your first reaction to. “Juicy” was in the “Ready to Die” album.

If you don’t know, now you know.

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