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Old 06-02-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Bare Ryu's Guide to a Vicious Punchline

Welcome to my guide. I'd like to discuss one of my favorite topics in text/battle rap: Punchlines. Punchlines are the most effective way to deliver a concept, no matter what context it is put in. The precursor, or build-up, and the delivery of the punchline are some key elements to help exert the desired effect. First, we will go over concrete concepts (multis, bar length, etc.) and then dive deeper into the intangible aspects that help construct a devastating punchline (approach, personal incorporation, similes, metaphors, etc).

CONCRETE:
Multis-
One of the most fundamental concepts in the mechanics of rap in general, but is most stressed in rap battling, even in its non-spoken form. Many of you already know how to comprehend and construct a multi-syllabic scheme, but just for review, I will quickly define what it is. Multi-syllabic rhyming is based on phonetic synchronization through slant or exact rhymes of certain words or a sequence of such. To illustrate: the concept of the entire work is the brick, and the mortar that holds the entire structure together are the multis. Therefore, to effectively deliver a punchline, a mental rhythm must be achieved through the systematic presentation of a multi-syllabic scheme.

For example:
I've never been punctured by an enemy's front or ever headed for cover, I've got several gunners that'll scatter your element structure.

Now I will not go deeper into the mechanics, but I will discuss the effect that this rhythm adds to the punch. This is sort of a filler line, but it does accentuate the capabilities of a systematic rhyme scheme.
Flow is encompassed in multi complexity, as the longer the syllabic chain is, the more of the line is engrossed in the rhyme. This means that the shorter the scheme, the more repetitive it should be, and the longer, the less frequent. This gives the unspoken line an imaginary meter that defines the flow of the bar. This will appeal to the musical side of the reader's brain that will subconsciously embrace them to the flow of the bar, giving a buildup to the actual punch that will come in the second line.

Bar length is also essential since most textcees, which really is an embarrassing term, are lazy in almost everything. Also, lines that are too long or too short either leave an idea under or over developed. This is crucial to the construction of a 1-2 punch, as both the precursor and final punches need to be developed enough so that they will be effective. For example, take this bar from Answer:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Answer
LMAO This dude's never made a track in his fake LIFE ... The only Labels that would EVER 'Stick with Mars'... are 'Faggot' & 'Gay Dyke'!!!
Next you'll claim you selling songs that you don't actually make, right?... Bitch, if ANYONE'S 'Searching For BlacC Singles' It's on an 'African Date Site'!!!
Both lines have a systematic rhyme scheme and appropriate length, which give the set-up and final punches good development and rhythm. I will go deeper in analyzing the intangible aspects of this and other bars later on in this tutorial.

The rhyme scheme (track in his fake life, faggot & gay dike, actually make, right?, African Date site) isn't exactly in iambic structure [stressed/unstressed] but its syllabic build is nice. (It's acutely dactylic which is /uu*, but the syllable counts don't match). Phonetics are essential to the approach to a punch as the way the stressed and unstressed syllables are built can characterize the aggression or emphasize comedic nature of a line.

In this example, I will use a semi-spondaic scheme [//] to help emphasize aggression.

I'm sicker than ANTHRAX on LAB RATS, even if the mac is suppressed, I'm
. .. . // u // .. . . / u u/ .
strapped to the chest like KNAPSACKS n' BACKPACKS
/ u u / . // u //

The dots represent an irrelevant syllable. Now do you notice the stressed metres [//]?? That is a spondee. Spondees give an aggressive and loud tone (ANTHRAX, LAB RATS< KNAPSACKS, BACKPACKS) that help emphasize the aggression in the gunplay bar. Plus the connecting iambic/trochaic schemes (mac is suppressed/strapped to the chest) help connect the two initial spondees to give the line a nice flow.

*- /uu means stressed-unstressed-unstressed. /= stressed u=unstressed. It's basic metro analysis, mostly used in poetry.

MORE CONCEPTS TO LATER ADD:
DRAMATIC PAUSES, EM DASHES, and ELIPSES

ABSTRACT:
Now the abstract aspects of creating a punchline are far more complex and detailed than they may initially seem. Here, a combination of right and left-brained approaches can be used to appeal the imaginary senses of a reader. Now to illustrate the "proper technique" of constructing a punchline through abstract models, you must imagine (with the below diagram's assistance) a pyramid/flow chart.

ANGLE
PERSONAL / WORD-NAME PLAY
SMOOTH / COMEDIC / AGGRESSIVE APPROACH
COMPARATIVE MECHANISM / NON-COMPARATIVE MECHANISM
LIKE / AS / BECAUSE / NAMEPLAY / WORDPLAY / ETC.

Okay, so the "orthodox" process of constructing a bar is setting a base angle. Whether it be a personal you've dug up or a certain play on the opponent's name you've discovered, it serves as a starting angle. This is what I creatively call Step One and Step Two.
Now the following process—with even more creative nomenclature—Step Three, is to determine whether you will present the final segment of the line or wordplay through a laid back or aggressive approach. Now I will present a 3-level gradient of smooth, comedic, and aggressive through a few different bars.

SMOOTH:
Quote:
Originally Posted by INK
Ya just a Punching bag - where's the Fun in that? Just be thankful y'aint Leaving with Black eyes geezer
No point Smashin' him further - if Khrist comes back After this murder ... nah, seen that trick before ...

Didn't Believe in him that time either
Quote:
Originally Posted by KwaL!Ty
I spit only dope or flame.. this will be like a few bad hands during a poker game.. with how quick I'm folding this jerk..
or should I use personals showin the dirt.. Cuz you can tell Tacs held him up his entire career.. Just based off the Holes in His Work..
Note how both bars aren't really humorous or DON DEMARCO, SMMRRRRATTT, type bars. The main reason these are silent haymakers are that they seem passive-aggressive. Smooth delivery of a concept essentially makes a punchline seem less forced, giving it a slight advantage over its two counterparts. The major downfalls of this approach are that it is sometimes hard to pull off and has a huge success/flop discrepancy.

COMEDIC:
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfe
Let’s be real, Bryan...

Your lines miss because you rap like you’re trapped in a dense fog! Punches will make him “mush” like commanding a sled dog!
Stop taking selfies to post on Instagram or your sex blogs! It’s ironic your name is ‘Sonnick’—
— ‘cause you could pass for the Hedgehog!
#ENCEEISTAILS #GOTTAGOFAST
Quote:
Originally Posted by Answer
I'm not offended by none of the shit you say in your bars - Only way you'd ever 'Be In Sultan' is if you went 'Gay with Jafar'! (Be Insultin)
You'll never see this dude raising the bar - He has trouble 'Driving His Concepts Home' but we all know about 'Asians & Cars'!!!
Now the comedic approach is extremely effective because you can use an angle to its full extent. You can use multiple jokes simply for one angle. The Achilles Heel of this type of approach though is that you need a devastating personal for this to work. Such was the case for Tic Tac when Slyfe used his detective skills and used completely new material for his battle. Comedic approaches have a very good success rate unless the angle has been played out in prior battles.

AGGRESSIVE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGO
As far as a challenge, you think this Pussy's Enough? He cant handle these lines like Rookies with Drugs!
Ya Pushin ya Luck, Cuz if you try to "toy with me".. Ill have "Andy up under my feet" like Woody n Buzz!
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuSense
^drop the 'N word' til them Panthers Slashing ya Neck!.. you wouldn't be 'sick off the top' if Cancer Lached to ya Head!
n geek-ya-ain't-wrong, I Slam N Massacre Vets! I'll kill ya!.. you'll need-a-sťance to get this Answer Back from the Dead!
Probably the approach with the highest haymaker probability, aggressive punches seem to be the most imbalanced yet lethal of all. The success/failure rate is extremely off-set, favoring the failure side as most aggressive punches are either gunplay or violent references. This gives off a filler-type vibe especially to those who just don't feel the line. But if it is executed, developed, and presented well, it's extremely tough to look over. This is also one of, if not the most, flexible approaches as both personals and name plays can be utilized in this method of engagement.

Following this, we have Step Four, which is practically an extension of Step Five. Step four answers the age-old question: will I compare my opponent to a piece of shit, or will I show him s/he's a piece of shit? In this step, you will decide whether you want to use a metaphor/simile, or attack with other approaches such as cause and effects, or logical (often times not) assumptions. Cause and effects usually start with because (or 'cuz, 'cause, b/c), and logical assumptions are often presented with since, so, but, etc. These two are the most common, but take note that a non-comparative mechanism simply entails everything besides metaphor and simile. So phrases like "_______er than" and "if..." like are encompassed in this category.Now, let us being presenting and analyzing examples:

COMPARATIVE MECHANISMS:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilminded
My riders will be shootin'! Cock back and hit em'! "Pop caps? You're trippin'!" Sumaru 'might as well be shroomin'!
This biter still be losin'! But "Sen, dog'... to 'be real', you'll see 'mugs' spinnin'" like witnessing a 'cypress hill reunion'!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToNy MaRs
The future of text? You're a shitty-recruit, and not gritty-in-booths! So it's not "shopping sprees" when I give this "kiddy-the-boot!/
From Karn to Mars, Every vet's been killin'-this-dude! Like "weak smokers" He gets put down when once he takes a "hit-from-the-blue!"/
As done by the legends of blue, simile is utilized to make more direct comparisons. There's been somewhat of a complex/indirect renaissance happening in the scene, but nothing can bring out a punch in a classical way like the simile can. It's tough to deviate metaphors from a bar since primarily, to all rappers (I GUESS), any form of a "good bar" has sick metaphors in it. So, I will tread on the line of ambiguity here. Usually comparative mechanisms draw on prior knowledge from pop culture, but that is it's Achilles' Heel as sometimes the audience doesn't seem to get or connect with the punch, postponing the punch's sting to the expo...which means that the sting has been watered down and has become substantially weaker. So, avoid too vague or specific references.

NON-COMPARATIVE MECHANISM:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodore Killingsworth
'Recycling' is only a 'trend in ecology!' It’s like he 'went on a shoppin’ spree' the way '^that lost you credit!' Too long you’ve been 'passed off a Legend,' 'EvilMinded should arrest you for robbery!'
He’ll rest in mahogany - 'this line in compass' “THE END OF REVOLUTION!” but now I’ve rendered him ob-solete you WON'T see him ‘a round’… pardon the “geometric anomaly!”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revolution
Good Lord! Oh my Heavens! speakin’ in text through Theocracy; with the hand of God I’ll reach through the chest of this mockery
He’s predicted to win? I’ll eat what is left of that prophecy; “Theo, rize from the Dead” ..if it’s a medium connecting with Socrates!
Two quotes from the same battle, but who gives a shit? Theodore and Revolution, masters of the punchline, have come to show that maybe the simile isn't the greatest approach there is. As we can see, these two bring logical connections, rather than comparisons. I.E. By noting how a Revolution isn't round, while still noting the bar's ambiguity, Theodore effectively associates (rather than compares) his opponent to a geometric anomaly. Now Revolution on the other hand, uses reverse cause and effect, as saying that if Theo rises from the dead, it cannot be Mr. Killingsworth himself, but some form of demonic Necromancer telecommunication magic voodoo shit—showing Theodore CANNOT rise from the dead. This is usually good if you want to draw out the anticipation of your punches, while still maintaining momentum. The main downfall of this approach is that sometimes, getting too complex or logical can destroy the complete integrity of your bar, where a more comparative approach would have kept it together.
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Last edited by Bare Ryu; 09-22-2014 at 01:49 AM..
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:36 AM   #2
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I've seen better punchlines at a school dance..
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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^ That line was like pussy, most of the niggas on this site wont get it...
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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This is awesome. Great work Bare Ryu. I'm looking forward to your continuation.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
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Updated...
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:33 AM   #6

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interesting guide ... (dont forget to rate)
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:44 AM   #7
 
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Great outline. Very detailed and specific.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:02 AM   #8
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Dope guide, 10/10 would read again.
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[Today 09:02 PM] Disputer: If this is Faget by Korn, Ruvik, I will be angry.

Fernando
: Hajime is currently sitting on his Cheez Whiz stained beanbag chair yelling at his mother for turkey and taters while smoking his menthol cigarettes. He is busy.

Little Vam: I have so much ice, they gonna call me ASAP ANTARTICA
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:17 AM   #9
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This helps a lot thanks @Bare Ryu
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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Extremely useful guide here...Very nice and concise
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