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Top 3 Current Storytelling Raps

Tales from the front lines.

Julia Roxas

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On Lil Wayne’s most recent album he dropped a song called “Mona Lisa,” which starts off with the line “I got a story to tell.” It’s definitely one you want to listen to. It’s about a man, a woman, and a robbery.

Wayne talks about how man is easily deceived because he is so oblivious to what’s going on around him. He is too distracted with the woman he is with that he never even realizes she is part of a set up. He talks about how men let women who they don’t even know into their homes to lay up with them.

The woman lets Wayne know when to come in and where stuff is hidden. She helps the rich man look for the things that are missing so things don’t look suspicious. Then she helps pull off the final set up, where Wayne comes in to rob the rest of his belongings and murder the guy.

Kendrick Lamar is featured in the song to portray the rich man’s perspective. Both sides of the story are interesting to hear, and I recommend listening to this.

One of T Grizzley’s songs, called “First Day Out,” tells the story about his life full of crime and how it all changed when he finally got arrested. T Grizzley was sentenced to nearly three years for multiple robberies and home invasions. However, he was also involved in dealing drugs.

He explains that he was involved with all of this because he had to take care of himself, he couldn’t rely on other people to get him the things he wanted in life. He also talks about how people switched up on him when he went to jail and with the chorus of “I know they prayed on my downfall” we can assume these people didn’t believe he would make it out.

He started writing this song in 2015 and continued the process while he was incarcerated. He produced and dropped this song when he finally got out. The track blew up, and the rest is history.

G Herbo’s song “Malcolm” on one of his most recent albums, Humble Beast, is about a boy growing up in the inner city of Chicago. The story is not just a reflection of his own childhood, but it is representative of many young black experiences.

He talks about kids not having dads and being raised by a mom addicted to drugs. He also talks about the violence being so bad and having to carry around a gun at such a young age because these kids had to keep their guard up.

He mentions how this was the only life that these young folks knew and that their futures were already predetermined due to their poverty and social status. This story brings awareness to people who believe that these kids out here getting involved with violence are doing it by choice.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Julia was born and raised in the Chicago area. She is currently a 3rd year undergrad student at the University of Iowa. She is majoring in Enterprise Leadership with a certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship. Listening to music is one of her favorite things to do and you will almost always catch her with headphones on. Her favorite genres are Hip-Hop and R&B. Aside from music, she is also passionate about fashion. Putting together different outfits and looks is one of her favorite things to do.

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