Shadow Precinct

Shadow Precinct

I Ain't No Joke



This image haunts the nightmares of wack rappers.


  What's up family?  I know it's been a minute, but we're going to pick up where we left off with the Shadow Precinct Soundtrack series of posts detailing songs mentioned in the book and why they'r important.  The next song is the classic "I Ain't Know Joke" by Eric B.  and the God MC, Rakim.  Any student of rap knows this song.  Hell, even if you're a student of rock and roll, you probably are aware of the duo.  Rakim came at a time when cats were still using that Kurtis Blow "A huh-HA-HA" flow.  When Rakim started to spit bars, it was like you went back in time with your ipod and stood next to an old timey gentleman playing his gramophone.  They way he put his words together was just like nothing before him.  That's not hyperbole, either.  Even when you hear his flows on records that are almost 30 (30?!) years old now, you can see why he's called the God of rap:  he fathered the styles of your favorite rappers.


  This song in particular is an exercise in hip hop braggadocio.  I'm better than you, and these bars of death will prove it.  This was more like a warning for anyone trying to step into the arena.


I ain't no joke

I used to let the mic smoke

Now I slam it when I'm done and make sure it's broke



   No bling raps.  No coke raps.  No raps about money and/or bitches or a new dance.  Just raw word manipulation.  Pure, merciless skill on display.   Something that makes me nostalgic for the old days in the era of hashtag rap (I.E. Come and find me...Nemo).  This song is mentioned in the novel when we flashback to the main character Everett's zealot training days.  I specifically chose the time frames for the story to coincide with some of the best hip hop that we'd ever see as a means of keeping that heartbeat constant throughout the novel.  The ever present soundtrack in our main character's mind.  I picture him as being very much a hip hop elitist, but not into total snob/douchebag levels.  I wanted to create a vivid picture of the training facility and all of the deadly training exercises that they have to complete in order to be an official zealot.  Everett is not one to brag, he let's his actions speak for themselves.  This song seemed like the perfect background music to represent that type of attitude.


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