Looking for Country and Rap/Hip Hop songs NOT in 3/4 or 4/4 time...
May 18, 2009 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Looking for Country and Rap/Hip Hop songs NOT in 3/4 or 4/4 time...

Bonus points if you can find me a Gangsta-Rap song in crazy time signatures. Is there such thing?
posted by querty to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
You might have some luck in the grime genre: e.g. Dizzee Rascal, etc.
posted by nitsuj at 1:24 PM on May 18, 2009

Of all the types of music out there I don't think there's any that has a stronger connection to the DJ than hiphop - hiphop was invented by DJs and modern DJing was invented by hiphop. So while I'm sure someone somewhere has done some crazy 11/4 thing, the genre is pretty solidly all in 4/4 time.

Nitsuj: The second sentence of that wikipedia page links to an article about a specific style of 4/4 beat (2-step) as a characteristic of that genre.

I don't know crap about country.
posted by aubilenon at 1:59 PM on May 18, 2009

The only country and rap/hip hop number I know of is Hick Hop and to my untrained ear it sounds like it's mostly in 4/4.
posted by adamrice at 2:00 PM on May 18, 2009

Try Chemical Calisthenics, by Blackalicious. I don't know precisely what time signatures he uses in the song, because they keep changing, and he does crazy things with the tempo as well.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:05 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

DJ Shadow - Changeling. There's no rapping over it, but it's in 7/4.
posted by naju at 2:30 PM on May 18, 2009

(Or alternating 8/4 and 6/4 bars, I'm not sure which.)
posted by naju at 2:31 PM on May 18, 2009

I'm terrible at recognizing time signatures but Ice Rink (beat by Wiley with Kano rapping over) is particularly strange.
posted by Kattullus at 2:40 PM on May 18, 2009

Katullus: that's in 4, the "boosh" is on the fourth beat.

The OP should look into IDM as a source for this. I'm pretty sure there are some Shadow Huntaz or Bola tracks that could fit here. I have a feeling the OP has a "real question" behind this, since both country and hip-hop are stolidly traditional forms of music that have their roots in dancing. There aren't many trad forms of dance that include odd time signatures.

For the nerds who can't help themselves when it comes to forest/tree relationships, I'm not saying that there aren't exclusions to my observations. We all know about that John Zorn song with the snippet of the "Green Acres" theme, but I don't figure it counts here.
posted by rhizome at 2:49 PM on May 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

@aubilenon — you could dance to this, no? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOUqx0gZiGQ (found upon further googling)

@rhizome — yep, lots of experimental artists doing odd time signatures in the IDM genre. I'm going to agree with you on "both country and hip-hop are stolidly traditional".
posted by querty at 3:46 PM on May 18, 2009

querty: The reason dance music is [virtually] all 4/4 is not because people can't dance to 3/4 (waltzes!) but because it's a lot easier for DJs to mix things together that have the same time signature. The more DJ oriented a genre is the more 4/4-focused it tends to be.

Loads of people dance to Rock music but that doesn't stop rock from doing all kinds of ridiculous time signatures. Because that's traditionally played live, with brief gaps between the songs. Thus its performers are not beholden to mix songs into a stream of if not homogeneous at least non-jarring rhythm.
posted by aubilenon at 4:04 PM on May 18, 2009

Maybe it's not exactly what you're looking for, but Hey Ya! does have alternating time signatures, going between odd numbers of measures in 4/4 and 2/4, giving the whole thing a bit of a lopsided feel.
posted by SNWidget at 7:15 PM on May 18, 2009

Yeah, loads of bluegrass songs are structurally waltzes (3/4). Does bluegrass count as country?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:00 PM on May 18, 2009

Hand Throw by Venetian Snares is in 7/8
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 6:25 PM on May 23, 2009

And On The Road by John Hartford is in 5/4
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 8:54 PM on May 23, 2009

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