What is the name of this verbal beat in "Anaconda"?
August 29, 2014 12:49 AM   Subscribe

Say he don't like 'em boney, he wants something he can grab So I pulled up in the Jag, and I hit him with a jab like Dun da da dun dun dun dun dun dun

I've been obsessing over the Anaconda music video and this beat, and rap genius is giving me nothing. It's a reference to MIA's (Nicki's 'bad bitch from Sri Lanka') identical beat in her collaboration with Timbaland, and the jungle setting of the video is also an echo of MIA and a reinforcement of the way the song and video explore and play with exoticization of black/brown womens' sexuality, I and I'm wondering what rhythm it is that both women are using. I don't have much music theory experience and and kind of grabbing at wikipedia straws, and would really appreciate if a mefite who knows more about this school of music could help me out.

Music theory mefites, what is the name of this rhythm?
posted by moonlight on vermont to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The word you're looking for isn't rhythm necessarily. This is a vocal pattern that has it's roots in the roots of hip hop--dancehall reggae. Cf BOM BOM. What a BOM BOM. / piddley piddley Pom. / dong da dong dong da dongdongdong / & That THONG THONGTHONGTHONG thong
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:09 AM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd call it a new twist on scat singing
posted by Mchelly at 3:48 AM on August 29, 2014

To build on what Potomac Avenue said, there's a great example in the reggae sample from Mercy.
posted by Itaxpica at 5:24 AM on August 29, 2014

Riddims. I can't point you to the specific one, but this is a useful starting point.
posted by judith at 6:15 AM on August 29, 2014

Same rhythm shows up in Missy Elliot's Work It with a lower bpm.
posted by bfranklin at 6:23 AM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I'd write that rhythm instead as "dun da da dun dun da da dun dun", with the "dun"'s quarter notes and the "da"'s, eighth notes. It starts on beat one of a measure and ends on beat 3 of the following measure. The missy elliot just replaces each "dun da da dun" by "da da da da dun" but keeps the same feeling (just a little slower with different syllables).

The MIA one is "dun da da dun da da dun da da dun dun". The "dun" in "da da dun" lands right on a strong beat each time so sounds less interesting to me than the other two where the second "da da dun" is shifted back a beat with respect to the measure.

I think. I might be misplacing the bar lines.

(Anyway, all that to say I wouldn't go so far as to call these "identical" even if they may have a common influence.)
posted by bfields at 7:09 AM on August 29, 2014

I almost posted this in the Anaconda thread (part II) with the same suggestion for where she was lifting it from - Come Around, and then possibly Missy. But I wasn't satisfied that she was referencing either one, and I still don't think she is.

And then in doing searches I found her website has a Nicktionary, and she said it was "Used when you have no more words for washups and shortcakes" [rg has a screenshot]. So maybe she's used it in other songs or maybe she just made it up or whatever, but I don't think she's signifying back to any other artists that I can mentally recall.
posted by cashman at 4:06 PM on August 29, 2014

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