My lack of musical terminology knowledge has the potential to shine in this, and in an effort to avoid that, this writing is decently short.
Music has such a beautiful way of bringing people together or starting incredibly heated, potentially destructive arguments. It honestly depends on your level of passion.
Everyone has their favorite song because it aligns with their personal music preferences—the sounds and words that satisfy their ears. Since I’ve kind of gotten into writing about music, I thought it was about time I share my top three personal music preferences.
Make the trumpet a focal point of any song, and it’s a wrap for me. I think one of the reasons I initially fell in love with Macklemore is because of the horns in “Can’t Hold Us.” They get a moment to shine, and it’s a beautiful moment that doesn’t disturb the song; it aids in the flow. Someone adding a trumpet to a song immediately makes my heart smile, especially if it’s in a rap song. I feel like giving horns a moment in a rap song has the potential to add more hype and energy than those intense basses that feel like they’re going to destroy your car window.
Pianos & Rap
The second I hear a piano key in a rap song, the volume is getting turned up. It doesn’t matter if it’s my first or fiftieth listen, if a rap song starts with a piano key, it’s getting turned up, and the volume stays up if it continues to be a focal point of the song. Rap songs without the aggressive bass or without being heavily, blatantly sampled are the best songs.
I’m currently listening to J. Cole’s entire discography, and the way 2014 Forest Hills Drive started and ended with a piano was absolute perfection. The last song is well over ten minutes, especially with most of it being him thanking people, but the piano inclusion makes it a full circle project.
If done right, a rap song with both the piano and horns will have the power to send me to my knees in adoration.
The minute I hear a choir in a song, it’s love at first listen, especially if the choir is very big and in-your-face. A song that immediately comes to mind when I think about a choir is “Something Real” by Post Malone; the choir makes it seem like a song with a big production, but it’s just big beautiful voices. Another project I listened to this year that beautifully showcases a choir is In His Mania by Spencer Sutherland; most of that album uses big voices as a means of production, and it is actual perfection. After listening to In His Mania for the first time, it becomes one of those albums you want to belt the lyrics to in a hairbrush; it is my favorite album to do the dishes to.
Something about hearing a choir in a song takes me back to church, and when I think of church, I think of the love and support of the people I call home.
If a song reminds you of home and makes you feel like you’re understood and supported, it’s the perfect song.