Broken Language: Rap Skits Must Die!

“Yo, what the fuck is an interlude anyway? Fuck that. Just play the next song.”
-Left Brain from Mellowhype’s “Hell”

It’s 1967, and the Beatles have just released their magnum opus Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. You race home from the record store with a copy in hand, slit the packaging, toss on the vinyl, and you hear John Lennon’s voice in stereo shouting, “It’s the motherfuckin’ Beatles! We in the building!” The band launches into the album’s searing title track.

Hit the skip to continue reading.Fast forward to 1971. You just made it through the titanic, thunderous sounds of Led Zeppelin’s masterful fourth album. John Bonham’s pulsating beat for “When the Levee Breaks” peters out, and Jimmy Page’s bluesy slide guitar lead gives way to silence. Robert Plant comes back to thank you for your purchase and your continued support of his band.

Jump to 1973. You’re listening to Exile on Main St., arguably the Stones’ finest hour. You finish up the album’s mind-blowing first side. The soulful sounds of “Tumbling Dice” fade out, and you flip the record. A hyena-like sound pierces the silence. It’s Mick and Keith, probably stoned or worse, laughing their asses off telling jokes and clowning around before they unexpectedly break into the rustic, genteel “Sweet Virginia”.

That shit would sound fucking ridiculous, right? Why do hip hop artists clutter their albums with this kinda shit? These tracks are rarely worth listening to more than once, and they murder the flow of the album. Go get Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot. Turn on “Be Still”, the Janelle Monae assisted gem in the album’s mid-section. Why the fuck does the track start with a teabagging joke? It has no business coming right after the somewhat serious and soulful “Hustle Blood”. Why is it there? Get out Biggie’s Ready to Die. Put on track 8. Why does this exist?

Rap albums perpetrate these head scratching excursions into bad comedy every day. Somebody needs to stand up and let these cats know they’re fucking up. I’ll be the one. Rappers, kill the intros, outros, skits, interludes, etc.  We don’t wanna hear that weak shit no more. Stop wasting studio time and album space on tracks we never listen to again after the first playthrough. Save us the trouble and keep the amateur comedy off record. PLEASE.

PS. For the record, I do not hate all skits, interludes, intros, and outros. Off the top, here’s a list of the ones I actually listen to. I’m probably forgetting something. Even so, 95 percent of all skits can kick rocks with no socks. Anything that detracts from or upsets the flow of an album is filler. Anyways, here’s that list in no particular order.

Tanya Morgan’s “Hardcore Gentleman” off Brooklynati
Anything on the first two De La Soul albums
Outkast’s “Kim & Cookie” off Stankonia
Anything off 36 Chambers
Little Brother’s “Diary of a Mad Black Daddy” off The Minstrel Show
Anything off Madvillainy
And last, but not least, any intro where the rapper stops fucking around and just raps.

23 thoughts on “Broken Language: Rap Skits Must Die!

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  1. Respect Zach. MA’s “Disposable Arts” and “A Long Hot Summer” classics in their own right, would be nothing without the interludes. Hip-hop interludes add to the narration and story of concept albums.

    I agree with the Big Boi teabag joke though, who is that redneck cracker anyways?

  2. Masta Ace’s “Disposable Arts” and “A Long Hot Summer” classics in their own right, would be nothing without the interludes. Hip-hop interludes add to the narration of concept albums.

    I agree with the Big Boi teabag joke though, who is that redneck cracker anyways?

  3. I dig necessary skits that help with the flow of a project. Tiye Phoenix has a great “bored room” skit on Half Woman | Half Amazin’. I agree with you that the back end of Dropout had some really messy skits. There’s an art to a quality skit.

  4. Prince Paul is alright and sure, a skit king in his own lane. But my comment was a personal one – I’ve never met a KW skit/interlude I don’t adore in one way or another, even if they are, as Craig says, in abundance/excess.

  5. Yeah, those PackFM ones are pretty good.

  6. Kanye look and support group from Pack FM are mad funny, and go with his album ‘I F*ucking Hate Rappers’ theme/flow. but most are whack

  7. “kanye is the skit king” ???? – you should google prince paul.

  8. Anonymous|

    Really nice write up and totally agree with your comments. Gotta say though, I still listen to Kanye’s skits through – I think they sometimes add mood or emotion to a track.

  9. I like to pretend Chris Rock on “Blame Game” never happened.

  10. No mention of Chris Rock on ‘Blame Game’? It’s unnecessary to begin with, then it drags on for nearly 3 minutes. Horrible.

  11. Even if the skit is good, 9 times out of 10 I skip it. Never was a fan. Nice piece Craig.

  12. Good point. It was a bit excessive with the skits on College Dropout.

  13. Moar Caek|

    word. and learn to spell, Dickhead. that shit is old.

  14. Does this mean Word of Mouf should be like 5 minutes long?

  15. Kanye West is the skit king.

  16. What about Moka Only’s interludes and intros that feature a new beat every time? Also what about when he throws a random beat at the end of a song? I think that those are great.

  17. Nice read, Craig! One more album with fantastic skits is Masta Ace’s Disposable Arts. Those skits are some of my favorites in recent memory.

  18. Agreed completely, even though I typically don’t listen to ANY skits after the first listen.

  19. On the back end of College Dropout, there’s a stretch of tracks where there’s a skit, a song, and then two more skits back to back. Even if they were thematically relevant, that was excessive.

  20. Anonymous|

    Cosign on the Fugees bit.

  21. Kanye’s first two albums had some pretty funny skits especially on “Late Registration”. While I agree most skits/interludes suck hip-hop albums a good skit can break up the monotony of filler on certain albums.

    Since we’re on the topic skits; Fugees Chinese restaurant skit from “The Score” is the illest.

  22. You edit the wack parts out of Mars Volta albums? You’re my new hero.

  23. This is the whole reason mp3’s happened. I have custom versions of most classic rap albums with that shit…edited out. Just like how all my Mars Volta albums are 10-20 minutes shorter than everyone elses.

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