Choral Department Should Work on Delivery in Rap Performances

By Greer Smith, Opinions Editor

There is no denying that CHS has a talented choral department with gifted singers and dancers. They put on great musicals, BLAST, and perform at school events like pep rallies. The singing voices range from good to excellent, but there is one genre of music I beg they stay away from: Rap.

Rap is not singing, it is a form of spoken poetry with a beat and flow. The lyrics and beat are very important in rap, but so is the deliverance. If a rapper cannot control his/her breathing and articulation, what could be an excellent flow will suddenly just becoming reading rhymes.

While talented vocalists in singing, most choral students have never practiced rapping and do not have the control over deliverance, and yet they perform songs such as “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z, and rather than showcasing their voices, they disrespect an art form.

One would not give a singing solo to someone with a weak voice, but rap solos were handed out to students who lack the skills to handle rapping.

On shows like Glee, rap songs are sometimes covered by those who usually sing, but it is not the same. Those people are trained to learn the deliverance, and even they do not always get it right.

If CHS choral students really have their hearts set on performing the best of rap, then I believe they should, but with the proper training. Students should be taught deliverance, breath control. A good rapper does not take a breath when “spitting” bars, but rather lets it flow, unless the breaths are their for emphasis. There is also a distinct beat being followed.

Choral students would do well to learn this because it opens a wide array of songs that can be performed, and it would be really cool to see students learn to be talented at rapping, which when done well, can be great, poetical music.

So to CHS choral I say, do not stop doing rap music, learn to do rap music, and then by all means share it with those who would otherwise turn a blind eye, or a deaf ear, to an excellent genre of music.