Breakdown: YBN Cordae's Rhyme Scheme on Logic's "Mama / Show Love"

As listeners, we appreciate being able to anticipate and/or follow along with the rhythm pattern of an artist.
Logic, YBN Cordae, "Mama / Show Love" Lyric Breakdown, 2019, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Logic’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind hosts a number of big name features, including Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and G-Eazy, but no artist seized the spotlight quite like YBN Cordae on “Mama / Show Love”:

Unlike Logic, who has a well-documented estranged relationship with his mama, Cordae paints a loving picture of his mother, depicting her as the proud parent who made his life possible.

This can be seen in the following breakdown of the verse:


Some takeaways from Cordae's "Mama" verse above:



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The Miami-bred artist is a Trojan horse in today's underground rap landscape.

  • The verse is eight bars long and contains 139 words
  • 101 of those 139 words are unique, or 72.7%
  • 81 of those 139 words contain significant rhymes, or 58.3%
  • With 112 significant rhymes in total, Cordae averages 14 rhymes per bar

Cordae constructs his rhymes in a very structured manner. Once he establishes a specific pattern he adheres to it for the remainder of the verse.

For example, the multi patterns for the first four bars are:


When multis are identical outside a slight variance, the difference is denoted by including a period and corresponding number. For example, multis 1.1 and 1.2 only vary in that each example of the latter begins with an additional ‘e’ sound. This is also the case with multis 3.1 and 3.2, except it’s an ‘o’ sound.

However, notice in 3.2 how the multi “Know they shoot the killers” includes one more syllable than its counterparts. This is an example of “Syllable Omission,” which is a common practice for skilled MCs. Including a stray syllable or two in a group of rhymes typically doesn’t distinctly disrupt a multi.

Verses structured like the one above make for a rewarding listening experience because, as listeners, we appreciate being able to anticipate and/or follow along with the rhythm pattern of an artist.

To Cordae’s mother, and every other mother out there, a belated Happy Mother's Day.


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