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5×5 Day Three: ScholarMan's Top 5 Storytelling Songs

by Travis on April 15, 2009

We’ve featured ScholarMan on WYDU several times over the past year and will continue on doing so. The dope MC out of Maryland, just dropped his 2nd EP of the year in the form of Distant Voices. He blesses us with his five favorite story telling tracks of all-time.

Track List:

1. Welcome to the UK
2. Across Waters
3. Well Suited
4. So Vital w/ K-Mynez
5. Interlude
6. Want It, Need It
7. Got Love

Top 5 Storytellers/Stories

Storytelling makes up a large portion of the lyrical foundation of the emcee. Whether its stories of collective struggle or of one person, to present a plot, characters and dialogue in a song and make it memorable not many can do. On my last three albums I have dedicated at least one track to a story. Those mentioned on my list were and are my inspiration in constructing my stories.

1. Slick Rick (Children’s Story)

Slick Rick has thus far been deemed the best story teller in the rap game, and after 20 plus years doing it and still holding the title, he is number one on my list. His song Children’s Story is immediately recognized by the masses as soon as the needle drops.

2. Nas (Rewind)

This song from Nas’ Stillmatic is by far the most unique story on the list. To tell a song backwards and still manage to keep your listener’s attention is dope. What more can I say.

3. 2pac (Brenda’s Gotta Baby)

2pac’s (Tupac) Brenda’s Gotta Baby was probably the first song I heard at the time that actually made me wake up a bit about what was going on around me. This song was about a young female who gave birth to a child but because she couldn’t handle the responsibility she left the child to die. It’s crazy how you hear about things like this on the news sometimes and really don’t pay it any mind, but when one of your favorite hip-hop artists reports the same type of story, you are in full attention.

4. Ghetto Boys (Mind Playing Tricks on Me)

If you listen to this song closely, beyond the hypnotic Issac Hayes sample you will hear three stories of three men battling an internal demon. Simply put, we all have a demon or two that we battle daily, and the Ghetto Boys put their struggles on full display on this classic song from my middle school years. I remember riding on the bus to school and literally everyone on the bust was singing the tune of the sample: “dun-dunna-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun…dun-dunna-dun-DUN-dun-dun-dun”

5. Biggie Smalls (Warning)

When Biggie came on the scene, everyone that I knew was walking around talking “baby, baby!” Many were crazed over his hit singles Juicy and One More Chance but one gem I don’t hear about as often is Warning. This was a simple but effective story about how he was a target by those who wanted his stacks, and how he handled it. Dope.

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