On Rap’s Linguistic Twists and Turns

Daniel Levin Becker in Literary Hub:

Are there unrappable words? Not words that can’t be gerrymandered into rhyme by tricks of truncation or pronunciation, but words so ungainly, so unwieldy, so unhip, so unhip-hop, as to definitively resist rap’s tractor-beam powers of assimilation. Do such words exist? No! says the wide-eyed idealist in me. I mean, probably, says the grizzled skeptic, who doubts I’ll hear pulchritude or amortize or hoarfrost or chilblains dropped over a beat before I die.

But then there was a time not so long ago when I would have put lugubrious on that list, and now here we are. Lil Ugly Mane, a producer from Virginia with a gothically bug-eyed rapping style and at least a dozen different stage names, rhymes it with a run of propositions like flyer than a stewardess and been sick since the uterus, so I’m certainly not complaining.

More here.