What’s More Important: The Beat Or The Lyrics?


As a listener what do you value the most in a song? The beat or the lyrics? I already know what I value the most: the beat. Yes. Why do I think this happens? The beat is everything to me because it “hits” me first. Yeah, I know it might sound superficial, but it’s primal. How do I feel about songs with great lyrics but average beats? Here’s the thing, I can’t remember an example for this one. You know why? Probably because I don’t bother to finish the song. That’s right. If the beat is weak, I tend to shut it down. I’ll pull the plug on that song, if you know what I mean.

As I said before, I can’t name any song that has great lyrics but a weak beat. However, I know plenty with a great beat and “questionable” lyrics. And in my book, there are a couple of recurrent offenders. Here are just some precious examples.

R. Kelly

He’s my definitely my guilty pleasure. “I Believe I Can Fly“. Do you guys remember that song? I know it’s a classic, but this not the R. Kelly that I’m talking about. Oh no, there’s a whole another side to this artist that few have heard about. This is the man that has songs like “Cookie”, “Sex Planet” and “Marrying The P*ussy” under his musical repertoire. What do these all songs have in common? A great beat. What about the lyrics? That’s subjective.


How did I discover his music? I guess I was listening to too many R. Kelly songs on YouTube. They must have figured out: if this girl likes R.Kelly’s music, then she must be into TheWeeknd’s music as well. And they were right. I must say, I have a lot of mixed feeling about this artist. On one hand, he has the most alluring voice ever: the guy can sing. But on the other hand, if you pay attention to his lyrics: they are sensual and misogynistic at the same time. So confusing…


Another export from Canada. Just like TheWeeknd, he uses the same formula for his songs: great beats combined with sensual and misogynistic lyrics. At this point, the joke is no longer on these artists. It’s on me. I know they are “bad”, but I can’t stop listening to them. He has a song named “FWU”, the title might sound offensive to some but the way he sings is everything. I’m almost embarrassed to say that he makes dirty sound sexy. Go check it yourselves…

Tory Lanez

He’s another Canadian on this list. He may not be a mainstream artist yet, but he has everything to become one. His voice definitely doesn’t match his looks. On the outside, the guy looks like a thug. However, from the moment he opens his mouth to sing, you can’t help to fall for his enticing voice. A rapper and a R&B singer that occasionally covers songs from female artists. He’s really something…

Don’t get me wrong, but there are some female artists as well. However, they tend to be occasional offenders.

Nicki Minaj — Anaconda

Nicki knows her assets and “Anaconda” is her ode to big booties. As expected, her video received tons of negative feedback. Many probably felt uncomfortable with the amount of booties displayed in the video. I mean, the song is about booties… Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense too display as many as you can?

Jennifer Lopez – Booty ft. Iggy Azalea

J.Lo is one brave woman. Many were hating on her because her video was deemed “inappropriate”. Apparently, it’s was too provocative, exploitative and borderline tasteless. Let me you something, J.Lo was in her mid-forties when she shot the video and she looked better than ever. She’s a grown woman and she can do whatever she wants. Period.

Meghan Trainor — All About That Bass

Another song about booties. This is the song that set Meghan Trainor to stardom. Unlike J.Lo and Nicki, Meghan did not receive negative backlash for her song. What conclusions can I drawn from this? It doesn’t really matter what you singing about. As long as you’re fully clothed, people will not hate on you.

Katy Perry — California Gurls ft. Snoop Dogg

Do you still remember this song? I was addicted to it and I’m not even a Cali girl. There’s something about the beat… it’s so easy to memorize. It’s like candy for your ears. Let’s be honest, the lyrics are not the best… But are we really paying attention to them?

To conclude, I would like to say the way we react to a song is no different to how we react to a person. The first impression we have from a song comes from its beat, then we “digest” the content of lyrics. Just like the way we form a first impression about someone: first, we judge their outer appearance and then, we judge their personality.