Improve Your English Through Rap and Hip-Hop Music

When you’re learning a language, you have resources for learning all around you. From watching movies to learning language through the news, you can practice English anywhere you turn. Music is no exception, and rap and hip-hop songs can help you brush up on a number of English language skills.

Sound Morphing

An artist in a sound studio
Rap can especially help advanced learners because it uses sound morphing. Sound morphing is when two or more words are combined to speed up a sentence. For example, “going to” is often switched for “gonna,” such as in the sentence, “We’re gonna go to the store.” It’s something native speakers do naturally, but it can take some time for those who have recently started to learn English to master. Sound morphing is frequently used in rap music, so listening is a good way to practice this skill.

Slang Vocabulary

Rap and hip-hop music are famous for is their unique use of language. Traditionally, many artists in these genres—although certainly not all—came from poverty-stricken neighborhoods where education wasn’t always easily accessible. Music is a sacred form of art in many of these neighborhoods. It’s no surprise, then, that there are so many “slang” words used in rap and hip-hop songs. This informal language isn’t taught in English textbooks or on flashcards, but music can help you pick up on these terms. In fact, many commonly used English words can trace their meanings back to rap or hip-hop music.

Start Using Music to Practice English Now

A few songs to start listening to now include “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, and “Concrete Schoolyard” by Jurassic 5. These songs can really help you improve your English language skills to supplement your ALCC American Language courses. If you’re interested in taking classes, call us at (212) 736-2373 or register now!

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