Just make rhymes over a beat, right? Essentially, that's all that rap is, poetry and a beat. After delving into this sonic art form I realise there's so much more to it.

A book that helped me appreciate the many elements of rap is The Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of HipHop by Adam Bradley. If you're not an appreciator of rap and its practitioners (rappers and emcees - there's a difference) you will be after reading the book.

Despite devouring the book and learning a lot about writing rhymes and spitting bars, I still can't rock the mic right. I sound like a 50 year old Caucasian dad (guilty as charged!) One thing I have trouble with is cadence ("flow" in rap speak). Cramming more syllables per measure seems to help, but I decided to hire a rapper to show me how it's done. Here's what he came up with:

I like it. It would be a workable template except it occurred to me it's not a really a hymn anymore. I won't get into what makes a hymn and what differentiates a hymn from a "spiritual" or gospel song (I'll save that for another time) but the hymn's raison d'ĂȘtre is to unite people in praising God in song. It doesn't mean hymns can never be sung solo, they can and often are, but they must allow for groups to sing together. My treatment of A Mighty Fortress doesn't make this allowance.

Here are two examples (I previously didn't know existed) that retroactively fit into my "hymn-hop" subgenre. Both combine rap and singing in at least the chorus part:

I'll make some changes and get back to you!