• DON'T annotate individual words
Highlight the entire line/lyric
Avoid cherry-picking one or two words in a line and annotating them out of context. Annotations like this have the same drawbacks as picture annotations: they’re dull, repetitive, and often don’t even explain the lyrics properly.
Worse still, they block other users from annotating the whole line. They’re forced to highlight the rest of the line and work on that. So instead of one solid annotation we end up with two or three lesser, partially overlapping ones. In cases like this, your one or two words risk being
deleted merged into the larger annotation.
Example 1: “Takeover” by Jay-Z
This short line used to be split into THREE separate annotations: one for the word “Tec”, one for “Large Professor”, and one for “on tour with”.
Not only was this overkill for a single line, only one of the annotations had anything to do with the song. The others were just generic definitions. Expanding the scope to the whole line encourages a fuller, more relevant, more interesting annotation.
Example 2: “Patience (Sabali)” by Nas and Damian Marley
These few lines, which only contain six different words, were originally carved up into FOUR annotations, none of which even mentioned the origin of the lyrics. By slicing the phrase into such tiny pieces, the overall context of the words was lost.
So use your common sense. There’s a difference between annotating a line and just defining the words in it. Before going in on all of the Glocks, Macs, Mollys and leans in a song, ask yourself whether you could make your annotations more interesting by tackling longer phrases.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Contributor Guidelines” by Rap Genius Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box