How the triplet flow took over rap

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Although the usage of triplets (i.e. the “Migos” flow) has become very popular as of late, and is currently heard on just about every rap track that hits the Billboard 100, the usage of triplets in rap is not something new. It has its roots in Midwestern and Southern rap communities in the 80s onward. In rap, a triplet is essentially like setting your verse to 3/4 time - three beats per bar rather than 4. In rap, it can be used as a sort of verbal trick - it could slow down a song by throwing off the expected rhythm our brain is expecting to hear or even speed it up. Listening to verses in triplets can also make the rappers’ flow feel cleaner. Lyrically, the songs can be flexible or rigid, allowing a diverse range of rap styles to be done over the beat.

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