How to rap
What if told you that rapping and being a good rapper was easy?
That all you need to do is to follow the right set of plan and you will be able to start rhyming and rapping easily?
And the truth is you do not even need to be initiated into any secret cult, or learn any special type of greeting and handshake to become a good rapper.
You can get everything you need for free across the internet
Infact scratch that - you can get everything you need for free right here in this article
Because in this article, I have compile everything you need to know to get you from amateur rapper to professional easily
All you have to do is read on…
Let's look at the history of rap
Before we even begin looking at how to rap as a beginner, I think it’s ideal we take a step backwards and look at the the history of rap music.
According to wikipedia, rapping is spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics and has content, flow and delivery as it’s components.
Rapping and hip hop music go hand in hand and before it became mainstream in the United States, the origin of rap can be traced back to a time when West Africans used it as a form of story telling passing down information to their children usually accompanied by a drum.
Fast forward to the 70’s and rapping became very popular in the streets of US especially among African Americans.
But it wasn’t until the Sugarhill gang released their smash hit “Rapper’s Delight” that a lot of people began to sit up and take notice of the emerging genre of music.
After that Run DMC and NWA emerged on the scene and the rap audience increased
By the 90’s rap music advanced from the old school type of rap - which was basically simple lyrics with simple beats to a much more advanced style which was louder and has complex lyrics.
This was the period when artists such as Notorious BIG, Tupac and Snoop Dog emerged on the scene with their own unique styles and techniques for rapping.
From when rap first emerged as a genre of music, it has stood the test of time.
We have had artists new artists coming up and bringing a different style and their own unique twist to the way rap has been received worldwide.
Different rap styles and techniques
When it comes to the rap styles and the techniques, the one criteria which we can use to judge is the style of flow.
Simply because flow is all about delivery and how you get your lyrics out for your audience to hear.
Think about it for a minute…
The best rap songs which have caught your attention and stuck in your head, have a certain flow and delivery that just stuck in your head.
It could be fast with punch lines and metaphors like Busta Rhymes or Twista or it can be slow and with a singing twist like Drake or Lil Wayne.
Flow is something that we will be talking about much later in this article.
For now here are the different rap styles based on rap delivery and flow.
The Chant - This is very common and used by artists such as Lil Jon and Project Pat. it has a unique head bumping rhythm to it.
The Syncopated bounce - This was popularized by Twista and Bone Thugs N Harmony and involves rhyming and rapping at a very fast pace with a mix of tongue twisting.
The Straightforward Style - This is perhaps the most popular and commonly used style of rap. It involves rhyming to the beat and maintaining the tempo.
The Rubik’s Cube - This is a style used by artists such as Nas, Black Thought, Common and Kurupt. It is named after the rubik's cube because it is an advanced style of rapping with lots of storytelling and wordplay
The 2-5-flow style - This is a style of flow that was originated by Camp Mulla
Here is a YouTube Video of Eminem talking about his style of flow
How to rap for beginners
Before we go further, I want to say something and make sure it resonates with you.
Rapping is an art which you can learn and then nurture.
All it takes is for you to be willing to put in the time and learn how it works.Alright, Let’s begin
First you need to learn the basic
Like everything worth learning and learning well, you need to learn the basics of how to rap.
This will ensure that you become grounded and that you have a solid foundation going forward.
You need to listen to a lot of rap music
First thing you want to do is to listen to a lot of rap music.
Let me tell you why…
When you listen lots of rap music, you start to get influenced by the artists.
You become used to their technique and their delivery pattern.
Subconsciously, this will play a huge role in shaping the way you flow and rhyme when the time comes.
Also by listening to lots of rap music, allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and sounds of hip hop and rap music.
This helps you adopt hip hop as a way of life while also helping to define the way you flow and rhythm will sound.
So what you need to do is to get as many rap and hip hop tracks you can get and listen to them.
Listen to old school hip hop, new school and all genre of rap music.
You can find them at record stores and even online.
You need to learn rhythm
Most people feel that rapping is all about making sure that your words rhyme at the end.
While this is an important part, one thing you need to consider is rhythm
Rhythm is simply making sure that your words are following a particular order.
This is what people mean when they say “make sure you stick to the beat”
You want to make sure that your flow and delivery is in sync with the beat and the instrument being played.
One way to do this is to try and listen to the instrumental of a song.
Ignore the words and just listen to the instrumental and you will definitely have a good grasp of rhythm and how it works.
Another thing you can consider is beatboxing. This will also help you understand rhythm and how it works.
You need to dive in head first
By diving in head first, I mean you need to start rapping.
But before you get confused, I mean you need to start practicing your flows and delivery by rapping along to some of your favourite songs
What this does is that, it helps you start to develop your own style and get a feel for how rap works.
So what you need to do is to memorize the words to your favourite rap song and then just rap along to it.
If it is possible, see if you can just get the instrumental of the song and then rap along without the lyrics playing.
This helps to build your confidence and also give you a pattern which you can use when crafting your own lyrics.
Secondly, you need to develop your own style
While it is very good rapping along to other people's songs and lyrics, what makes you a true rap artist is when you develop your own style.
Developing your own style makes you unique and separates you from the thousands of rappers out there.
Now when it comes to developing your own style, I am not saying you need to come up with something entirely new.
This will be practically impossible
What you can do is to listen to as many rap styles as you can and then merge them together to form something unique which you are comfortable with.
Here are a few ways you can get started in developing your own style.
Write down some lyrics
The first step to developing your own style of rap is learning how to write lyrics.
Writing your own lyrics will set the foundation for how you flow and how you mix words together.
We will be looking at how to write lyrics more in depth later in this article, but what you want to know is that the key to writing a great rap lyric is to make sure you incorporate storytelling.
So to begin you just need to start.
Make sure you write at least 10 lyrics a day.
Your first try will definitely sound wack - no need to become upset about it.
All you need to do is to keep at it and your writing will become better.
One tip is to get a rhyming dictionary so your word rhyme at the end and also improve your reading habits so that your knowledge is expanded.
You need to rap constantly
I wish there was a magic pill or switch that instantly turns people into better rappers.
But unfortunately, there is none
However what we do have is the magic of constant practice
If you want to get better at something - anything - then you need to practice
Practice, Practice and practice some more
Make a rap journal, write in it daily and practice your rapping daily to increase your confidence and improve on your flow.
Here are some tips on how to rap effectively
- Keep your words clear. You want to be heard and understood by everyone who listens to you.
- Make sure you stay on the beat. Keep to the rhythm of the song.
- Try to stress your consonants as if you rap the way you talk, then nobody will be able to understand you.
- Make sure you are loud
- Be real. This simply means rapping about things that are believable and true to you. Being real is all about telling stories and being relatable.
How to write rap
One of the most important things you need to know how to do is writing your own lyrics.
Sure...there are ghost writers out there who can help you write your own lyrics, but nothing makes you a better emcee than being able to write yourself.
In this section of this article, we will be looking at how to get started writing your own rap lyrics.
1. Come up with a theme or storyline
The first thing you want to do is to come up with a theme or storyline for your lyrics.
This simply means what message you want to send across with your song.
There are different ways for doing this but the most common one is to look within yourself and just tell a story about something that happened to you
The theme sets the stage for the other parts of the song and if you get it right then you should have no problems coming up with the other parts.
2. Get your hook down
Next you need to get your hook down
The hook of your song is usually the chorus.
This is the part that thrills your audience and keeps them looking forward to the next verse.
A good hook will usually have a catchy tune and is something that can be easily remembered
So keep this in mind when writing your hook.
3. What is the structure of the song?
The structure of your song is very important because this helps your delivery and flow of your song.
The most common rap song structure is the 3 verse style. This is usually intro - first verse - hook -second verse - hook - third verse - hook - outro.
This is usually the standard and the one I will advice you to start with.
When you become much experienced then you can explore and play with other song structures.
Also you need to determine how many bars your verses will be.
Is it going to be 16 bars or 32 bars ( a bar is simply one line of your lyrics)
The number of bars that you decide to go with will determine the number of verses that you write.
4. Start writing
This may seem like the hard part but you simply need to start to get those lyrics down on paper.
As usually your first draft is going to come out wack but you simply need to get it down.
So what you need is take your theme and craft it into a story.
Think of it like a story with a beginning, a middle and and an ending.
The simple truth is that there is no amount of words I can say to make it any easier. All you need to do is write your lyrics and have them down on words.
5. Edit and organize your rhymes into a proper order
This is where you arrange and edit your lyrics into a proper rhyme structure.
A proper rhyme structure will give your songs that punch and sweet feelings that an audience will love.
The most common way to do is with alternating couplets.
What this simply means is that you arrange your lyrics so that the words of the first two lines rhyme and then the next two lines also.
What this does is that it gives your lyrics a proper structure and the flow is better organized.
There are many types of rhyme structure you can create such as alternating (whereby the first line and the third line rhyme while the 2nd and 4th line rhyme) or using the 4-6 rhyme style (where the first 4 or 6 line all have words that rhyme at the end)
Tips to take your writing skills to the next level
- Always come up with a theme for your song before you start writing
- Make sure your songs are real and personal.
- Try to understand rhyming - rhyming is what takes your lyrics from “meh” to “awesome”
- Learn to add punchline in your lyrics
- To get better, you should practice rewriting your favourite raps
- Learn poetic techniques to really take your skills to the next level. Techniques such as metaphors, similes, alliteration and assonance will really give your lyrics that punch.
- Try painting a picture with your lyrics. You want to make sure that you add creative visual lyrics in your song. So you want to conjure images in your audience’s mind and tell them stories that keeps them engaged.
- You want to work on your flow and delivery so that they all come together and tell a beautiful well crafted story.
How to rap fast like Eminem
It sounds really good right?
Being able to rap as fast and as good as someone like Eminem.
If you have no idea who Eminem is, then lemme simply tell you that he is one of the rap legends who has a unique style and flow especially when it comes to rapping fast.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do today to improve how you rap and rhyme.
1. Listen to a lot of his songs
The first thing you want to do if you want to learn how to rap like Eminem, is to listen to his songs.
This way you will be able to learn his style of flow and how he delivers his lyrics
Also you will be able to get into his thought process and actually learn to master the speed at which he drops his rhymes.
2. Learn wordplay
One thing about Eminem’s style of rap is his unique use of wordplay.
The way he uses words and delivers them is simply stunning
To become a rapper like Eminem, you need to study the language and master how to merge words together and deliver it exceptionally.
3.Learn how to rhyme properly
Eminem is a master at rhyming.
One particular style of rhyming that he uses a lot is the “multis style”.
This simply means a system whereby you rhyme more than one syllable in a sentence
So for example, you might begin the syllable with “words” and end it with “turds” and then go unto “cat” and “last”
While the last two words do not necessarily rhyme, they sound similar.
4. Learn how to tell stories
If you listen to Eminem rap, then you will know that he is a master at using his lyrics to tell stories.
Most times, his lyrics are so visually appealing that you become totally engaged with what he is saying.
This is one thing that you need to learn if you aspire to rap as good and as fast as Eminem.
One good example of this is in his song Stan.
He paints a clear and vivid picture of himself and the obsessed fan that it was very difficult not to see his train of thought.
The following tips and techniques are some ways to help you get started rapping like Eminem.
The key here is to get started.
Pick one technique and get started with it. And before you know it you will become a good rapper and improve your skills considerably.