As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a particular subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no previous memorization. It’s comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive ring providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that originally a freestyle was a spit on no specific subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we composed a freestyle rap, which meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it is essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler states:”at the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the mind, so the era I come from it is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather called”coming off the surface of the mind” and Big Daddy Kane stated,”off-the-top-of-the-head [rapping], we just called that’off the dome’ — when you do not write it and [you] say whatever comes to mind”.
Referring to this earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane stated,”that’s what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee describes it as”true” freestyle, and”the true old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee suggests that Kool G Rap’s track’Men At Work’ is an”excellent example” of authentic freestyle, together with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a dialogue or a rhyming game which they play often as a means to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling may also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. In order to prove that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to places and objects in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle on their current situation or psychological condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
Every time I rap in the shower I’m really good, but when it comes to writing, my mind is blank. How do I improve my writing skills?
A freestyle battle is a contest where two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. In a freestyle battle, every competitor’s goal is to”diss” their opponent through clever lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many conflicts also include metaphorically violent vision, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is critical, as a large part of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
In modern times, with the rise of leagues like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most conflicts are written with some freestyling incorporated into the verses. This allows for more complex rhymes and insults.
As hip-hop evolved in the early 1980s, many rappers gained their fame through freestyle battles. Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, in a school, or at event specifically meant for battling (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
A cypher or cipher is an informal gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also lately come to mean the audience which forms around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to encourage competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known for”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to step into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you are more accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.