How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It is similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive band giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that originally a freestyle was a spit on no particular subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”from the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, which meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it’s basically a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler says:”in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual composed rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the age I come from it is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was instead called”coming off the top of the head” and Big Daddy Kane said,”off-the-top-of-the-head [rapping], we just called that’off the dome’ — when you don’t write it and [you] say whatever comes to mind”.
Referring to the earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane said,”that is what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to it as”true” freestyle, and”the real old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee suggests that Kool G Rap’s track’Men At Work’ is an”excellent example” of authentic freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a means to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. In order to show that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (as opposed to something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle in their present situation or psychological state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
A freestyle battle is a contest in which two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. It is a prominent part of modern hip hop culture, with precursors in poetic battles over the millennia in genres as diverse as Japanese haikai and Norse flyting. In a freestyle battle, every competitor’s goal is to”diss” their opponent through smart lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many battles also include metaphorically violent vision, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It’s considered dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, because it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a big portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
In modern times, with the growth of leagues such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles are composed with some freestyling incorporated into the verses. This allows for more intricate rhymes and insults.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, at a school, or at event specifically meant for combating (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
A cypher or cipher is a casual gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, in order to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd which forms around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is famous for”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to step in 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 spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.