How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It is comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supporting band providing 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 topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”from the’80s when we mentioned we wrote a freestyle rap, that meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it’s essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Myka 9 adds,”back in the day freestyle was piling [ing] a rhyme about any random thing, and it was a written rhyme or something memorized”. Divine Styler says:”in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual composed rhyme… and now they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it is much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather called”coming off the top of the head” 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 the earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane stated,”that’s really 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 that they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic activity, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the audience and to cover up mistakes. So as to prove that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (as opposed to something pre-written or memorized), rappers will frequently refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
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?
Freestyling is often done in a group setting called a”cypher” (or”cipher”) or as part of a”freestyle battle”.Due into the improvised nature of freestyle, meter and rhythm are usually more relaxed than in traditional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
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 clever 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 is deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, since 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 struggle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
These days, with the rise of leagues such as 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.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, in a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
A cypher or cipher is an informal 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 creates around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to boost the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is famous for”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you can 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 other battles.