Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited without a particular subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no previous memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supportive band giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the book 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,”in the’80s when we mentioned we wrote a freestyle rap, which meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it is essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” 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 mind, so the era I come from it’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the 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 said,”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 said,”that is 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, along 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 way to practice, as described 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 crowd and to cover up mistakes. In order to show that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will frequently refer to places and objects in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 mental state, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
It is a prominent part of contemporary 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”combating” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a big part of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is seen as the victor.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
These days, with the rise of leagues like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles are composed 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 battling (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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 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 can step into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you might be 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.