How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a style 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 is similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supporting band giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the book How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no particular topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, which meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it is basically 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:”at the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
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 said,”that is 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 how to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play often as a way to practice, as described in the publication 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. In order to show that a freestyle is being made up on the spot (as opposed to 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.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyling is often done in a group setting called a”cypher” (or”cipher”) or as part of a”freestyle battle”.Due to 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 state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
In a freestyle battle, each competitor’s goal is to”diss” their competition 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’s considered dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, because it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a large part of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
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?
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, at a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
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 audience which creates 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 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 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.