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 functions as an improviser with a supportive ring providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the book How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that originally a freestyle was a spit on no specific topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, that 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:”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 is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the earlier definition in his book.
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?
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 this earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane stated,”that is what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to 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 true freestyle, together 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 means to practice, as explained in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, 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 crowd and also to cover up mistakes. So as to show that a freestyle is being made up on the place (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.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
Many artists base their freestyle on their current situation or psychological 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’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
A freestyle battle is a contest where two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. In a freestyle battle, each 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’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 critical, as a big portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed as the victor.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
These days, 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.
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, at 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, in order to jam musically together. The term has also lately come to mean the crowd which creates around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to boost the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known for”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you can step in the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you are accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.