What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 prior memorization. It’s comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which 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 initially a freestyle was a spit on no specific 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.” Divine Styler says:”at 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 is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was instead 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 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’s really what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to it as”true” freestyle, and”the real old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee indicates 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 how 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 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 spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the crowd and also to cover up mistakes. So as to show 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.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle on their present situation or psychological condition, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
It’s a prominent part of contemporary hip hop culture, with precursors in poetic conflicts over the millennia in genres as diverse as Japanese haikai and Norse flyting. In a freestyle battle, each 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 imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It’s considered dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during 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 part of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but typically 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?
These days, with the rise of leagues like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most conflicts are written with some freestyling incorporated into the verses. This allows for more intricate rhymes and insults.
As hip-hop evolved from 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, in a college, or at event specifically meant for battling (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A cypher or cipher is a casual gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the audience which creates around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to encourage 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 into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you might be accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.