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 without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It’s comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supporting ring giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in 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 subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we composed a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it’s 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 now 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 the earlier definition in his book.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 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 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, 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 way to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique ways 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 crowd and to cover up mistakes. So as to show that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 mental state, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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 competition through smart lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many conflicts also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is considered dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, because it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is critical, as a big part of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed as the victor.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In modern times, with the rise 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.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, at a school, or at event specifically meant for battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
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, 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”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 means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.