I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a particular subject, structure. The lyrics are made 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 publication 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 composed a freestyle rap, which meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it is essentially 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 states:”in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the age 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 head” 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’s really what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee describes 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, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a conversation or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic action, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. So as to show that a freestyle is being 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.
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?
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 they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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, every 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 imagery, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It’s considered dishonorable or black 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 critical, as a big portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed as the victor.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
In modern times, 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 school, or at event specifically meant for battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
A cypher or cipher is an informal gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also lately 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 means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.