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, where lyrics are recited with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no previous memorization. It is comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supporting band providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in 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 composed a freestyle rap, which meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it’s basically 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 mind, so the era I come from it’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was instead called”coming off the top 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 the earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane said,”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 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 into a conversation or a rhyming game that they play often as a means to practice, as described in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic action, to discover different ways 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 audience 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 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?
Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or psychological condition, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A freestyle battle is a contest in which two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. It’s a prominent part of modern hip hop culture, with precursors in poetic battles 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 competition 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”battling” atmosphere. It is 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 key, as a large part of”winning” a struggle is how an audience reacts to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but in most cases the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
These days, with the growth of leagues such as 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.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, at a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 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 boost the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known for”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to step in 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.