As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no prior memorization. It’s similar 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 this way.
In the book How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no particular topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, which meant that 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 they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it’s a lot 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 rather 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 is what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee describes it as”true” freestyle, and”the real 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 to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into 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 amusement, as a therapeutic action, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling may also be utilized in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. So as to prove that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (as opposed to 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.
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 current situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 conflicts also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It’s deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since 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 competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
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 modern times, 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 complex 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, 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 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 forms 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 are able to step into 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 other battles.