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 particular 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 functions as an improviser with a supporting band giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the book 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 wrote a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it is basically a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler says:”in 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’s much 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 rather called”coming off the top of the mind” 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 stated,”that’s really 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 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 publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling may also be used 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 has been made up on the spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will frequently refer to places and objects in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 psychological condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could 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?
A freestyle battle is a contest in which two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. It is a prominent part of modern 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 competition through smart lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many battles also include metaphorically violent vision, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since it reveals 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 responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the largest 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 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, in a school, or at event specifically meant for combating (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
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?
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 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”breaking or making 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 way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.