As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no 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 acts as an improviser with a supporting ring providing 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 topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”from 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 is essentially 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 age I come from it’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the earlier definition in his book.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather called”coming off the top of the head” 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 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 refers to 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 into a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a means to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the audience and to cover up mistakes. In order to prove that a freestyle has been made up on the place (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?
Freestyling is often done in a group setting called a”cypher” (or”cipher”) or as part of a”freestyle battle”.Due into the improvised nature of freestyle, meter and rhythm are usually more relaxed than in traditional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle in their present 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 where 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 imagery, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It is considered dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, because it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a large portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
In modern times, with the growth of leagues such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles are written with some freestyling incorporated into the verses. This allows for more complex rhymes and insults.
As hip-hop evolved from 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, at a college, or at event specifically meant for battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
A cypher or cipher is a casual 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 audience which forms 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”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you can step in the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you might be 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 other battles.