I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive band 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 specific topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, that meant 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 composed rhyme… and now they call freestyling off the top of the mind, so the age I come from it is a lot 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 instead 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 refers to 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, 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 which they play often as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious 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 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. Freestyling is often done in a group setting called a”cypher” (or”cipher”) or as part of a”freestyle battle”.Due to the improvised nature of freestyle, meter and rhythm are usually more relaxed than in conventional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle in their present situation or psychological condition, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 conflicts also include metaphorically violent vision, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It is considered dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during 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 big portion of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is seen as the victor.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
In modern times, with the rise 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 intricate rhymes and insults.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, in 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, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd which forms around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to boost the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is famous for”breaking or making 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 way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.