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 with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It is similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive ring giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the publication 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 mentioned we wrote a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it’s essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Myka 9 adds,”back in the day freestyle was bust[ing] a rhyme about any random thing, and it was a written rhyme or something memorized”. Divine Styler states:”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’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 said,”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 this 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 true freestyle, along 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 explained in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, 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 like giving something extra to the audience and to cover up mistakes. So as to prove that a freestyle has been made up on the spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will frequently refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or mental state, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A freestyle battle is a competition in which two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. It is a prominent part of contemporary 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 clever 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’s deemed 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 portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
In modern times, with the growth of leagues such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles are composed 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 school, or at event specifically meant for battling (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 lately come to mean the audience which forms around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is famous 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 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 different battles.