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?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a particular 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 functions as an improviser with a supportive ring providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in 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,”from the’80s when we said we composed 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 bust[ing] a rhyme about any random thing, and it was a written rhyme or something memorized”. Divine Styler says:”in 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 is much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather 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 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 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 true freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a conversation or a rhyming game that they play often as a way to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic action, to discover different ways of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, 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 to cover up mistakes. So as to prove that a freestyle is being 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?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they can 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?
In a freestyle battle, each 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 vision, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or black 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 critical, as a big portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 school, or at event specifically meant for combating (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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 lately come to mean the crowd which creates 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 famous for”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you can 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 other battles.