As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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 where a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supportive 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 specific subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”from 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 is essentially 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:”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 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 mind” 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’s 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, together with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a dialogue or a rhyming game which they play often as a means to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic activity, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling may also be utilized in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the audience and to cover up mistakes. In order to show that a freestyle has been made up on the place (rather than 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.
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. 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 on 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 used as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
It’s a prominent part of contemporary 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 opponent 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 through a freestyle battle, since it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is critical, as a large portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed 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 like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles 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 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 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 audience which forms around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to encourage competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is famous 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 are accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.