Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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’s comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supportive band providing 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 specific topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, that meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… 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 is much 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 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 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 authentic 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 which they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd 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.
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. Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or psychological 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 method for albums or mixtapes.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 modern 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 smart lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many battles also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It’s deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during 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 struggle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
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?
In modern times, with the growth of leagues such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most conflicts 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 college, or at event specifically meant for battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
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 in recent years 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 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 are more 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 different battles.