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 style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no previous memorization. It’s 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 in this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no particular subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we composed a freestyle rap, that meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… 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:”at the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual composed 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 the earlier definition in his book.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
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 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 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, 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 which they play frequently as a means to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, 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 like giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. In order to show that a freestyle is being made up on the place (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will frequently 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?
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 current situation or psychological state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that 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 contest where two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. It’s 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 opponent 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 deemed 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 large portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used 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 like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles are written with some freestyling incorporated into the verses. This allows for more complex rhymes and insults.
As hip-hop evolved from 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, at a school, or at event specifically meant for combating (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
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 lately come to mean the crowd which forms 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 known for”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to 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 dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.