How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are made 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 providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no specific subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we mentioned 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 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 era I come from it is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the 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 top 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 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 to a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play often as a means to practice, as explained in the book 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 religious activity. Improvised freestyling may also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd and also to cover up mistakes. In order to prove that a freestyle is being made up on the spot (as opposed to something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
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?
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 present situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
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, each 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”combating” atmosphere. It’s considered dishonorable or shameful 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 big part of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the largest audience response is seen as the victor.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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, at a college, or at event specifically meant for battling (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 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 famous for”breaking or making 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 way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.