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 with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no previous memorization. It is similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive band providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the book How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no particular topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it’s essentially 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:”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 era I come from it’s much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was instead 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 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 describes it as”true” freestyle, and”the true old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee suggests 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 how to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a dialogue or a rhyming game which they play often as a way to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique ways of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used 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 has been made up on the place (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.
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 psychological condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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, 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 conflicts also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is considered dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, because it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is critical, as a big part of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
These days, with the growth of leagues such as 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.
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, in a college, 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, to be able 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 promote competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known 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 might be 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.