I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited without a particular subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no previous memorization. It is similar 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 in 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,”in the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, which 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 states:”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 a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
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 old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather called”coming off the top 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 really what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to 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 how to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play often as a way to practice, as described in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover different methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used 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 is being made up on the place (as opposed to 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.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Many artists base their freestyle in their present situation or psychological condition, 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 method for albums or mixtapes.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
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 conflicts also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It’s deemed dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, since it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is critical, as a big portion of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal contests, but in most cases 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 rise 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 complex rhymes and insults.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, in a school, or at event specifically meant for combating (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 an informal 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, comprising 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 are able to 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 spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.