What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are made on the spot, with no prior memorization. It is comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive ring giving 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,”from the’80s when we said we composed a freestyle rap, that meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it’s 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:”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 head” and Big Daddy Kane stated,”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 stated,”that’s what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee describes 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, together with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a conversation or a rhyming game which they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the publication 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 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 spot (rather than something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to places and objects 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 present situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns that they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A freestyle battle is a contest 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, each competitor’s goal is to”diss” their opponent through clever 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 shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps during 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 large part of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed as the victor.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
These days, with the growth of leagues such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most conflicts are written 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 school, or at event specifically meant for combating (such as 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 an informal 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 audience which creates around freestyle battles, comprising 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”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to step into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you are more 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 other battles.