How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
Freestyle is a style 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’s 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 in this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that originally a freestyle was a spit on no particular subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, which meant 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:”in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the age I come from it’s a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the earlier definition in his book.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 said,”that’s 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 true freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn how to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a conversation or a rhyming game which they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include entertainment, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling may also be used in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the audience and also to cover up mistakes. So as to show that a freestyle has been 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.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyling is often accomplished 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 traditional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle on their present situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of prepared 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?
In a freestyle battle, every 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 battles also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It’s 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 battle is how an audience reacts 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.
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 conflicts are composed 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 college, or at event specifically meant for combating (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
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, 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 into 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 dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.