Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supporting ring giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised 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,”from the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it is basically a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler says:”at 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 is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the 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 surface of the head” and Big Daddy Kane said,”off-the-top-of-the-head [rapping], we just called that’off the dome’ — when you do not 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 true freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a dialogue or a rhyming game which they play frequently 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 ways of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the crowd and to cover up mistakes. In order to show that a freestyle has been made up on the place (rather than 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 freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
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 traditional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle in their current situation or psychological state, 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.
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?
It’s 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, every 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’s deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since it reveals 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 reacts to every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
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 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 (such as 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, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd which creates around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to boost the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known 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 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.