As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supporting ring providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the publication How to Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Myka 9 note that initially a freestyle was a spit on no specific topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”from the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, that meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it is essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler says:”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 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 instead 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 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’s 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 to a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a means to practice, as described in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, to discover unique ways of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things like giving something extra to the audience and also 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 places and objects in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
Freestyling is often accomplished in a group setting called a”cypher” (or”cipher”) or as part of a”freestyle battle”.Due into the improvised nature of freestyle, meter and rhythm are usually more relaxed than in conventional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle on their present situation or psychological state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 contemporary hip hop culture, with precursors in poetic conflicts 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 vision, complementing the”battling” atmosphere. It’s deemed dishonorable or black 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 every rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but in most cases the rapper who receives the largest audience response is seen as the victor.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
These days, with the growth of leagues like King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most battles 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 battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
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 in recent years come to mean the crowd 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”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you can step in 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.