I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no particular 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 functions as an improviser with a supporting ring providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the book 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,”in 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’s essentially 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 says:”at 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.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 real old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee suggests that Kool G Rap’s track’Men At Work’ is an”excellent example” of true freestyle, together 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 often 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 religious 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. In order to prove that a freestyle is being made up on the spot (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.
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
Many artists base their freestyle on their present situation or psychological 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 competition where 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, 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 imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is 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 responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is seen as the victor.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
In modern times, with the growth of leagues like 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 in 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, in a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (like 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 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 audience which creates around freestyle battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to promote competition and partly to enhance 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 in the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you are more accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.