I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited with no specific 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 ring giving 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 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 basically a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Divine Styler states:”at the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual composed rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it’s a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the earlier definition in his book.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather 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 don’t write it and [you] say whatever comes to mind”.
Referring to this 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 real old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee indicates 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 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 unique ways of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling may also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd and 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 frequently refer to objects and places in their immediate setting, or will take suggestions on what to rhyme about.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle on their present situation or mental condition, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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 smart 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 considered dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during 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 large part of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In modern times, 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 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, at a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (like 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 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 audience 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”making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you can step into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you are accepted”. ] These groups also serve as a means for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles.