How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a type of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, where lyrics are recited without a 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 supporting band providing a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised in this way.
In the book 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 mentioned we wrote a freestyle rap, which meant it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of fashion… it’s essentially a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Myka 9 adds,”back in the day freestyle was piling [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 composed rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it is much different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this 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 rather called”coming off the top of the mind” 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 the earlier definition (a written rhyme on non-specific subject matter) Big Daddy Kane stated,”that’s really what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to it as”true” freestyle, and”the true old-school freestyle”. Kool Moe Dee indicates that Kool G Rap’s track’Men At Work’ is an”excellent example” of authentic freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn how to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a conversation or a rhyming game which they play often as a way to practice, as explained in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, 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 to cover up mistakes. In order to show 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.
I’ve just started rapping and I sound terrible. Can I still become a good rapper?
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 in their current situation or psychological condition, 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.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
In a freestyle battle, each 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”battling” atmosphere. It’s considered dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, since it reveals the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a big portion of”winning” a struggle is how an audience responds to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the largest audience response is viewed 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 such as King of the Dot and Ultimate Rap League, most conflicts 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, in a college, or at event specifically meant for battling (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
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?
A cypher or cipher is an informal 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 audience which forms 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”breaking or making reputations in the hip hop community; if you can step into 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.