How do I come up with new material to rap about?
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 previous memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist functions as an improviser with a supportive 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 originally a freestyle was a spit on no specific subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”from the’80s when we mentioned we composed a freestyle rap, which 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 now they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to the earlier definition in his book.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 stated,”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 said,”that is what a freestyle is” and Kool Moe Dee refers to 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 authentic freestyle, along with Rakim’s”Lyrics of Fury”.
Many rappers learn to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling to a dialogue or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a way to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic action, to discover different 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 to cover up mistakes. So as 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.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Freestyling is often accomplished 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 on their present situation or psychological state, but have a ready supply of ready lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting way of 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’s a prominent part of contemporary 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 competition through clever lyrics and wordplay, with heavy emphasis being placed upon the rapper’s improvisational ability. Many battles also include metaphorically violent imagery, complementing the”combating” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or shameful to recite pre-written or memorized raps through 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 big part of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts to every rapper. Appointed judges may be used in formal contests, but in most cases 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?
In modern times, 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).
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, 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 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 in the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you might be 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 different battles.