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 particular subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no prior memorization. It’s comparable to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive band giving a beat. Improv/freestyles are improvised 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 composed a freestyle rap, which meant that it was a rhyme that you wrote that was free of style… it is 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:”in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and now they call freestyling off the top of the mind, so the age I come from it’s much 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 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 this 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 authentic freestyle, together 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 often as a way to practice, as explained in the publication How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover different ways of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a religious activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd and to cover up mistakes. In order to prove that a freestyle is being made up on the place (as opposed to something pre-written or memorized), rappers will often refer to objects and places 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 done 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 state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
As a rapper, do I need to freestyle?
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”combating” atmosphere. It’s deemed dishonorable or black 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 large part of”winning” a battle is how an audience reacts 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.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
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 complex rhymes and insults.
Battles can take place anywhere: informally on street corners, on stage at a concert, at a college, or at event specifically meant for combating (such as Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A cypher or cipher is a casual gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers in a circle, to be able to jam musically together. The term has also lately come to mean the audience which forms 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 famous 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 might be 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.