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?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited without a specific subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no previous memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz in which a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supportive band providing 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 particular subject — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we mentioned 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 now 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 this earlier definition in his book.
What can I do if words aren’t coming when the beat turns on?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was rather called”coming off the top of the head” and Big Daddy Kane stated,”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 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 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 conversation or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a means to practice, as explained in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique ways of rapping, promoting oneself, increasing versatility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be utilized in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd and also to cover up mistakes. So as to prove that a freestyle has been 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.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
Freestyles are performed a cappella, over beatboxing (as seen in Freestyle), or over instrumental versions of songs. Many artists base their freestyle on their current situation or mental state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns that they can use as filler. Freestyling can also be used as a songwriting way of albums or mixtapes.
How do I come up with new material to rap about?
A freestyle battle is a contest in which two or more rappers compete or”battle” each other using improvised lyrics. 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, every competitor’s goal is to”diss” their opponent through smart 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’s deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps during a freestyle battle, since it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a big part of”winning” a struggle 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.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
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 school, or at event specifically meant for battling (like Scribble Jam or the Blaze Battle).
How do I freestyle rap if I am not very good at rhyming words?
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 forms around freestyle battles, comprising spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to encourage competition and partly to boost 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 way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.