How do I come up with new material to rap about?
Freestyle is a style of improvisation with or without instrumental beats, in which lyrics are recited with no particular subject, structure. The lyrics are created on the spot, with no previous memorization. It’s similar to other improvisational music, such as jazz where a lead instrumentalist acts as an improviser with a supporting ring 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 particular topic — Big Daddy Kane said,”in the’80s when we said we wrote a freestyle rap, that meant that 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 states:”at the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the age I come from it is a lot different”. Kool Moe Dee also refers to this earlier definition in his book.
I have trouble sticking to the beat when I’m freestyling. How can I improve?
In old school hip-hop, Kool Moe Dee claimed that improvisational rapping was instead 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 this 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 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 to rap through improvised freestyling, and by making freestyling into a conversation or a rhyming game that they play frequently as a way to practice, as described in the book How to Rap. Reasons for freestyling include amusement, as a therapeutic activity, to discover unique methods of rapping, promoting oneself, raising flexibility, or as a spiritual activity. Improvised freestyling can also be used in live performances, to do things such as giving something extra to the crowd and also to cover up mistakes. So as 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 places and objects 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?
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 to the improvised nature of freestyle, meter and rhythm are usually more relaxed than in conventional rapping. Many artists base their freestyle in their present situation or mental state, but have a ready supply of prepared lyrics and rhyme patterns they could use as filler. Freestyling can also be utilised as a songwriting method for albums or mixtapes.
Are there benefits to freestyle rapping?
A freestyle battle is a contest where 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 competition 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”combating” atmosphere. It is deemed dishonorable or black to recite pre-written or memorized raps through a freestyle battle, because it shows the rapper to be incapable of”spitting” spur-of-the-moment lyrics. A live audience is key, as a large part of”winning” a battle is how an audience responds to each rapper. Appointed judges may be utilised in formal competitions, but typically the rapper who receives the biggest audience response is viewed as the victor.
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?
These days, 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 from 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, in 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, in order to jam musically together. The term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd 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 are able to step in 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 dispersed, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in different battles.