3 Ways to Write Rap or Hip Hop Song Lyrics

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3 Ways to Write Rap or Hip Hop Song Lyrics
3 Ways to Write Rap or Hip Hop Song Lyrics

Rap is a modern form of poetry, and it is the lyrics of the song that distinguish the average singer from the great singer. A good rap song's lyrics are personal and flow like water, blending into the beat while expressing a theme or meaning like an essay or story. It takes practice to write good rap lyrics. However, everyone can start with just a pen and paper.


Method 1 of 3: Finding Themes and Hooks

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 1
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 1

Step 1. Find the theme of your song

The subject of the song may be an event that happened recently, something in the past, a problem you are thinking about, etc. The song can be a dance type, an outpouring of the heart, or something that happens in a dream. There are no bad themes in rap, as long as it comes from personal experience.

The title of the song can be a good indicator of the theme. However, you can search for the title after the song is finished

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 2
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 2

Step 2. Make a “story” in your lyrics

Stories don't have to be based on real events, although story rap has been popular since the birth of hip-hop (eg Immortal Technique's "Dance with the Devil" and most of Ghostface Killah's songs). Telling a story means that verses in a song have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Take listeners along on a journey on the song's story, even if it's just your greatness and brilliance.

  • Some rappers write the paragraphs of the song first, then the song and rhythm follow its general structure.
  • The structure of the song helps you build a coherent idea. For example, the best point to give your best rhyme is not at the beginning of the song, but towards the end like the climax of a movie. This will help keep the listener's interest and interest.
  • At the very least, try ending the song in a different place than where it started. This is why “material rap” about wealth and women often starts from a time when rappers are just starting out and have nothing.
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 3
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 3

Step 3. Get to know your rhythm

Make sure you like the selected rhythm. For example, if you can't rap out loud, don't pick a fast beat because you'll get suffocated and even out of breath. Listen to the beat 4-5 times to get comfortable with the rhythm and mood of your song. Feel the speed and energy and atmosphere of the song.

  • Fast-paced songs ("People are Strange " by Das Racist) usually involve a fast verse with a lot of words, while songs with a slower rhythm (50 Cent's "PIMP") usually have a more relaxed verse. However, this rule is altogether non-standard (for example, Twista's " Slow Jamz ").
  • Great songs are born when the lyrics match the beat. Think about what feeling this rhythm creates. Does it feel suspenseful and special, like Jay-Z's “Renegade”, or excited as if celebrating something, like Kanye West's “The Glory”? Notice how the lyrics of these songs match the rhythm.
  • Try listening to A$AP Rocky's “One Train” again. In this song, five unique rappers sing several different verses using the same beat. Notice how each singer handles songs differently: some are assertive (Kendrick), happy (Danny Brown), angry (Yelawolf), and contemplative (Big K. R. I. T.). All the verses are in harmony with the rhythm.
  • You don't have to have a beat when you write rap lyrics. In fact, writing lyrics without a beat is enough to help you write good lyrics.
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 4
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 4

Step 4. Write a catchy hook and chorus

The chorus is this repeated in the middle of the song and divides each verse. This section doesn't have to be there (for example on A$AP Rocky's “One Train”) but almost all popular rap songs have catchy hooks that support the overall theme of the song. Often this part is singing, not rap.

  • 50 Cent is a master at writing hooks, and songs like "P. I. M. P." and "In Da Club" has a hook that is still being sung 10 years later.
  • For an easy yet classic hook, try making 1-2 separate, simple rhyming sentences. Repeat each sentence twice, in succession, to make a "classic" chorus. For example in this example, the entire sentence is repeated twice:

    • Cigarettes on cigarettes my momma think I stand
    • I got burn holes in my hoodies all my homies think it's dank
    • I miss my cocoa butter kisses… cocoa butter kisses. -- Chance the Rapper, " Cocoa Butter Kisses "

Method 2 of 3: Writing Good Rhymes

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 5
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 5

Step 1. Determine how many lines your rap song has

Most rappers write 16-32 lines of verse although some only have 8-12 lines. If you're writing the whole song by yourself, you can write 2-3 verses and one hook. You may also be able to write 8-12 short bridge lines, which are short verses with a slightly different rhythm or structure.

You can write a rap song without knowing the number of lines. Just write it down until it feels finished, then edit it to match the desired rhythm and length

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 6
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 6

Step 2. Understand the ins and outs of rhyme

Rap songs are written pivoting on rhyme. Rima connects the lines so that they flow together smoothly and attract listeners to the song. While not all rap songs need to rhyme (and maybe you shouldn't), you should know how to rhyme. Fortunately, this does not need to be learned. Just listen to the lyrics you like. However, it's a good idea to be aware of the different types of rhymes that are common in rap songs:

  • Simple rhyme:

    When the last syllable of two lines rhymes, for example “cry” and “try.” This is the most basic form of rhyme.

  • Multi-syllabic rhyme:

    One of the best ways to show your lyrical skills is to rhyme a few lines. This rhyme can also be made up by making up a few words, for example in the song "One Day" by Big Daddy Kane: "Ain't no need for wondering who's the man / Staying looking right always an ex plusive brands.


  • Rima Slant:

    This rhyme uses words that are very close in meaning, but technically don't rhyme. Usually, these words have the same vowel. This is very common in rap songs, because the way you sing/pronounce the words makes them sound similar. For example, "Nose" and "go," or "orange" and "porridge."

  • Internal Rhyme (In-Rhyme):

    Here, the rhyming words do not appear at the end of the sentence, but in the middle. For example, consider the Madvillains' song "Rhinestone Cowboy": "Made of fine chrome alloy / find him on the grind he's a rhinestone cowboy."

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 7
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 7

Step 3. Write the "punchline" song in reverse

A punchline is a big line, joke, or rhyme that changes a song from good to great. There are many examples of great punchlines, but most of them are down to personal taste. To write this sentence, first create a punchline and build a rhyming axis on that punchline.

For example, your punchline "I'm stepping over competition, so expect to be trampled," should write the verse leading to the punchline and end it with a word that rhymes with " trampled." For example, " They see me in the booth so they know they should scramble / I'm steppin' over competition so expect to be trampled")

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 8
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 8

Step 4. Arrange your lyrics into a rhyme scheme

A rhyme scheme is the way a song is structured. Usually, this is done by replacing the couplet, which is the two lines that rhyme at the end. The next two lines also rhyme at the end, but the wording is different. However, there are many ways to write a rhyme scheme, for example by replacing (the first line rhymes with the third line, and the second line with the fourth), or rhyming 4-6 lines with the same word (for example at the beginning of the song “Get 'Em High "). Practice is the best way of learning.

  • If you're a rapper who flows a lot of words quickly and smoothly, it's a good idea to have each line at the end of your lyrics the same or close to that number of syllables.
  • If you're a fast-paced rapper, it's a good idea to have songs with lots of internal rhymes in each line, for example " the industry's gettin' clean and I've seen what them haters mean / if you thought I was lettin' up setting up the terrain was dreamed ".
  • If you're telling a rap story, make the first verse the intro, the second verse the conflict, and the last verse the conclusion. To match it, use different rhyming schemes to indicate progress or use the same rhyme scheme to indicate no progress.
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 9
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 9

Step 5. Make sure your song is personal and real

Take each word seriously and come from your soul. Let the music come to you. To be able to write good lyrics, create a rhythm that stimulates the brain so that it finds great rhymes. It all depends on your state of mind.

  • The specials in real life will always make for a good song. One of the reasons Nas's Illmatic album is legendary is that it feels very real and not made up.
  • If you don't have a theme or rhyme scheme yet, start by writing lyrics you like. Later, these lines will come together and tell a complete song. Plus, it's a great way to learn rhymes.
  • The best rappers can always tell stories from real life, connecting with listeners' memories and emotions. They are successful not because they tell stories that are exaggerated and unreal, but because of simple stories with well-written and rehearsed rhyming lyrics.

Method 3 of 3: Repairing Song Lyrics

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 10
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 10

Step 1. Practice rewriting your favorite rap song

This is one of the best ways to learn rap techniques. Choose your favorite song and learn it fully. After that, rewrite the song. Use the same rhyme scheme but create your own verse. This is how the mixtape was originally popular. Rappers take songs from famous rappers and turn them into their own signature. Even if the results aren't for sharing, it's a great way to learn natural rap techniques.

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 11
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 11

Step 2. Learn poetry techniques to improve the quality of the lyrics

Rap is poetry, with words, rhythm, and rhyme to produce beautiful works and ideas. Not surprisingly, many rappers who take inspiration from the best poets. For example, Eminem is known to often use Shakespearean rhythms and rhymes in his songs. Other examples include:

  • Alliteration/Assonance:

    Words with similar sounds put together, for example "Two tip-top teachers" or "apple attitudes." For example, listen to Joey Bada$$'s “Waves”.

  • Similes/Metaphors:

    That is the comparison of two objects that are generally dissimilar, but have close properties to express something. For example, "I put the metal to his chest like Robocop" has various meanings. Bullets are made of metal, Robocop's chest is protected by metal armor, and the biggest target for humans to shoot at is the chest. These lyrics are more poetic than simply "I might shoot him".

  • Refrain:

    Lines that are repeated at various times to create emphasis. The more often the line is heard, the more it changes, evolves, and strengthens. Check out Kendrick Lamar's "The Blacker the Berry" for a high-end refrain.

  • Anaphora:

    That is when the first half of the line is repeated, but the rest is changed, for example in the song “If I Had” by Eminem, the entire line begins with the sentence “Tired of ….” This is a great way to show how hard, constant, or great effort is at something, or to dominate the audience on purpose.

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 12
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 12

Step 3. Use specific imagery in your lyrics

good imagery provides visuals to the listener's eyes, stimulating multiple senses to create intricate and engaging rap songs. The best rappers create images in the minds of listeners, tell stories and bring the lyrics to life. To do this, focus on writing specific lyrics, using adjectives and adverbs to convey your picture.

  • This depiction does not have to be completely visual. Action Bronson uses food and smell in his songs to create a whole new dimension.
  • Rapists who are very good at drawing, for example Andre 3000, Ghostface Killah, Eminem, etc. often inspired other singers and his work was widely imitated.
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 13
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 13

Step 4. Practice the flow, or delivery of the lines of the song's lyrics so that they blend in as you tell the story

Good lyrics will be great thanks to good flow. Flow is a way of conveying words in relation to rhythm. Is your rhythm slow, half-paced, or attacking with a fast, intense rhythm? Does the rhythm increase or decrease, faster or slower depending on the line? Getting a good flow takes practice and patience.

You don't have to use the same flow throughout the entire song. Nas' incredible flow, "NY State of Mind" flows like a jazz solo. Stops, starts, pauses, and lunges forward while pivoting to great rhymes

Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 14
Write Lyrics to a Rap or Hip Hop Song Step 14

Step 5. Read inspirational lyrics from great rappers

Just as a developing writer needs to learn the best poems, aspiring rappers must also read from the best. Reading rap lyrics will help you understand rhyme schemes and little tricks. Sites like RapGenius even have annotated lyrics that explain metaphors, rhymes, and references. Listen to the songs you love, but here are some you should check out:

  • The first version of the song "Life's a B ---," by AZ from Nas' album Illmatic.
  • "Notorious Thugs," by Notorious B. I. G
  • “75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)” by Black Thought.
  • " As the Rhyme Goes On ', " by Rakim on the album Paid in Full.
  • "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst," by Kendrick Lamar.
  • "Murals," by Lupe Fiasco.
  • "Lose Yourself," by Eminem.


  • Never steal lyrics. The lyric thief will lose his reputation in the future.
  • Always listen to more other rappers to learn how to share styles and help you come up with new ideas.
  • The length of time for writing songs varies. Sometimes a song takes a month to complete, and sometimes it takes as little as 20 minutes.
  • Do freestyle (freestyle) if you get stuck. Freestyle is silly, fun, and sometimes far-fetched, but it will help spark your creativity when writing lyrics. Sometimes, you may even surprise yourself.
  • Try to make the song short and fitting. Most songs are no longer than 4 minutes.


  • Your song may be rejected and even laughed at, but never give up and keep trying.
  • Remember that your words have power, and you should always be honest and sincere when rapping.

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