Rap is a complex mix of various influences, including elements from speech, prose, poetry, and song. If you appreciate art forms, have multiple talents, and want to learn how to rap, this article will help you build the foundations that will lead you to grow into a world-class rapper with unmatched natural talent. Read on!
Part 1 of 3: Learn the Basics
Step 1. Listen to lots of rap music
If you want to rap, you have to immerse yourself in the culture and atmosphere of hip-hop and rap music. It is a type of music that is deeply entrenched in city life and culture. Find artists you like and explore their influences to get a basic feel for hip-hop and expand your knowledge of the style. Listen to popular rap artists' songs, listen to underground artists, listen to old rappers, listen to Nas.
- Listen to the music from different regions: Listen to New York-style "boom-bap" hip-hop, West Coast gangsta rap, Dirty South chopped-and-screwed rap, as well as underground hip-hop. Listen to music in your area.
- Contemporary rap music relates to the culture of compiling songs recorded in various audio formats. An online version of a compilation of older songs is available at record stores, most of the rapper's album-quality songs are available for free download as a promotional ploy. Check out rappers compilation of your favorite songs and give it a try. It's free, so you can listen to the music, you might not even like it and have your own opinion about the song.
Step 2. Get the beat
Raping is more than just saying something rhyming. If you want to rap, you have to dive into the music to the bone marrow. If your brain and body don't blend into beats, your rap will feel stiff and unnatural.
- When you hear some rap music that you like, try to listen and ignore the words. Just listen to the instrumental, and how the flow of the words seems to match the beat.
- Consider beatboxing as a tool for learning rhythm-not only will this help you understand the beat, but it will be a useful technique once you start rapping yourself.
Step 3. Do a continuous rap
Memorize the words of your favorite rap songs and rap with earbuds, with your stereo, in the car, etc. Do it hard, and do it with confidence! Try rapping over and over until you have memorized every word and (more importantly) you can get all the beats right.
- See if you can find an instrumental note to a rap song you memorized. If not, find something similar. You can download from many places online. Practice the verses you have memorized along with the instrumental beats. Again, do your best to stick to the right beat. This will help you learn how to maintain rhythm and tempo.
- Once you're able to perform a rap song you've memorized consistently to an instrumental beat, try adapting it to other beats. Take a beat with a different sound and perhaps a different tempo. Again, you can find rap beats online in many places. The goal is that you work to be adaptive to the music you're about to rap.
Step 4. Rap a Capella
Once you've mastered rap along with the beats, try rapping the whole song on your own. If you can do this right for a lot of songs, you can say you've mastered the beat and are on beat.
Practice by just reading the lyrics. Then, read the lyrics as if you were trying to get a raise from your boss. Try reading it with a tap. Imagine when you rap that you do it in front of someone you know well and respect. Don't try to make your voice sound like someone else's. Just relax
Part 2 of 3: Developing Your Own Style
Step 1. Write some lyrics
Once you're comfortable rapping to different beats, start creating your own beats. No need to worry about what you rap, just pick up the things you see around you.
- Write at least 10 rhythms every day. Even if you don't like what you've written, you can come back later and change the rhythm words to something you like. When you finally like what you hear, test it in front of your friends and see what they think. Take a rhythm dictionary to help improve your rhythm, and try and expand your vocabulary by reading as much as you can.
- Depending on who influences you, the content of rap songs can be very different. Every single Lil Wayne song is basically a one-liner about the same greatness Weezy F. Baby does, while rappers like Raekwon will tell complicated stories with sonic words flying around. Try different things and see which feels natural.
Step 2. Rap constantly
GZA says that "Wu-Tang," short for "Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game," is the description we seek in good rap music. Try to make rap ingrained, you have to rap all the time. Listen to as much rap as you can, analyze it, and find inspiration from anything. Successful rap takes hours and hours of practice, you should do whatever you can whenever you can.
Keep a rap diary. Save your rap notes, and practice them by heart. Take the journal with you wherever you go so that when inspiration strikes, you have a place to write your thoughts
Step 3. Learn how to rap effectively
In addition to good lyrics and attention to rhythm, there are several techniques you can use to better understand and get your message across.
- Emphasize consonants. When you try to rap the way you talk, it's incomprehensible.
- Keep your words clear. Focus on keeping your words sharp.
- Rhythm is more important than rhyme. Don't tuck or stop if your freestyle doesn't rhyme-just keep it in sync with the beat and everything will be fine.
- Try to think about your next line while still paying 100% attention to the one you're currently rapping.
- Harden up! While being too loud is not a good thing, it is important that it is literally and metaphorically heard.
Step 4. Be realistic
While it's tempting to emulate your favorite rapper, it can be hard to rap about your global cocaine empire when you're a teen from the countryside. You don't necessarily have to say the "truth" 100% all the time, but you do have to be realistic and trustworthy.
Find out what's unique about you, and what you bring to the rap table. You don't have to be a genius or be able to correctly answer this question, but don't try to just be like the other rappers, even if they are the best. For it to work well, you need to introduce something fresh to the industry
Step 5. Try freestyle rap
The poet Allen Ginsberg once said, "Ideas first, ideas best." Start with the lines you've written and then rap freely: if you're good at a fast beat, drifting can be a way to unlock your skills and surprise yourself with what you've done.
Allegedly Lil Wayne never wrote beats and just raps his way, by listening to the beats and getting lost in them
Step 6. Create your own beats
Try making real original music, start developing your own beats to work with. This frees you up to create the kinds of beats you want to use, use the kinds of samples and sounds you like, and wow people with the original sounds.
Alternatively, you can tie up with a producer who's eager to share beats. This can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship
Part 3 of 3: Take the Next Steps
Step 1. Rap with friends
Find some people who also like to rap and take turns rapping together. It's an easier way to be creative when you get inspiration and feedback from other people's performances. Give yourself an alias and adopt a crew name. The Wu-Tang Clan did this to bring out individual talents and share resources.
Step 2. Show
Be proactive about finding greatness and show yourself fully. Start with a small performance in front of a small group of your friends and get feedback. When you're comfortable with that, start looking around for info about open mics where you can perform.
Freestyle fighting is a unique opportunity in hip-hop and can be a great way to make connections, but only when you've honed your freestyle skills and are familiar with the rules of freestyle combat. Freestyle fighting can seem confrontational and violent, as freestyle combat involves a lot of harsh terms, so check that before you decide to sign up
Step 3. Record your rap
Tie up with a producer or other rapper who has some recording equipment and record yourself. With original beats, compose new beats and save the best. Be judicious in your decisions-it's tempting to prefer to like the first beat you make, because it sounds "very good." Make sure that the beat is something you actually enjoy listening to.
Try recording yourself. The recording technology on home computers and telephones is already of high quality and is constantly improving. It's always better to use actual equipment, but for starters just do it yourself
Step 4. Put your music on the Internet
Once you've got some good quality rap recordings of your own, start building an online presence for your music. Start with a YouTube channel for your music and try making a compilation of released songs. Put your music there for free and see what happens. Chicago rapper Chief Keef signed a deal worth several million dollars based on the strength of the compilation of single songs and several YouTube videos that have become wildly popular.
- Try rapping slow songs before trying to rap fast.
- Start improving your vocabulary.
- Always keep your mind running.
- Download rap instrumentals like you would download regular songs.
- Learning the lyrics makes things easier.
- Freestyle with beats without writing anything.
- Ask your rap friends to rate your rap.
- Explore different styles: rap rock, ICP, rap punk and MANY more. Rap isn't just pop and people say beat. There are many different artists who became famous because of these differences. Try doing something different and people might like it.
- Don't steal other rappers' styles or lyrics, but learn from them and incorporate their styles into yours.
- Be careful with racist, sex, or hateful lyrics or anything else that can cause you trouble.