How To Rap Clearly And Fast
After I hit the one-hundred-day mark as a rapper, the guys at my local training gym started to talk to me a bit more. It was time to do what every aspiring rapper does when he gets to that level, starting freestyling with fellow trainees.
Immediately I felt as though I was in way over my head.
Even though my friends were the experts in the room, I’d never freestyled with a group of people before. I was worried that I’d embarrass myself since the gym wasn’t loaded with any tough rappers.
I worried about freestyling since I was a beginner and didn’t know anything. I worried about repeating myself and making mistakes. I freaked out.
The other day, I got to thinking about this time and how much of a trial and error process my life as a rapper has been. In short, I’ve freestyled A LOT, and I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m still in the process of becoming a good rapper, but I can already say I’m much better than I was when I started this process.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- If you want to rap, it’s a must that freestyle a lot.
- If you want to rap well, it’s a must that freestyle a lot.
It’s an awesome tool for learning how to rattle off well-thought-out rhymes in a fast manner.
I’ve freestyled A LOT, and I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m still in the process of becoming a good rapper, but I can already say I’m much better than I was when I started this process.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a very experienced rapper or have never freestyled in your life because the best rappers practice in various ways. Some rappers like to freestyle while they’re in the shower.
Some rappers hop in a practice room for a couple of hours at a time. Some rappers will freestyle in their cars or line for food.
It doesn’t matter what you do. The key is that you practice and hone your skills. The longer you do it, the better you’ll get.
At this point, you may be thinking, “That’s great, but I don’t have a ton of time. What do I do?”
For me, one thing that works for me is to take a single beat and rattle off as many phrases as possible without saying anything intelligible (to myself) or repeating yourself. As a novice, I use a simple beat.
A beat that’s just a straight four on the floor drum. A beat where you can easily rap four bars of rhyming words with each beat.
A good rap song is a living work of art. It would help you analyze the song to understand how the rapping lines shape and adjust for the music.
You must appreciate the structure of the song and focus on rhymes.
Rhythm is your guide. If the chorus raps so slowly, how much longer do you think the verses will take?
Look at the music, then consider the lyrics to decide your pace.
Pitching and timing
Once you pick a rap song's pace and rhythm, you must establish your pitch and timing. Pitch is a rate of speed that the words or music sound.
Try it: “rap.” The two most common pitches are the basic low tone and the high tone.
Timing is a degree of speed between beats that communicate an emotion or feeling. For example, if the hook raps “money,” there needs to be enough energy to help the listener picture money.
To establish these pitches and timing, consider examples like “Crazy in Love,” “We Belong Together,” and “Blank Space.” These are great examples of rappers who have nailed it and crafted interesting rhymes and strong melodies.
Rapping like a boss
Once you’ve picked an already composed song and written it to your specs, you must craft your rap to that song’s rhythm and beat. This is called rapping like a boss.
After you’ve established the song's structure and tempo, take your time to work out the perfect melody and rhymes. You can get distracted when you are working out a melody; don’t worry.
It’s a difficult process to go through, and it will take a lot of time. Keep at it. The more time you give it, the better.
You’re actually changing the way your brain functions, creating new neural pathways. There is a lot to learn.
This is when you are forced to rap, like on a song that’s already recorded or on an already mastered record. This is the worst time to rap.
Rap is a complicated art form that can be excruciatingly painful. Try to avoid this whenever possible.
Rap requires a lot of imagination, which means you must make connections with the music. Sometimes it’s an obvious connection, like rap with jazz, rap with rock, or rap with hip-hop.
At other times, it’s a subtle connection, like in hip-hop with funk or rap with calypso music. A lot of rap artists work with other genres to take the music in a completely different direction.
Remember the end
Once you’re satisfied with your melody and rhymes, you’re going to have to remember the end of the song. The next time you rap, you should write down the chorus to not forget it.
You’ll hear the chorus in your head when you’re writing the lyrics. Ensure that you sing the chorus during the line breaks and pause before the verses to have a backing track of writing off.
Block the world out
This is called blocking. If you get distracted and start to think about other things, like your commute or whether you want to go out that night, don’t worry.
It’s normal to lose focus during a creative process like this. When you’re in the zone, it’s not a problem.
You can start back up when you are ready.
Could you bring it back to basics?
It’s important to bring your mind back to basics, especially during the verse of a rap song. The verse's purpose is to set the stage and act as the bridge between the hook and the chorus.
Rap is not a foreign language but a language that has been passed down from generation to generation. If you are not connecting with the song, it could be because you’re not introducing yourself.
It doesn’t mean that you suck or that you’re lazy.
Rap is a much easier form of music to rap than rock, pop, or country. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still a great challenge.
There are a lot of amazing rap songs out there. Sometimes it can be hard to pick one, but that’s okay.
Pick the song you’re most comfortable with and enjoy yourself.
Keep working it out
Rap is a long process, and this is definitely not a race. Even the greatest rappers aren’t overnight sensations.
It will take a while to master the art. Once you get comfortable with your craft, you will be able to perform in front of large audiences, with radio stations calling you up, and all of a sudden, you are famous.