Rap is a complex mix of influences, including elements of expression, prose, poetry, and song. Learn to rap by listening to the masters, learning the beats, and practicing your own lyrics. There are no shortcuts and you won't sound like Kendrick Lamar overnight either, but if you push yourself, you will reap the rewards.
Part 1 of 3: Learn the Basics
Step 1. Listen to a lot of raps
If you want to rap, you have to immerse yourself in the culture and sounds of hip hop and rap music. It is a style of music deeply rooted in city life and culture. Find an artist you like and follow their influences to get an idea of the foundation of hip hop and develop your knowledge of the styles. Listen to popular rap artists (e.g. Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Snoop Dogg), not very well known rappers (e.g. The Rugged Man), old school rappers (e.g.., Kurtis Blow, The Sugarhill Gang, LL Cool J) and complex rappers such as Nas, Eminem, Big Pun and Rakim.
- Listen to music from different regions like New York style hip hop, West Coast Gansta rap, Dirty South rap and also Underground hip hop. Listen to the music of your region.
- Contemporary rap music is linked to mixtape culture. Online versions of old-school mixtapes are also available at record stores. Most rappers uploaded album-quality material online, and it was free to download (as a promotional tactic). Take a look at the mixtapes of your favorite rappers and expand your knowledge. It's free, so you can listen to things you might not like and form an opinion about it.
Step 2. Get rhythm
Rap is more than just saying something that rhymes. If you want to rap, you will have to have an idea of the music in your bones. If your brain and body are unaware and out of step with the beat, your rap will be stiff and unnatural.
- When you hear some raps that you like, try to ignore the words. Just listen to the instrumental and how the flow of the words seems to fit the rhythm.
- Consider the beatbox as a tool for learning to feel the beat. Not only will it help you understand it, but it will also be a useful technique once you start rapping.
Step 3. Start rapping
Memorize the words to your favorite rap song and rap with your headphones, on your stereo, in your car, etc. Do it out loud and with confidence! Try rapping until you have memorized each word and most importantly, you can match the beat correctly.
- Find an instrumental track from the rap song you have memorized. If you can't, find one that is similar. You can download it from many websites. Practice the verses you have memorized about the instrumental rhythm. Again, do your best to keep up. This will help you learn how to keep a beat and a tempo.
- Once you can perform a rap song that you have repeatedly memorized about the instrumental beat, try adapting it to another beat. Choose one with a different sound and tempo. Again, you can find rap beats online in many places. The point here is to adapt to the music you rap about.
Step 4. Rape a cappella
Once you get the hang of rapping with a beat, try rapping the song completely on your own. If you can do it correctly with many songs, you can safely consider that you have mastered the rhythm and can stick with it.
Practice simply reading the letters. Then read the letters as if you are trying to get a raise from your boss. Try to keep up. When you rap, imagine you are doing it in front of someone you know well and respect. Don't try to make your voice sound like someone you are not. Just relax
Part 2 of 3: Developing Your Own Style
Step 1. Write some letters
Once you're comfortable rapping at different beats, start creating rhymes on your own. You don't have to worry about what you rap, just pick something from what you see around you. You can even rap about the way you dress in the morning, walk the dog, make your dinner, head to work, or even about a conversation you had with someone.
- Write at least 10 songs a day. Even if you don't like what you've written, you can go back to those rhymes later and change them into something you like. When you finally like what you're hearing, try it out in front of your friends and listen to their opinions. Get a rhyming dictionary to help you improve your rhymes and try to develop your vocabulary by reading as much as you can.
- Depending on who your influence is, the content of rap songs can differ greatly. All of Lil Wayne's songs basically cover one theme: Weezy's greatness, while a rapper like Raekwon tells complicated stories with puns. Try different things and see what feels natural.
Step 2. Rapping constantly
GZA said that "Wu-Tang" stood for "Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game", which is a very apt description, as it is what everyone looks for in good rap music. To make it second nature, you have to rap all the time. Listen to as much rap as possible, analyze it and get inspired by everything. Successful rap takes hours and hours of practice, so you should do as much as you can whenever you can.
Make a rap journal. Keep track of your raps and practice them when you can. Take it everywhere so that when inspiration strikes, you have a place to write your thoughts. A regret can last a lifetime, so don't just leave out an excellent idea just because you think you will remember it - you will most likely forget it. Jay Z does not write his rhymes and has consequently said that he forgets the full value of his album rhymes
Step 3. Learn how to rap effectively
Beyond good lyrics and attention to rhythm, there are some techniques you can use to better understand you and get your message across.
- Emphasize the consonants. If you try to rap the way you talk, it won't be compressible.
- Pronounce the words well. Pay attention to make your words clear and understandable.
- Rhythm is more important than rhymes. Don't trip or stop if your freestyle doesn't rhyme, just keep the beat and everything will be fine.
- Rap out loud! While speaking too loud is never a good thing, it is important to be heard both literally and metaphorically.
- Think ahead what you're rapping so you don't get stuck babbling or searching for words. There is nothing worse than having to stop in the middle of a rap.
Be able to think of your next line while still giving 100% on the line that you are rapping at the moment
Step 4. Be honest
As tempting as it is to emulate your favorite rappers, it will be difficult to rap about your world cocaine empire if you are a teenager from the suburbs. You don't have to tell the truth all the time, but you do have to be honest and credible.
Find out what is unique about you and what you bring to rap. You don't need to have a witty or common answer to this question, but don't try to be like another rapper, even if he's one of the best. To get it right, you will have to introduce something new to the industry
Step 5. Try rapping freestyle
The poet Allen Ginsberg once said "First thought, best thought." Start with a line you've already written and then let it flow. If you're becoming proficient at rhyming fast, doing it instantly can be a way to expand your skills and be amazed at what you can create.
Supposedly Lil Wayne never writes rhymes and just raps this way listening to the beat and letting go
Step 6. Make your own rhythms
To make totally original music, start developing your own rhythms to work with. This will free you up to make the kinds of beats you want to make, use the types of samples and sounds you like, and surprise people with completely original sounds.
Alternatively, you can contact a producer who is eager to share beats. It could lead to a fruitful relationship
Part 3 of 3: Taking the Next Steps
Step 1. Rape with your friends
Find some people who like rap too and get together to rap. It's easier to be creative when you can draw inspiration and feed off a person's flow. Give yourselves pseudonyms and adopt a team name. The Wu-Tang Clan did it to showcase individual talents and share resources.
Step 2. Make presentations
Be proactive in looking for gigs and showing yourself. Start small and introduce yourself to small groups of your friends and listen to their comments. When you're comfortable with that, start looking for open mic events where you can perform.
Freestyle battles are unique opportunities in hip hop and can be a good way to network, but only if you've really honed your freestyle skills and are familiar with the arrangements of a freestyle battle. These battles can seem confrontational and cruel as it involves a lot of raw attacks, so look for something else before you decide to sign up
Step 3. Record your raps
Contact a producer or other rapper who has recording equipment and record your raps. With your original rhythms, write new rhymes and do your best. Be wise when deciding, as it can be tempting to like the first recording you make a lot because it might sound "real". Make sure it's something you really enjoy hearing.
Try to record yourself. Today, the recording technology in home computers and smartphones. It is always better to use real equipment, but do it yourself at first
Step 4. Put your music on the Internet
Once you have some good recordings of yourself rapping, start developing an online presence for your music. Create a YouTube channel for your music and try releasing a mixtape. Offer it for free and see what happens. Chicago rapper Chief Keef signed a multi-million dollar deal based on the impact he created with a single mixtape and a couple of YouTube videos that had become very popular.
- Try rapping songs with a slow flow before you start rapping quickly.
- Start improving your vocabulary.
- Pronounce the words clearly. They will sound much better that way!
- Learning the letters makes everything so much easier.
- Raps freestyle without writing anything.
- Keep in mind the flow and rhythm of the words.
- Download rap instrumentals like you would download normal songs.
- Explore genres such as rock rap, ICP, punk rap, and more. There are many artists famous for being different. Try to do something different and people might like it.
- If you don't have a YouTube channel, record them for yourself on an iPad, iPod, camera, or something else to know your style.
- Ask your rapper friends to judge your raps.
- Don't steal other rappers' styles or their lyrics. Rather, learn from them and incorporate their style into yours.
- Beware of racial, sexist, hateful lyrics, or anything else that could get you in trouble.