Oh the mysterious and elusive technique we know is rap delivery… what is it? why is it important? and how can you improve it? All of that will be covered within this article so without further ado… LET’S GET IT!!
What Is Rap Delivery?
Think of rap delivery as like a parcel delivery service such as UPS. Your catchy cadences, witty wordplay, and mesmerizing rhyme schemes are your product or package that you’ve created that’s been bundled together in what we know as a song. Once You’ve created your awesome song you now have to deliver it to the consumer so that they can bask in the awesomeness as well!
It goes without saying that you have to deliver everything you’ve created by using your vocals to perform it unless you have mastered the dark art of telepathy. So, in essence, your rap delivery is all about the quality of your vocal performance.
Why Is Your Rap Delivery Important?
Your Rap Delivery is very similar to what actors do. When you watch a good actor everything seems real and in the moment. This is why a good actor can evoke emotions from you such as anger, happiness, and shame. The thought that they are performing from a script doesn’t even occur to you. In fact, it seems so real to us that we often think the character they’re playing is who they are in real life.
Having a strong rap delivery will achieve the same results and will ensure that you make a big impression on the listener. Music is all about emotions and people listen to music because they want to feel something. Your rap delivery is your way of transferring what you feel emotionally to the listener. Now let’s look at some of the ways that you can improve your rap delivery.
How To Improve Your Rap Delivery (The Five C’s)
Come From A Real Place
If you don’t feel what you’re saying in the song then how will anyone else? Let your lyrics come from a real place. Speak about things that evoke emotions within you when you think about them. This could be topics that make you happy, sad, angry, etc… This one step is major so don’t sleep on it!
Confidence is crucial to a strong delivery. If you lack confidence it will be difficult for people to take you seriously and really get into what you’re trying to share with them. If someone came up to you and tried to convince you to visit their new restaurant but showed zero enthusiasm your chances of visiting are slim to none. Your delivery is your way of selling your song and making the people feel what you feel. Here are a few tips on building confidence…
- Memorize your lyrics! The better you know the material you are performing the better your performance will be. See my article on Memorizing Lyrics
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! This goes without saying. Don’t expect to only spend a few hours practicing your song. You must practice until you know your song like the back of your hand! You should know your song so well that you could rap the entire song at any given moment. Be prepared to spend 5-10 hrs plus practicing!
- If you are nervous about performing in front of others start with performing in front of yourself. Lock yourself in a room, get in front of a mirror, grab a remote and pretend it’s a mic, and imagine you are in front of a crowd while you are practicing your song. Once you build up the courage perform your song for a single friend or family member, then for a couple of people at a time, and then for a group. Just build yourself up!
Create Delivery Patterns
Just like we create rhyme scheme patterns and cadence patterns you can also create delivery patterns. For example, you can create a gradual rise of your vocal tone to peak on top of your rhymes and or on top of the beats within the bar. Kick and Snare drums typically fall on the 4 beats within each bar as well. These are typically the loudest instruments in Hip Hop instrumentals so they are a great place to raise the intensity and energy of your vocals!
Everything in music is about context meaning how everything meshes and connects together. When you’re playing around with your rap delivery make sure that it makes sense in context with the rest of the song. For example, don’t try to sound angry while you’re lyrics are talking about how much you love your mother. Or if the instrumental is really dark and lonely sounding you may not want to sound really happy. To learn more check out my article on improving your rap voice with emotions.
You also need to make sure you are controlling your voice well. One simple technique of doing so is to make sure you’re giving yourself adequate amounts of space to breathe. The more that you deplete your lungs of air the less energy your rap delivery will have. Also, see my article on improving your rap voice with control
So remember your rap delivery is your way of acting out the lyrics to your song and it must move the listener emotionally. If you don’t feel what you’re saying why should anyone else? Remember the 5 C’s; Come from a real place, confidence, create delivery patterns, context, and control.
Are you struggling with your rap delivery? Do you have any questions or comments about this article? Please leave them in the comments section below and I’ll make sure to respond!