How To Rap: Cadence To Lyrics

Lifting The Veil

When you are learning how to rap one obstacle you are sure to face is when you try to take your cadences that you’ve developed while scatting and try to translate them into lyrics. This can be a very difficult and some what mysterious aspect of rapping. But in this article I hope to lift the veil from your eyes so you can see the fundamental’s of whats really going on at the most basic level.

Syllables Are Beats 

In previous installments of Be A Better Rapper now I have broken down and expounded on how to create cadence by scatting and mumbling gibberish aka trying on the beat. I have also recently broken down how to understand your beats per measure and also how to double and triple your time. The most important lesson you should get out of this article is that each syllable of each word that you write equals beats in a measure. So for example inevitable has 5 syllables in-ev-it-ta-ble which means it would take up 5 beats in 1 measure. If you are rapping to a 16 count then you would have 11 more beats left to fill in the measure. Make sense?

So the art of translating cadences into lyrics at it’s most basic form is counting beats per measure and counting syllables in your words. This will cause you to strategically pick your words based on how many syllables aka beats per measure that you are using. The more words that you learn the easier it will be to pick out words for your cadence. In fact the more familiar you become with this process the more natural you will begin to come up with cadences and lyrics at the same stage.

Don’t Get Stuck!

Be careful not to obsess over every single detail of your cadences when you are trying to write your lyrics. Rather use your cadences as a general guide of what you are trying to accomplish during the writing process. Never forget why you are rapping in the first place; you have something to say and it’s fun! So have fun and don’t get caught up trying to be flawless but rather focus on the emotion and character of your writing.

How Did I Do?

Did you find this article helpful? Have a question about the lesson covered? Have your own unique way of translating cadence into words? Make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below and I will get right back to you!

Comments

  1. Junior Bennett says

    Please tell how do you covert cadences when they’re not words. What are the sounds used to create cadence?

    • says

      Hey JB, your question is answered with this article and the video in this article gives you real live examples of how to convert your cadence into lyrics. If you would like more of an explanation of the sounds we use please check out my article and video on how to rap fast

  2. Rabih says

    Hey Cole. Your articles are amazing; you write great stuff in your articles; keep doing this because you’re a great rap teacher!

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