How To Make Your Rap Lyrics Flow Better



In today’s video, I’m going to show you how to make your rap lyrics flow better by learning how to how to structure rap lyrics and cadences to work perfectly together!

Now you can think of RAP as an acronym that stands for Rhythm And Poetry. The rhythm is the musical side of rapping and the poetry is the written side of rapping. And it’s the rhythm and the poetry working in tandem together that makes skilled rappers sound so awesome!  

Most beginner rappers focus on writing first because it’s typically the part of rapping that already makes sense to them. But without the musical element of rhythm driving the lyrics will never sound great.

So today I’m going to show you how to combine the written and musical elements together to make your rap lyrics flow better and sound awesome!


THE SCENARIO (Lyrics already written)

In today’s scenario, the lyrics are already written but they don’t sound good because they were not written to an instrumental. In this lesson, I’m using an instrumental that I produced called Bounty Hunter. If you want this instrumental I’ll post a link to it in the video description below.

Also, all the lyrics in this lesson are structured in double-time since I’m rapping over a trap-style instrumental. So there will only be one snare per bar which lands on the 3rd beat. If you don’t know what double time is be sure to check out this video on double time and trap beats explained.

RAW LYRICS (Before Editing)

Here’s how the lyrics currently sound.

I wrote these lyrics first before I found a beat

It’s lackin that kinda of rhythmic mystique that many other emcee’s 

Use to spit some heat to make all these other rappers out here retreat

Back to their mommas’ basement just to cry themselves to sleep 

Currently, there’s some really good stuff happening on the written side with the rhyme schemes but for the most part, it sounds like I’m just trying to squeeze each line into each bar because that’s exactly what tends to happen when you write lyrics without being mindful of its musical structure.


LOCK-IN THE END

What I would recommend doing in this situation is work on tightening up one bar at a time by scatting and then saying the last 3-4 syllables that lead into the end rhyme. This will allow you to ensure you’re placing your rhyme exactly where you want it while also experimenting with the rest of the bars cadence by scatting to make it more musical.

I decided that I like the triplet style rap cadence I came up with so I’m going to run with that for these 4 bars.


MERGING CADENCE AND LYRICS

Once the 3-4 syllables leading into your end rhyme is placed and you’ve decided on a cadence you like, then work on making the cadence you scatted and your existing lyrics fit each other by tweaking both the cadence and the lyrics as needed so they work perfectly together.

(scatting) found a beat

I wrote these lyrics first before I found a beat (too many syllables)

I wrote these lyrics first before I found a beat (almost but still too many syllables)

I wrote these lyrics first before  then I found the beat (perfect!)

And then rinse and repeat this process for each bar. But as you do, be sure to keep in mind how all the bars connect with each other in time. For example, as I work on Bar 2 I’m also going to be playing bar 1 to ensure they don’t overlap.

Now sit back and pay close attention as I re-work the rest of these bars and tweak both the cadence and lyrics so they work perfectly together!


BAR 2

(scatting) other emcee’s

It’s lackin that kind of rhythmic mystique that many other emcee’s (too many lyrics)

It’s lackin that kind of rhythmic mystique that many other emcee’s

It lacks that rhythmic mystique many other emcee’s (-ther emcee’s is a little too late and therefore make the rhyme scheme not feel as strong)

It lacks that rhythmic mystique many other emcee’s (I adjusted the cadence by rapping “many and O” faster so that I could place “ther Emcee’s” earlier to be in time with my previous rhyme “found a beat”)


BAR 3

(scatting) here retreat

Use to spit some heat to make all these other rappers out here retreat (way too many lyrics)

Use to spit some heat to make all these other rappers out here retreat (still too many lyrics)

Use to spit some heat to make all these other rappers out here retreat (sounds great but I want the end of the bar’s cadence on “to make these” to match the bar before)

Use to spit heat to make rappers retreat. (perfect!)


BAR 4

(scatting) themselves to sleep

Back to their mommas’ basement just to cry themselves to sleep (too many lyrics)

Back to their mommas’ basement just to cry themselves to sleep

Back to their mommas’ basement just to cry themselves to sleep

to their mommas’ basement to cry themselves to sleep

Now let’s take a listen to a before and after


BEFORE

I wrote these lyrics first before I found a beat

It’s lackin that kinda of rhythmic mystique that many other emcee’s 

Use to spit some heat to make all these other rappers out here retreat

Back to their mommas’ basement just to cry themselves to sleep 

AFTER

I wrote these lyrics then found tha beat

It lacks that rhythmic mystique many other emcee’s

Use to spit heat to make rappers retreat to their

mommas’ basement to cry themselves to sleep


As you can see, scatting played a big role in how I came up with and tweaked my trap-style triplet cadence in this lesson. If you don’t know what scatting is or how to do it, I made this awesome video tutorial that will break all of that down.

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