In this video, I’m going to show you how to rap like Tech N9ne and explain why he is such a genius with his rap flow by breaking down his rap verse on his song called “face off” which features Joey Cool, Dwayne Johnson and King ISO For today’s demonstration, I’m going to be using a beat that I produced called “Dojo”, if you like this beat you can get it over on my beat store.
Now let’s first begin by listening to Tech N9ne’s verse and then I’ll break down each 4-bar quadrant of his verse so that you can start using some of these techniques in your songs!
1st Quadrant – Bars 01-04
On Bar 01 beat 01 Tech could have held the word “bip” for an 8th note but he decided to make it shorter and turned it into a 16th note. This created a short 16th note pause which gave the beginning of this bar a nice groove.
On beat 02 Tech does something similar and makes his 3rd 16th note which is the word “with” more staccato which means shorter and this makes his cadence feel less smooth and more rigid and aggressive.
On Bar 02 Tech n9ne basically keeps this same pattern going
But on bar 3 Tech builds off his previous cadence and kicks it up a notch by sprinkling in some 32nd notes within the 1st and 3rd beat sections of the bar. He also shifts his 8th notes from where he was landing on bars 1 and 2 which was leading into the 3rd beats and landing on the 2nd half of the 4th beats. His 8th notes are now landing on the 2nd 16th note of beat 2 and the 2nd 16th note of beat 4 which just creates a nice overall shift in energy. It’s almost like he’s getting more aggressive and moving in closer on you musically.
On bar 4 he continues to build upon his cadence just a little more by placing two 32nd notes on the 1st beat with the word “betta” and eliminating the short pause he’s had on the previous 3 bars. He also leads into the 3rd beat with two 32nd notes which adds some nice aggression. He also adds an additional 8th note on the 2nd 16h note of the 3rd beat which really adds a nice smooth texture to the groove of this bar. These 8th notes allow the cadence to pull back a little bit which makes this cadence feel like it’s going forward and backward, in and out. Keep all of that in mind as we play it back.
2nd Quadrant – Bars 05-08
On bar 5, Tech switches to a new cadence which has a (triplet feel to it) he uses a combination of triplet notes, 16th notes and 32nd notes.
Also, notice how he places his rhyme slightly after the snare on the 2nd beat with the word “top”.
On bar 6 Tech is basically doing the same thing. You will notice by my visuals that there are some subtle differences but in essence, it’s the same cadence and groove as before. This is a great example of why you should never box yourself into a cadence 100% if it’s causing your lyrics to suffer because there are so many ways you can change a cadence in subtle ways and it still feel pretty much the same.
Also, notice how Tech leads into this bar with a 32nd note at the end of the bar before it. This is a great reminder that you don’t have to wait until a bar begins to begin your next cadence.
On bar 7 Tech starts really heating things up by using more 32nd notes than any of his bars before. This is giving this cadence movement as it’s building up energy.
On bar 8 Tech N9ne red lines his rap flow and pushes his energy pretty much to the max as he fills in nearly the whole bar with 32nd notes. Notice how he still uses two 16th notes on beats 2 and 4 for his rhymes. This allows his rhymes to pop out more and be heard more clearly. Also, take notice of how Tech places a long pause on beat 4. He’s setting up a shift into lower energy cadences for his next 4 bars to provide some rest after creating such a climatic build!
3rd Quadrant – Bars 09-12
On Bar 09 the energy drops a bit and Tech is using fewer 32nd notes. However, this is still a similar groove as before just with less energy. Notice how he is still placing his longer notes with his rhymes on the 2nd and 4th beat with “wet blood” and “get up”
He adds just a bit more energy on bar 10 by getting rid of the longer notes on beat 2 and filling them in with some 32nd notes and 16th notes. However, he still keeps the two 16th notes for his rhyme scheme in place on beat 4.
Bar 11 + 12
On Bar 11 Tech drops the energy just a little bit more by using an 8th note pause for the 2nd half of the 2nd beat. He’s doing this so that he can fill this empty space back in on the next bar to give his cadence one last lift of energy which gives it a climactic ending.
If you’re wanting to dive even deeper into learning how to perfect your rap flow then stay tuned because I’m going to be launching a rap course in a few weeks that’s going to help you take your rap flow to a whole nother level and if you’re watching this in the future, I’ll post a link to it in the video description below.
And if you’re new here be sure to pick up a FREE copy of my eBook “ The #1 Fundamental To Rapping” by opting in below 👇
And always remember, when it comes to rapping, there are no rules, there’s only techniques! Peace!
Do you have somewhere to download the rap breakdown sheet?