How To Write Better Rap Verses By Avoiding 3 Common Mistakes



Today I’m going to be showing you how to write better rap verses by avoiding 3 common mistakes many rappers make! Let’s get straight to it!

1 Stop trying to always cram a full thought into 1 bar

Try giving yourself 4 bars or more to complete a thought or make a point or expound upon something you just said. This will allow you to paint a more vivid picture in the mind of your listeners.

Your bars are like lemons. Always ask yourself after you write a bar, is there any more juice that you can squeeze out of it?

Here’s an example of me cramming a full thought into 1 bar and then another example of me giving myself 4 bars to express the same thought.

Today I’m using a beat I produced called Fairy Tales. If you like this instrumental you can get by visiting by beat store.

EXAMPLE (1 bar thought)

Vacation didn’t last long enough, I’m back to waiting 

EXAMPLE (4 bar thought)

It’s amazing how you grind just to get some savings

So you can take a week-long Caribbean vacation

But then it flies by like the transportation that you 

took to get there now you back home and you really hate it

And just to clarify, there’s nothing wrong with completing a thought within 1 bar but don’t limit yourself to only a bar to complete your thoughts.


2 Stop chasing rhyme schemes for too long

Us rappers are some rhyme scheme feinds! And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s not taking away from the meaning of your lyrics. Rhymes are used to make your lyrics sound more catchy, but they should not make your lyrics less meaningful.

Don’t allow your rhymes to cause your lyrics to lose meaning

EXAMPLE

My rhymes are so incredible lines backed to the vestibul

Never test the fuel, Flexible edible legibles 

ImPeccable you could never pull me off my pedestal

If you do you and yo crew may all wind up in medical

These lyrics sound amazing but underneath that attractive exterior, there’s a major issue on the 2nd bar. 

“Never test the fuel? Flexible edible legibles”?? Come on man!  I could try to BS you and try to get all deep and say the “fuel” is my drive to be successful and “edible legibles” means my lyrics are so appetizing that people just want to eat them up.

Pro-Tip: If your lyrics require a lot of explanation for everyone to understand them then your message is getting lost. So change it!

For example, I replaced that 2nd bar line, and instead of chasing the “incredible” rhyme scheme as I did before, I chose to create a new rhyme scheme using “wine” to connect to the internal rhyme of “rhymes” and “lines” from the 1st bar. 

I also used this line to enhance the visual of the scene I’m painting with there being enough wine that everyone can have as much as they want.

EXAMPLE

My rhymes are so incredible lines backed to the vestibule

Wine flowin like water enough for me and the rest of you

Impeccable you could never pull me off my pedestal

If you do you an yo crew may all wind up in medical


3 Stop ignoring the planning phase

It’s common for rappers to just write down the first line that comes to mind and then they allow the rhyme scheme to dictate the direction of the verse. There’s nothing wrong with this method as long as it works but just know you run a great risk of getting stuck or writing a verse that doesn’t have any clear direction.

So much of writing happens in the planning stage before you start writing lyrics and get boxed in due to a rhyme scheme or cadence pattern that you’re chasing. Oftentimes, I’ll take a moment before I begin writing my lyrics to brainstorm ideas and create a storyboard out of those ideas.

It’s okay if you don’t plan ahead before you begin writing lyrics. But at some point, you need to take a step back and ask yourself where you would like to take the verse from there and how many more bars are left in the verse for you to do so?

If you would like a more in-depth look at the process of brainstorming and storyboarding be sure to check out my video on “How To Begin Writing A Rap Song” I’ll post a link in the video description as well.

I’m curious to know if you’ve found yourself making any of these mistakes, and if so which ones? Let me know in the comments section below!

I hope this helps you Be A Better Rapper Now!

  • Oh, my, yes, I’ve fallen into all of those. Especially the sounding-deep one with the flexible edible legibles!!!! I catch myself doing that a lot, but thankfully am able to turn it around and make things more understandable and to the point. (But a year ago it was a different story!!!)

    Yeah, and even 2 days ago, I was doing that writing-the-first-line thing and thinking, yeah, I need to be a little more organized in my thinking. I’m going to keep all these tips in mind. Amazing how the first example really sounds great when you flesh it out from 1 bar to 4. Thanks, as always, for the great tips!!

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