Songwriting is a skill in and of its self, apart from rapping. And there are a lot of techniques that go into it as well. But within this article, I’m going to discuss what I believe to be one of the most difficult parts about writing rap songs and I’ll provide you with some insight on how to get past it.
A lot of us rappers put a tremendous amount of unnecessary pressure on ourselves when it comes to songwriting. Even though it’s typically just us, by ourselves, in a room working on music. We allow our psyche to be flooded with all these questions and doubts such as…
- Is this song going to be dope?
- What if I mess it up?
- What will other people think about it?
- Could this be a hit?
- Am I good enough to be writing this song?
- I don’t even know what to write about!
And all of these negative, “Debbie Downers”, is what causes the most difficult part of songwriting which is simply… STARTING!
And there’s a life lesson to learn here. We as human beings tend to be procrastinators by nature, which means we suck at starting things and we tend to wait until we have no choice but to start.
We’ve all witnessed this in school when you have an important project that’s due within a month, and you wait until the last final days to get started on it.
But you know what else is very interesting about our human nature? On the flip side, we also have very addictive personalities and I’m not even referencing to drugs when I say that. Well, not entirely.
Here’s an example.
Have you ever put off making your bed before? You know it needs to be done, but you keep letting other things get in the way of doing it. But then you finally get around to doing it, and the next thing you know you’re picking things up off the floor, vacuuming the carpet, and dusting!
What’s ironic as we as humans suck at starting things. And once we do finally start something it’s hard for us to stop. That’s because once you complete a task, your brain secretes this chemical called “Dopamine”, which makes you have feelings of pleasure and motivation. It’s your body’s “happy drug”.
This is your brain’s way of rewarding you for completing a task, which causes you to continue to repeat this cycle because your body wants another hit of that “Dope” amine. So, in essence, completing one small task can create the momentum you need to complete many things afterward.
The Power In Starting
So when it comes to songwriting my advice is very simple, just start!
Don’t be afraid of messing anything up, or not knowing exactly how you’re going to pull it off. Creating anything successfully requires revisions to get it to the finish line.
Often times I say this to myself before I write a song. “I have no idea how I’m going to pull this off, but it’s going to be dope once it’s finished”.
You find out what works by realizing what doesn’t work.
And you’re not always going to feel motivated or inspired before you start writing your song, oftentimes that comes after you have started and your “creative juices” start flowing.
Establish Your Momentum!
If you’re lacking motivation, complete a simple task first such as making your bed, taking out the trash, or washing those dishes leftover from the night before. This will create a sense of momentum from the pleasure you get from completing a task.
And speaking of momentum. Momentum is really important when you’re writing a song! If you don’t have momentum then you can easily get discouraged because you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and aren’t making any progress which can cause you to quit!
That’s why it’s important once you’ve conquered the most difficult part of songwriting which is starting. You need to have a smart and efficient workflow to ensure you stay focused and create momentum which highly increases your chances of success!
If you don’t already have a rock-solid songwriting workflow then don’t worry, I’ve already got you covered! My 5 Step Blueprint For Writing Rap Songs will help you out tremendously!
If you made it all the way to the end of this article, let me know in the comments section below what your biggest struggle is with songwriting. I’d love to hear your thoughts!