Today I’m going to be doing something very uncomfortable. I’m going to be revisiting a rap that I wrote 20 years ago and I’m going to tear it apart and build it back up to show you how to make your raps better!
I was only 16 years old at the time I wrote this rap and I had already been rapping for about 5 years! At the time there was no Youtube or Google to learn how to rap, and I didn’t even know any other rappers until around the time I recorded this song, so I was totally on my own!
Many of you that watch my channel are likely somewhat new to rapping and I hope this video encourages you to keep working hard on your craft. And you may not realize this but most of you are improving so much quicker than I did because of channels like mine and that brings me a tremendous amount of joy!
Now let’s travel in time and listen to a snippet of one of my songs. I’m going to rip it apart and tell you some of the things I like about it, and many of the things I hate about it. Not only that, I’m going to fix all the rapping mistakes that I made. So without further ado, LET’S GET IT!!!!
Things That Work
A few of the things that are good about my rap are I have pretty decent cadences for the most part and I did a really good job structuring my rhymes so that they line up in time from bar to bar.
And from a writing standpoint, I did pretty good staying on topic and using metaphors to convey what I’m saying in more of a poetic way.
Things That Need To Be Improved
I hate the way I sound. I’m not rapping clearly on many of my parts and I’m slurring a good bit of my words.
There are too many syllables which are causing the clarity of my lyrics and the musicality of my rap flow to suffer. I’m also running out of breath at times.
My delivery could also use some overall improvements. Creating space by eliminating syllables will help with this and also punching in my vocals instead of recording it all in one take like I did originally will help dramatically as well!
At the time that I wrote this, I prided myself on being able to rap my verses all in one take. The problem was, that’s exactly how it sounded in my recordings. I eventually learned that most of my favorite rappers were punching in their vocals which is why they sounded so much better than me!
To learn more about punching in vocals watch my video called “how to punch in rap vocals like a pro”.
Also apart from rapping, the recording and mix are pretty poor quality and the instrumental could use some improvements.
All that I did on the first bar was remove the word “if” which gave me just enough space to rap this line more clearly. Removing this word rephrased this sentence into a question.
The sentence that I rephrased into a question from bar one runs over into bar 2 so I adjusted my delivery to go higher in tone on “been through them yet” to reflect the sound of a question being asked.
Also I eliminated the word “Then” which gave me the extra space needed to say everything clearly.
On bar three I replaced “introduces” which is 4 syllables with “presents” which is only 2 syllables which freed up quite a bit of space. This also created an internal rhyme with “itself” with “scents” and “its”.
On bar 4 I removed the words “with” and “so”. I also swapped out “instructions” with “notes” which eliminated a total of 4 syllables for this bar. This also created a new internal rhyme with “notes” and “no”. With all this free space I decided to also change up my cadence a little bit to more of a triplet type of cadence.
On bar 5 I removed the word “your” to create a little more space.
On bar 6 I replaced “and it seems” with “it’s” which eliminated 2 syllables.
On Bar 7 I removed the word “that” to create more space.
And on bar 8 I removed “swimming” which is 2 syllables which created a good amount of free space.
I also punched in a total of 5 times during these 8 bars so that I could perfect my rap delivery and ensure every part of my recording felt nice and full.
I decided to punch in on the transitions between bar 6 and 7 because after I had initially punched in those bars separately I decided to rephase “and it seems like” to “and it’s like” because it felt a little too cramped. Instead of going back and recording both those bars again separately I just recorded that one little phrase because it was easier.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Now I’m curious to know, have you noticed any of these issues in your raps before? If so, which ones? Let me know in the comments section below!
My name is Cole Mize with colemizestudios.com where I strive to make you a better rapper now! If you’re trying to perfect your rap skills make sure you get yourself a FREE copy of my eBook The #1 fundamental below. And always remember, when it comes to rapping, there’s no rules, there’s only techniques, peace!