Your Words Are Drums
In previous installments of Be A Better Rapper now we have been discussing What Is Rap? How To Hack The Beat & How To Establish Rhythm by trying on the beat. If you haven’t already read those you may want to check them out first before reading any further. We previously learned that mumbling gibberish can get your creative juices flowing and allow you to get some ideas of different flows and rhythms you can establish that fit your style. So now we are going to be talking about how to begin to put words in place of those sounds. Every single syllable in each word equates to individual drum notes. Remember rapping is mimicking the percussive elements of the beat. Don’t forget to use the quarter notes as anchor points as guides to keep you on beat. Your previous created rhythms should not constrain you at this point but rather be used as a guideline to give you a clear indication of what you are trying to accomplish. It’s very likely at this point that you may tweak previous rhythms and come up with new ones which is totally fine.
Pieces To The Puzzle
Writing to rhythm is like putting together a puzzle. Every word & syllable determines the size and number of corners on each piece. And the art of how to write raps is learning how to fit all those pieces together nice and snug to form a picture. As you begin writing you should constantly be going back to tweak your phrases and words to lengthen them or shorten them to ensure that they are fitting together nicely. A few indications that this needs to be done is if you are running out of breath, cutting words short in order to start saying the next word, or the clarity of your pronunciation of words is being compromised. What’s most important is that you are saying your words clearly so that the listener can understand you and connect with your message. This is also vitally important when it comes to recording in the studio or performing live on stage. You want to make sure that you are delivering your rhymes as close to perfection as possible to ensure that you are leaving the biggest impression on the listener.
Going back to the puzzle pieces. These pieces can be used to fill in gaps or to trim back to give you more space. Larger pieces to the puzzle may be comprised of larger words with more syllables. Or these large pieces can consist of several small words all squished together to have them form one large word. Eminem is known for doing this and he refers to it as sandwiching words. This allows him to rhyme larger words with multiple smaller words to increase the possibilities of creating complex rhyme schemes. Every word does not necessarily have to rhyme. The idea here is you want to say it in such a way to where it sounds like it rhymes. Doing this will determine how you pronounce certain words. You may need to pronounce a word differently than you normally would in order to make it sound like it’s rhyming. Here are a few examples.
INCONSISTENTLY THEN COMES SIXTY THREE
BIODEGRADABLE I KNOW THE PLACE TO GO
OSTENTATIOUS LOTS ARE FACED WITH
PROCRASTINATE SO FAST TO HATE
PROSPERITY NOT SWEAR AT ME
PROVOCATIVE SO ROCK IF THIS
RECLUSIVE HE KNEW THIS
RECONCILIATION PRESSED AND PUSHED HIS FACE IN
Filling In The Gaps
You can treat each line that you’re writing almost like a freestyle. And if you want you can even mumble gibberish to keep yourself focused on your rhythm as you try to fill in words. Try and come up with the word you wish to rhyme with and place it at the end of the bar and then focus on filling in the rest of that bar that leads up to it. Or you can write out what you want to say and then start fitting it in to your rhythm. There is really no right or wrong way to do it. Just do what works best for you. This may be hard for your at first but just remember this is a very important technique on how to write raps. Give yourself time to develop and don’t rush it. Have fun and feel free to reference songs from your favorite rappers and study their rhyme schemes and rapping techniques. Implementing these techniques will dramatically increase your rap game. If you found this article helpful and would like to stay updated on future posts as well as receive a free copy of my e-book entitled The #1 Fundamental To Rapping you can by CLICKING HERE