In today’s video, I’m going to be answering a question I’ve gotten a lot over the years, and that’s what does rap flow mean? Let’s dive into this awesome rap flow tutorial!
If you’ve consumed some of my content you may have noticed that I consider Rap Cadences and Rap Flow as two different things. And if you understand what rap cadences are then it will help you better understand what rap flow is.
A Rap Cadence is a musical pattern, typically 1 bar in length, which uses a variety of rhythmic music notes and oftentimes pauses to create a groove. It’s common for rappers to repeat the same cadence (perhaps with slight variations) for 2-4 bars at a time to create a cadence scheme. This gives the musical part of their rapping some predictability so that the listener can follow along. If you keep the same exact cadence scheme going more than 4 bars you run the risk of being too predictable.
And Rap Flow is more of a zoomed-out view of how you transition from one cadence scheme into another throughout the course of an entire rap verse. So if you switch up your cadence scheme every 4 bars throughout a 16 bar rap verse then you would do so 4 times and this is what is known as your rap flow.
EXAMPLE (Cal Scruby Cigarette Break)
Here’s an example of a verse I broke down from a song called “Cigarette Break” by Cal Scruby. Pay attention to how long his cadence schemes are and how they contribute to his overall rap flow.
Be Like Water
When I think about Rap Flow, I always think of a famous Bruce Lee quote where he said the following “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend”. – Bruce Lee
So your rap flow should be something that is ever-evolving.
If you’re wanting to improve your rap flow I highly recommend that you take my free rap course right on YouTube called “5 Minutes To A Better Rap Flow” and if you’re trying to perfect your overall rap skills be sure to pick up a FREE copy of my eBook The #1 Fundamental To Rapping. 👇