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How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

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How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby Slim Fiasco » Apr 17th, '14, 11:04

I wrote these 2 articles for a site called rappingmanual - http://rappingmanual.com/ - and shit's awesome so I figured I should share them here as well. Plus, this can serve as a practical guide for rapping and Pt. 1 to my motivational-for-rap tutorial (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=165230).

The first article is focused on freestyling and its importance, but also includes pointers for how writing lyrics works and stuff. The second is about delivery and how emotion and melody are to be practiced and why. And finally, there's a bonus quote from a PM with a site member where I shortly and further exemplify some of this ish:

*This will be cope-pasted

The Freestyling Tutorial:

Hey everyone, in this article we’re going to discuss the importance of freestyling and ways to improve at it, but first a proper introduction is needed so we’ll get at the core of the topic a bit later.

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If we take a deeper look at rapping and more specifically the department of lyrics, we could say that a big part of it comes down to your brain’s ability to process associations. So for example, if I were to write a simple couplet I would begin with just one random word, and considering I was just watching an episode from The Wire I could go with the word “wire”. What happens next is I need to take a look at words that rhyme with it as well as examine the meanings of those words. And by examine I mean to see what those words associate me to. So for wire we have: quire, admire, buyer, fire, inspire and many others. If I pick “fire” that associates me to something that burns, like a house, or maybe the song The Fire by the roots; inspire is just that, being inspired by an idol or a book etc.

With that in mind, now I have The Wire which is a reference to the show and let’s say fire. Next, I need to put that in a rhyme so I could say:

My raps document criminology like the Wire
Number one mic killer, I’d set any stage on fire


Nothing special but you get the point, you have possible rhymes which meanings spawn possible associations that rappers combine in lines and verses.

As you practice your skills your brain will get better and better at making associations resulting in faster processing and also covering more ground. In other words, with time you will get better ideas and get them faster. In the meantime, your brain will store many rhymes and as you feed it with pop culture references (the movies you watch, the video games you play, the books you read), real life experiences, thoughts experiments of your own etc; it will basically get crazy good and moments of inspiration will be of greater quality, occurring much more often, and also writer’s block would pretty much go away. All in all, you will experience less struggle and more joy rapping. Of course, you would need to improve your vocal game as well, and that applies to flow/delivery/being on time with the beat/intonation etc.

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So anyway, let’s move on to the main theme which is freestyling and how it connects with was said above.

We could say that writing lyrics is one part of the equation which can be made much more effective if you practice freestyling as well. The reason for it is because when you combine constant writing with constant freestyling you are creating an upward spiral of skill sets feeding off of each other. What I mean is that as you write more you come up with more rhymes and increase association processing effectiveness which in turn improves your freestyling ability, because now you have more rhymes in the “rapping pool” that you can use, while your freestyling adds new ones to it which you can then use for when you’re writing.

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The way freestyling adds new ones is that as you’re rapping while thinking on your feet basically, your brain is more likely to come up with some random rhymes that you wouldn’t have thought of differently, but more over since fast thinking is so important you will massively increase your association processing effectiveness! And again, with increasing that your writing will improve because you will now come up with rhymes and ideas faster, which again in turn will improve your freestyling so there’s that upward spiral of improvement on top of improvement.


[Part 2]


We will now proceed with couple of bullet points that are important to our topic:

1. Freestyling isn’t a God given talent, I know it may seem impossible especially if you’re new at this but anybody could do it, you just need to work very hard and have a blind belief of some sorts that it will happen. You have my word on it though and I promise that you could all become great at it.

2. If you don’t have a great flow or moreover can’t stay on beat freestyling is perhaps the best way to acquire the skill because it will draw from your most natural inclinations as to how to rap on the given beat. This means that it will force you to make pauses that you will find very awkward at times as well as change the pronunciation of words in order to make them rhyme but this is all a good thing. Also, since you aren’t reading or rather it isn’t a memorized material you will have a better feel for the beat and put/add words where you naturally feel they’re needed which is a great way to improve your flow. It’s also great for your delivery because you can play with your voice and not really worry about it since it’s not getting recorded and you aren’t required to have it polished up.

3. Considering this will be very hard at first, the best way to improve is to make sure that you say something that has a meaning and not worry about anything else. In other words, don’t worry about content quality and the time needed for the next thought/line. It’s for the better if you for example say: I’m now wearing a green cool shirt, and then wait for a minute if you have to, but have the next line make sense and you could continue with “watch out you’re about to get hurt”. As you can see, content quality is irrelevant and until you become better at it just worry about making some sort of a sense.

4. It’s natural to use filler words and at first you will probably be repeating the same ish over and over again. Just like when most people talk they usually use the words “like” or the phrase “you know what I mean/I’m saying” etc. However, as you get better this tendency will decrease and there will be more new/good thoughts and less filler.

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5. You don’t always have to freestyle out loud. A great practice is to think of rhymes while you’re out for a walk or on a bus ride. You can think of ways to rhyme about the things you see around you. It’s also easier like this because you can take your time and not having to say it out loud will give you more room for work. Of course, this is just a good way to improve your actual freestyling which will get even better if you do these silent freestyles more often. Remember, it’s all about your brain making associations and storing rhymes/ideas.

6. Speaking of seeing things around you that is another good way to practice your freestyling. You can rhyme about objects around you and that will give you directions for your next rhyme, or maybe a friend could throw random words at you and then you can make rhymes about that.

7. Reading (books) is very important. This is more of a bonus tip, but reading daily keeps your brain sharp and it’s also a great source for new vocabulary as well as ideas. Another bonus tip would be leading a healthy diet and working out regularly, because the better your brain works the better rapper you will be.

8. Group activity is really awesome, and finding fellow rappers to join you on your journey is very much essential. Cyphers are one of my most favorite things about being a rapper, and the best cyphers are when all the rappers are doing off the top freestyles. So if you have a group of friends who rap make sure you all get on your freestyling game and do cyphers as often as humanly possible.

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9. Overall, in order to become a better rapper practice is the most important thing. And one of the best ways to practice is to freestyle every day. My personal way of doing things is to play an instrumental playlist on YouTube and practice freestying for at least half an hour daily. But I usually go for about one. Or maybe, I’ll do it 2 or 3 times in the day, and one of those times will be a 30 min session, while the others may vary. Of course, you can always freestyle while a song with vocals is playing and just do your thing on top of it.

10. Another key thing to remember is that while you may logically know and even want to freestyle or write or whatever, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your emotions will be there too. What I’m saying is that what you want and what your brain wants can often be 2 extremely different things. Consider your brain a stubborn child that doesn’t want to go to school or eat his dinner and you’re the parent who is trying to make him do it. Therefore if you find yourself thinking “I’ll do the freestyling thing later” while you know you should do it now, just say f*ck you to your brain followed by: “I’m going to torture you now and rhyme for an hour and you’re just going to sit there like a little b*tch”. Of course, during the session your emotions will catch up with your logic and you will find yourself enjoying the sh*t out of it. In fact, freestyling is probably the best most fulfilling thing I do in the day. This is also a way of forming habits so while it may be a tough going at first, you’ll be doing awesome after a couple of weeks.

11. During these sessions the same rhymes and the same ideas will come up all the time. In fact, if I freestyle for an hour, probably just 10 minutes are new material so to say but that’s not a bad thing because there’s no way I could possibly say the exact same stream of freestyling more than once. There will always be some variations. Also, when you later freestyle in front of other people they don’t see you when you do your practicing the same way you don’t see Kobe shooting free-throws. So to them it’s all new and no, this isn’t cheating because those ideas and rhymes have all come from you so they’re still authentic and original. It’s just the combination that changes, plus there will always be moments of brilliance as I like to call them when something completely new and usually funny comes to your mind. That’s what creativity is all about right there.


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Melody/Emotion tutorial:

2 Ways To Massively Improve Your Delivery

You can have excellent flow patterns and all, but it’s a strong delivery that makes your voice i.e. the way you sound on a track really powerful. The delivery is basically how you utilize intonation and 2 things that come into play are melody and emotion.

However, combining the 2 can be a tough thing to learn so you’ll probably need to shift your focus between them at first. A good way to practice melody is to match your voice with the different melodies of the instrumental. You can do this either with random words or scatting, but using precise lyrics is fine too. When you practice like this, it will be as if you’re singing the words rather than rapping them; but in time you’ll get the feel for how to use just the right amount of melody while still keeping your rhythmic patterns going.

The other part of the equation is emotion and it’s a ridiculously important one. It is one thing to implement the different melodies of the beats but your lyrics must not lose the emotional strength. A great way to practice the use of emotions is to get some children’s books and start reading aloud. These books involve a lot of (uncomplicated) dialogs where you can get your acting skills going. Only thing you need to do is get un-stifled and use the whole range of your voice while reading. This will definitely help you because you’ll naturally include more emotions when you rap and even when you speak in general.

With the practice of these 2 aspects you will eventually get the feel of how to combine both melody and emotion. And I’ll leave you with a song from KRS-One, which showcases this perfectly especially during the chorus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_tsaRsEOuU

*Some things may be repeated in the following quotes

The Bonus Quotes:

don't worry about content quality and easy end rhymes, that's just like if you start to learn basketball first you learn how to dribble, then layups, then jumpshots etc. You can view it as a piramide and first you learn the bottom levels, then when you have that you go more advance etc. and at the top all the skills come together i..e you become a master. This freestyling tutorial includes pointers for how to have better lyrics i.e. how your brain works with rhyming, so just as it is suggested to freestyle, you should keep writing as well, and don't worry for the quality! You can also pick random words from newspapers or books or whatever, and make rhymes from that.


I guess it is man, but look. As far as rhyming and figures of speech go you should read up on definitions and search for them in songs. Like, research RapGenius for a while to see how wordplay can be utilized and check that thread for Em rhymes that may go unnoticed to see some subtle ways of rhyming. In the meantime, pay attention to the way some rappers who are known to be good at it do it (rhyming). Like, Big L, Big Pun, Em, Elzhi etc. You should understand the concepts like really easily and soon. It's enough that you even have an interest in doing so. That's what most people lack today - curiosity.

Also check out some video breakdowns of Lupe's lyrics to see how dope wordplay can get - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SIxydq6uSc (open the whole channel too)

Other than knowing this you'll need to internalize it so at the beginning it'd actually be a good idea if you force a lot of wordplay and/or rhyming. However, don't do it in order to impress people, fuck what people think. It takes a lot of time to get good at this. However again, if you're a beginner your safest bet is to just practice the most simple lyrics and flow that you can. There are maaaany internet MCs and they can't ride a beat for shit. Learn how to have a good flow and you can always "upgrade" your lyrics. Just by you having this PM convo with me - it means that you are capable of having doper lyrics.

So what to do at first? Start freestyling every fucking day, and if you're a beginner also write lyrics everyday. The quality of both your freestyles and lyrics shouldn't be important. Just make sure that you're making sense. When you freestyle you'll have a natural tendency of how to catch the beat and even if it's stutterish and ultra-retarded - do it anyway.

Here's how to go at lyrics:

1. - Thinking of the first line is the hardest step. After that you can create the "web" through the process of association. Rhymes and association is how creativity gets to happen, and with time your brain will be better at it.

2. - It can all start with a word. Let's say the word is Beer. I saw the beer smiley on the right and that's how I thought of beer. Beer is a drink that associates you to going out with buddies, getting drunk, getting drunk chicks, watching sports etc.

Now on the other hand you have rhymes for beer. One of the rhymes is peer, other is overseer, hear/here etc. If you chose peer, it associates you again to buddies and stuff. So, having the 2 together we can write this:

I'm out with my buddies drinking beers
In the middle of a club, surrounded by my peers


Now I know this is lame but it's to illustrate the concept.

If you want to get more complex you can use internal rhymes or whatnot and get inspired by the other words and their meaning i.e. things you associate them with. Like in the first line with buddies and drinking. Buddies can be a homophone with bodies and drinking can rhyme with thinking or blinking. So, you can have it go this way:

I'm out with my buddies drinking beers
Barely thinking, ready to fuck some female peers


or

I'm out with my buddies drinking beers
Leaving dead bodies behind, scaring all my peers


You can also connect it with rhymes for beers like fear or clear:

I'm out with my buddies drinking beers
Clear the floor (dear), I have no fear to fight a peer


So yeah as you can see there are a loooot of combinations and as you get better your ability to "see" opportunities for connecting rhymes and meaning will gradually improve.

Start simple.


Thanks for reading!
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If you're learning how to rap, check out my tutorials - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=165230

The Right Way To Be A Hip-Hop Fan - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=168550
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby pudding » Apr 22nd, '14, 21:46

didn't get to read the whole thing but looks informative and awesome...

um i don't know if this was covered but when I write and spit, I tend to be so off and I sort blur my words and I just fuck up. Any tips for someone trying to spit writtens?
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby DetroitSkills » Apr 22nd, '14, 23:32

good read
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby JamaicanPattlez » Apr 22nd, '14, 23:47

Co-Signed.
Horsebot3K wrote:
Usernamesarehard wrote:My dick is going in your mouth whether you like it or not bipolar fuck boy.

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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby CanadaPure » Apr 23rd, '14, 03:15

Too long of a read from someone who's probably just as much of an amateur as most people here, and it comes off pretentious. Awesome.

All you're saying is, "practice more" in 30 paragraphs.
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby JamaicanPattlez » Apr 23rd, '14, 03:28

CanadaPure wrote:Too long of a read from someone who's probably just as much of an amateur as most people here, and it comes off pretentious. Awesome.

All you're saying is, "practice more" in 30 paragraphs.


Cause that really is the answer lol. Some people like it more explained though. And what to practice.
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby TheVipBro » Apr 23rd, '14, 03:33

Pattlez, Hit me up with a pm about the tr song..
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby CanadaPure » Apr 23rd, '14, 03:42

JamaicanPattlez wrote:
CanadaPure wrote:Too long of a read from someone who's probably just as much of an amateur as most people here, and it comes off pretentious. Awesome.

All you're saying is, "practice more" in 30 paragraphs.


Cause that really is the answer lol. Some people like it more explained though. And what to practice.


Yeah, but it's a page by an amateur for even bigger amateurs which really explains nothing aside from "you're gonna need to practice!" which is common sense.
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby JamaicanPattlez » Apr 23rd, '14, 05:07

CanadaPure wrote:
JamaicanPattlez wrote:
CanadaPure wrote:Too long of a read from someone who's probably just as much of an amateur as most people here, and it comes off pretentious. Awesome.

All you're saying is, "practice more" in 30 paragraphs.


Cause that really is the answer lol. Some people like it more explained though. And what to practice.


Yeah, but it's a page by an amateur for even bigger amateurs which really explains nothing aside from "you're gonna need to practice!" which is common sense.


It's the thought that counts I guess. Image
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby Just Silver » Apr 23rd, '14, 11:56

Too bad it doesn't get more advanced but still semi motivation
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby Slim Fiasco » Apr 23rd, '14, 15:38

CanadaPure wrote:
JamaicanPattlez wrote:
CanadaPure wrote:Too long of a read from someone who's probably just as much of an amateur as most people here, and it comes off pretentious. Awesome.

All you're saying is, "practice more" in 30 paragraphs.


Cause that really is the answer lol. Some people like it more explained though. And what to practice.


Yeah, but it's a page by an amateur for even bigger amateurs which really explains nothing aside from "you're gonna need to practice!" which is common sense.


It's not like Eminem is going to make a tutorial, plus I'm passing along advice from books such as How To Rap which does include tips from professionals and is nothing better than this. And also, advice from books such as Robert Greene's Mastery and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience which are unusual sources for rap but offer extremely good principles that could apply to it.

And while I'm an amateur, and may not have the best flow or whatever, I'm actually really great at freestyling and that's something not many rappers practice (are good at), so I'm pretty sure I can hold my own with professionals even.

And this tutorial is advance. I have explained how the mind works with making associations, and how that connects with everything else as far as freestyling and rapping in general goes, which in turn explains its importance and is definitely better than starting off with nothing and no directions. I've also addressed every possible problem and setback that one can have with the skill. There is no better tutorial on freestyling out there, I GUARENTEE that.

And yes it does come down to practice. But this is like showing definitions of rhymes and figures of speech to a beginner rapper, of course it's going to take practice to internalize all that, but it's still valuable info, and you don't have to be Kool G Rap to know what mutlies are and have credibility to explain them. It's just that freestyling hasn't been talked about as much as rhyming.
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If you're learning how to rap, check out my tutorials - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=165230

The Right Way To Be A Hip-Hop Fan - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=168550
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Re: How To Freestyle Rap & MORE

Postby treytreythedoodoo » Aug 16th, '14, 00:32

yo bro i signed up to this site just because of your forum help for rappers any tips fpor connecting more to the beat
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