5 Step Rap Writing Technique
Okay so I am trying out this new technique to try and relearn how to write a raps with a bit more structure. My problem was I was always good at rhyming and multi’s and wordplay. But when I would go to write a full song, I didn’t have the songwriting abilities. I set out on a mission to overcome this barrier and try some new rap writing techniques that would allow me to write songs faster and more structured.
So I lay out each step to go from beginning to end. There are so many ways to write raps but this is a cool technique to lay out a track superfast and have it all be relevant and flowing as one. Loved it. So check out how it worked for me.
Step 1: Pick a Topic
The first part of this task is to pick a topic/story/idea for your song. There are many ways to do this. I highly recommend picking one of the first things you think about and feel an emotional connection too. If you can’t think of anything then use these cool ass resources to pick a general topic.
For the sake of this track I chose procrastination as my baseline topic.
Step 2: Song Summary
Okay this is the fun part. What you write in the song summary is going to be a giant brain dump of your ideas. Whether its a story, a lesson, an ego flex whatever it could be anything.
The KEY is to write how you feel. Write everything down. All your ideas into one giant clump of non-rhymes and non-structure. I chose a story about a man who struggles with procrastination and its affecting his relationships and everything around him (ermm ME).. haha. But this will shape the context of your song. Don’t overthink it. Just start jotting things down into a big paragraph.
"A man realizes hes never finished anything important. He’s put off everything that’s ever been important and waited until the last minute to try and succeed. Meaning he’s failed a lot. This is affecting his relationships and careers because hes always procrastinating. Hes always late and last minute with everything he does. He realizes hes doing it and wants to change but doesnt know how. He hopes to become the best version of himself. Someone that has accomplished something hes proud of."
Step 3: Choose 16 Words/Phrases For Rhymes
Now what you’re going to do is comb through your summary and pick out words and phrases that have a deep meaning to them and possibly a cool multi to attach. Write down the 16 words/phrases. After you write them down go through them one by one and make sure the assonance and vowel sounds are different from each other.
Try to make the assonance of the words different from each other so vowels aren't super similar. Like if I chose the words 'epidemic' and 'never finished' it wouldn't work as well because they have a lot of the same sounds. But ‘never finished’ and ‘rock solid’ have two completely different sounding vowels. Perfect. If you have too many just go to thesaurus.com and choose a different word with a similar meaning.
Here’s mine for the paragraph I wrote:
Friends and family
Step 4: Pick Relevant Rhymes
Select 4-6 rhymes that relate to your topic/idea. Don’t worry you can always change em around. I highly recommend going to rhymezone.org and typing in your rhyme word/phrase and select ‘NEAR RHYMES’. It will come up with shit tons of options. Pick some unique rhymes for each word that seem to relate to each other. For example: Failure, Jailer, Behaviour, Later, Labour. It could be multi’s whatever, but for the sake of the newbies i’ll make it a bit simpler on the rhyming end. This is more about songwriting then rhyme technique for now.
If I wanted to make it more multi friendly I would pick full on phrases like ‘Put off till the last minute’ or ‘rock solid relationships’ or whatever. But this is still cool because you get complex end rhymes to build sick multi’s off of.
1. Put off
2. Last second
So do this 16 times.
This means you should have a list of 64-96 relevant rhyme words/phrases all ready to go. The best part is they all relate to your topic. Now the only thing left to do is find a creative way to link together the words into bars and rhyme form. If you don’t know how bars work.. Then go here. If you don’t know how Rhymes work.. Then go here.
Step 5: Start Writing Lines
Now it’s your job to put together the rhymes in a way that represents your feelings, ideas, opinions, thoughts, personality. There is NOBODY in the world like you. There is no one who can articulate their thoughts in the exact same manner as you can. That’s why everyone is unique to listen too in their own right. Everyone has a niche.
I then get to work forming different options. Usually i’ll switch up the rhyme scheme every 4 bars to create some diversity to the track. But there are no hard rules, do whatever feels good to you. A great template for writing rap songs. Below is some of the lines I started forming so you can get an idea of how it comes together.
You know that first draft that you Never finished
Its always easier to swallow when its Guinness
You know that sinking in your chest
when ur fingers press the digits
to call your boss and tell him that you didnt get the business
Heart palpitating rush everything last second
I can feel the shock settin in like Ash Ketchum
Stressin over the present task and act threatened
Over what shoulda been done at 5 but now its past seven
I feel a sensation in my stomach anxiously
Can’t lift the weight of my daily struggle financially
Procrastinating affecting my friends and family
My budget needs amnesty
thankfully theres bankruptcy
My lack of accomplishments
With passive responsiveness
A daily battle with conciousness
And flat out Incompetence