9 Unique Hacks For How To Rap Better
Seriously though, I've noticed a trend in "how to rap" posts as well. Something I am guilty for too. I've been getting TOO technical. These are tips for rappers that are already solid. These tips for how to rap better are creative ways to add to your arsenal of artistry. By the end of this, you will pick up at least a couple interesting ones for sure.
Start The Next Bar With The Rhyme From The Previous Bar
Often we look for ways to improve the flow of our lyrics. A really cool way to do this is to start the bar with a rhyme from the previous and then end THAT bar with a different rhyme scheme.
Not making tracks for the fashion industries
Most raps are on the backs of my napkins and receipts
I put passion into beats and deliver the swings
Givin you the digital multisyllable kings
This is a sick way to add a different texture to structure of your bars so it doesn’t sound the exact same every single time. Variety is the spice of life, and that rings true with writing raps too. God i’m a nerd, and I love it.
Use Topical Word Banks
Say you want to write a track around a specific topic or theme. A creative way to give you power words related to that theme is to Google “word lists by theme”. I tend to gravitate towards this website if you just want a link. But pretty self-explanatory. These keep you on topic throughout the track and give you pretty cool access to new and interesting rhyme schemes.
Perfect Multi’s Get Boring, No?
Honestly, rap has gotten to the point where everyone is using multi’s now. It’s not as exciting anymore. There needs to be more. I found that purposely creating imperfect multi’s is a really interesting way to do this. Kind of like how slant rhymes add more possibilities and make it less boring, this would be like slant multi’s? I dunno, i’ll throw out some examples and you can decide.
So let’s say we chose the multi Back in the day
Instead of ALWAYS having a perfect 4-syllable rhyme. There are two stressed syllables on back and day. Keep those and remove one of the unstressed syllables to add a little flavour.
So instead of packin some clay / back in the day / travellin stay / Mandalay Bay
Whatever you get the point. Its the same stressed/unstressed syllable count every time, which is fine. But if you keep doing the same count every time your patter will get too predictable.
Try adding in something like Cassius Clay. Which keeps the same stressed rhymes but removes one of the unstressed. Or Attache, Black and grey, Catching prey.
Or switch up the stressed/unstressed syllables by adding more like Ceramic Plate, attractive face, systematic way, batallion strayed, Adament you pay. You know what I mean? It's almost like a slant multi-syllabic rhyme.
Little tweaks like this ON-PURPOSE are going to add a ton of texture to your schemes.
Voice to Text
Smash out raps on Google Docs on your phone using the voice to text function. It works so well on almost every phone out there right now. Not to mention options on the computer as well.
It’s super dope because you end up ‘writing’ how you actually speak/rap. A lot of people write raps and then spit like they’re reading from a book. It doesn’t sound natural at all when you don’t say it out loud.
It has helped me get so many more verses done. Google Docs is free. Open it up or download it on your phone. Your keyboard will have a little microphone option when you go to type. Just hit the microphone and start spitting bars. Don’t pay attention to it. It will mess a few words but honestly it’s pretty freaking accurate nowadays.
Not only does this help you get ideas out better, it allows you to WRITE how you SPEAK. Which is so important for not forcing rhymes. You just spit a bunch of stuff and then comb through the cool flow ideas or the cool rhyme schemes. This helps you get a feel for the beat and just makes your flow so much smoother. Game changer for me.
Hate How Your Voice Sounds?
Normally people hate the sound of their own voice when they record it and listen back. I did too, I thought my pitch was too high and it just sounded annoying to me. Cringe. Anyways I wanted to lower my voice a bit so it wasn’t as harsh sounding over the beat. It just wasn’t meshing. So I searched for crazy exercises that could help me lower my voice on Youtube. I tried this one, and it fucking works. I’m telling you. It’s super simple, it’s not loud so your neighbours will hear. Sick. Check this dude’s vid. He’s a voice actor and gives tips on voice control. Perfect for rap? I think YES.
Map Out The Structure Of The Beat First
You want to map out the structure of the beat first so count out:
1- 2 - 3 - 4 / 2 - 2 - 3 -4 / 3 - 2 - 3 - 4 / 4 -2 -3 - 4
Do this throughout the whole instrumental and keep your eye out for changes in the melodies and sounds. Usually the structure of hip hop will be in groups of 4, 8 and 16. Generally verses are mapped out 16 bars. Hooks usually 8 bars and intro’s and bridges can be 2 or 4 bars. This can change like crazy depending on the beat but its pretty universal in rap.
Doing this helps because you know what you need first, and you can fill out the blanks. Makes it easier to understand the flow of the track.
Double Meaning Words
Use double entendres and double meaning words or phrases to enhance your writing. This kind of falls under literary devices, but it gets people thinking and makes them react. This also adds replayability to your tracks. Plus friends will be like, “yo check out this sick bar”. Lol Noone talks like that anymore but you understand.
One of my favorites is from a Shad K verse where he says:
You couldn't rap/wrap this dope with a zigzag
And I always remember that bar. Combining two double entendres together is a dope way to make new and interesting double meanings. Because so many have been used already you have to be MORE creative. Make something MORE interesting than anything ever done before.
Go to Google. Type in list of double meaning words and start combining two of them together to see if you can find some creative ones. Another way is to think of other words or phrases that have that double meaning word IN them.
Like for example:
The word 'stand' is a double meaning. Think of related phrases. Like 'mic stand' or 'Stand in the way' or 'stand up for art'
Stand up for art like an easel
Stand in the whey protein - This doesn't work.. okay next one.
My boy Mike stands to the right of me / With my mic stand held mightily
Stuff like this adds so much more diversity in your lines.
YouTube Audio Library
You need beats? That you can use on Youtube commercially? Or use on Spotify? Itunes? Whatever? But you don’t want to pay?
Fucking use the YouTube audio library. Go to Google. Type in “Youtube audio library”. Search by hip hop. And download those beats. All those beats, you can use as long as you give credit to the producer. Which is listed there. Just put (prod. By insert clever name) and you’re good to go. There are some DOPE beats there and they are always adding new ones. Killer shit. Best tip on here, period.
Add Inner Rhymes
If you want your verses to add a little something something here and there and just have your raps sound better. Add a quick inner rhyme that is a SEPARATE scheme from your main scheme.
So if your bars are:
Body loose, delivering quality sound /
shit talk in hip hop but no apologies found
The shit talk and hip hop is a different scheme intertwined inside the bar but has a different assonance than the end rhymes. Pretty dope
I mean none of these are groundbreaking, but it's cool to remember not to be too bland with our verses. Sometimes you get into the habit of just saying things directly and in non-creative ways. These small considerations are what make rap less boring. Well for me anyways.