So you want to be a rapper? Learn how to write consistent rap lyrics and avoid common pitfalls here.
Step 1. Expand your vocabulary
When you are going to rhyme, it is important that you have enough words to choose from. Therefore, read books and news articles that use refined, beautiful language. If you come across a word you don't know, look it up.
Step 2. Develop a good sense of rhythm
As you increase your vocabulary, try reading certain sections of text aloud, paying attention to the emphasis you place on certain sections. In English, for example, many poems and lyrics are written with an iambic meter, in which the first syllable has no stress, the second does, the third doesn't, and so on through five stressed and five unstressed syllables. Mastering the meter will help you to form a nice beat to your lyrics in a natural and easy way.
- Try saying "rapper" with stress on the first syllable and no stress on the second syllable, and vice versa. Can you hear the difference?
- It may sound a little goofy, but a good way to get familiar with iambic meter is to read Shakespeare's works out loud. (Search online for his plays.) You'll notice how there is an alternation of emphasis on syllables and how this creates a natural 'flow'.
Step 3. Concentrate
Your lyrics should have a purpose other than just rhyming. That rhyme is like the glue for your texts, but the content is in your message. What exactly do you want to say? What excites you when you talk to others?
Whatever topic you choose, be sincere about this - rapping about your own life makes your song believable
Step 4. Write it down
Inspiration for rap lyrics can be found everywhere - at home, at work, at school, in the toilet or even in your sleep. Write down what you come up with without censoring yourself or editing it right now. If you then run into writer's block, you can read your own ideas back later.
Step 5. Think of a good hook
A hook is the part of the song that gets stuck in your head and makes you want to listen to the song again. This is the chorus for most rap songs. It doesn't have to be long, but it should have a catchy rhythm and be fun to hum.
For most songwriters, the hook is the hardest part of a song to come up with. Don't feel discouraged if it takes a while to come up with a hook - it's better to work on a good hook for a while than to quickly come up with a bad one
Step 6. Memorize the text
When you've finished your rap lyrics, make sure you know every word by heart. The moment you go into the studio with your song, you don't want to be forced to read your lyrics.
Step 7. Download audio editing software:
If you're just getting started as a rapper, it's a good idea to download Audacity. This is free software that works well and is easy to use. If you have a Mac, you can use Garage Band to record songs. This program is already on your Mac. As you gain experience, you can use better software such as Audio Audition. These types of software packages are not free, but they do offer more options.
Step 8. Adjust your lyrics to a beat
Pick a beat you want to rap on. You can search for rap beats on YouTube or download rap beats through a beat distributor. It is useful to have the core of your text already written and then work on it so that it fits exactly to your beat. A common pitfall is that rappers try to write the heart of their lyrics to a beat and then develop writer's block as they try to adapt and be creative at the same time.
Step 9. Record your rap
Grab your microphone and audio editing software and get started with your recording. Open the downloaded beat in your software and record it over your text. Try to put emotion in your rap or you'll sound like a robot (so to speak)!
Step 10. Record your rap again
This may take time, but you have a number of versions to choose from. Record your rap at least 3 times. This one probably won't be perfect the first time.
Step 11. Select the best version
From all the takes, choose the one that seems best to you and delete the rest.
- Don't get frustrated if some people don't like your raps. There are certainly others who will appreciate it and there will probably be more people who will like it than not.
- Hold on. Building a rap career takes a lot of time, but use that time to learn to write better and to write even better lyrics.
- Raps don't always have to be written down. Many rappers can 'freestyle'. Freestyling to a good rhythm can help you discover new ideas and listening to other rappers can also give you a lot of inspiration.
- Have a few friends read your texts. Ask for their opinion and ask them to write down suggestions. Then, when you get back to writing, you can take their suggestions with you. Check your texts again to make sure the changes don't get in the way of a nice flow.
- Remember that many rappers use half rhyme, in which the sounds do not rhyme exactly, but almost. For example, Ronnie Flex raps: “I'll keep your purse with my bank card, no stress, really, I can do that.” If you put these kinds of customers at the end of a line, it sounds really nice. Also count the syllables.
- Make sure the beginning of your verse is strong. Start with a strong rhyme scheme. For example: “I fold paper, don't come and say you fold more. I don't do everything right, but I'm sure you do more wrong."
- However, don't try to censor yourself too much or limit your expression for fear of kicking someone in the shins. In other words, if you're going to say something that might have an impact, it has to actually have meaning, otherwise it just sounds rude.
- You can also make up things that didn't actually happen and put them in your lyrics, but make sure you don't pick a specific person or group.