Freestylin’ looks easy doesn’t it? Just keep talking at a rhythmic pace, sometimes switching it to keep everyone interested, and make sure you rhyme! Go ahead, find a cypher and do it. I’ll wait….
Uh, well, it was a good effort. The problem was you tried to rhyme ‘month’, and that’s a tough one.
The great thing about rapping is that you can slur or use phonetics to keep the rhyme scheme and rhythm consistent. ‘Orange’ has been a notorious word for being supposed unrhymable, but you can use phonetics and end the next line in ‘door hinge’.
So here’s a couple of quick hints in becoming a better freestyle rapper:
1) Keep it simple at first. Don’t get complicated in your lines or your flow.
2) Have a line ready to use as a jumping off point and go from there. Getting off to a solid start builds confidence and makes it easier as you go along.
3) Read the dictionary. Rappers like Nas did this in the early stages of his career and now he is one of the most lyrically gifted rappers in the game. The more words you know, the more ammunition you have. They are available online for free.
4) Rap about what you know. Don’t tread into un-knowledgeable waters, because then you will get stuck trying to think about subjects you know nothing about and it will disturb your flow.
5) Practice. Do it in your spare time, while daydreaming during work, or, my personal favorite, in the shower. Pick something or someone out and just rap about it. Like anything else, progress comes with repetition.
6) Work on your wordplay. Wordplay determines how clever your rap is, but is very difficult to achieve. Use puns, double entendres and ambiguous meaning to give layers to your rap.
7) Write down lines that you think of. Not all freestyles are 100% off the top. Jot down thoughts, refine them, then branch off as you get better.
8) Slow Down. If you begin to get lost during your freestyle, slow down and use some easy lines to get yourself back on track.
9) Keep it loose. If you’re with your friends and just playing around, don’t worry about impressing anyone, just have fun. That’s what everyone is there for. Don’t worry about messing up, people just enjoy other people trying.
Everyone is different, so not all these tips will be great for you, but I hope they are all helpful. Remember that freestyling can be an art, hobby, or a career, but it should always be fun. No matter how you do, everyone will enjoy it.
What other ways do you guys use to let your rhymes loose?