Rap as a genre has been consistently doing so well over the years that we have new rappers emerging from the shadows every year.
The rap lifestyle has become so popularized now and this is one of the reasons why most people are getting into it.
For somebody considering rapping, running into beginner questions is always inevitable. This is why this post is going to address one of these beginner questions in order to shed some light on rap as a genre and what it may take for somebody to be a rapper.
With that said, let’s get right into it.
Can anybody be a rapper?
Anybody can learn how to rap and ultimately become a rapper. It’s of course not easy to actually rap well but with time, almost anyone can become decent at it.
With that said let’s get into what’s involved in actually being a good rapper.
One thing that you have to learn as somebody looking to be a rapper is how to project your voice.
This may be eaiser for people that have recording experience or public speaking.
Vocal projection is useful in discovering your rapping voice and for the nurturing the ability to gain control of your breathing while you rap.
Rapping on beat/rhythm
Another key facet that comes with being a good rapper is rapping and staying on beat.
Every beat or instrumental out there has its own groove or rhythm, a rapper therefore has to match their rapping to that rhythm.
This is what it means to rap and stay on beat.
Most rookie rappers find this difficult at first but it’s something that can be cultivated with some practice.
Good rapping for the most part also means good writing.
In rap, good writing is always what makes an artist stand out. Which is why it’s a skill somebody looking to learn how to rap has to cultivate.
Good writing is a lot harder to learn than the basic skill of rapping but with some effort, one can become a decent writer.
Rapping has a lot of nuance to it and rappers use various rapping techniques to stay on beat and spice things up.
E.g. Rapping fast and then slow and then fast again is one of those nuances.
Of course there are many other things that you’ll get to develop as you rap more and more.
How you can learn how to rap
Below are some good tactics you can use to get better at rapping.
Rap along to songs
Rapping along to songs is so important because it will help you learn how to “flow”.
Flow simply means how you maneuver on a track with words.
Rapping along to songs will also expose you to how other rappers write their own music and the various nuances they incorporate in their technique.
This is one of the reasons why it’s important to always have the lyrics to the record that you’re rapping along to.
It’s much easier to look at the writing and get a sense of how a rapper uses their poetry to sound good.
The more you rap along to songs, the more you’ll also get a sense of the tempo at which you’re the most comfortable rapping.
It’s important to always keep note of your breathing while you rap along to songs so you get a sense of the kind of rapping that makes your breathing difficult.
With that said, you’ll also need to practice your breathing as you begin to rap because it’s an essential part of rapping.
Rapping is great but what’s more important are the lyrics.
The lyrics are what your fans are going to be singing along to. Which is why I’ve recommended pulling up lyrics to songs that you like.
Study how the artist uses their words, how they rhyme, formulate schemes, tell stories, keep it interesting, how they start their verses and how they end them.
Of course there’s more nuance that what I’ve explained above and you’ll notice more of this nuance as you examine and Dissect more and more songs.
Here’s a general tip, if you want to become a great rapper, become a student of rap.
Study the great classic rap artists like 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, KRS One, The Roots, Nas, Snoop Dogg etc.
Study their music, study their flow, study their writing and get to know them better.
Learn how to rhyme first
Rhyming is a huge part of rapping. It is one of the things that keeps rap songs interesting.
Perhaps the most basic skill you should learn is how to rhyme words.
This will be helpful when you start writing your raps.
Learn how to write
A critical tool in rapping is how you write your lyrics.
Learning how to write rap lyrics is learnt by listening and studying the lyrics of others. Not to copy them. But to get the foundation of how they write.
Study the lyrics of your favourite rappers and then start to write using what you learn from listening and reciting the lyrics of others.
Practice your rhymes over beats
Writing always has to be paired with practice and I advise people to practice their lyrics with beats.
I actually advise you to write your lyrics while following a beat so you understand the process a whole lot better.
Writing to beats will teach you how to always write with beat context in mind.
Find your tempo
As you write and practice your raps, it’s also important to discover your rap tempo.
Not everyone can rap slow and not everyone can rap fast. You fall between these two categories and the sooner you discover this, the better your rapping will become.