I’ve met some Herculean lyricists throughout my career. I’ve also met some aspiring rappers who have great potential, but haven’t quite figured out how to rap like a pro.
These young’ns aren’t bad on the mic, but there are noticeable flaws in their craft. A couple of them have reached out to me, asking about what they can do to improve their skills as rappers.
I shared the best of my knowledge with them, and I thought I’d do the same here. Who knows, someone out there might need the info.
That being said, here are my 4 golden rules of emceeing. Follow these rules and become the best rapper you can possibly be!
1. Rhyme your words
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to find out that some people who call themselves rappers, DO NOT rhyme their words.
I knew a guy who had a great voice, good delivery, and the ability to flow on a beat. But this guy could kick a whole verse without a single rhyme in it.
The funny thing is, he didn’t even know he had to actually rhyme words for what he was doing to be considered rap. It was until I played him some rap songs and asked him to pay attention to how the last word(s) in a bar where being rhymed with the next, that he realized he’d been doing it wrong.
I coached him for about a week via WhatsApp, and not only did he get the hang of it, he also learnt how to rhyme multiple syllables.
2. Be original
One of the greatest crimes in hip hop is biting. Jacking another rapper’s lyrics, flow, style etc is a NO NO!
You have to be yourself, be original. You don’t have to rap like Ladipoe just because he’s popping at the moment. You don’t have to sound like Phyno, Falz, or Dagrin either!
If you do, then how will you stand out from the pack?
Do you want to be you, or do you want to be called that new rapper that sounds like Iceprince?
You can make your original style work too!
3. Think out of the box
Technically, there are many people who can “rap”. This is because they rhyme their words and stay on beat (regardless of the depth of their lyrics).
However, bars like – “My name is Jack, and I’m a boy/ And my mummy just bought me a brand new toy”.
Cannot be compared to a bar like – “When I cut your neck, I’ll leave a little piece o’ skin so your head won’t fall off” (Pharoahe Monch).
Being a rapper is one thing, but being a DOPE rapper is another. To be the latter, then you gotta think out the box!
If your lyrics can’t cause the listener to go gaga, then you’re not thinking deep enough.
And thinking deep doesn’t mean frying your chip, it’s more about opening up your mind and allowing the universe inspire you!
4. Be audible
You could have the best rhyme technique and the most thought-provoking lyrics, but all that won’t matter if I can’t hear you clearly!
Being audible isn’t hard, all you have to do is pronounce your words properly, and speak up.
Delivery is everything!
QUICK RECAP –
Once you can rhyme your words, remain original, think out of the box, and speak clearly enough, then you’re fully equipped to face the music industry.
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