Here’s a modern guide to start rapping in 2021. As rap changes through time, some techniques die out and are not used by majority of famous artists. With this constantly evolution of rap, you start to notice some things that stick through. It’s my pleasure to share my observations to you so you can have a foolproof way of starting your rap journey!
Although this article is aimed for beginners, some more advanced rappers can still find value in this! So let’s get to it!
1. Find What Kind of Hip Hop You Want To Make
What hip hop subgenres do you want to sound like? Anywhere from drill to laidback rap and meme rap, there are plenty of areas in Hip Hop. It is best to reference the artists you can see yourself collabing with. Referencing plays a powerful part in shaping a rapper’s character and story. In this article, we explain how you can start studying your favorites tracks and artists.
Spend time listening to your favorite tracks and instead of rapping along, listen to the timings of the verses and beats etc. As you go into this observing mode, you will notice unique things that your favorites artists are doing. Mimic this into your own style! If you don’t think anyone has your particular style, then study the closest track that you think might fit.
2. Learn and Write Rhyme Schemes
Rhyme Schemes are foundational in Hip Hop. In fact, rap is mostly divided in “bars”. These bars are considered lines of rap. A bar is one line of rap. How many bars are common in the hip hop industry? 16. With the rise of streaming, the average length of bars was decreased. Now the average length is around 12 bars or 8. Since we’re beginners, let’s start with 16.
Writing 16 bars is no easy task especially if you’re a beginner. So what you need to do is learn how to write rhyme schemes. Once you know the structure of raps, you may begin to write these rhymes. It is always a good idea to center the entire track around one topic to begin with. This will force you to create a centralized story for the one topic. Later on, this will help you become an authentic rapper because you will be able to rap about anything in great detail.
If I were you, to accelerate your progress, I would do 3 sets of 16 bar rhymes. 3 different topics, 16 bar rap for each.
3. Start Freestyling
Yes, we’re asking you to do both things. In the real hip hop industry, there is no “I only do freestyles” or “I only write” people. The real professionals can do both because that’s what it takes to last long in this industry. Freestyling may be easy to some but much harder for others. To start freestlying, first I recommend having a friend join in to vibe off each other. This will make you more in the zone and don’t worry about saying silly things, it’s a freestyle. Go slow, put on a slow beat, take your time, focus on the story and direct it by controlling your words.
Once you get comfortable freestyling slow, try to pick up the pace. Try to switch up flows, you will notice that during the freestyle session, your mind is just flowing and sometimes you even say a dope bar. Guess what? You found a dope bar, now write that bar down. Record the whole dang freestyle! Find the natural dope bars by freestyling.
4. Create Your Rap Music
Assuming you have a microphone, DAW, and a laptop, you may now start creating your own music! If you plan on using producers to help you, make sure you practice saying your verses and choruses beforehand. I highly recommend creating your own rap music to begin with since it might not be necessary to spend loads of money on little experience.
Now that you have your verses written down, it’s time to record them! Record choruses and ad libs as well! Learn basic sampling and music production, some eqing, and start assembling your vocals to the rest of your song! Again, it is best to reference a particular track you want to sound like, this will give you direction in your sound selections.
After you spend time making your first track, you start to realize that it indeed takes up a lot of time.
5. Set a Schedule
You’ve made your first rap song! Cool! Now let’s set a schedule so that you progress in a timely manner. Scheduling is essential when you have shows to do, albums to drop, music to record, interviews to do and more. As a beginner though, you need to schedule your learning and your execution.
Set out by listing out things you want to learn about when it comes to your rapping or producing skills. Be realistic, maybe 2 tutorials a week on youtube. The next schedule that we have to make is our execution schedule. Let’s set out dates in which we require ourselves to finish tasks or projects. This will keep you in check with your singles, albums, tutorials and more.
6. Start Uploading Music
Now that we have stocked up some projects, we can finally start posting on our platforms! Which platforms do I recommend? ALL OF THEM! If you want want to reach the maximum amount of reach, you must be active on all social media and post your music on all streaming platforms. If you’re a beginner, I would stick to the free streaming platforms like SoundCloud and Youtube. Even social media like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These will help you broaden your reach with your music.
Remember the scheduling that we have for our learning and execution? Well, you need to schedule your uploads and posts as well. Why? Because this will make you look consistent and it will build predictability with your listeners, no matter how low. Trust me, you won’t get views at first, but if you’re consistent regardless of results, you will see change. Most of these platforms have tools in which you can schedule ahead of time so that’s a huge plus!
7. Execute Marketing Strategies
Although the algorithm will work in your favor because you’re consistent, you need to find more ways to SHARE your music. Get it to the right listeners, find what hashtags or websites contain the ideal group of people you want to share your music with. Share it with your friends (But don’t depend on them to share your music for you). Another good idea is to sign up for communities like Reddit, where you can join in hip hop groups. Facebook has groups you can join in. There’s loads of communities out there waiting for new hip hop music, find them!
Listen you guys, this guide is a great place to start but honestly there is SO much to rapping. These are the consistent things that I have observed over the years. But again, pursue rap not to become a rapper but to have an outlet to release your music in ungodly numbers! Instead of focusing on quality, I want you to focus on quantity. Because the sooner you get like a machine, the less people can do to stop you! What kind of things did I miss out on this article?