When it comes to beginning a solid rap song, its no doubt that lyrics play a big part in the process. It’s common for rappers to not take any writing classes to better their flow and rhyme schemes. The goal is simple, to get the listeners to sing your lyrics without even realizing it!
Developing a rhyme scheme is harder than it sounds because there are plenty of different combinations of schemes and each one has to deliver a smooth sounding message. Most of the time beginners rap using the same rhyme scheme over and over again.
Common Rhyme Schemes
The most common rhyme schemes are ABAB and AA. Different letters are used to differentiate rhymes. Lyric lines that rhyme with each other are labeled with the same letter. Therefore, ABAB means that line 1 and line 3 are the same, A. Line 2 and 4 are rhyme with each other but are different from lines 1 and 3. And so they are labeled with another letter, B. If a line doesn’t rhyme with any other line, they are labeled as X.
Thus, rhyme scheme AA means that lines 1 and 2 rhyme with each other. If you are freestyling with your friends, it is likely that you are using the AABB rhyme scheme. This means that lines 1 and 2 rhyme together and lines 3 and 4 rhyme together.
Basic Rhyme Schemes
At Support Hip Hop, we get lots of messages from new rappers looking for help. One of the first things we recommend to new artists is the simple basic rhyme schemes. It is important to understand that great artists use multiple combinations of these rhyme schemes to convey their message. I would not recommend solely using one rhyme scheme for your entire song.
This may be a bit hard to understand because the Xs (lines 1 and 3) do not rhyme with each other. Xs are lines that do not rhyme with any other lines. Although they do not rhyme they can flow with the next line that does indeed rhyme. Having the X lines gives you space to tell your story or meaning of the song.
This is a great rhyme scheme to introduce some intensity to your song. While lines 1, 2, and 4 are rhyming, there will be a non-rhyming cliff hanger on line 3. This will allow you to build some unpredictable sounds within a predictable scheme. Some artists touch on the X further along the song, there are many ways you can twist this scheme.
Also known as the enclosed rhyme, ABBA is a rhyming scheme that sandwiches 2 rhyming lines within the other lines. This is a great sounding scheme for more drill type raps and high energy rap songs.
These are some great rap schemes to get familiar with before you start making your own schemes and using combinations. Once you practice different rhyme schemes you will start freestyling that way as well. This is such a fun technique to master and it can do you wonders! What are some rhyme schemes you use?