So, are you interested in learning how to become a dope rapper? To be honest, there are thousands of people who would like to become one of the best rappers in the world.
Fortunately for you, I am one of the hottest rappers around today. In this article, I’m going to share some vital information that will help you make your dream come true. After you read these powerful tips on how to become a rapper, you will be on your way to the top.
Before we begin, I just want to point out that these tips are ideal for novice to intermediate level wrappers. If you have been rapping for a short period of time, you will still find some hidden gems below.
If you are familiar with the basics, you can move further down the list to review some tips that are ideal for intermediate level hip hop artists.
Please keep in mind that you will not become a great rapper overnight.
It will take time, patience, and fortitude to make it to the top.
Let’s get things underway.
1. Build Up Your Confidence
This may come as a surprise. However, you will not succeed if you don’t have confidence in your ability. This is the main reason why you need to concentrate on building up your confidence.
If you do not believe in your lyrical talent, it will be impossible for you to develop the skills you need to compete against more experienced rappers.
In my case, it took several months before my talent got to the point where I felt comfortable rapping in front of a live audience. Your confidence will gradually grow overtime.
Please keep in mind that you have to begin somewhere.
2. Counting Bars
Do you know how to count bars? If not, it’s imperative for you to start learning.
Is there an easy way to learn how to count bars? This is an excellent question. If you want to get off to a great start with counting bars, I suggest that you review rap videos on YouTube.
You will find thousands of videos created by other rappers on this intriguing subject.
An experienced rapper will not hesitate to tell you that you need to learn how to count bars if you are serious about learning how to rap.
3. Don’t Steal Lyrics from Other Rappers
Unfortunately, some aspiring rappers are unaware that there are many options on the table when it comes to adding lyrics to a song. Some make the mistake of copying a rival’s lyrics. It’s important for me to point out that if you take this approach, you may face legal problems.
It’s also critical to mention that you will not get any respect if you are known for stealing rhymes from other rappers.
4. Choosing a Subject for Your Rhymes
What should you rap about? Choose topics that you are familiar with. If you make an attempt at creating rhymes on subjects you are not familiar with, it will show during your performances.
You can rap about your personal feelings on current events taking place in the world or things that you have experienced in your life.
You can even rap about other rappers. You can praise them or put out a dis track.
Let’s say you decide to write about a young lady you’re interested in. If you decide to do this, you can create basic rhymes, or you can take it to another level by creating sexually explicit lyrics.
If you have an interest in rapping about materialistic things, you can talk about the following: making money, living in big homes, wearing fly jewelry, and driving fancy cars.
If you really want to get your audience in tune with your rhymes, you can hit them with funny lines. Some rappers became a huge success by using punch lines and metaphors.
For example, Eminem is well-known for using punch lines in his lyrics. Some would argue that this is one of the main reasons why he became so huge.
It can be challenging for any rapper to deal with someone like Eminem on the stage in front of a live audience. His sense of humor and sharp tongue separates him from many other rappers that you see today.
Now is time for us to get to the technical aspects of writing a solid rap song.
Please pay close attention to the following pointers. These are the things that can help you become a top- notch wrapper within a reasonable amount of time.
5. Getting a Handle on Song Structure
If you want to be one of the best, you must learn how to structure your songs properly.
Many up-and-coming lyrical talents do not know how important it is for them to learn how to structure their songs.
Once you learn the value of proper song structure, you will be able to write dope rhymes with ease.
Writing super rhymes will become second nature to you.
Here is a detailed outline of different sections of songs that you should concentrate on learning. In short, this is the typical structure for most rap songs that you hear on the radio.
Proper Rap Structure
- Sixteen Bar Verse One
- Eight-Sixteen Bar Chorus
- Sixteen Bar Verse Two
- Eight – Sixteen Bar Chorus
- Four – Eight Bar Bridge
- Eight – sixteen Bar Chorus
Now I must point out that the structure can change. In some instances, you will have a pre-chorus. In many other instances the song will begin with a solid chorus.
It really depends upon your style and preference. With hip hop, you have so many options on the table. That’s what makes it so beautiful.
6. Learning How to Write a Chorus
Okay, this is where the rubber meets the road. I must be candid with you. If you do not learn how to write a chorus, there is a slim chance of you becoming a successful rapper.
Thousands of rappers have the potential to dominate the microphone. However, they will never reach the pinnacle of success because they failed to learn how to put together a solid chorus for their songs.
The chorus is probably the biggest part of a song.
If you get it wrong, your song will tank.
An experienced music producer will be the first one to tell you that a good chorus will lead to a good song.
The chorus attracts your listeners to your song. It is also called “The Hook”.
Why is it called the hook? It has the capability of getting people to like your song.
You should focus on creating a unique and catchy chorus.
Once you have a great idea, you have to write a good verse that can handle twelve to sixteen bars between your choruses.
If you can manage to do this, you have a dynamic song on your hands.
7. Choose Your Genre
What type of music would you like to make?
Do you want people to take you seriously, or would you like for people to laugh at your raps?
Many people write random songs when they start out. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. However, you have to choose your genre at some point in time.
Do you have any special views? How would you like for others to see you?
As a beginning wrapper, you must know what you stand for. This will help you concentrate on one particular sound that the hip-hop audience can identify you with.
I will go into further details when I discuss branding strategies.
Choose a genre that will complement the following: your personal feelings, your personal ideas, your talent, and your comfort level.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
Contrary to popular belief, raw talent alone will not take you to the top.
You must practice religiously.
Even the top emcees practice their skills several hours a day.
I hate to disappoint you, but you are not the exception to the rule.
I devote at least five hours of my time every day practicing my rapping and writing skills. This approach has paid big dividends for my career.
I must be honest with you. I don’t feel like practicing every day, but I know that it will help me in the long run.
Bodybuilders lift weights daily, so that they can exercise their muscles.
Rappers must use the same type of approach. In our case, we focus on exercising our mind. Our mind is the source for our ideas, lyrics, and beats.
If you do not exercise your mind, there’s a slim chance of you creating new innovative lyrics for your songs.
If you take your practice sessions seriously, your vocabulary and ability to pen lyrics will improve over time.
Staying focused and motivated will keep you in the mood for your practice sessions.
9. Recognizing Culture
At this point, you should see some improvement in your ability to write good lyrics and songs.
There’s one thing that I did not pay close attention to early in my career. I’m from New York City, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that my city has a rich culture.
If you take a brief walk down the main streets in New York City, you would see people from all walks of life. This is why many people view New York City as a melting pot.
Fortunately for me, it dawned on me that I needed to learn more about other cultures.
With this type of mindset, you can learn about the things that are important to the millions of people living in this world. This may seem insignificant to novice rappers, but this simple tip can help anyone broaden their horizons. When this happens, you will be able to create rap songs that will appeal to a wider audience.
10. The Importance of Branding
I will be the first one to tell you that I did not know anything about branding several years ago.
I was focused on refining my skills on the microphone.
One of my best friends told me that I need to look at rap as a business. I laughed at first, but I gave it some thought.
For example, let’s take a close look at Nas.
Yes, Nas is a gifted hip-hop artist. You must also look at the fact that Nas has been able to parlay his rap success.
He endorses major products, and he is a successful investor in the private business sector.
Your rap career is a business.
Your brand speaks volumes about you
This includes your clothes, your style, and your image.
What type of values do you have? Hip-hop fans will take a close look at your value system before they get into your music. If you stand for things that they do not approve of, there’s a strong chance of them avoiding your music.
Do you really want this to happen?
Having a good brand would help you connect with your audience.
I suggest that you go to your local public library and check out a few books on branding. If you are not an avid reader, you can always turn to YouTube. This video social media platform has thousands of videos on branding.
11. Choosing Your Name
Do you have a name in mind?
Once you have a full understanding of branding, you should not have any trouble with choosing your name.
Make sure you choose a name that you can live with. There are some cases of emcees changing their names during their career.
This has worked for some, but there’s no guarantee that it will work for you.
12. Building a Strong Online Presence
It’s now time for you to focus on building a strong online presence.
Hire a professional webmaster to create a website that highlights your brand.
You should also have the webmaster create pages on popular social media platforms.
Make sure you have your website and social media pages on lock down
This will make it extremely hard for someone to impersonate you.
Here are the social media sites that will help you build with a strong fan base:
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating social media.
Social media is responsible for creating new hip-hop superstars every day.
There’s no reason why you should not take advantage of it.
13. Recording Yourself at Home
If you want to learn how to become a rapper, you need to learn how to record yourself in the privacy of your home.
Setting up a home recording studio can help you launch your new career.
Some people are under the false impression that you have to pay thousands of dollars to record your music these days.
If you’re smart, you will take a cost-effective approach during the early stage of your career. This will help you record your music without putting you into a financial bind.
You should get Pro Tools. I use this amazing software all the time. It comes with all the bells and whistles.
Many beat creators and music producers do not want you to know about Pro Tools.
Pro Tools has some outstanding features that can help you create great songs.
The sound is clear and you can make unlimited edits on your beats.
14. Buying Studio Time
Should you buy studio time? This is an excellent question. The answer really depends on your goals.
If you want to become a national or international hip-hop superstar, buying studio time will help you get there.
A professional studio has the equipment that would take your music to the next level.
I’m a big fan of the home studio, but I know it has its limitations.
If you want my honest opinion, you should start off with the home studio.
After you save a significant amount of money, you should visit a reputable music studio in your area.
This will give you a golden opportunity to see how the music professionals lay down the tracks. In return, you will learn how to edit beats and amplify your sounds.
Marketing is extremely important for all hip-hop artists.
You have the option of promoting your own music, or you can hire a marketing manager.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, you will have more control over your career when you promote your own music. However, you will not be able to tap into those sources that are available to a marketing manager.
At the beginning, I promoted my own music. When I became more popular, I decided to hire a well-known marketing manager.
This move did wonders for my career.
I know that you want to learn how to be a rapper. This is why I decided to share these invaluable tips with you.
They have helped me become an established dope rapper. I’m pretty sure that they will work well for you. Please don’t take them lightly.