f Rap Tips: Becoming a great emcee! Rap Tips: Becoming a great emcee! Rap Tips: Becoming a great emcee!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Rap Tips: Becoming a great emcee!


Rap grammatically means “fast read” or “spoke fast” A good rap is characterized by its punch lines, creative wordplay, rhymes and rhythm. Not left out of what makes a deft rap is the flow in the rap and its delivery, which has proven to be important aspect of rap. As the years pass, the rap game improves with rappers making use of more complex wordplays and invention of lyrical “kungfu”. In a more elaborate manner, what makes up a good rap [wordplay, rhyme, rhythm, flow, and delivery] will be explained below.


Wordplay can simply be defined as the clever use of words in a subtle manner especially words that have more than one meaning, similes and metaphors. This some people say is the most essential part of rap as it brings out the creative aspect of a good rapper, so many rappers use this to spice up their rap songs but so far "by my books", the king of wordplay is gotta be “Fabolous” and “Eminem”. Here is some wordplay.

1. “I still get head like a guillotine basket”

2. “I ain’t expensive to those who can’t afford to lose”

3. “If you expect the unexpected, then it becomes expected, so why expect respect? get disrespected”- sauce kid


Now u wanna be a rapper? This is the basics, you’ve gotta know how to rhyme. Rhyme is basically the similarity in word endings. I.e. words ending the same way as another word. Now the thing is as easy as this sounds, creativity is necessary, the game has gone past the period of you coming up and dropping rhymes like this:

I see through the dark like a bat

Cause I am tough like a cat

And you know I aint fat

That’s why I run so fast. #Yawns

Yeah I know I know that was incredibly drab, exactly what I’m saying, if you know a rapper who came up with that, please cc him and get him banned from using the mike ever again. Rhyme has gone to the next level where rappers think it’s too easy to rhyme just one word, and go on to rhyme more than one word in a sentence, this is what we call MULTIS. And the king of this “by my book” is gatto be Ludacris. What am I talking about? Check this out

“We run from red and blue lights, to get that green

“But whoever got that white, is winning like Charlie sheen

That was Ludacris on the welcome to my hood remix. This technique has grown some popularity as more rappers have used it to up their rap game. If you are not particularly good at doing this, you might just need to get a rhyme book, and as you practice often they all stick and you won’t be needing them anymore even for references.


Rhythm refers to the ability of rappers to stay on the beat, and be consistent with it. You don’t wanna be sounding like an angry DMX and all of a sudden u start sounding like drake in Marvin’s room. Rhythm is about the pace and tempo of a rap. You don’t want to be going too fast on a beat with little bars, hence forcing in too many words in a short period and then sounding like crap. However the other way around, when u done talking, and the beat bar is still on, there are techniques to make it rhyme perfect and in complete rhythm with the beat. This is when for instance you emceeing and then your last word is say “break” and u still have like a second on the specific bar of that beat, instead of saying just brake, you stress the break to cut out the extra second and pronounce it like “breeeaaaaaak”. This way you are able to keep the lyrics in time with the music, stay on the beat and the rap comes out nice with excellent rhythm.


Flow is basically the combination of both rhyme and rhythm. Also refers to the elements of the delivery [pitch and volume]. There are many different styles of flows. You will agree with me that these rappers have different styles of flow.

Twister and Bone Thugs N Harmony: [syncopated bounce]

TuPac and Jay-Z: [straight forward]

Nas and Common: [The Rubik’s Cube]

Lil John: [The Chant]

There are however more flow styles, it’s advised that you *know where you fall* and rebrand yourself if you’ve being trying something else that just doesn’t suit you.


Many neglect this aspect of rap which is arguably, the most important attribute of a good rapper. Even if you the best poet and an excellent writer and you have no delivery, sorry to say you are gonna be on the backstage for a long time cause all you can be successful at is the “amazing songwriter” and not the “great emcee”. Ok let me give an example, who do you think will do a better job with delivering a tupac verse, Soulja Boy or Nas?…………That was what I thought. To have an excellent delivery as a rapper, you must possess all of these

1. Vocal presence [ this is the discreteness of a rapper’s voice]

2. Breath control [ i.e. taking in air without interfering with delivery, especially when you going fast]

3. Enunciation [This is important in rap as it is done in some cases for artistic effects. e.g. The enunciation of        lil wayne in “lolli pop” is different from that in “No Love” ft Eminem].

This is just an introduction to make you know what it takes; A more lucid write up will be made in all the categories mentioned subsequently.

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