Rap comes in different flavors and you can call it cliche but this form of music was part of revolutionizing the music industry as we all know it. Haters in their reviews label this form of music as non-nonsensical chants and in that same measure, lovers of rap review it is as “deep and profound“. Whichever way one decides to look at it, rap has had an impact that can’t be ignored.
DJ Kool Herc is known as the ‘creator’ of Rap. A Jamaican Immigrant, Herc would apparently perform simple raps at his gigs. This was soon to become a wave that would help in webbing a million if not billion dollar music industry. How then was a DJ who was out and about doing his own thing come up with Rap? Was it something that he had learned from someone/somewhere or was it an inborn/natural ability?
Myths vs. Facts:
Genius is bred and not born and if Einstein and all the other geniuses who ever lived were asked whether or not DJ Kool was a natural born rapper, you would find in their reviews all of them agreeing to the fact that it was through consistent practice did DJ Kool perfect his skill.
Different Types of Rap:
There are different types of Rap that include but not limited to:
Alternative: These are the hip-hop groups that refused to conform to traditional forms or rap. They drew equally from pop/rock as well as jazz, soul, reggae, and even folk. This group was the most inventive, assured, and most playful debut in hip-hop history. Their lyrics ranged from true love to the destructive power of drugs but this was thinly hidden.Its impact was highly positive as it has globally influenced other many genres.
Dirty South: This is the type of hip-hop group that popped up in the 90’s. It is the modern hip-hop that is directly pointed to sex obsession and quality brand of hip-hop. Vulgarities are synonymous with Dirty South. Their lyrics were much sharper than some genres which were most likely their competitors.
East Coast: In the early 80’s this hip-hop group was formed.It actually grew because of some great rappers like the one and only Dj Kool. They made it be to be more elaborate and complex. It was mainly intended to be listened to rather than to be used on the dance-floor.Since it was a respected form of art, it dominated through the 80’s.If you could spare some time and listen to these songs then you would definitely get some inspiration and understand what the buzz surrounding them was all about!
Old School: Old school was really defined as its lines took up equal amounts of time and the rhythms of the language rarely twisted around the beats of the song.It had a lot of flavors as it had the fun. Its catchy tunes saw them become anthems in the parties where people would crazily dance to the music.It had the power to greatly relieve the mind from all stress and life’s complications that one may have been going through.It might now sound outdated and unadventurous but trust me it could turn up a party to liveliness in minutes if not seconds.
Hip-Hop: Hip-hop consists of stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping. It appropriately denotes the practice of culture. As a musical genre and also culture, it became widely available and also very affordable to get a hold of. It was mainly played in the highly publicized hold parties and events. This could be attributed to its ear-flattering rhythmical and instrumental beats. It had a lot of ideas that flow gently across its audiences and the easiness in which the audiences were able to get the meaning in the songs popularized it even further. It goes without saying that the genre had and still has plenty of fans.
Skills needed for rapping
- Content: As a rapper, you need to have content that captures the attention of your audiences.Considering some people who are not huge fans of this type of genre, make sure you have a great imagination. Make those who don’t love this type of music thirst for it. Mix those lines to the brim and in a second you will have your hit song.
- Creativity: You need to be a creative person in the sense that you are able to acquire a rhyme scheme that brings out the flow.For example, Childish Gambino has a creative wordplay in his songs, also Jay-Z and many other great rappers.The main point is to know how to play with the words.
- Computer: When you want to record a great song you should have a digital computer.Since the recording studios are now digital, you need to buy a super fast computer that is cheap and also of quality.Today’s DAW’s can be extremely hard on processing resources, you have to get super computers so as to produce a great hit song.
- Digital Audio Working Station: This is the software that you will use to record, edit and mix your music on your computer.It has been the most famous as it has been around for some several years.You should probably choose the one that is cheap and that is of your style, depending on your budget.
- Microphone: This is one of the oldest items used even before recording studios ever existed.It has a great advantage as it projects your sound and also it is not costly. It sends out waves that are loud and clear. You should buy one as it is one of the main resources you need to have while recording your music.
- Headphones: This is also a gadget that we are familiar with.Headphones assist you to hear beats that are clear.They are usually large and also comfy since they contain some soft sponge that prevents direct contact of the speaker with the ear.If you want a song that people will love then get yourself one and make sure it is of quality.
- Studio monitors: These monitors are designed to provide a perfectly flat frequency response.The engineers can hear the mix clearly with its flaws and also can adjust accordingly. Luckily there are a lot of varieties that are affordable.
How to Rap:
- Start easy: You should make sure your rhyme is simple and clear. The words can be second-grade level and still rock it. You can also freestyle since its the starting point. It is not hard to knock it off if you are taking every step as it flows. Spit your flow and see how it goes.
- Keep flowing: You are most likely to make a lot of mistakes while flowing. Take this advice- make your first freestyle song verses be crazy and stupidest just to remove them from your mind. Do you make a mistake? Don’t stop flowing, you misspell some words? Don’t stop flowing. Do you forget some verses? Don’t stop flowing. Just keep on flowing and with that, you will eventually get a beautiful rhyme.
- Write: When you write you will easily get the rhymes sticking onto your mind. It is also good to write as you get great ideas and apply them all because you are able to capture your thoughts as they pop up.Sit down, grab your writing tools and get onto it. The best thing about writing is that it improves your freestyles especially when you get stuck.
- Include metaphors: Adding of metaphors and similes in your music is really important. It brings out the flavor of the song and it is mostly found in the funniest lines of the rapper. For example the famous gentleman Lil Wayne, he likes to include a lot of metaphors in his music and that makes his songs sound pretty good. Just add some smiles in your lines, relax and see how amazing it will turn out to be.
Where to go from here:
So you have learned the basics of rapping and you would like to step it up a notch higher. Worry not because there are plenty of opportunities that you can use to propel you further. The following are some of the ways that you can use to get your music out there:
Computer Recording Software and then uploading your music to YouTube & other social media networks:
If you are operating on a shoestring budget, then all you need to do is record yourself and upload your music to YouTube. YouTube has birthed superstars and if you have a good thing going on, you will definitely get the required buy-in! Facebook, Twitter & Instagram are great platforms as well.
2. Sourcing for a cheap recording studio:
You don’t have to be an instantaneous hit like DJ Kool. The point here is to get your work out there and get noticed. If you wait until all the lights are green you will never leave the house! Work with what you have to get you to want. Such studios are out there and this starting point could as well be part of your grass to grace story years from now!
3. Perform at Karaokes and Live Events:
People will not hesitate to give you a chance to perform if you ask for an opportunity to do so. Word of mouth is very effective as well and it might be a matter of time before someone comes sourcing for you!
Like DJ Kool, you can create your own opportunities to rap. You don’t have to wait for opportunities to come knocking at your doorstep. The grass is already green at your side and so long as you are passionate about rap, we could be talking about you way too sooner than you had expected!