Developing freestyle skills isn't talked about enough in the music world.
People love to focus on developing your image, getting the best beats, and making money, but what about the simple joys of developing your own sound and learning how to come up with unique lyrics on the fly? How do you even start that process?
Rappers can learn how to freestyle in a variety of different ways. Some do crazy things like studying dictionaries and thesauruses until they have enough words ready to flow in their arsenal.
Some study particular freestyle rapper favorites and mimic their flow and message to practice freestyling. Some just go to Youtube and play "type beats" until something that sounds decent eventually comes out of their mouths.
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There is no wrong way to learn to freestyle, but a few tips and tricks can help you along the way.
One of the best things to do at the beginning stages when you are trying to find your own sound and style is to practice your freestyle flow with some sample lyrics and see where it takes your creativity.
Shorty, I'm there for you anytime you need me
For real, girl, it's me in your world, believe me
Nothin' make a man feel better than a woman
Queen with a crown that be down for whatever
There are few things that's forever, my lady
We can make war or make babies
Back when I was nothin'
You made a brother feel like he was something
That's why I'm with you to this day, boo, no frontin'
Even when the skies were gray
You would rub me on my back and say baby it'll be okay
Now that's real to a brother like me, baby
Never ever give my p*ssy away and keep it tight, aight?
And I'ma walk these dogs so we can live
In a fat ass crib with thousands of kids
Word life, you don't need a ring to be my wife
Just be there for me I'm gon' make sure we
Be livin' in the fucking lap of luxury
I'm realizing that ya didn't have to f*ck with me
But ya did, now I'm going all-out kid
And I got mad love to give, you my n*gga
I got a Love Jones for your body and your skin tone
Five minutes alone I'm already on the bone
Plus I love the fact you got a mind of your own
No need to shop around you got the good shit at home
Even if I'm locked up North you in the world
Rockin' three-fourths of cloth never showin' your stuff off, boo
It be true me for you, that's how it is
I can be your Knower, you can be my Wiz
Then I can be your sun, you can be my earth
Resurrect the God through birth
- "All I Need" - Method Man
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Yo, dwellin' in the past, flashbacks when I was young
Whoever thought that I'd have a baby girl and three sons
I'm goin' through this difficult stage I find it hard to believe
Why my old Earth had so many seeds
But she's an old woman, and due to me I respect that
I saw life for what it's really worth and took a step back
Family ain't family no more, we used to play ball
Eggs after school, eat grits cause we was poor
Grab the pliers for the channel, fix the hanger on the TV
Rockin each other's pants to school wasn't easy
We survived winters, snotty-nosed with no coats
We kept it real, but the older brother still had jokes
Sadly, daddy left me at the age of six
I didn't know nothing but mommy neatly packed his sh*t
She cried, and grandma held the family down
I guess mommy wasn't strong enough, she just went down
Check it, fifteen of us in a three-bedroom apartment
Roaches everywhere, cousins and aunts was there
Four in the bed, two at the foot, two at the head
I didn't like to sleep with Jon-Jon he peed the bed
Seven o'clock, pluckin' roaches out the cereal box
Some shared the same spoon, watchin' saturday cartoons
Sugar water was our thing, every meal was no thrill
In the summer, free lunch held us down like steel
And there was days I had to go to Tex house with a note
Stating "Gloria can I borrow some food I'm dead broke"
So embarrasin' I couldn't stand to knock on they door
My friends might be laughin', I spent stamps in stores
Mommy where's the toilet paper, use the newspaper
Look Ms. Rose gave us a couch, she's the neighbor
Things was deep, my whole youth was sharper than cleats
Two brothers with muscular dystrophy, it killed me
But I remember this, mom's would lick her fingertips
To wipe the cold out my eye before school wit her spit
Caseworker had her runnin' back to face to face
I caught a case, housing tried to throw us out of our place
Sometimes I look up at the stars and analyze the sky
And ask myself was I meant to be here... why?
- "All That I Got Is You" - Ghostface Killah
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How you ain't gon' f*ck?! *itch, I'm me!
I'm the goddamn reason you in V.I.P
CEO, you don't have to see ID
I'm young, wild, and strapped like Chi-Ali
BLAOW, we ain't got nothing to worry about
Whoop ass, let security carry them out
Watch out for the medallion, my diamonds are reckless
It feels like a midget is hanging from my necklace
I pulled up with a million trucks
Looking, smelling, feeling like a million bucks, ahh
Pass the bottles, the heat is on
We in the huddle all smoking that Cheech & Chong
What's wrong? The club and the moon is full
And I'm looking for a thick, young lady to pull
One sure shot way to get them out of them pants
Take note to the brand new dance Like this
Go on with your big ass, let me see something
Tell your little friend he can quit mean mugging
I'm lit and I don't care what no one thinks
But where the fuck is the waitress at with my drinks?
My people outside and they can't get in
We gon' rush the back door & break them in
The owner already pissed cause we sort of late
But our time and our clothes, got to coordinate
Most girls looking right, some looking a mess
That's why they spilling drinks all over your dress
But Louis Vuitton bras all over your breasts
Got me wanting to put hickeys all over your chest
Ahh, come on we gon' party tonight
Y'all use mouth to mouth bring the party to life
Don't be scared, show another part of your life
The more drinks in your system, the harder the fight
- "Stand Up" - Ludacris
Back in the day I was a lunch line rapper,
After that I guess I was a punch line rapper,
Then I got saved and sometime after,
Ya boy came back as a frontline rapper.
And when I say the frontlines, that's not a frontline,
I'm out here preachin' Christ on the frontlines,
And no it ain't about rockin' stages,
'Cause some of my engagements are out on the pavements, yeah.
I'm out to take the bible, create disciples,
Who make disciples, disciple-cycles,
That's why I want the beats to knock
So after the music stops you can meet the rock,
I pray, that you would know him well,
This is like show and tell,
It's more than a show, I'm showing you Emmanuel,
So yeah I'm hopin' that you're likin' the flow,
But it's only so you could know that God I'm writing it for, let's go!
I recorded a couple songs, some fast some slow,
So the listeners would know the importance of the show,
The importance of the show's not to excite these folks
But make God's Truth relevant, ignite these folks.
Discipleship is our call but we make disciples,
This is not a suggestion, create disciples.
The teachin' is a process, it's not over night
And it's not a stage and a mic nah, it's life on life Christ -
Walked with twelve, ate with twelve,
Talked with twelve, shaped the twelve,
Invested in 'em well you could say that he made the twelve.
Who made many more, who made plenty more,
Now it's on you and me if there's anymore.
1 teach, 2 teach, 3 teach, 4 teach, 5 teach, 6 teach,
7 teach more, this is what we've been commissioned,
It's the reason why I write,
So that you could hear the truth,
Not so you can say I'm tight, whoa!
- "After the Music Stops" - Lecrae
Start with the samples above, and then challenge yourself by trying to follow up with original lyrics of your own.
Make sure you don't include sample or unoriginal lyrics in the recordings that you plan to sell.
Use a free online tool like Rhyme Zone to access a variety of rhymes that can help your freestyle.
Ads suck when you're trying to practice, so try using your preferred premium streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube to find instrumentals to freestyle.
Don't forget to put a lot of emotional energy into your vocal tone when you practice freestyling.
Try freestyling lyrics like these to a variety of different beat tempos. Try slow, mid-tempo, and fast beats to challenge yourself.
Record yourself freestyling to get a feel for what your voice truly sounds like. It's hard to tell when you're singing or rapping live.
Don't just practice your freestyling once in a blue moon. You need to be consistent to get results in becoming better at your flow and your ability to come up with lyrics.
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As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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