There is no doubt that rap and hip hop are one of the most exciting music genres today. Their beginnings were humble, but in the last 20 years, they managed to become a driving force in the music industry. Now, there are millions around the globe who identify with this type of musical expressions. Many of these are determined to become rappers themselves. However, at the same time, most do not know how and where to start when it comes to writing the actual music they want to perform. The same goes for the song words or the actual rap lyrics. Luckily, being able to create rap is a skill like any other, so it can be learned and honed to perfections. Here are the five steps anyone can use to start writing lyrics as a rapper.

1.Finding Inspiration

Any art is only as good as the impact it has on its audience. To achieve this impact, a rapper like any other artist must create about things that matter to them. This can be literally anything in the world, as long as the rapper feels strongly about it. Not all rap songs have to be gangsta or party-themed. But, all good rap and hip hop songs are written about the things the artist cares about.

2.Honing onto a Theme

The next step is for the rapper to hone onto a single theme. A theme can be, for example, a painful experience. From there, the rapper should think of it as a story that has a beginning, a middle and an end. A rap song lyrics present this story, but also an emotional impact through the way the artist performs it. Yet still, all great rap songs are actually short stories.

3.Writing down Ideas

After a theme has been set, the rapper should begin writing. At first, he or she might simply write down any ideas about that theme that come about. These can be in rhyming verse but do not have to be, so no one should burden themselves with rhyming this early. Instead, they should try to connect that idea into a singular story that talks about the general theme.

4.Building a Structure

A structure of a rap song relies on bars, which is a line inside of a song. Most rap songs are made out of 16 or potentially 32 bars, but there are shorter ones which are only 12 or even 8 bars long. Bars are then distributed in a structure that combines verses and choruses. The simplest songs are usually set up in the intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-outro structure. Here, the verse is the section where bars are used to deliver the story, while the chorus is often repetitive and delivers more of an emotional setup of the broader theme. The intro sets up the story, while the outro ends it, usually with a twist that might be unexpected or otherwise impacting.

5.Rhyming Sequence

With the finalized structure, the rhyming process can start. During it, the rapper already has set the song’s meaning but works on its lyrical delivery. There are a number of rhyming methods that can be used, including simple rhymes, multi-syllabic rhymes, internal rhymes or even slant rhymes. All of these come with their characteristics, but all can work perfectly with the right setup.

6.Enforcing the Punchlines

Finally, the role of any rapper is to take their work and assess it objectively. They might need to take something out and add something else to the song, but almost always, they will see ways to enforce their punchlines. These are the hardest-hitting parts of rap lyrics so they should be polished to generate the maximum effect. Great punchlines are one of the key reasons why rap and hip hop songs become hits.

Using this process, any up-and-coming rapper will be able to craft exceptional lyrics and with them, produce successful and memorable songs.

Publication date: 05.03.2018

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