The chorus to any song can make or break it. This is especially important for rappers, with many great rap songs having been defined by their choruses. In rap, the bars in the verses are the backbone of the song and are crucial to the success of the song. However, the chorus is usually the first part of the song that people acquaint themselves with and it usually determines whether people take the time to listen to the rest of the song or not. A great chorus in rap has the following qualities:
1. It’s catchy
This is the most important quality of a chorus. A chorus has to tick to the minds of the listeners. It has to be something that they can’t stop humming all day long, a melody that keeps playing on their minds all day long. A catchy chorus makes the listeners long to listen to the rest of the song. A catchy chorus also makes your song popular and one that people can’t stop requesting all day long on the radio and streaming on Spotify.
To make a chorus catchy, use words that are easy to remember and sing along to. Keep in mind that the chorus is the first thing that pops into people’s minds whenever your song is mentioned. Some of the greatest rap songs were loved by so many fans because they had catchy choruses. Prime examples include ‘Gold digger’ by Kanye West and ‘In da club’ by 50 Cent.
2. It summarizes the song
The chorus summarizes the lyrics in the song. While this is not a rule that must be followed, you can never go wrong with this. A chorus brings together the different verses and communicates to the listener in a few simple sentences just what the song is about. This is an important function of the chorus as many people decide to either listen to a rap song or not depending on what the chorus talks about. If someone was seeking inspirational rap music and encountered a chorus that speaks about getting high and partying, they are likely to assume that the whole song is party-themed and move on to other music.
3. Sticks to the theme
A chorus should stick to the theme, mood and message of the song. There are examples of rap songs that have defied this and still gone on to be successful, but that list is not all that long. The chorus should add to the depth of the lyrics in the verses and not take away from them. If the theme of the song is about being born poor and working your way to the top, the chorus should not talk about police brutality. The relatability to the theme turns the chorus into a short clip that invites people to give the rest of the song a listen.
4. Has words that are repeated
A great chorus has a few words that are repeated. This makes it easier to remember and catchy. These can be individual words or phrases. A chorus with repeated words gets the attention of the listeners with the first listen, making your song more likely to be listened to the second time and then a third and so on. Some of the rap songs that have great choruses with repeated words include ‘My name is’ by Eminem where the phrase ‘my name is’ is repeated constantly and ‘Started from the bottom’ by Drake where the phrase ‘started from the bottom’ is repeated over and over again.
These are just a few of the qualities that make great rap choruses. There is no rule book, however, and the more unconventional it is, the better the chances that it will get the attention of many. Unique choruses become the favorites of many fans.