Aspiring rappers often struggle to start making their own music. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by the greats, but it’s also important to start developing your own style. To help you get started, we’ve put together a guide on how to make a rap song. The first step to making a rap song is making a beat. This is the foundation of the whole song and will be what you rap over. When you’re just starting out, try to start with something simple. If you’re not musically inclined, you can find a pre-made beat online and purchase it on sites like Soundclick. For inspiration, listen to rap songs you like and see if you can recreate the instrumental.
4 Steps: How To Make Rap Song
For making a rap song, there are several things that a person needs to keep in mind. And if you are a beginner, the thoughts in your mind will be: How to write a rap song as a beginner? Where to start? How to start? The process of writing rap songs is divided into steps. When followed, these steps are the recipe for your perfect rap song. Following are the 5 ingredients for you to get that yummy-yum rap song ready.
- Start with a beat
- Find a topic for your song
- Write the Rap lyrics
- Find a background beat
- Record the song
We will be talking about the 3rd step here, that is, writing lyrics. For the complete process with all the steps, from beginning till the end, you can view a more comprehensive guide here. Now back to the question “How to write rap lyrics?” You begin making your rap song with an idea, think about a topic, an issue that you want to talk about to do you have something to say about something? No matter how common you think the issue is, your view and your perspective of it matters. Go ahead with anything you feel passionately about and make it your own. Do something with it that only you can do, only you can bring to the table.
How to Write Rap Lyrics?
These lines by Big Daddy Kane are what inspire me to write better and write frequently:
“Brain cells are lit. Ideas start to hit/Next the formation of words that fit/At the table I sit, making it legit/And when my pen hits the paper. Ahhh shit!”
This is how we all aspire to write music, constantly, consistently, and madly! The two rappers Eminem and Rakim are the ones to follow if someone wants to know how to make a rap song or how to write rap lyrics. They have been adored and revered for their raps, writing, flow, and spitting. If there is something great to be learned about rap writing, it is from them.
Eminem has been writing raps since a very young age. He began making rap songs when not even a teen yet. the rapper has gained an amazing grip over writing powerful lyrics over the years which has also earned him the title of ‘Modern-day Shakespeare’. His mantra is that he writes every day and writes till his brain hurts. No one does an advanced rhyming scheme as Eminem does. Listen to all his albums on repeat and you’ll know. If there’s a story to tell, Eminem’s rap style is very apt.
Rakim’s writing is very different from that of any other rapper. He does not use one specific technique but several different ones. It shows in his writing that Rakim loves words a lot, lot. He also does a lot of internal rhyming. Below are some examples of Rakim’s writing to inspire:
“I ain’t no joke, I used to let the mic smoke/Now I slam it when it’s done and make sure it’s broke/When I’m gone, no one gets on ‘cause I won’t let/Nobody press up and mess up the scene I set”
“Thinking of a master plan / Cause ain’t nothing but sweat inside my hand / So I dig into my pocket, all my money spent / So I dig deeper, but still coming up with lint”
Structuring Your Rap Song
There is a certain structure to everything that you do. Similarly, a rap song also has a certain set structure as well. When you write a rap song, there is a certain flow of things that has to be followed throughout to be called a rap/ hip hop song. This is a benefit for beginners as this also makes it easy for them to follow a set pattern to get started. This pattern is also followed by most songs.
There are some basic rules that you need to know before making a rap song so that you know how you are going to place the words in the song because then it also needs to make sense according to the beat. Below is the structure that tells you how to write rap lyrics and the format of the same.
The Intro is just the music that marks the start of the song and introduces you to the verse. Generally, an intro lasts for 4 bars. It can be made 2 and even 8 bars long as well.
A verse comes before your chorus and after your song’s intro. Usually 16 bars, rap verses set a detailed premise for the song and along with introducing the concept, it also explains it. Now a verse needs a melody so simultaneously you also need to create a melody for the same.
The chorus, also known as the hook of the song, is the main part. The main idea is represented in a catchy way here. It has to be catchy, easy to remember, and faster than the verse usually. They are called hooks because they hook the listeners to the song. Often the title of the song and the hook of the song are the same. The length should be 4 to 8 bars and they are to be repeated, each quatrain repeated twice even between verses, as per your discretion.
As we move further down the length of the song, there will have to be a bridge. The bridge is placed between 2 choruses that are at the end of the song. The bridge has a different melody/ tune. It has to sound different than the chorus and the verse and adds something interesting to the song. A lot of rap songs so exist without a bridge. That is fine as well.
It is basically an intro but at the end of the song and hence, the Outro. However, do not mistake it to be the same as the intro! An outro brings a song to a close.
Styles of Writing Rap Music and Lyrics
Below I have mentioned a few methods and styles of writing a rap song. These are the styles in which you can try forming a song.
The idea of scatting out your rhythms is super easy but requires an understanding of stressed and unstressed syllables. It is basically mumbling over a beat and finding where you are going to add stressed syllables and unstressed ones. Essentially you will be fitting what you want to say as per the rhythm. this method helps you to improve your flow as well.
Collect some pictures related to the mood you want to set for your writing. Once you do this, you do this, use them by describing them in your raps. You can write something along the lines of how they make you feel. The pro of this method is that these different pictures keep giving you ideas. So you do not have to worry about the ideas when using this technique to make a rap song.
Rhyming First Method
This method is pretty simple. If you are big on having rhymes in your raps, you will need to have to jot down a word and then write matching rhyming words down. Make sure that the words jotted in the beginning are related. They should be related to what you are writing about. This helps in expanding the scope of your song and also gives you a broad spectrum to ponder upon and include in your writing.
There are do many styles and techniques for writing rap lyrics that you can custom create one for yourself and use each time.
I agree what I have done above is far from good. But keep practicing this method and you might become an ace in a very little while.
Writing Punchlines To Make Rap Songs
Writing punchlines is really important when in raps. A killer punchline can turn a basic rap song into an iconic one. So, do not underestimate the power of writing killer punchlines. Certain language devices prove to be really helpful once listed. A lot of writers do it naturally. However, systematically doing this helps with productivity, and once listed, you get more aware of the devices you have and you can use them by actively choosing to.
Normally a punchline is the culminating part of a joke or a story that packs a lot of punch. It is the line that gives the narration of any piece the desired surprising and dramatic impact. Such an impact can be created by adding a killer punchline. You can also check out the complete guide only on punchlines how to write punchlines in rap along with examples. The following language devices can be used to make a rap song better:
Metaphors are used to make a strong point by telling something as something else that would exactly resemble what you are talking about but within your perspective. It helps an artist give their audience a window into their minds and how they perceive this issue they are talking about. Metaphors use the word “is” to compare something to the other.
Here’s an example. The lyric is written by Talib Kweli:
“My rhymes are like shot clocks,
and blood clots,
my point is your flow gets stopped.”
Puns are what people listening to raps usually go crazy about. It shows your creativity as it requires a lot of it while making them. Also, puns in rap are not regular ones. They need to be in alignment with what you are trying to convey through the song. Making puns in real life while talking and joking is much easier when compared to using puns in rap lyrics. A rap already has to have a great writ and when you add basic puns, it brings all of it down.
You can also use Alliteration, Internal Rhymes, Oronyms, Homophones, Simile, and Wordplay already is a part of rap writing. I hope I could help you with how to write rap song lyrics for beginners. Let me know in the comments below.