Hip Hop is a culture that includes multiple elements. Rap music is often the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions they love hip hop. Learning how to rap seems to be effortless for some, yet challenging for others. Today we will share some tips, from rap god Eminem, on how you can begin to master this valuable skill.
A majority of listeners of rap who want to learn how to flow are between the ages of 13 and 25. Starting young can really give you an edge on the competition.
“First I was a fan of the music before I even thought about rapping, you know what I’m sayin… L.L. Cool J was the one who made me first start writing rhymes. And I was like, 12, 13 maybe.. and it sucked. You know, I wasn’t good, like I had to keep practicing and practicing and practicing..”
If you want to improve as a rap artist you have to consistently keep coming back to the craft. It’s okay to step away if necessary but you need to realize that the real results come from practicing regularly. Some people will tell you it’s a talent you are either born with or not, but here is Eminem telling you that’s not always the case.
“I gave it up for awhile then I picked it up again back when I was 15 and started being able to kinda put songs together… I was never really good at much else.. Once I figured out I was decent at something I just focused and went for it.”
Focusing means honing in on one specific subject and then, if distracted by something else, make a conscious decision to redirect your attention back to what you were originally focusing on.
“When I write my songs, the formula for how I write my songs is pretty simple… I write the verses and then sum up all the verses with a hook… but my delivery and the way I say things across the mic I make sure that is just perfect… I want to make sure everything is perfect so I can listen to my shit a million times and not find a flaw in it.”
Practice making complete songs. Building your vocabulary and learning which words rhyme together is a must, but take it a step further and study the structure of your favorite hit songs. Try to reproduce that same structure using your own style and lyrical content. Listen to your recordings and if you hear any flaws make the necessary changes.
“One day I got a call from my boy Proof and he was like ‘Yo you need to come up to The Hip Hop Shop… Yo just write something and come up here’ and Proof like, ran shit in Detroit…He started making connections and he met J. Dilla… when I went up to The Hip Hop Shop he was like ‘yo I’ll clear everybody out, I’ll have like ten people… you rap in front of them.. and if they don’t like you, they’re gonna tell you they don’t like you. If they do like you and they fuck with you, then you know…’”
Be open to meeting with people who have connections in the game. They can share valuable insight and experience. Mentors might have ideas on how you can improve or advance in the game. An example is how Eminem had Proof.
“So I went there, said the rap. I got some people jumpin around and shit and I was like: okay… That’s when we started having battles at The Hip Hop Shop. But every Saturday I would make sure I didn’t have to work cause I was going to The Hip Hop Shop… Proof was taking names and he was putting them in a hat… if you want to sign up to battle you put your name in a hat, he picks a name and he picks another name.. and I started battling and in The Hip Hop Shop the first battle we had there I won it.”
Although not every rap artist needs to take the path of battling, they should make time to attend events where they have opportunity for exposure and networking. In todays era that includes online events and social media. Live music venues, where artists in a genre similar to your own perform, are highly beneficial as well.
Every artist has their own path. The few simple words Eminem shared here are full of priceless gems for anyone wanting to learn. Subscribe to us here at IndyRapArt.com for more installments of Learn To Rap.