How To Make A Rap SongHow To Make A Rap Song
This is how to make a rap song.
If you want to know how to WRITE a rap song, go here.
Onto the article 🙂
I am often surprised by the articles people request me to write for Smart Rapper.
I forget that we all start somewhere and sometimes I need to write articles that teach the basics for rappers that are just starting out.
I had to revamp my courses in the products section to be more “New Rapper Friendly” because people bought them and they were too advanced in some areas.
Advanced is the level you want to get too and because of that, the courses are great for people who are already good and want to take their skills to the next level.
People ask questions that I’m surprised they don’t already know but then I realize that I didn’t know anything either when I started out and then I think wow…. look how far I have come since I started rapping at 12 years old + since I started learning and building my home studio at 15 years old.
Then it makes me smile because I am super happy I can help people learn at a rapid rate. The information I provide on here helps them skip having to sit on home recording forums like I did for months at a time just to learn little things.
Any way, I keep getting asked what is required in order to make a rap song at home.
Sure, people know they need a microphone but they also ask what else they need and they want to know EXACTLY what they need so they are making quality stuff from the get go.
Smart Rapper currently ranks as the top positions in Google for rap microphones and microphones for rap so you know I got the info down on that 😀
In this article I am going to go over everything you will need in order to make a rap song from home.
It’s a simple topic, but please realize not everyone is as seasoned and educated on being a rapper as you.
This article is for the beginners who want to get started making rap songs at home.
The Things You Need To Make A Rap Song
So what do you need to MAKE a rap song from home?
You don’t REALLY need too much stuff… you can realistically get started with like…. $200-$250 if you want to be completely honest.
And that includes the computer.
Sure that $250 will be a basic ass home studio set up but you will be able to start recording yourself and growing your microphone presence skills and building your style until you can afford the good stuff to make a rap song with quality.
The reason starting off with even a basic set up is so beneficial is because your rap performances, confidence, style, delivery, voice and everything else will be tremendously built by the time you have saved up for a high quality home studio.
If you don’t release music until you are great, it will seem to everyone you are just amazing from the get go haha.
This is basically what I did and how I came up.
Years of hard work 😀
I started and worked with a $50 USB microphone for YEARS.
I wrote song after song after song that sucked until I started learning how to write good songs from trial and error.
Songs you will NEVER EVER EVER hear lmao.
Through those years I kept working on voice, delivery, writing style, flow, chorus type and just overall development.
While I was growing my style I was saving my money for GOOD equipment and shopping around looking for exactly what stuff I would need to have GOOD quality music.
I ended up finally getting my GOOD music equipment in 2008-2009 and didn’t start releasing songs until around 2010 even though I had made at least 500 blah songs up till that point.
I started releasing songs in early 2010 when I made my YouTube channel.
Before I even released my first song I did TONS of marketing set up and that first song got over 200,000 views from the shit I did to get people to hear it. That’s a story for another time, but I was getting noticed.
Then I gained fans and kept releasing songs.
I didn’t even release my first mixtape until 2011…. By that point I was rapping for YEARRSSSS.
But…. my style was developed enough to actually be releasing great music. My lyric skills were so built from years of writing that when I released songs that actually had some people seeing them, they loved it and I blew up.
Again, another long story behind that.
Moral of the story is: you can start small and grow your style as you save up for the good song making equipment.
Computer For Making Rap Songs
For one you need a computer… a computer that can handle you using a good recording software.
It won’t be expensive… don’t worry!
Right now I will let you in on a little secret… since I just moved to Los Angeles and I only subletted an apartment for the first 2 months … I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stay here.
For that reason I didn’t want to send my $2,500 custom studio computer out here to possibly get damaged or stolen.
If you have ever owned a good computer you know it’s like your baby lol
Knowing that I have songwriting sessions with major songwriters around LA all the time I definitely needed a better laptop to be able to work on and also a laptop I could record into pro tools using + write these Smart Rapper articles so I had to get a new one.
The laptop I purchased before the move and that I am on right now has these specs:
Plus I have a upgraded graphics card and other stuff.
If you don’t know anything about computers this may be jibberish to you… BUT this is a really really solid computer and it’s fast af.
It run Pro Tools and Photoshop with absolute ease.
I’m such a beast at finding deals… I got this for $395.
THAT’S IT!!!!!!! $395 including shipping 😀
Here is one very similar to mine
Another thing about having a good laptop is that you are able to use it for other parts of your artist branding.
Everything that you would generally do from home or on your phone you can do much faster on a laptop.
I personally run Photoshop for doing my graphics for this site, Premiere to edit my own music videos and Smart Rapper videos and Pro Tools to record myself and show people unfinished songs I have made on the go. 🙂
I also run my other businesses on the laptop.
I honestly wouldn’t have been able to move to LA without it.
If you don’t know what Minimum System Requirements are let me explain real quick.
In a nutshell its pretty much the minimum amount of computer power you will need in order to run the software you need for a home studio.
In case you can’t afford $400 here is a list of requirements for a cheaper Laptop if you want to buy one.
I recommend you look for one with at least a i5 processor or equivalent
At least 4 GB of DDR 3 RAM or better
At least Windows 7
You can see the Pro Tools system requirements here even though the way they set up the information is a bit confusing.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) / Recording Software
Now that you have your new computer you can actually install a software to record yourself.
It doesn’t matter what recording software you start with as long as you can get the hang of recording into a microphone and building your style up.
After you get some money you can step up to the better software and watch a few YouTube tutorials to learn how to use it properly.
I used to think that having Pro Tools would make my music sound better…. lol…. the software has NOTHING to do with how good your music will sound.
The quality of the music gear you use has to do with how good the music will sound.
I spent months thinking Pro Tools would somehow make me a better artist once I got it.
Please do not get stuck in that mind frame like I used too.
Microphone For Making Raps
If you are actually on this website and don’t know what a microphone is…. I can’t even say any of the jokes I want to say because they are too mean.
You are a rapper ffs lol or someone who is working with a rapper at the least.
A rapper’s weapon is the microphone and the bullets are his words… I just made that up so I don’t know if that’s corny af or cool but I like it right now so I’m keeping it 😛
The more money you spend on a microphone the cleaner the vocal will be from it.
A list of affordable microphones can be found here
That list is first page of Google for numerous key words for a reason 😉
A list of affordable USB Microphones can be found here
What is the difference between a normal microphone and a USB microphone?
Well in a nutshell the USB doesn’t require a preamp. So you just need to buy the USB mic itself, plug it in, change the proper settings in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation – Like Pro Tools) and hit record.
The downside is that you are not going to get the best quality out of a USB microphone.
You can achieve much better quality with the right microphone and preamp.
I recommend if you are just starting out to just get a USB microphone until you can build your music style up.
That’s what I did, Be smart, don’t be a retard/ – Eminem
Preamp – PRE-AMPLIFIER
A pre amp is in the chain before it reaches the DAW (recording software)… hence PRE – Latin prefix BEFORE / PRIOR TO – and it AMPLIFIES the signal of the microphone.
The better the preamp is that you buy, the CLEANER the amplification is as it gets to the recording software.
Makes sense right?
I’m sure you have heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, well it is absolutely true in the music gear realm.
For a list of affordable preamps you can check out Smart Rapper’s list here:
This is pretty obvious but if you want to make a rap song you need to learn how to write them first.
You also need to learn how you are going to get a good recording of the song through your performance.
That unnatural feeling you get when you record yourself early on in your rap song making career goes away overtime.
Great microphone presence comes with practice.
If you want more information on microphone presence for recording techniques you can check out the Microphone Presence section of Smart Rapper.
Write your songs, then rewrite them.
Write lyrics everyday and get good at being a great lyricist, emcee AND most importantly, songwriter.
Focus on creating catchy choruses and entertaining verses and you are on your way to becoming a successful artist.
Record The Rap Song
Well okay now it’s written but you’re not truly making a rap song unless you are also recording it.
Lay down your chorus first to make sure the song is even worth finishing.
Lay down your verses
Lay down your voice overs
Lay down your adlibs
This is mostly a duh, I know. But remember this article is also for beginners who are just now making rap songs.
Mix The Rap Song
At the earlier levels of your career you can learn how to mix your own stuff (which will take a long time to get good at) or you can have someone else mix it for a price.
To date I have mixed a couple of my own mixtapes and albums.
They aren’t bad mixes but they are no where near a professionals mix.
This is because a professional dedicates their life to doing one thing great…. and that is audio engineering.
Just like you dedicate yourself to being a great songwriting and rapper. They are at your level, just in their own area of expertise.
Trying to learn BOTH will actually slow you down.
That time learning how to mix can be spent becoming a better rapper.
I recommend you learn the basics of engineering and audio so you can do BASIC mixes to make your music sound solid to demo to people.
Mixing is WAYYYY harder than most people realize.
Don’t worry yourself though. Me and my right hand guy are working on something to help rappers mix their songs in less than 30 minutes without the need for a mix engineer. 😉
You’ll be able to get it right here on Smart Rapper too.
Master The Rap Song
Now this is a very important topic that I truly didn’t understand for a looooooooooooooong time.
Mastering is essential!!!!!
The picture below explains it all better than I ever could through words.
So I want you to look at the below picture very carefully.
It is the realest shit you will ever see in your life regarding audio engineering.
When a song is mixed, all of the levels are brought to the right places.
The effects are set on the vocals and everything else and you have a GREAT sounding song.
Then the mastering takes what the mix engineer brought out in the song and makes it all stand out even more.
It’s louder and more powerful after a master.
Even though it’s not rap, this is a quick great example of what mastering does.
It makes everything pop, it makes it wider, cleaner and LOUDER.
You’ll notice it goes from sounding bland to everything popping out.
Real mastering engineers would do a better job but it’s still a good example.
Have Talent, Drive and Passion
You will not grow or become good enough to create great music if you are not willing to put in the time and effort it takes to grow and learn.
Learn the software, learn how to write songs, learn how to understand the equipment etc.
People ask me all the time if they should be rappers…. How the fuck do I know?
If you have to ask, probably not….
You have to know deep down this is for you.
Even if it is just a hobby… you have to be passionate enough to save up and spend money on a hobby you LOVE.
Am I right?
So don’t even start unless you are truly willing to put the work in to pursue it.
People often give up in the beginning stages of things because things SEEM hard…. I feel my mission in life is to inspire those people to be great and to push themselves passed any boundaries or limitations they have put on themselves.
Anyone can do ANYTHING they put their minds too but you have to be willing to put your mind to something first.
So don’t start making music if you don’t want to make music. Don’t do it just because it seems cool to make rap songs.
Do it because you really want to do it or you won’t make it very far.
You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will ever believe in you. Trust me, I am living proof of that.
My own brother went from telling me I sucked and that I shouldn’t rap to getting a huge microphone tattooed on his arm with my name on it….
I ramble sometimes 😛
How To Make A Rap Song wRap Up
As you can see, it really doesn’t take THAT MUCH to make a rap song.
What it does take is the effort to make it happen.
Option B is always just to go to a friends house who already has everything to make a rap song lol
But then you have to worry about your friend being jealous of how much better you are than them…
And then they never give you the vocal files or release the song…
So you realize you should have just bought your own home studio all along because they —>
If you really want to be a rapper, start making rap songs asap.
You won’t get good sitting around day dreaming about it.
I can say “I’m good at writing computer code” a million times but It doesn’t make me good until I actually learn how to do it.
Random example I pulled out of my @$s but you know what I am saying.
Get to work mannnnnn!
– T 3