How To Write A Rap Song
How To Write A Rap Song
This is an article on how to write a rap song, if you want an article on how to make a rap song you can check that out in the lyric and songwriting section of the site.
The how to make a rap song article goes over the equipment and things you need to actually MAKE the rap song.
This article is focused on how to WRITE a rap song.
Just so there is no confusion before you begin reading 🙂
First Of All Choose Your Beat To Write A Rap Song Too
If you aren’t vibing with the beat you are writing a rap song too then it is not going to come out very good.
Is it? No, def not.
You need to feel the music and be inspired while you are writing a rap song or you are going to end up writing some uninspired, bland, weak lyrics and melodies that you don’t want to record or show anyone when it’s finished.
So rule number 1 is to find a beat that you really like. A beat that makes you make that scrunchy ‘Yo this beat is sick’ face.
Kinda like this
You won’t make that face if your body and brain aren’t feeling the beat in unison.
Bob your head to the beat and start writing immediately when this face is made.
Click thru beats until you get this feeling, then start writing.
Always write the song chorus first
If you have read any articles on Smart Rapper you know I often stress the importance of a writing a rap song chorus first.
Once you have written a rap song chorus the rest of the song is cake and who doesn’t like cake.
The most important part of a rap song is the chorus.
The chorus – aka the hook of a song – is what pulls in the listener and makes them want to hear the song again and again.
It’s also the reason they sit thru the song….. in order to hear it numerous times.
Real quick, think of a reason why you like 99.9% of rap songs in your playlists …. Yea…. the chorus.
For this reason you need to get really good at creating choruses and learning what kind of choruses and lyrics in choruses pull a listener in to become a fan and want to listen to your music more.
You can check out my article on how to write songs for more information.
And to truly master chorus writing you can check out my how to write rap songs course where I bring you into my studio for over 2 hours and show you step by step how I create songs from scratch. That will put you light years ahead of your friends and competition.
Write and find the verse melodies or flow pattern
After you write the best chorus melodies, lyrics for the chorus and know it is catchy, now you only need to create verses that carry the song.
The person listening to the song you wrote needs to be able to vibe until they hear the next chorus.
So all you have to do is create melodies or flows that gently carry the listener to each chorus in an entertaining way.
Search until you find the right lyrics and patterns that make it perfect.
Sometimes you will search this hard
And often times you will have to write and rewrite *Nelly Voice* over and over again to make everything perfect.
We talk about rewriting rap song stuff in a minute. Bear with me.
You can write entertaining verses by using a combination of creative melodies, creative lyrics, different flow speeds, different flow patterns, all the same pattern etc.
It all depends on the song you are creating.
It is all art, do it with your creative talent and style but make sure that the listener will be entertained.
After all, this is the entertainment industry.
You can find natural flows by freestyling to the beat.
That or you can write lyrics and then flow your lyrics to the beat.
Or you can do a combination of both which is what I highly recommend while writing a rap song.
Write Lyrics On The Topic Of The Song
Unless you are doing non topic heavy trap music your song should have a theme and idea behind it that you want the listener to understand, connect with and feel.
A random song that entertains but doesn’t speak to the listener may gain you a few fans for now but a real talk emotional song that the listener attaches to is going to keep them a fan for a long long time.
If you are writing a rap song that is emotional you need to try to stay on topic instead of just writing random rhyming lyrics.
I was going to start writing about how long to stay on a topic and how to have more impact with real talk lyrics but I am going to write that as another article sometime this week. Look for it in the lyric and songwriting section of Smart Rapper at the top of the page.
If you are just writing an entertaining song and the rap song you are writing has no true meaning but is just fun to listen too, you can jump around and say whatever fits like a Future song.
Notice the complete randomness and just rhyming in this Future OJ Simpson verse from his recent mixtape.
FUTURE – OJ SIMPSON – LYRICS
Got to grind harder, I started going brazy
Took a couple Vicodins and started feeling amazing
Double murder homicide with no visitation
Took a couple Adderall for my concentration
Each line completely jumps somewhere that made no sense with the previous or next line and within these bars he has now popped Vicodin, adderalls and started going brazy lol
It sounds cool to the ear though because of the melody and perfect auto tune choice and that’s why people listen to Future.
I am only using Future as an example, tons of rappers do this, even me in my entertaining songs and free verses.
Once you find a solid verse melody you can just use it thru the entire verse (depending on the song)
Give Your Lyrics A Natural Flow
If you are squeezing a lot of syllables into your bars you are going to need to learn how to transition between the bars to make everything sound coherent.
You don’t want to squeeze lines in where they don’t fit or it will sound unnatural to the listeners ear.
NOTE: Consider where breathes would naturally be placed at in your flows.
Doing this makes your flows sound more natural, partially freestyles, less rushed and gives the listener a pace with which they can understand your lyrics easier.
I went through a phase where I wanted to say so many witty and great punchlines and wordplay that I was squeezing too many syllables into each line to get them off.
What I didn’t realize was that it was messing my songs up because it takes away from the vibe and flow of the song.
Doing this technique more naturally can be attained by simply writing lyrics in order line by line and considering where a true breath would be taken.
Basically, just consider that it is unnatural and wrong if you can’t flow the verse in 1 take without messing it up.
Please understand that this isn’t always the case. You can chop in vocals for creative effect and also when certain parts of the beat hits etc. There is a lot to it but you should understand what I am saying. Keep it sounding as natural as you possibly can.
Moral of the story: Don’t stuff lyrics into the bars just to have more good lines. It will ruin the flow of the song and the listeners won’t like it.
You’ll notice every HUGE rapper has songs that are completely filled with filler bars just to keep the flow of the song.
If you want your lyrics to naturally flow better between every 4 bars, use rhyme words to transition to the next bar.
Rewrite Your Verses
I am someone who whole-heartedly believes you should write and rewrite verse.
The reason behind this line of thinking is that:
- Every time you rewrite a verse you are going to change a lyric for the better
- You are going above and beyond to make your song better which helps you stand out from other rappers
- Rewriting allows you to see mistakes you originally made in your writing
- Rewriting rap songs allows you to hear back your original idea and give yourself a second opinion instead of settling and releasing a BLAH 1st draft
- The longer you work on something the better it gets (Most of the time)
- Every time you go back and rewrite days or weeks later you approach from a whole new mindset which can be massively beneficial
I recently mentioned in another Smart Rapper article how Royce Da 5 9 talked about how when he Ghost Wrote rap songs for Diddy that Diddy always made him rewrite verses tons of times.
Mase says the same thing.
You need to write and write and rewrite until it is perfect for the song. You aren’t always going to get it on the first try.
Then there are those times where you DO get it on the first try.
The melodies are great, the flow is great, the chorus is great, the energy is great and it just comes together perfectly.
There is something more natural in the creation of a song when you DO NOT rewrite your rap verses.
For example there is my song ‘One Size Fits All’
I wrote the verse lyrics, chorus lyrics and recorded my verses ALL in 45 minutes total.
Then we had a guy record the chorus lyrics I wrote 2 months later when I was finishing the album.
If you listen you will notice the simplicity of the lyrics and melodies. The bars aren’t CRAZY GOOD like I prefer… but the song didn’t require that at all. It just requires a smooth flow and a great chorus and it still gets a very happy positive message across without having rewritten the lyrics 10 times to squeeze in witty bars.
Try To Record Verses In 1 Take
Once your rap song is completely written and arranged it is time to record it.
If at all possible try to record your verses in 1 take.
As I mentioned above it will come out more naturally. The breaths will sit in the right spots and you know the tone and flow will match through the whole verse.
Choruses are typically going to be layered and require numerous takes and background layers.
You can hear an example of how naturally everything comes out in this song I made called 1 take.
I did the entire song (besides the chorus) in 1 take all the way thru without turning off the microphone and it was the very first try. So I called the song 1 take.
A bunch of the lyrics were freestyles too because the song wasn’t even finished being written.
I was about to show it to some people who came over to the house to listen to the music and they said “Yo, record it, just do it right now before we even start!”
So I did. In the original where there chorus now sits in the song you can hear us all screaming and jumping around lol
They knew a bunch of it was freestyled and everyone was going crazy in the room.
Someone who seems to do this extremely well is J Cole.
This is why his songs have a great vibe and feel whole.
If he is dubbing in vocals it’s pretty hard to tell.
This is a basic outline of how to write a rap song.
If I would have went any deeper into writing rap songs this article would have been too long for a librarian to read.
You can check out this amazing article I wrote on how to write songs for more information on writing great lyrics and song ideas.
There is some really sneaky stuff in that article that I wish I knew when I was first starting out.
Once you get a solid process of how to write rap songs you will be making songs every single day with absolute ease.
The hardest part for me now is figuring out which of the 20 songs I write a day to actually take time to finish.
You only want to spend your time finishing the best songs but it gets overwhelming when you write as many songs as I do in a week.
It’s actually half a gift and half a curse to write so many songs. That is why you gotta have people around you that can give you honest feed back so you know what is actually hot and what isn’t.
If you want to learn the step by step method I use to make 20+ songs a day you can Check the course out here.
Good luck writing your rap songs my friend. I hope this has helped you in some way.
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