Have you always dreamt of being a rapper, but you don´t know where to start? Don’t worry because this blog will help you guide your way to making your first rap song. If you keep reading then you will understand the basic process of picking the right instrumental, Creating flows and melodies, writing lyrics, recording and mixing, master and publishing. Enjoy!!

1. Pick a beat

The first thing a rapper usually does is to pick a beat/instrumental for their song. This is probably one of the most important parts of the song. It doesn’t matter how good you are as a rapper if your instrumental sounds terrible.

 

The most important thing to do when picking a beat is to catch a mood. If you are planning on making a sad song then your instrumental should sound sad too. Maybe a beat with some minor guitar chords with simple and slow drums would fit perfectly for this type of mood.

On the other hand, if you are feeling energetic and aggressive than you should pick a beat with some loud and heavy 808 drums and bass.

 

The best thing is to go with your feelings. If the beat inspires you to write, and it hits your soul. Then it is a sign that this beat is right for you, even if there are other beats with better production.

 

I personally think that the best thing a rapper should learn in addition to rapping and singing, is to make his or her own beats. By making it yourself, you are able to translate your emotions in to the instrumental. This will then make your beats so original that your songs could cause a Hip Hop revolution.

 

In addition to this you will feel more pride when people keep commenting on how cool the beat is. So if people ask you “who made this dope beat”, then you can answer “I did it”, instead of “uhh I bought it from some random guy from youtube”.

 

Though if you are too lazy to make your own beats (like most of us), then you can visit https://www.beatstars.com/. Beatstars is the most famous web page for buying beats. The average beat costs around 30- 50 $, though make sure that you buy the Wav format of the instrumental instead of the MP3 format. Because MP3 sucks.

2. Creating a flow

If there is one thing the greatest rappers have in common, it is definitely the ability of creating catchy flows that will make the listener hooked. The flow is something I would advice you to think about before you even write one letter on your notepad or phone.

 

The best way of creating a flow is to mumble random sounds while listening to the beat. When mumbling you should focus on the rhythm of your vocals, in order to make your rhythm fit to the beat. Just feel the beat and then everything will come into place naturally.

 

If you start feeling comfortable mumbling then you can start saying random words, even if you are not forming sensible sentences. While doing this it would be wise to record yourself on a phone or microphone so that you can check if you like where you are going with the flow.

 

The trick is to know when you should switch up the flow. So that it will not sound to boring, repetitive or to messy. The most usual time to switch up the flow is after every 4 bars. 1 bar is basically 4 beats. If you want to know about rhythm theory then you should check out this link https://www.rapanalysis.com/2013/01/rappers-music-theory/.

 

You should also try to hum melodies on pre choruses, choruses and bridges. Most people prefer rap songs that have a catchy melodic chorus, so that the song has some variation. You might ask “Wait what do I have to sing too, but I just want to learn how to rap?” Don´t worry, you can always use autotune and sometimes the catchiness of the hook and originality of your voice can compensate for your lack of singing abilities. If not then you can ask a friend that can sing like a mermaid.

3. Writing Lyrics

The thing that differs rap from other genres is its lyrical honesty and complexity. Rappers are usually very direct and their lyrics come straight from their heart. There is no need to hold anything back when writing rap, this is the time where you can let out all your thoughts and feelings on the paper or phone.

 

Listen to the beat and flow that you recorded and start to think about what topic or theme to write about. Does the beat inspire you to write about your childhood? Maybe about your lover? Or could it inspire you to write about something political or philosophical that you are often thinking about? Choose what topic feels right for you to write about, you don´t have to only write about drugs and partying just because it is popular.

 

Take some time to listen to the beat over and over again and you will eventually get inspiration. Kendrick Lamar for example used 6 months on writing his hit song “Alright” after Pharell William sent him the beat. Though we are not all as patient as Kendrick Lamar. So if you can’t find a specific topic or theme, then just write down whatever comes to mind. Don´t overthink it!!

 

When you start writing try to fit in the lyrics in your flows. Find out how many rhymes and syllables you need in order to fit the flow you recorded. Be experimental and try to add as many rhymes as possible in each bar. The best flows are usually created through inner rhymes, where most of the syllables rhyme with the syllables in the next bar. Just read the lyrics from any Eminem song, and you will be surprised of how many rhymes there actually are.

But unfortunately we are not all as good as Eminem, therefor it would be wise for a rookie to focus on AB rhymes, where the last word of each bar rhymes with each other.

Here is a video that explains how to use rhymes schemes to create creative flows.

A great trick to catch the attentions of the listeners is to use creative punchlines. Punchlines are usually the last bar of a sett of 4 bars where you come to a creative conclusion from the 3 first bars. The punch line is usually very brash and harsh and it creates a reaction from the listener. It is usually done by metaphors, puns and similes. If you want to learn more about punchlines then check out this web page.

https://colemizestudios.com/how-to-create-rap-punchlines-that-hit-hard/

 

Rap is like poetry with a rhythm, so don´t be afraid of using different types of literary tools such as metaphors, allegories, irony and comparisons. Maybe English class in high school wasn’t so useless after all?

There are a lot of techniques to use when writing bars, but the most important thing is to translate your thoughts and ideas in an effective and precise way for the listener to feel and understand.

4. Recording

After you have written your song and you have practised your rapping a thousand times, then it is time to hit a studio near you. Most studios might be closed during lockdown. Therefor the most practical thing to do is to create your own bedroom or basement studio where you can record anytime you want. It might cost you between 500-1000 euro for good recording equipment, but it is totally worth it, because you will use way more money on paying for studio time after many sessions. Check out this link for building a studio on a budget https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/home-recording-studio-essentials/.

 

When recording your vocals the most important thing is that you have the right microphone for your voice and that your room is acoustically treated. It is also very important to drink a lot of water and tea, and it is crucial to do tongue twisters and vocal warm ups so that you can accomplish your best vocal performance. This is a great page for tongue twisters https://rhymemakers.com/tongue-twisters-for-rappers/ and this is a great video for vocal warm ups.

When you record you should do at least 4 different takes, and you should not stop until you feel satisfied. Make sure that your delivery is on point, and that you have clear pronunciation.

5. Produce and publish the song

After you are happy with your recordings, it is time to send the song to an audio engineer who can mix and master your song. Preferably have one engineer who mixes and another who masters the song. Here is a good video that explains the craft of mixing and mastering a song.

This is what you need in order to improve the audio of a song so that it sounds close to as good as the industry standard. You can easily find good and cheap audio engineers on https://www.fiverr.com/.

After your song is Mixed and Mastered, and you satisfied with the quality. Then it is time to release the song into the world.

 

Find a distributer such as Distrokid, Routnote or Tunecore. Then choose the distribution service that works best for you and create an account. After that you send in your song to be released on all streaming platforms. Make sure you send the song in to the distributor in some weeks in advance, so that you have time to market the song, and to build up hype before the song gets published.

 

Now that you know how to make a rap song, it is time to get your creative juices floating. You might not like your songs at first, but before you know it your song will be on the billboard top 100. Trust the process, and let your passion take you to the top! Good luck!!