Concentration, Confidence, Competitive urge, Capacity for enjoyment. -Arnold Palmer
Did you ever want to learn how to freestyle flow? Have you ever been a long time hip-hop enthusiast waiting to break out your own personal skills in the art of rhyming for the world to see? All it takes is two things, a few minutes of practice sessions per week where you can focus on developing your skills. And lastly, it takes confidence. Armed with these two tools you can become a freestyle flow expert faster than you thought was ever possible.
To begin mastering the art of rhyme you start with asking yourself how do you want to be perceived by the public? The insights you get from this question will ultimately help you decide on the style and attitude you wish to go by, hence finding your name. Like almost every superhero or memorable character rappers need a name too, and it’s just as important as any other memorable character we’ve ever come across, this in turn will help solidify your confidence. Think Jus Blaze, Fabulous, Ghost face Killah, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco.
1. Finding a name
Next you want to take the next step in finding your style and building your toolbox by buying yourself a few hip-hop instrumental CD’s or MP3’s. This is probably one of the most important parts of the process being that to begin freestyle rapping you will need some music to bust your flows to. So create a playlist of top 10-20 hip-hop beats and do a little research on the producer of those songs, next go buy them in instrumental format or the next best thing, any CD with 10 or more instrumental beats.
2. Buying Beats
Moving forward your going to have to buy yourself a few blank notebooks where you write and use to scribble freestyle punch lines and lyrics. Most notebooks cost a dollar or more and should be easy to get access to. These will become your goldmine next to the beats. Keep in mind that even though freestyle flowing is all about being creative and spontaneous, that doesn’t mean you can’t write lyrics. On the contrary, the more you both write and bust freestyle, the better you will become as an artist making you more confident and overall better at the art of rhyme.
3. Buying notebooks
Lastly, You will make your last and most expensive investment. Buying a high performance microphone. This microphone will aid in the vocal development and development of your musical ability being that having a microphone to practice your skills by performing over musical hip-hop tracks will make the novice rapper, a master in the art of rhyming. Assuming that you already own a computer, you can download a program like garage band onto your desktop where you can hook up your microphone, upload the instrumental beats and record practice freestyle sessions. Then you can make copies and show them to your friends, give them out for free or sell them for 5 bucks. The point is practicing and taking your new hobby or muse to the next level.
4. Buying a microphone
Combined, these tools and start-points will help you develop into the freestyle rapping genius you want to become and learn how to rap.
Insights inside the Art of a Freestyle Genius
You will want to freshen your musical tastes to be more up to date and continue to do so while you begin finding your own rap style. I recommend listening to all musical sub-genres in hip-hop including East coast, West Coast, and Dirty South as well as underground hip-hop style artists and albums to build on these song and production styles. You might like East coast rap more than you do West Coast or underground style music more than you do West coast. In return you will decide on what you find is the best fitting song and production style for your own music you will eventually record. As Carlos Santana once said, in the beginning you listen to other artists in search of your own style, wear it out, until you find what works for you.
Read books; stay well-informed about the latest in local and world culture & news. This will increase your ability to process words and help develop your ability to write music, which brings me to the next point, your vocabulary. A true lyricist has a well-polished vocabulary and lexicon, more so the ability to process words into raps or songs. This is probably one of the best kept secret of all hip-hop artists there is no question about it. If you work with music you work with words and you need to be well equipped with the vocabulary to do the best you can.
Next, if you plan on taking your freestyle muse to the next level decide on whether you want to start recording your own songs or freestyle sessions. Not only is this really fun and rewarding, it’s a great way to get some attention and recognition for your craft. But the best part about recording your own music is the fact that you can share your projects with your friends and family or community. That is what I mean to say when taking your skills to next level. What ever you decide on doing I’m sure you will have lots of fun and excitement with your hobby and who knows you might end up being the next internet sensation.
Extra tips and Advice from the Pros
Finally, to aid you in your quest of becoming a well-seasoned master in the art of rhyming you have to learn from the best of the best. That means that you have to control your ego and not take yourself to serious, after all, the best master was always a great student. That means that you have to be willing to being coached, mentored or take in the lessons you get from those who have done it before you. To sum it all up, you will most likely become the best at your level of ability if you immerse yourself in the Freestyle MC & hip-hop community, learning and collaborating among others will be the last breaking point from those who stay behind and those who excel. I’ve put together a list of some of the best forums and blogs to read and stay in up to date with where you can find extra tips and advice from the pros.